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Tag:John Smoltz
Posted on: June 11, 2008 11:16 am
 

It Came From the Game Notes (06/10/08)

Tigers win! Cubs win! D-Train to the minors! Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. On to the Game Notes!

I can't say that I am surprised in any way by this development. "The Tigers sent struggling Dontrelle Willis down to Class A on Tuesday, hoping the former star lefty can find his control. Detroit optioned Willis to Lakeland of the Florida State League -- and home to the Tigers' spring training camp -- a day after he matched a career high by giving eight earned runs on five walks and three hits in 1 1/3 innings against Cleveland. Willis (0-1) has walked 21 batters in 11 1/3 innings." It needs to be noted here that Willis didn't go down to Triple-A Toldeo. No, they sent him down to single A ball, where they keep the prospects, the first year players. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski even went so far as to say that Willis may not begin working on his pitching immediately for whatever reason. I don't know who is more damned by this turn of events - Dombrowski for signing him to that massive contract or Willis for being an utter failure.

"Tom Glavine's shortest outing this season came on April 13 when he did not record an out against the Nationals." Glavine left the game after 3 INN, 4 ER, 4 BB, O K, and promptly landed on the DL. Like his long time teammate John Smoltz, Father Time has finally caught up with Glavine. He's had a great career, but life after 40 just isn't easy for a pitcher. Glavine has fallen far from his Cy Young, must-have roto status to a fantasy afterthought. He seldom hits 6 innings per outing and his K to BB ratio is nearly 1 to 1. For the amazing 40% of you fantasy owners living in 1998, its time to move on.

"Dustin Pedroia broke an 0-for-18 slump" with two hits in the game. Pedroia is coming back to earth after his Rookie of the Year season. Slumps are natural for any player, especially those in their sophomore seasons. I would expect Pedroia to rebound somewhat to a .275 BA for the rest of the year. He's a serviceable option at a thin 2B position.

"Baltimore designated RHP Steve Trachsel for assignment and promoted 1B Oscar Salazar from Triple-A Norfolk. Trachsel was 2-5 with an 8.39 ERA in 10 games." Trachsel was a fantasy nobody who is likely done with baseball after being released. Oscar Salazar is an interesting prospect for the Orioles. I've seen him listed as 1B, 2B, and 3B in various sources. He's had a nice spring in the minors hitting .331, 7 HR, and 44 RBI. The O's don't have a place for him in the lineup at present, but he makes a fine insurance policy for injuries. I would take a flyer on him in deeper AL-only leagues.

When Ryan Doumit returned from the DL he forgot to bring his bat with him. He went 1 for 12. Last night, he found it going 4 for 4 with 2 HR and 3 RBI. "It was the third four-hit game of Doumit's career." If he keeps up his .345 hitting, I don't see how the Pirates can keep him splitting time behind the plate with Raul Chavez.

"Indians 2B Josh Barfield left in the top of the sixth with a strained left middle finger." Nothing like getting a call up to the big leagues and getting injured in your first game.

They say in baseball that some batters just have a pitcher's number. These two Indians seem to have CC Sabathia figured out. Then again, so does much of the AL..."Alexi Casilla's bunt hit was his eighth in a row off Sabathia and extended his career-high hitting streak to 12 games. He's 9-for-13 (.692) in his career against Sabathia...Twins C Mike Redmond went 1-for-3 and is 13-for-26 (.500) overall against Sabathia."

...and on the other side of the coin. "Roy Oswalt continued to be strong against Prince Fielder, who went 0-for-3 on Tuesday and is 4-for-28 with seven strikeouts against Oswalt in his career." Oswalt has been struggling this year, but can consistently shut down Fielder. Go figure.

What's happened to V-Mart? No power and now no average. I used to think he would just snap out of it. I'm beginning to think now that its gotten in his head. "Indians C Victor Martinez went 1-for-4. After batting .350 (28-for-80) through the end of April, he has hit .217 (25-for-115) in May and June."

"The Reds placed IF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. on the 15-day disabled list because of a broke thumb and sent RHP Gary Majewski to the bereavement list so he could be with his wife, who was delivering their first child. The team selected the contract of IF-OF Jolbert Cabrera and recalled rookie LHP Danny Herrera from Triple-A Louisville." Herrera is simply a place holder until Majewski returns. Cabrera could make some noise for owners in deeper NL-only leagues. He was hitting .288, 4 HR, and 30 RBI in the minors.

"The Blue Jays lead the majors with seven complete games, including five by Roy Halladay." I wonder how much of that has to do with the success of the Blue Jays starters, John Gibbons' managing philosophy, or lack of faith in their relievers. In leagues where complete games are rewarded, Blue Jays pitchers are especially valuable.

"The Mets designated INF Abraham Nunez for assignment after the game." That was a short trip.

"John Buck is hitting a major league-leading .474 with runners in scoring position." This is a classic example of statistics deceiving you. Buck might hit great with RISP, but with no one to drive in, he's anemic. So much so that he has lost his starting job with the Royals to Miguel Olivo.

"Bochy said RHP Kevin Correia should be available Sunday. Correia has been on the disabled list since April 27 with a left intercostal strain." Correia is a marginal fantasy player of use in deeper NL-only leagues. I would advise caution before adding him to your roster.

We have streaker sightings! "Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 14 games and J.D. Drew to nine...Michael Bourn extended his career-high hitting streak to six games on Tuesday." Don't forget Casilla's 12 game streak.
Posted on: June 5, 2008 11:39 am
 

It Came From the Game Notes (06/04/08)

Much love to the Detroit Red Wings for winning Lord Stanley's Cup last night. I have come to the sad realization that I am a fair weather hockey fan. I can live with it. On to the Game Notes!

"A's 3B Eric Chavez was given the day off to rest his legs after homering in Tuesday's win over the Tigers. Chavez missed the first 53 games of the season recovering from offseason back surgery." I love Chavev's potential. So far, he has been solid since coming off the DL. Bob Geren is doing the right thing by working Chavez back in slowly. You don't mess around with a back injury.

The Cub's winning streak was broken last night. More importantly, their dominance over NL West teams was ever so slightly diminished. "Chicago lost for just the third time in 19 games against NL West." Keep an eye on your Cubs starters like Soto, Lee, or Fukudome for
games where they play the West and get them in!

Angel's injury news: "The Angels sent OF Vladimir Guerrero (knee) and RHP Scot Shields (ribcage) back to California to get an examination by team medical director Dr. Lewis Yocum. Manager Mike Scioscia says each is progressing and could be available again sometime during the weekend series at Oakland that begins Friday." I'm inclined to try and trade for Guerrero while he's on the DL. I'd have to believe that his owners will sell him after this latest DL stint and his slow start. I still believe he will have a good second half.

"The Braves recalled right-hander Phil Stockman from Triple-A Richmond to replace Smoltz." I have to say it again - I told you so about Smoltz. Now I wish him either a speedy recovery or a happy retirement. Stockman is a 28 year old middle reliever with little fantasy value.

"Rays 1B Carlos Pena went on the 15-day DL with a broken left index finger that was injured when he was hit by a pitch from Boston's Justin Masterson in the first inning Tuesday. OF Justin Ruggiano was called up from Triple-A Durham to fill Pena's roster spot and replaced Upton in center in the eighth."
Pena's been laboring at the plate for a while now. This DL stint might do him some good.

"Brewers 3B Bill Hall entered in the seventh. Hall, who has acknowledged he'd like to be traded if he's not an everyday player, has been platooning with Russell Branyan." Those owners in NL-only leagues should pay attention to the Bill Hall saga. Hall is rather pathetic against RH pitching, but against lefties he's shown some pop. I would imagine that the Brewers will do their best to trade Hall and get some value for him. Should he land in a place where he will play everyday, he could be a decent pick up.

We have a Jorge Posada sighting. "Jorge Posada didn't start because he caught the previous two days while rehabilitating his throwing shoulder at extended spring training in Florida. Posada had been out since April 28 with right rotator cuff tendinitis. He is slated to catch Chien-Ming Wang on Thursday in the series finale." Considering how barren for hitting the catching position has been this year, Posada might be a good pick up in a league where he was dumped. Posada is owned in only 69% of leagues.

"Chan Ho Park relieved Clayton Kershaw and struck out six in three innings, including his first four batters." Kershaw is showing himself to be the rookie that he is. Yesterday he was just throwing the heat as hard as he could and letting the Rockies tee off on him. More often than not, the pitch was just fouled off. Kershaw is a fine pick up in deeper leagues or keeper leagues, but for the average fantasy owner he belongs on the wire, not your roster.

"The Rangers will move RHP Vicente Padilla back into the rotation on Friday night to open a three-game series against Tampa Bay. Padilla is expected to return from his native Nicaragua on Thursday after attending to a personal family matter, missing one start." Padilla's return was expected.

"Indians SS Astrubal Cabrera left the game in the fourth inning with a left hip strain." This was his second start in five games. Between his ice cold bat and this injury, it sounds like the Indians will be auditioning Josh Barfield and Jamey Carroll at second. Cabrera will likely be headed to the DL or the minors to work on his swing.

"The Mets placed C Raul Casanova on the bereavement list following the death of his father, Raul Casanova Sr., and selected the contract of C Robinson Cancel from Triple-A New Orleans." Casanova will be back in a week.

"Giants RHP starter Kevin Correia, recovering from a strained left side muscle that landed him on the DL, tried to talk Bochy out of having him make another start for Triple-A Fresno. But the Giants want him to build his pitch count up a little more after Correia's strong outing Tuesday for the Grizzlies. "I'm over being on the DL," the pitcher said. "I'm ready." I love hearing this kind of talk from players on the DL. I wouldn't want him on my fantasy team necessarily, but the attitude is good.

"After a decent season debut on Tuesday, RHP Radhames Liz will stay in Baltimore's rotation and struggling RHP Steve Trachsel will remain in the bullpen." Liz is a spot starter for the Orioles whose position in the starting roatation is tenous. He might serve AL-only leagues as a two start pick up pitcher.

"The Reds will call up RHP Homer Bailey from Triple-A Louisville to make his first start of the season in Thursday's series finale." A lot of owners are looking to Bailey to be the next big rookie sensation. I'm not. Bailey's been erratic in the minors and this call up has more to do with Josh Fogg's incompetence than it does Bailey's skill.

"Joe Crede left the game after the 12th inning with a bruised right wrist. He made a nice stop in the top of the inning on a hard grounder by DeJesus. He said after the game X-rays were negative and he should be fine, even though the wrist was bandaged." So far the news is good for Crede. Treat his availability as day to day.

Streaking! "Todd Helton extended his hitting streak to 11 games with an infield single in the first inning."
Posted on: June 3, 2008 6:39 pm
 

It Came From the Game Notes (06/02/08)

Triple OT...bleary eyes...need sleep...Red Wings lose...must blog Game Notes.

"Jim Edmonds, released by the Padres on May 9 after his batting average had fallen to .178 -- more than 100 points below his lifetime mark -- hit two RBI doubles and scored one run for the Cubs." Edmonds isn't quite swinging like the rusty gate I accused him of being when the Cubs signed him.  He's not exactly en fuego either.  While raising his average slightly above .200, I don' t think he warrants fantasy consideration  beyond a stop gap measure for NL-only leagues.

Good news for Tim Hudson owners I would take it with a grain of salt. "Braves RHP Tim Hudson said his strained left hamstring shouldn't keep him out of next start. Hudson has battled hamstring problems in the past, and said this didn't feel as bad as some of his other strains. Manager Bobby Cox said he will have an emergency starter ready in case Hudson can't start Friday against Philadelphia"

"Another Atlanta pitcher, RH Blaine Boyer, underwent an MRI after tweaking his right knee Sunday. It showed no damage."  Boyer is a fine middle reliever with a 3 to 1 K to BB ratio.  In leagues that reward holds, he's a good pick up.

While I'm talking about Braves pitching, I would be remiss not to comment on the return of John Smoltz"I told you so."  Smoltz blew his first save opportunity.  I just don't think you can pitch on moxie and determination alone.  Thanks for the fine career, John.  Its time to retire while the baseball world still loves and respects you.

"Twins 1B Justin Morneau played despite a sore left knee and strained calf muscle. He went 0-for-4 and limped noticeably throughout the game." I love seeing guys try to tough it out through the pain.  That said, I would hate to see Morneau miss time because he was gritting it out. The '0-fer' performance didn't help his team much either.

The Rockies are just bad. Considering how many Rockies are on the DL its not that surprising to find that  "Colorado is 18 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2005 season 67-95. The Rockies have lost 19 of their past 21 away from Coors Field."

More injury updates: "Diamondbacks 1B Conor Jackson (strained right quad) took batting practice. Arizona manager Bob Melvin said Jackson could be ready to return as early as Wednesday when the Brewers start LHP Manny Parra. ... Brewers RHP David Riske (hyperextended elbow) played catch on Monday, but Brewers manager Ned Yost said both he and RHP Eric Gagne (rotator cuff tendinitis) are at least a week away from returning."

"Angels' OF/DH Vladimir Guerrero was held out of the lineup with a sore right knee after a hard slide into third base Sunday during a game against Detroit." Guerrero is listed as day to day.

"Seattle RHP Miguel Batista experienced some tightness in his groin Sunday during a start against Detroit, but said he shouldn't have any problems making his next start."  The injury is a recurrence of the injury Batista had in April. The Mariners do not share Batista's optimism about Batista's ability to start this week.  Even if he were ready to go, he's not much of a fantasy player.

Still streaking!  Whee!  "Phillies CF Shane Victorino singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, tying his career-best...Reds SS Jerry Hairston extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games with a sixth-inning single."

Sit down, son.  You annoy me.  "Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was in a 1-for-20 slump before singling in the seventh...Boston's Coco Crisp singled in the fourth inning to snap an 0-for-23 skid."



Posted on: May 31, 2008 10:39 am
 

It Came From the Game Notes (05/30/08)

Ever read the Game Notes at the bottom of a game recap?  I do. Sometimes I even learn something.  Today's post looks more like streaks and injuries.

I cheated a bit and actually read a beat writer's article this morning.  Tom Gage of The Detroit News covers some of the changes that Jim Leyland is implementing in the Detroit line up.  Not least among them is "that Carlos Guillen has been working out in left field, with the thought of that position being added to others where Guillen can be used."  I'm a big fan of having players eligible at multiple positions.  To me it makes them much more valuable to a team.  If Guiilen does begin playing LF, he wll be eligible at four positions (1B, 3B, SS, and LF).  For a 20/100 player who consistently hits .300 that's value.

For those Dice-K owners who live under rocks, just came out from under them and read my blog first thing..."The Red Sox placed RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka on the 15-day DL and recalled 1B/OF Jeff Bailey from Triple-A Pawtucket. Bailey struck out in the ninth."  For the rest of us, Bailey was a crusher in the minors but he's no Jay Bruce.

Yet another reason Chase Utley is getting MVP talk.  "The left-handed hitting Utley has nine homers against left-handers, tops in the majors. Utley has 12 RBI in the past four games."

Play. These. Guys.  "Shane Victorino extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games... Texas' Ian Kinsler extended his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games with a seventh-inning double...Michael Young stretched his hitting streak to 15 games with a first-inning single...Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an infield single in the first. He has reached base safely in 30 straight games, the longest run from the leadoff spot in team history."

"Dodgers SS Rafael Furcal, on the disabled list retroactive to May 6 with a sore lower back, was examined in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins, a back specialist. There is no timetable for Furcal's return. "We're not close yet," Torre said."  Tough, tough break for Furcal owners.  He's had a great year so far and is very much worth a reserve spot.  "We're not close yet" does not bode well...

"Chicago (SS) Juan Uribe (strained right hamstring) is expected to reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and rejoin the team for Saturday's game."  Uribe isn't of much fantasy value except in AL-only leagues.

"With INF Ben Zobrist optioned to Triple-A Durham, the Rays plan to use rookie 3B Evan Longoria as their backup shortstop. Longoria played the position for about 20 games in college at Long Beach State, however manager Joe Maddon stressed he is the team's third baseman." See my Guillen comments...minus Thursday's hemorrhoid reference.

"Braves OF Mark Kotsay went on the 15-day DL with a strained lower back." 25% of fantasy owners care.  Really.  They do.

"RHP John Smoltz is expected to make another rehabilitation appearance for Class A Rome on Saturday. If he comes through that without a problem, he could be activated on Monday and go into the bullpen. Smoltz went on the DL on April 29 with a sore upper arm and shoulder."  I don't think Smoltz is going to the Braves bullpen. I have a deep affection for John Smoltz.  We're from the same area and we're the same age.  I love that an old guy like me is still in the big leagues as a player.  I simply think that the body has had enough.

I think its obvious that Derek Jeter is having a poor season by Derek Jeter standards. "Jeter, who has struggled since he was hit by a pitch on the wrist 10 days ago, went 0-for-5 and is in a 3-for-37 slide."  I wonder how much getting plunked has truly affected him.  It would not surprise me to see Jeter go on the retroactive DL at some point to rest.

Todd Wellemeyer is quietly putting together a career year for the Cardinals" Wellemeyer had four strikeouts, giving him 36 in 37 2/3 innings for his career against the Pirates."  More importantly, he's 6-1 with a better than 2 to 1 K to BBI and a WHIP of 1.14.  But 86% of you knew that already...

"Albert Pujols also singled in the third and has 10 hits in his past 18 at-bats, raising his average to .364."   So much for injury concerns for Prince Albert.

"Washington RHP Jason Bergmann starts Saturday night against the Diamondbacks. Bergmann (1-1, 4.50 ERA) has thrown 19 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings."  This is not the same guy who was sent down to the minors earlier this year.  For larger leagues, this guy is worth a flier.

And finally from the TMI files, "Giants 1B Rich Aurilia was sidelined for the second straight day still waiting to pass a kidney stone."
Posted on: May 30, 2008 12:32 pm
 

It Came from the Game Notes (05/29/08)

For games played on Thursday, May 29, here's the fantasy value I gleaned from the Game Notes.

"Ryan Theriot reached base four times." (3 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 2 BB) If this is a slump, I'll take it. I originally picked up The Riot for a roto league for his average. I have to say I have not been disappointed.

The Braves relief appears to be in fine hands. Current closer "... Manny Acosta struck out all four batters he faced." While "Rafael Soriano pitched a scoreless ninth after being activated from the disabled list Wednesday night. Soriano had missed 45 games with right elbow tendinitis, and said he felt good after the outing." Tomes of fantasy posts have been made about whether or not John Smoltz will return to the Braves bullpen. Personally, I think the competition is now between Acosta and Soriano.

"Since moving to third in the White Sox batting order 15 games ago, Quentin has 19 RBI." Like I need another reminder that I was late picking Carlos Quentin off the waiver wire.

"Padres RHP Chris Young, whose nose was broken by a line drive by Albert Pujols on May 21, was scheduled to see a doctor Thursday afternoon. Manager Bud Black said the main concern is with a small fracture in Young's skull. Black also said Young probably will need surgery to straighten his septum." I think a late June return is wishful thinking on the part of the Padres. I would not be surprised to see Young lost for the season.

"Eight times in the past 10 years Kansas City has endured losing streaks of nine or more games." Whenever I thought the Tigers sucked especially hard, I would just look to the Royals and thank my lucky stars I didn't root for them. Its a shame what they are going through after such a promising start under new manager Trey Hillman. Too bad they are playing like the Royals again.

"Jose Reyes singled twice and has reached base in 29 consecutive games."
Nice to see Reyes finally rewarding the fantasy owners who stuck with him.

"Lance Berkman leads the majors with 150 total bases and 57 runs." Freak.

"Michael Bourn stole his major-league leading 24th base." If this guy had a better OBP (.279) , he would be a roto must have rather than a liability. Bourn is owned in only 60% of CBS leagues.

"Arizona has three of the five players with the most strikeouts in the NL -- Justin Upton (64), Mark Reynolds (63) and Chris Young (57)." Koske Fukudome should give these guys a lesson about learning the strike zone.


 
 
 
 
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