July 22, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) and Boston Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) on the mound before Lester is relived as they take on the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE
At some point yesterday, if you own Jon Lester, you probably were hoping for them to end the pain and take him out of the game. However, with the bullpen used quite a bit earlier in the weekend, there was no end in sight, as the Red Sox left him out there for 4+ innings, allowing 11 earned runs, 14 base runners, and striking out just 2. Honestly, I would think that I wouldn't be able to trust him in any start until he shows a better performance.
On the other side of that game, new call up Travis Snider went 2 for 4 with his first home run of the year and three runs batted in. I'm wondering at this point if he may have finally turned the corner and will continue to show the promise that made him a top prospect for seasons.
Travis Wood had made a few decent starts in a row coming into this week, but had his second bad one in a row yesterday against the Cardinals. He went 6 innings, but gave up 7 runs (6 earned), 11 base runners, and 2 home runs in the loss. Unless you think this was a fluke, I wouldn't start him again in his next outing, likely to be against St. Louis at home this time.
Miguel Cabrera hit homeruns #299 and 300 on his career yesterday, and it seems like he's having another great season very quietly. On the year, he now has 23 home runs, and is hitting .330/.389/.579 with 79 RB as well. I would say that at this point Cabrera may be the safest of the likely 1st round picks for next season, as you can just about bank 30+ home runs and a .320 batting average at least from him.
More Roto Roundup after the Jump...
Michael Fiers has really turned into a viable fantasy starting pitcher option in most leagues at this point, as he had another great start yesterday. He took the loss, but went 6 innings, allowed just 2 runs (1 earned), 5 hits, and struck out 4. He has shown the potential to have high strikeout games as well, so if you're looking for some pitching depth and he's available, he probably shouldn't be.
Ryan Zimmerman has been hitting like a man possessed at this point, as he hit 2 more home runs yesterday against the Braves. He is now up to 14 on the season to go with his 50 RBI, and I am wondering at what point he cools off. He is hitting .400/.473/.815 with 7 home runs in the month of July.
Danny Espinosa has been nearly as hot, and had a 3 hit game yesterday as well. Espinosa will likely receive a lot of the playing time for the Nationals with Ian Desmond expected to miss significant time due to an oblique tear, and will likely qualify at shortstop within the next two weeks as well.
Pedro Alvarez hit his 21st home run of the season to lead the Pirates to victory yesterday, and is slugging a ridiculous .502 (ridiculous when you consider that his batting average is only at .232). Alvarez could be one of the few power options still available in most standard leagues, and you could do worse than him at 3B.
Matt Moore was dominant against the Mariners yesterday, going 8 innings, striking out 7, allowing just 2 earned runs and 5 hits in the loss. The bigger number to me was the zero walks allowed from Moore, as he may be really rounding into the form we were expecting from the top prospect.
Jeremy Guthrie made his first start for the Royals since being acquired, and frankly it looked an awful lot like the man he was replacing, Jonathan Sanchez. He went 5 innings, allowed 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 earned runs, and struck out 4 in the loss to the Twins. I don't know if I would pick him up in an AL-only league at this point, as he doesn't seem likely to provide any positive value.
There may yet be signs of life from the top catcher on many boards at the start of the season, as Carlos Santana had a home run among his 3 hits in the game. He is still hitting just .232/366/.365, but it is good to see something of a positive nature from the Indians' backstop.
A day after hitting 3 home runs against the Astros, Jason Kubel hasn't slowed down in the slightest. He hit his 21st home run of the season on Sunday, and finished a double short of the cycle in the Diamondbacks' victory.