I'm back at it after attending the awesome Dark Star Orchestra show in Philly on Thursday night. Friday's MLB news was highlighted by the Astros' Roy Oswalt requesting a trade out of Houston. Oswalt has pitched above expectations this season, and the Astros aren't going anywhere, so the time is ripe for GM Ed Wade to pull the trigger on a deal to replenish the Astros farm system.
Here are more thoughts on Friday's MLB news and boxscores:
The Brewers are pondering bringing up AAA closer Zack Braddock. They would have brought him up had catcher Gregg Zaun not required a DL stint. Instead, the Brewers brought up AAA catcher Jonathan Lucroy. I can see the Brewers easing Braddock into their closer role. Once they make that move, it tells me that Trevor Hoffman may not be long for the closers job in Milwaukee, but will probably be there to coach the future Brewers closer.
Things are going from bad to worse for the Brewers. They have lost 9 of 10 coming into Friday's action, and starter Dave Bush lays an egg by giving up 7 runs in one third of an inning. Jeff Suppan could be a candidate to be DFA'd (for Braddock) as he gave up 5 runs in 3+ innings. Claudio Vargas is another candidate, and he gave up a run as well.
The Diamondbacks bullpen finally came through as Chad Qualls earned his 8th save of the season, after Juan Gutierrez gave up 2 homers in the 9th. Starter Dan Haren got the win, but he gave up 4 homers himself. Haren is just not the same pitcher he was the last few years.
When Brian Bannister holds a team to just 2 runs in 7+ innings, you know the team is struggling to score runs. That team is the Rockies, the team that scouts, and Buster Olney, were raving about in spring training as being the best team in the NL West, and having the best talent top to bottom in baseball. Well, the Rockies are going to be 2 games under .500 after Friday night's game.
Friday was groundhog day for Albert Pujols owners as the Cardinals scored 9 runs, and Pujols was 0-3 with a run scored. He is not performing as one would expect the number 1 pick in fantasy baseball to perform. I think the injuries are starting to catch up to him.
Is Jose Reyes droppable in fantasy leagues at this point? Or is he a buy-low candidate? He is hitting .211-.258-.277 for the season. His BABIP is .248 and his career BABIP is over .300. But his BB% has dropped from 10.8% IN 2009 to 5.2% in 2010. His 9 SBs are his only value to fantasy owners at this point.
I watched some of the Braves-Pirates game and saw Jason Heyward hit his 9th HR of the season. He hit a ball on the outside part of the plate and pulled it to right field for a HR. I just traded for Heyward in the UBA league, and am quite happy to own him for the next 2+ seasons.
The debate about which Cole Hamels we will see in 2010 may be coming to an end. Hamels held the Red Sox to one run in 7 innings, striking out 8 and giving up just 3 hits and a walk in the process. He is now 5-2 for the season, and lowered his ERA under 4.00. Word of caution though. Coming into Friday's game, Hamels LOB% was 81%, and he is walking more hitters (BB% increase from 2.00 to 3.40) and has a HR/9 of 1.61.
White Sox second baseman Alexei Ramirez had two hits and 5 RBI off of Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco on Friday. Ramirez is having a disappointing season as he is only hitting .243-.264-.357 with 3 HRs and 19 RBIs.
Speaking of Nolasco, he gave up 8 runs in 5+ innings vs the White Sox. Of the 10 hits he gave up, 5 were for extra bases. Nolasco struck out just 3 batters for the 4th straight game. His K% is way down from 9.49 to 6.49 coming into Friday's start.
Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins strained his calf muscle running to first base on Friday night. I have had the same problem in the past and it is a frustrating injury. He may end up on the DL again.
Twins first baseman Justin Morneau went 3-5 with 3 RBI in the Twins 15-3 romp over the Brewers. Morneau is now hitting .370-.480-.685 for the season with 11 HRs and 32 RBIs. He won't hit .370 for the season as his BABIP is over .400 at this point, and Morneau has a career BABIP of .292.
The Red Sox activated outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury after their 5-1 loss to the Phillies on Friday night. Get him in your lineup.