The Biogenesis news is still fresh on our minds, so make sure you check out this article where Alex Kantecki discussed possible replacement players for some of the suspended players in his The Biogenesis Fallout article. In his piece, he offers waiver wire recommendations to replace Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, and Jhonny Peralta who will be suspended later today.
Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 23: You Can't Argue With That
Andrew and Zack discuss our Midseason Outfielder Rankings, including their thoughts on Yasiel Puig, Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Adam Jones and my "interesting" outfielder rankings. What? What? You don't like my rankings? They also discussed Wil Myers, Gerrit Cole and Chris Archer, so make sure you listen to their thoughts on the podcast.
You can listen to their awesome podcast in two ways:
Justin Verlander: Back to his old self?
Tigers starter Justin Verlander has not been himself this season. His fastball has dropped a few mph and he has become more hittable. But if his last two outings are any indication, he could be back to the Verlander we all drafted back in March. Last night, Verlander limited the Indians to just one run on four hits, no walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings of work.
He moved his record to 12-8 with a 3.74 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, and a 145-56 strikeout to walk rate in 151.2 innings this season. After giving up 12 earned runs over 11.2 innings in two starts toward the end of July, Verlander has given up just two runs over his last two starts, covering 14 innings. It was a good sign that he did not walk a batter last night after walking five in his last start vs the Nationals.
Julio Teheran: Rewarding patient owners
Julio Teheran's prospect status was sky high about two years ago, but as he moved up to the upper levels of the minors, we saw his strikeout rate drop, and he became more hittable. The Braves bounced him between the majors and AAA in 2011, but left him in AAA for the majority of the 2012 season. This season, he earned a job in the Braves rotation and rewarded his owners for being patient with him.
I admit, my opinion of him dropped after he put up a 5.08 ERA and saw his strikeout rate drop below 7.00 in AAA last season. But, he has broken out this season. Last night, he limited the Nationals to one run on four hits, two walks and four strikeouts in 6 innings in the Braves 2-1 win. Teheran is now 9-5 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and an excellent 121-30 strikeout to walk rate in 137 innings.
The Phillies called up first base/outfield prospect Darin Ruf when Ryan Howard went on the DL about a month ago, and they might be better off with Ruf in the lineup right now. Ruf went 2-4 with a HR and 2 RBI in the Phillies 9-8 win last night, and is now hitting .309-.417-.543 with 4 HRs, 15 runs and 7 RBI in 81 at bats. He has struck out 26 times, which is way too much, but not much different than how much Howard was striking out. He is walking more than Howard though, as he is taking the free pass 12.5% of his plate appearances.
No one questions the power that Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo possesses, but I wonder if he will be anything more than a .250-.260 hitter. He is still young, so he has plenty of time to work on improving his contact rate. Last night, he went 1-5 with a HR, and is now hitting .240-.333-.451 with 18 HRs, 31 doubles, 55 runs, 63 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 10 attempts. His .267 BABIP is about 50 points lower than his 2012 BABIP, so maybe he has just been unlucky this season. He doesn't strike out a ton (18.7%) and he does like to walk (11.2%), so he has the talent to put his big power and a .280-.290 batting average at his peak.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has a bright future with the Rockies, especially playing in Coors Field 81 times per season, but he is going to have to improve his walk rate if he wants to become a star. Arenado went 1-3 with 2 strikeouts last night, and is now hitting .252-.290-.398 with 9 HRs, 29 runs and 36 RBI in 329 at bats thus far in 2013. The sub .300 OBP concerns me, as he has the potential to be a middle of the order hitter for the Rockies. He doesn't strike out a ton, so that is a positive, and he will probably end up being a 20+ home run hitter, with the chance to hit in the .280-.300 range.
More from Fake Teams:
- Streamer Report: Wednesday's Streamers
- Risers and Fallers: Mike Moustakas, Russell Martin and Others
- Prospect Preview: Delino DeShields, Jr.
- Roto Roundup: Eric Hosmer, Anibal Sanchez, and Others
- Lucroy, Myers, Torii Hunter among surprising leaders in last 30 days
- Injury Report: A light week, but some big names