Tag:Travis Hafner
Posted on: June 16, 2008 1:37 pm
Edited on: June 17, 2008 4:04 pm

It Came From the Game Notes (06/15/08)

There's nothing like orange barrel season in Metro Detroit to start your Monday off in the most foul of moods. At least I have the Game Notes to cheer me up.

"The Tigers sent reliever Aquilino Lopez to Triple-A Toledo after the game and plan to convert him into a starter. Detroit is expected to activate reliever Fernando Rodney (shoulder) on Monday." Obviously, this is great news for the resurgent Tigers. The return of Rodney to his 2006 form would bring tremendous stability and depth to the Tiger bullpen. Some might recall that Rodney was being groomed for the closer role before the injury bug got him. Barring an Eric Gagne like collapse by Todd Jones, its highly unlikely that Rodney will become the closer this year. Rodney will continue his role as a set up man, occasionally earning the odd save or win.

"Gregg Zaun made his return from the 15-day DL and was inserted into the lineup as designated hitter. Zaun had been out since May 28 with a right elbow injury." Zaun had a nice return going 1 for 3 with 2 RBI dinger and a BB. As I mentioned on Saturday, I don't see him supplanting Rod Barajas behind the plate. Add him at your own risk.

Bad news on the Travis Hafner injury watch. "Eric Wedge said DH Travis Hafner, out since May 30 with a sore right shoulder, is "not where he wants to be," and is not able to start a minor league rehab assignment next week as had been hoped." The Indians were making noises that Hafner would be ready this week. Its clear he won't be. Keep him reserved or better yet, drop him for a player who can hit above the .217.

Here we go again. Its time for the next great thing in baseball. "San Diego is expected to call up OF Chase Headley on Tuesday. He's hitting .305 with 13 homers and 40 RBI in 65 games at Triple-A Portland, and will play for the Padres on Monday in the Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, N.Y., against the Chicago Cubs." Patience should be counseled for Headley. He's not receiving the hype that Jay Bruce got, but he still has prospect-watchers tongues wagging. Owners should be reminded that after his insta-HOF start, Jay Bruce came back down to earth. I would wait a week or so before hopping on the Headley bandwagon.

Speaking of struggling rookies, "in his three starts this season, Bailey has given up six homers, walked 10 and allowed 12 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings." Toot Toot! That sound you hear is my own horn. I was roundly criticized for questioning the wisdom of starting or even picking up Homer Bailey.

"Twins RHP Nick Blackburn (elbow) has muscle soreness and will skip his next start. With an off day Monday, Blackburn is now slated to Saturday against Arizona. He stressed there were no problems with the ligaments in his elbow. "It's not a big deal," he said." Missing a start is a big deal to owners who picked him up for his two start week. Blackburn has been a nice fantasy find. He doesn't win a ton of games but he has a 3 to 1 K to BB ratio, an ERA under 4, and a WHIP under 1.5. Given the fact that the soreness is in his pitching arm, I'd keep Blackburn reserved this week.

This isn't from the Game Notes, but I thought it was important to mention. The AP reported, "Yadier Molina never saw what hit him, leaving the field on a body board and wearing a neck brace." If you saw the game you saw the collision that left him motionless on the diamond. The good news is that the initial concerns about spinal injury or even whiplash were unnecessary. Molina was diagnosed with a mild concussion. He's likely out for the week, but he should be fine.

Did you hear about this? "Braves 3B Chipper Jones is 2-for-15 in four games since returning to the lineup Wednesday after sustaining a small tear in his right quadriceps muscle. He missed the series opener against the Angels on Friday after being injured in batting practice. A ball he hit caromed off the top of the batting cage and then struck him in the face. He went 0-for-7 in the final two games of the series and his major league-leading average fell to .402." I think the Braves are cursed. Worse yet, I think their players are beginning to believe it too. Sell Jones while you can. The DL is nigh.

Streakers! "AJ Pierzynski has an 11-game hitting streak...Skip Schumaker is batting .410 (16-for-39) in his past nine starts to raise his average to .310."

...thanks for playing the streak game. "Angels SS Maicer Izturis was 0-3, ending a 13-game hitting streak."
Posted on: June 6, 2008 11:37 am
Edited on: June 6, 2008 1:26 pm

It Came From the Game Notes (06/05/08)

Last night was the first night in weeks that I did not watch a baseball game. I feel so empty inside. Thank god for the Game Notes.

"Chien-Ming Wang has walked at least three batters in six straight starts."
I've soured on the fantasy value of Wang. His BBI to K ratio isn't what I would like from a fantasy player. Last night he had 4 K and 4 BB. Overall, his ratio is 1.48 to 1. Couple this with an over 4.5 ERA and you can see where is fantasy value is limited.

"Jay Bruce was 0-for-4 for the second straight game. His average dropped to .432 after his first 10 games." So Bruce is human after all. This is the problem when you hype rookies. Bruce owners might want to look at selling while his value is still perceived as being high.

"Though Orioles SS Freddie Bynum brought a .212 average and only two RBI in 66 at-bats into the game, Dave Trembley said Bynum is the still starter -- though Alex Cintron is in the mix. Bynum, though, needs to shorten his swing and improve his discipline at the plate. "If you look at his history, his walks and strikeouts, there is too big of a disparity there," Trembley said." Bynum's leash is very short in Baltimore. Cintron's promotion from the minors to the Orioles club should be a strong indicator that Trembley's patience is wearing thin. Cintron doesn't have any fantasy value yet, but he might be one to watch.

"The Cardinals played without OF Rick Ankiel, who has an infected right knee." I haven't mentioned Ankiel's absence from the line-up because I thought it would be very short-lived. This is the third game that Ankiel has missed with the infection. There are reports that the infection is showing 'significant improvement.' Ankiel should be back for the weekend.

"OF/1B Chris Carter was sent back to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game and Brandon Moss was recalled." Carter goes 2 for 3 and you send him down to the minors for Moss. How's that for gratitude? Actually, this was done for Carter's development. He's clearly a better player than Moss. He was sent down to get some more at bats in the minors. He will be back with the Red Sox sooner than later.

"Chipper Jones got his first stolen base of the season in the eighth." Not just a .400/400 HR hitter. Grats to Jones on joining the 400 club. He is having a season to remember.

"Atlanta LF Greg Norton was a late scratch with a twisted left knee. He is day to day. Josh Anderson was the fill-in starter." I looked a bit deeper into this one hoping to find a 'I tripped over the dog' story in it. Instead, I found trouble for Norton. His replacement, rookie Anderson, had a good night going 1 for 3 with a triple and a walk. For a guy who is a replacement himself, Norton may find himself with reduced playing time or even out of a job soon.

"DH Travis Hafner, on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain, won't pick up a bat until the weekend, giving him a full week to rest and strengthen the shoulder." Hafner is no where near his projected stats for the year which has caused plenty of fantasy owners to bail on him. He's gone from a 99% own and start percentage to 61% and 8%. The hope with this trip to DL land is that Hafner will heal the shoulder that has been causing his troubles.

"Alexei Ramirez is hitting .372 with six RBI in his past 11 games." These numbers are a bit deceiving as he went 1 for 5 last night.

"Jon Rauch had retired 19 consecutive batters until Ryan's double in the ninth." I'm still a Rauch believer. This was only his third blown save.

Streaks! "Johnny Damon extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a third-inning single...Manny Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 11 games...David DeJesus' triple in the fifth extended his hitting streak to nine games..Kansas City's Mark Teahen hit a home run for the third consecutive game."

Here's hoping you all have a great fantasy weekend...unless you're playing my team.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com