Summer has come with a vengeance to the Mid West. Break out the sunscreen, crank on the AC, settle in and watch baseball. This is the finest time of the year.
"Both teams (the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers) lost key members of their starting rotation for the season before the game. Cleveland's Jake Westbrook will need Tommy John surgery after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, while Detroit's Jeremy Bonderman had a blood clot in his pitching shoulder and needed angioplasty Saturday morning. The Tigers had Bonderman's jersey hanging in the dugout during the game." I wrote about Bondo's injury yesterday. The Tigers are holding out hope that he will return late this season. I would seriously doubt that we will see him pitch again this year. For Westbrook, its obvious he is lost for the season. Tommy John surgery is now becoming almost common place for pitchers. I'll say now that Westbrook will come back even stronger after the surgery.
"The 10 runs allowed by Andy Pettitte matched a career high." Pettitte's line (6.2 IP, 10 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, and 4.99 ERA) is a nightmare for fantasy owners. Its wholly consistent with how he has been pitching for year. He's made it into the 6th, but he has been getting shelled. Given the high ERA and WHIP, I would not start Pettitte in a roto league and am reluctant to start him even while he's winning in H2H.
"Baltimore LHP Brian Burress, who has won just one of his past eight starts, will get an extra day of rest before his next outing, Friday against Pittsburgh." Burress carries a 4.96 WHIP. Between the losses, the 1.45 K to BB ratio, and the inflated ERA, I see Burress holding fantasy value in only deep AL-only leagues.
"Besides (activating Vernon) Wells, the Blue Jays also activated INF John McDonald from the 15-day DL and recalled Wolfe from Triple-A Syracuse. To make room on the roster, Toronto placed 2B Aaron Hill (concussion) on the 15-day DL, designated RHP Armando Benitez for assignment and optioned INF/OF Joe Inglett to Syracuse." As expected, Hill was placed on the DL retroactive to May 30. This puts his return at Week 12. As far as McDonald and Wolfe are concern, they have no fantasy value.
If it makes Hill feel any better, "Mets OF Ryan Church sat out his second straight game and will not play in Sunday's finale because he says he is "not feeling right."
"Boston manager Terry Francona said CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who left Thursday's game with a sprained right wrist, could be back Tuesday." This speaks well to the "real clean" MRI from yesterday. Ellsbury should be back and stealing bases shortly.
"Tim Wakefield was winless in his last five starts, going 0-3." Unfortunately for Wakefield, he can't play the Tigers or Seattle every outing. Wakefield had a decent outing from a fantasy perspective (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, and a 4.33 ERA). You roll the dice with the knuckleballer.
"After the game, the Marlins optioned C Paul Hoover to Triple-A Albuquerque. RHP Ryan Tucker will have his contract selected prior to tomorrow's game to make his major league debut." Tucker has been dominant in the minors with a 1.41 ERA over 12 starts. As we all know, there is a significant difference between major league and minor league hitters. He will face the Reds first. Lets see how Ken Griffey, Jr. and Jay Bruce greet the rookie.
Josh Hamilton's struggles at the plate recently may be because he "has been bothered by viral infection for several days and is expected to get a day off on Sunday."
In the continuing saga of the WWE meets MLB, "Rays OF Jonny Gomes dropped his appeal and began serving his five-game suspension on Saturday night. RHP James Shields will drop his appeal after Tuesday night's start and will begin his six-game suspension on Wednesday. ... Gomes and Shields were two of five Rays suspended for a total of 23 games for their parts Thursday night's bench-clearing melee with the Red Sox. The other three Tampa Bay players -- Crawford, RHP Edwin Jackson and 2B Akinori Iawmura -- are expected to appeal before their suspensions begin later in the month."
"Jonathan O. Sanchez has gone at least six innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his last five starts." Sanchez along with reliver Brian Wilson are a couple of very pleasant fantasy surprises coming out of San Francisco. Sanchez has a 2 to 1 K to BB ratio, an ERA under 4, and a WHIP of 1.38. You won't get a ton of wins from the Giant's starter, but he makes a nice spot pitcher.
"Oakland RHP Andrew Brown, on the DL since undergoing an appendectomy on May 20, may be activated Sunday, according to manager Bob Geren." Brown is a middle reliever and not much more.
"Yost is hoping to have relievers Eric Gagne (rotator cuff tendinitis) and David Riske (hyperextended right elbow) back within a week." The rest of the Brewers are hoping they stay on the DL...
"New York reinstated Raul Casanova from the bereavement list Friday. The Mets optioned C Robinson Cancel to Triple-A New Orleans." Casanova grounded out pinch-hitting yesterday.
Usually streakers have company. Today, we only have one. "Nationals C Jesus Flores extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games with a seventh-inning single."
I have no idea how things like this make it into the game notes, but I'm glad for the opportunity to comment on it. "A moment of silence was held for Jim McKay, the longtime voice of ABC Sports who died Saturday morning at age 86. In July 2000, when the American Sportscasters Association selected Dodgers play-by-play man Vin Scully as the No. 1 sportscaster of the 20th century, McKay finished sixth in the voting behind Scully, Howard Cosell, Mel Allen, Red Barber and Bob Costas." Jim McKay and ABC's Wide World of Sports was a fixture in our home on Saturdays and Sundays in the late 70's. McKay was my Dan Patrick minus the shtick. He was knowledgable, engaging, and a great ambassador for all sports.