Around the Majors: August 29

What has come over Barry Zito?  Does anyone think that Matt Kemp could reach the 30/30 plateau this season?  Just how good has Matt LaPorta been since being recalled?  Let’s look at these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games.
  • Sergio Mitre (6.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 ER) and Chad Gaudin (2.2 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 ER) combined to one-hit the White Sox.  Did anyone actually see that one coming?  Despite the strong start, Mitre is completely useless for fantasy owners, which was true before he was forced from the game after getting hit by a comebacker off the bat of A.J. Pierzynski.  Everyone is going to have a good outing once and a while, it happens.
  • David Price tried to dispel owners concerns about him starting on the road by giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 7.1 innings.  Considering that he started the day with an 8.07 ERA away from home, it’s going to take more than one start like this to convince me.
  • Ricky Romero allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, over 5.1 innings.  Since the All-Star Break he’s carrying a 5.67 ERA and 1.77 WHIP.  Needless to say, he’s far from the dominating force he was early on in the season.  His next start comes in Texas and I certainly would not consider him a must start option at this point.
  • Clay Buchholz was tremendous, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 9, over 8.1 innings.  He has been up-and-down, but with the Red Sox offense behind him he is worth using in all formats.
  • Did anyone predict that Scott Feldman would enter September with a 14-4 record?  He’s 5-0 over his last six starts.  His biggest problem is the lack of strikeout potential, with just 88 Ks over 150 innings.  That is a pretty big strike against him, but with the wins and a solid ERA and WHIP (he entered at 1.25), it’s easily overlooked.
  • Matt Kemp was in the clean-up spot, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  He has a modest three-game hitting streak, going 7-14 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB.  He’s reached the 20/20 plateau, with 20 HR and 28 SB.  While 30/30 seems like a long shot for 2009, who thinks he could reach it in 2010?
  • Jake Fox had the big offensive day for the Cubs, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R.  The home run was a grand slam off Bobby Parnell (who was awful, giving up 8 ER over 4.2 innings and is unusable).  He has plenty of pop, but he doesn’t play everyday making him not worth using in any format.
  • Alcides Escobar went 2-3 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now hitting .286 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, 7 R and 1 SB.  His value really lies in his speed, which is being wasted hitting towards the bottom of the line-up, especially in the eighth spot like last night.  If he gets to hit atop the line-up, with Prince Fielder & Ryan Braun there to drive him in, his value will increase significantly.
  • Matt Diaz is playing everyday right now, and making the most of it.  After going 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, he has a 7-game hitting streak.  If that wasn’t enough, each game was a multi-hit game.  In total, he’s 19-31 with 1 HR, 5 RBI and 5 R over the streak.  It’s impressive, but obviously he’s not going to be this hot forever.  Still, if he continues to see everyday AB, he should prove usable in all NL-only and five-outfielder formats.
  • You had to expect Cliff Lee to have a poor start sooner or later.  It came last night, giving up 6 runs on 10 hits and 0 walks, striking out 5, over 5 innings.  The biggest problem was the three home runs he allowed.  His next start comes in Houston, so look for him to right the ship quickly.
  • Matt Holliday just continues to produce since being acquired by the Cardinals, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  He’s hitting .376 with 8 HR, 32 RBI and 25 R since the deal.  Was it the trade or was it coincidence?  The truth is, who really cares at this point.
  • Really, did Justin Upton miss a beat?  He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him a 4-game hitting streak and a 4-game run streak since coming off the DL.
  • Mark Reynolds 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him 40 HR on the season.
  • Miguel Montero went 1-3 with 3 RBI and 1 R to give him a 4-game hitting streak.  Over the streak he’s gone 6-16 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 5 R.  Where would some owners in 2-catcher formats be without him?  I know he’s certainly helped my season.
  • Matt LaPorta went 4-4 with 1 R, putting him at .410 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 9 R in the 10 games since being recalled (he also has a 10-game hitting streak and a run in nine of the ten games he’s played).  My question is, what are you waiting for to grab him?
  • Adam Jones returned to the Orioles line-up, going 0-3 with 1 R.  At least he’s back.
  • Chris Tillman was solid, giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2, over 5 innings in a no decision.  In his last five starts he’s allowed 11 earned runs over 29.2 innings (3.39 ERA), but he has just 1 win over that span and his next start comes against the potent Texas Rangers.  Don’t have him in your active roster quite yet.
  • Vin Mazzaro allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 5 innings.  Does anyone remember his strong start any more?  He’s now sporting a 5.32 ERA and 1.74 WHIP.  In his last six starts he’s gone no more than 5.1 innings.  His two longest starts were 7.1 innings and 6.1 innings, his first two starts of the season.  Needless to say, he’s useless in all formats.
  • Gil Meche allowed 7 runs on 8 hits and 0 walks, striking out 1, over 4 innings of work.  Since returning from the DL he’s sporting a robust 8.14 ERA and there have to be questions on if there is still a problem there or not.  Until he works out his issues he should be on your bench.  He should prove usable, so don’t give up all hope.
  • Ian Snell improved to 3-1 since being acquired by the Mariners, but he is sporting a 5.10 ERA.  He could prove usable, but he’s not there yet.
  • What has come over Barry Zito?  He allowed 1 run on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 7, over 8.1 innings to get the victory.  Since the All-Star Break, he’s gone 4-2 with a 1.92 ERA and 1.14 WHIP.  He’s even getting some Ks, striking out 45 in 56.1 innings.  It’s been an amazing turn around, to say the least, and while he’s going like this he clearly should be used in all formats.  Of course, his next start comes in Philadelphia, so there is reason to believe that he could hit a slight bump in the road.  However, Ryan Howard has never had a hit against him, while Chase Utley is hitting .500 and Ibanez is at .171 with 1 HR.  In other words, I wouldn’t necessarily panic and pull him from your line-up, as he’s been successful against their big guns in the past.

What do you think?  What was the biggest story from yesterday?  Was there something I missed?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. You’re finally coming around about Zito.

  2. Rotoprofessor says:

    He hasn’t left me any choice! I still wouldn’t bank on him for Ks, but he’s been pitching too well to ignore at this point.

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