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Fake Teams podcast Episode 3
Mike Minor: Fantasy Ace?
Quick question - who is the Braves #1 starter? Some may say Kris Medlen, and he probably was at the beginning of the season, but Mike Minor is now their #1 starter. Minor shutout the Mets on 3 hits, 2 walks and 10 strikeouts last night in the Braves 6-0 win. Minor is now 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and a 61-14 K-BB rate in 65.2 innings this season. He has given up one run or less in six of his ten starts, two runs or less in seven of his 10 starts, and three runs or less in nine of his ten starts this season. Is Minor in the conversation for Top 20 starter right now?
R.A. Dickey struggling in the American League
The risks involved with drafting R.A. Dickey too high were discussed on these pages in the offseason Rankings articles, and Dickey has shown that the move to the American League has not been easy for him. Yesterday, Dickey lasted just 4.2 innings, giving up 6 runs on 9 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts, with two of the hits leaving the yard. Dickey is now 4-6 with a 4.85 ERA, a 1.35 WHIP, a 57-13 K-BB rate in 68.2 innings on the season. Knuckleballers are prone to the home run, and Dickey has given up 11 long balls already this season, including 8 in his last 6 starts. After giving up 24 home runs last season, Dickey is on pace to give up 36 this season.
Pedro Alvarez homers twice
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez is probably never going to be anything more than a .240 hitter, but what he does provide you is obvious: power. Alvarez launched two home runs yesterday, one of them measured at 459 feet, going 2-3 with a walk, 2 HRs and 3 RBI, and is now hitting just .199-.261-.411 with 10 HRs and 25 RBI. He has hit four home runs over his last six games and is on pace for 33 HRs and 83 RBI. If your roster can handle the terrible batting average, Alvarez will probably be a consistent 30 HR hitter over the next few seasons.
To read more about Alvarez and the Pirates, please check out Bucs Dugout, SB Nation's Pirates fan site.
Domomic Brown: Beginning to quiet the non-believers
Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown was once one of the top hitting prospects in the game, but then a combination of mishandling by the major league team and issues with his hitting mechanics led to some struggles. This spring, he won a starting outfield job with the big club, and he is starting to show off some of the tools he had on display in the minors. Brown went 2-4 with a HR, a double and 2 RBI, raising his batting average to .262-.301-.479 with 9 HRs, 19 runs, 27 RBI and 2 stolen bases. He has five multi-hit games over his last ten games with 3 HRs, 6 runs and 9 RBI. Brown is quietly on pace to hit 30 home runs this season, but is not running as much as he did in the minors.
Indians shortstop has been on fire over the last two weeks, and he continued to hit yesterday, as he went 3-5 with a double, a run, an RBI and 2 stolen bases yesterday in the Indians 7-4 loss to the Red Sox. Cabrera is now hitting .263-.325-.440 with 4 HRs, 24 runs, 22 RBI and 4 stolen bases on the season, and over his last 10 games, he is 15-41 with 6 runs scored and 5 RBI.
Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera was probably a mid-round pick in most drafts this season, but he is showing he deserves to be a top 10, or even higher, fantasy shortstop. Last night, he went 3-4 with a HR, 2 runs, 4 RBI and a stolen base, raising his triple slash line to .267-.349-.398 with 4 HRs, 28 runs, 20 RBI and 19 stolen bases on the season. He leads the majors in stolen bases and ranks second amongst fantasy shortstops in runs scored. His 19 stolen bases puts him on pace to steal 64 bases this season. Maybe he is a top 5 fantasy shortstop in 2014?
White Sox starter Jake Peavy was a few outs away from a complete game shutout, but ended up with the win even after giving up the game tying home run in the top of the 9th inning. Peavy gave up just one run on 6 hits, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts to win his 6th game of the season. Peavy is now 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 63-15 strikeout to walk rate in 60.2 innings. Peavy will probably be one of the top trade targets come the June-July timeframe.
Speaking of trade targets, Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco will probably be one of the more sought after starters come the trade deadline, as he is pitching very well this season. Nolasco limited the White Sox to one run on 8 hits, no walks and 7 strikeouts in 7.2 innings yesterday, and is now 3-5 with a 3.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and a 56-14 K-BB rate in 69 innings this season. Nolasco has given up just one run in three of his last four starts.
Cardinals starter John Gast left his start in the second inning with a shoulder injury and could be headed for the DL. The Cardinals pitching staff has been hit with injuries of late and the drum beating to call up top pitching prospect Michael Wacha will become louder and louder in the coming days.
Wacha last pitched on May 21st for AAA Memphis, and is scheduled to either start today or tomorrow, so we will be watching to see if he is scratched from his scheduled start.
Viva El Birdos, SB Nation's Cardinals fan site, discusses the possible options the Cardinals have to replace Gast in their rotation in this article. Jason Hunt wrote up this piece on Wacha back in early March.
Update: Michael Wacha has been scratched from his scheduled start today, so I imagine he could be called up to start later this week.
The Mets could be on the verge of sending Ike Davis down to the minors after manager Terry Collins discussed it in his post game interview last night. Davis is in a horrific 2-44 slump and is hitting just .148-.234-.242 this season.
There were several blown saves on Saturday, one from a closer who may be in jeopardy of losing his job and another from a guy returning from an injury.
Rays closer Fernando Rodney may have seen his last save opportunity yesterday, as he blew yet another save yesterday. He entered the ninth inning to protect a 3-1 lead, and gave up two runs on two hits, a walk and a strikeout. He has now blown five saves this season. Grab Joel Peralta if available.
Well, then there was this tweet from Rays manager Joe Maddon after the game:
As long as Fernando doesn’t lose confidence in himself, I'm not going to lose confidence in him.— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) May 26, 2013
I guess Maddon doesn't mind losing.
Giants closer Sergio Romo came on to pitch the tenth inning of a 4-4 game, but gave up a home run to Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. He ended up getting the win as Angel Pagan hit a game winning two run inside the park home run in the Giants come from behind 6-5 win.
Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt was the hard luck loser in the Rockies 6-5 loss to the Giants. Betancourt was making his first appearance since injuring his groin, and Twitter reports indicate that he was not comfortable on the mound. Betancourt gave up a walk and the two run inside the park home run to Angel Pagan to blow the save.
I am curious who will get save opportunities in Colorado going forward, as Rex Brothers pitched the seventh inning yesterday walking Brandon Belt and giving up a run scoring double to Andres Torres. Meanwhile Wilton Lopez pitched the 9th inning of a tie game and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Lopez has given up just two runs in his last 16.2 innings of work.
Brewers closer Jim Henderson was placed on the 15 day DL with a hamstring injury last night. Manager Ron Roenicke indicated this morning that he would like to keep John Axford in the 7th inning role, so it appears that Francisco Rodriguez is the guy to own in the Brewers bullpen. But, keep in mind that K-Rod has made just 4 appearances since getting the call from the minors.