Buster Olney tweeted last night that the Phillies are asking for third base and outfield help in any offers for Cole Hamels, but they aren't going into fire sale yet. Riiigght. I responded to Olney's tweet saying that Texas makes sense since they have a young outfielder on Leonys Martin and young third baseman in AA named Mike Olt. Martin is hitting .240-.321-.520 with 3 runs, 5 RBI and and 2 stolen bases in 25 at bats this season. In 128 at bats in AAA, he hit .344-.414-.547 with 5 HRs, 19 runs, 22 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 128 at bats. He has a solid walk rate of right around 10% in AAA and in the big leagues this season. Olt has solid power, and should stick at third base, as he is hitting .303-.410-.599 with 21 HRs, 48 runs, 60 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 267 at bats. His 24.3% K rate is expected for a power hitter, but he is walking at a 14.5% clip so he has a solid eye at the plate. He should be ready in 2013.
Rays starter Matt Moore is going through the usual growing pains that young starters deal with in their first full season in the big leagues, so his preseason hype and 2012 performance are on opposite extremes. Moore was hittable last night, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits, 3 walks and just 3 strikeouts, but he kept the Rays in the game vs the Yankees last night to earn his 5th win of the season. He has battled control issues for most of the season as his 93-45 strikeout to walk ratio indicates. He is 5-5 on the season, with a respectable 4.17 ERA, 4.39 FIP and 4.37 xFIP, so his advanced statistics show he is pitching right around where he should be. Once he harnesses his control, the sky is the limit for this future ace.
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija had his best outing in quite awhile last night, holding the Braves to just one run on 4 hits, a walk and 11 strikeouts to earn his 6th win vs 7 losses. He lowered his ERA to 4.77, but his 3.44 FIP and 3.43 xFIP indicate he is pitching better than his ERA shows right now. He has struck out 96 and walked 35 in his 94.1 innings thus far, so his 2.50 K/BB ratio is solid, as is his 46.1% ground ball rate. He came out of nowhere this season, his first full big league season in the Cubs rotation, and has performed fine.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen just keeps on hitting and hitting and hitting. McCutchen went 4-5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI, raising his triple slash line to .354-.407-.600 with 15 HRs, 50 runs, 52 RBI, and 14 stolen bases in 18 attempts. He is having an MVP-like season for the Pirates, who are now just one game behind the Reds. I am not sure how long the Pirates will be in stay in the NL Central race, but McCutchen is a big reason, along with the solid pitching from the Pirates rotation, for the team's success. He is on pace for 31 HRs, 103 runs, 107 RBI and 29 stolen bases. Yeah, and i traded him in a keeper league this offseason. Words cannot describe how stupid that trade looks right now.
Angels starter Jered Weaver has been dominant since he return from the DL, but isn't striking out as many batters as he was earlier in the season. He shut out the Indians for 7 innings last night, giving up 5 hits, 3 walks and striking out 2. Since his return to the rotation, he has made 3 starts, throwing 19.2 innings, where he has given up just one run on 13 hits, 6 walks and 11 strikeouts. He is now 9-1 on the season, with a 2.13 ERA, 3.00 FIP, 3.89 xFIP, with a 0.94 WHIP and a 68-21 strikeout to walk ratio in 88.2 innings of work.
Cardinals first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig may keep Lance Berkman on the bench when he returns from the DL as there is no way Mike Matheny can take him out of the lineup right now. Carlos Beltran may have to play some centerfield with Craig in right field should Matheny give Berkman his first base job back. Craig went 2-4 with 2 HRs, 2 runs and 3 RBI last night, and is now hitting .322-.394-.651 with 13 HRs, 28 runs, 42 RBI and a 37-19 strikeout to walk ratio in just 152 at bats. You know what that projects to if he ever stayed healthy and got 600 at bats? Try 50 HRs and 160 RBI. No wonder they let Albert Pujols walk.
Craig's teammate Matt Holliday is quietly having another solid season at the plate. He went 2-3 with a HR and 2 RBI last night, raising his triple slash line to .311-.394-.514 with 13 HRs, 53 runs, 51 RBI and 3 stolen bases. He is on pace for his usual 26 HRs, 100+ runs and RBI and another .300 season. He is as consistent as they come.
Recently, we learned that the Braves had signed former big league pitcher, and near ace, Ben Sheets. Yes, the same Ben Sheets who has not pitched in a big league game since 2010, where he made 20 starts with the Oakland A's. The same Ben Sheets who has made a total of 51 starts since 2008. Yesterday, we heard that Sheets will be placed in the Braves rotation after the All Star break. This should tell you all you need to know about the Braves confidence in throwing Julio Teheran into their rotation this season. To top things off, reports yesterday were that the Braves are scouting Zack Greinke. Could Teheran be the centerpiece in a deal for Greinke?