Matt Kemp returned to the Dodgers starting lineup and hopefully showed that his struggles are a thing of the past. Vladimir Guerrero continued his torrid pace. Felix Hernandez is pitcher like an ace. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Matt Kemp (3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – Los Angeles Dodgers - His time on the bench to gather himself came to an end on Tuesday when he had to enter the game to replace Manny Ramirez. In his last two games he’s gone 5-8, so you have to think the message was received. He’s one of the elite outfielders in the game, so hopefully you didn’t panic.
- Mark Reynolds (1-4, 1 R) – Arizona Diamondbacks - We all know this is the concern when you select Reynolds, but this is really getting bad. In June he’s gone 14-77 (.182), striking out 36 times. For the season he’s hitting .212 with 108 Ks. It’s impossible to post a usable average when you strikeout that much. I don’t care how many home runs he hits, he’s not a player I’d be trusting. He just puts you in too big of a hole (unless you pair him with someone like an Ichiro Suzuki).
- Vladimir Guerrero (4-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) – Texas Rangers – He’s now hitting .339 with 18 HR and 68 RBI, looking like the Guerrero of old. If he can maintain this all year long or not is an interesting debate, but there’s nothing in the numbers that suggests he can’t. His BABIP is .321. His HR/FB is 17.8%, and while it hasn’t been that high since 2005 (17.4%), he has had years of 16.3% and 16.1% in the interim. He continues to be a must use option in all formats and one of the great steals on draft day.
- Jay Bruce (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) – Cincinnati Reds - He homered for the first time since June 11, but that’s not to say that he hasn’t been playing well of late. Since June 20 he’s gone 14-36 with 1 HR, 6 RBI and 7 R. The average is there, now hopefully the counting stats will follow.
- Chris Johnson (4-4, 2 RBI) – Houston Astros - He has the average up to .333 with 8 RBI and 6 R in 15 games this season. Since returning to the big leagues on 6/22 he’s gone 12-29 with 6 RBI and 2 R. It’s nice to see, but he doesn’t have significant power. He does play a weak position, so if you are desperate then sure, but he’s much better suited for those in the deepest of formats.
- Matt LaPorta (1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – Cleveland Indians – He’s already producing significantly better since being recalled from Triple-A. He’s now homered in back-t0-back games and is on a modest three-game hitting streak (4-9 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R). He’s certainly worth owning in all five-outfielder formats immediately for his power potential.
- Adam Jones (3-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – Baltimore Orioles - He continues his torrid pace, making the owners who gave up on him early regret their decision. In June he’s gone 32-100 (.320) with 8 HR, 21 RBI, 16 R and 2 SB.
- Jose Guillen (2-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – Kansas City Royals - Despite having his hitting streak stopped earlier in the week, it has been quite a June for Guillen. He hit .340 with 3 HR, 17 RBI and 11 R, quite a rebound after hitting just .202 in May. He certainly has value in all five-outfielder formats, but you want to keep a close eye on the news as the trade deadline approaches. There’s a good chance he’s dealt and his landing spot will certainly play a role in his value.
- Kevin Slowey (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K, W) – Minnesota Twins - He had been awful in his three previous starts, allowing 17 ER over 12.1 innings against the Braves, Phillies & Mets. Now that he’s back pitching against the AL, things seem to be back to normal, defeating the Tigers. He’s significantly better then his current 4.57 ERA, so don’t give up on him.
- Wandy Rodriguez (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W) – Houston Rodriguez - Well, we all knew he wasn’t as bad as he was showing, didn’t we? He won for the second straight start, allowing 1 ER over 13 IP. With the Pirates next on the schedule, could we see a winning streak? Get him in there in all formats.
- Brad Lincoln (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W) – Pittsburgh Pirates – Tom Gorzelanny returned to the rotation and pitched well (5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K), but Lincoln was the better man. He has a ton of talent, as we’ve discussed before (you can read my Scouting Report on him by clicking here), but pitching for the Pirates, Ws are going to be tough to come by. Plus, he’s a rookie, so consistency may be tough to come by. Keep that in mind before depending on him.
- Clayton Richard (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K, W) – San Diego Padres – With Adrian Gonzalez out of the lineup he must have thought he needed to do something special. Little did he know that he’d get 13 runs of support. The strikeouts were a career high, but don’t come to expect that from him often (last season, in 153 innings, he posted 114 K). Richard has been tremendous this season, at 6-4 with a 2.74 ERA as he has settled in to his new home. A groundball pitcher (he entered the day with a 52.6% GB%) in a huge ballpark, he should continue to excel.
- Chris Perez (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, SV) – Cleveland Indians - It was Perez, not Kerry Wood, who got the save chance and tossed a perfect inning. Wood had pitched three straight days, giving up 1 hit and striking out 6 while picking up three saves, so don’t read anything into this. Wood is still the closer, but Perez could get his chance once again before 2010 is out.
- Felix Hernandez (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 11 K, W) – Seattle Mariners - Just a dominant performance from one of the better pitchers in the league. He’s now gone at least 8.2 innings in each of his last four starts, going 3-0 allowing 5 ER with 47 Ks over 35.2 IP. It’s been quite an impressive run, to say the least.
- Jair Jurrjens (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 6 K, W) – Atlanta Braves – He made his return to the Braves rotation and looked pretty good in the process. We all know he is significantly better then he showed before he went down to injury, so if someone in your league gave up on him I wouldn’t hesitate to grab him. He has the potential to be an important piece to your fantasy rotation from this point forward.
- Matt Garza (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W) – Tampa Bay Rays - The team tried to push him 8 innings, but he allowed two baserunners to lead off the inning (both scored) suppressing his numbers slightly. Still, the debacle from a few starts ago appears safely behind him at this point. He’s now won back-to-back starts, allowing 6 ER over 15 innings. His next start is a rematch with the Red Sox and he’s a good option in all formats.
- Mike Pelfrey (4.2 IP, 4 ER, 12 H, 1 BB, 3 K) – New York Mets – You have to wonder if the lengthy rain delay played a part in this outing, but he also didn’t have his best stuff in his last outing against the Twins (despite still having some success). We all knew he was bound to hit a bump in the road, so I wouldn’t pull the plug on him. He’s scheduled to be a two-start option next week with games against the Reds and Braves, making him a must use option in all formats.
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games? Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?
To view the previous article, click here.