Today is July 15, the 17th anniversary of Albert Belle being caught with a corked bat, which of course resulted in Jason Grimsley crawling 100 feet through the ceiling to switch bats in the umpires' dressing room. On this day in 1909, Ty Cobb hit two inside-the-park home runs against the Washington Nationals. 38 years ago today, Detroit Tigers first baseman Norm Cash, frustrated after striking out three times against Nolan Ryan, came to bat wielding the leg of a piano. Umpire Ron Luciano forced Cash to use a regulation bat, which he used to pop out, completing Ryan's second no-hitter. Ryan struck out 17 batters in the 6-0 Angels victory. The Rosetta Stone was found on this day in 1799. Happy birthday to Terry O'Quinn (1952), Adam Savage (1967), and Mozilla (2003). Here are your fantasy baseball links for today:
Ranking All 30 MLB Closers (As Of July 14, 2011) | Rotoprofessor
The unfortunate part for Zimmerman owners is that the team has announced an innings cap of 160 innings, meaning we only have 45 to go. If it’s not too late, try to move him. At this point, he is worth 50 cents on the dollar, especially in H2H leagues.
If you sell high on Shields you aren’t selling him because he is going to be a disaster in the second half, but because he has value that could bring in two quality players and help you in other areas. You didn’t draft Shields to be your ace so you aren’t trading your ace, he has much more value on the market than in your lineup.
As a result of that, and this is bound to surprise most, [Jimenez’s] current K/9 rate (8.19) and BB/9 rate (3.54) are better than his career averages (8.11 and 3.90), as is his FIP (3.46 compared to 3.57). Oh, and his xFIP is 3.59. Know what it was last year? Try 3.60. Is he "back?" Sure seems that way to me, though don’t expect a run to equal what he did in the first half last year.
OF Travis Snider, TOR (33.2% ESPN; 26% Yahoo!) has been on fire since his recall from AAA. In seven games, he's hitting .367 (11/30) with six doubles, one home run, eight RBI and six runs scored. A very productive second half could easily be a reality for him.
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Even with a bum shoulder, Heyward has managed to draw a decent amount of walks and hit for some power. Yet, it’s difficult to project just how he’ll play during the rest of the season. Are the extra outside swings, pop ups and grounders the result of his shoulder ailment, or normal growing pains for a player who won’t turn 22 until August? Just how healthy is Heyward? Aggravating as it might be, we don’t know the answers to those questions. At the very least, we should expect Heyward’s average over the rest of the season to climb considerably.
My opinion (which is just as good as the next guy) is that Jurrjens is at his peak right now. If you can get sub-2.00 ERA value in return for him, it's a no-brainer, you have to do it.
Ubaldo Jimenez of the Colorado Rockies owns an ERA of 6.24 at home this season. That's nearly double his home ERA of the three previous seasons, 3.28. One reason for that change comes from the number of home runs he allowed.
To say Duffy's 4.3 BB/9 is a surprise is a bit of an understatement. Never in his minor league career had he struggles with his control this much. Duffy had not posted a BB/9 over 2.5 at double or triple-A. That give us a reason to believe that Duffy's command/control will continue to improve -- as it has in his last 21.2 innings -- and team up with an above average strikeout rate to make him a formidable fantasy force before long.
Hanrahan should continue to be a good source of saves, and even if he does have a slip-up here and there, nobody in the 'pen poses an immediate threat. If you still need saves, then it's not going to hurt to hold on to Hanrahan and continue to enjoy a solid season. If you own him, though, chances are you're sitting pretty in the saves category. If you are, it doesn't hurt to shop him around.
Martinez's swing mechanics are unorthodox, but his physical strength and solid plate discipline make it work for him. He's fanned just 46 times this year in 262 at-bats, while drawing 38 walks. He's held his own in the difficult Corpus Christi park (.305/.404/.468) but has been outstanding on the road (.364/.423/.562). All of his components have improved: he boosted his BB% from 7.2% in Double-A last year to 12.3% this year, while lowering his K% from 20.3% to 14.9%. He's been especially hot lately and has the strike zone locked in, hitting .425/.556/.750 with 12 walks and just four strikeouts in his last 12 games. Houston officials praise his feel for hitting and plate discipline.
Daily Dish: Jonathan Singleton Doesn’t Disappoint | Baseball America
Singleton, Bogaerts, Cron, Herrera, Wong, Taveras, Walker, Payamps
Minor League Notes, July 14th, 2011 | Minor League Ball
Chad Bettis, Will Lamb, Harold Martinez, Nick Rickles