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Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins didn't get much love from fantasy writers back in the preseason, especially after putting up his worst season as a big leaguer in 2013. This season has been much different, as the aging shortstop has actually been a very productive fantasy shortstop. On Friday, he had a nice night at the plate, going 2-4 with 2 home runs, 2 runs scored and 3 RBI in the Phillies 6-2 win over the Nationals. Rollins raised his slash line to .246-.330-.396 with 11 home runs, 45 runs scored, 39 RBI and 18 stolen bases in 23 attempts. He has almost doubled his home run output, and needs four more stolen bases to equal his stolen base totals from last season. He is on pace for 19 home runs and 31 stolen bases this season. Pretty damn good for a 35 year old shortstop.
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann had to leave his start with one out in the fourth inning with a right bicep cramp. Reports indicated he shook his arm after making his last pitch and asked for the Nationals trainer to come to the mound. He is scheduled to get an MRI on Saturday, so hopefully he doesn't land on the disabled list. Last night, he gave up 4 runs on 6 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts in 3.1 innings in the Nationals 6-2 loss to the Phillies. The loss moved his record to 6-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and a 101-20 strikeout to walk rate in 113 innings this season. Prior to Friday's start, he had given up two runs or less in seven straight starts.
Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton is fast becoming one of the better defensive center fielders in baseball, but over the past few months, he has been very productive at the plate for his owners. I have to admit, at this point, I was wrong on him. Last night, he went 3-5 with a run scored, and an RBI in the Reds come from behind 6-5 win over the Pirates. Hamilton raised his slash line to .285-.318-.424 with 5 home runs, 45 runs scored, 38 RBI and 37 stolen bases in 51 attempts. He is getting thrown out more than his owners would like, but that number should come down as he gets more experience reading pitchers.
Rays ace David Price was scratched from his start today. No, he is not getting traded. Not yet. He is battling a cold, so he will be replaced by Jake Odorizzi on Saturday, but there is a chance he makes the start on Sunday.
Angels starter Garrett Richards continued his dominance on the mound last night, shutting out the struggling Rangers lineup on 5 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Angel 3-0 win. Richards moved his record to 11-2 with a 2.55 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 127-43 strikeout to walk rate in 123.1 innings this season. He has given up three runs or less in 9 of his last 10 starts, and has given up two runs or less in 7 of those same 10 starts.
Run scoring and power is down once again this season, and ESPN's Buster Olney recently wrote a piece that if MLB wants to improve the run scoring environment, they may have to lower the mound once again, which may result in even more Tommy John surgeries, or change the way they make baseballs. With that said, it is difficult to find hitters to write about, as pitching is dominating once again this season.
Some of you out there, hopefully not many of you, may have dropped Giants starter Tim Lincecum earlier this season, but he has been pretty dominant of late. Last night, Lincecum shut out the Diamondbacks on 3 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Giants win over the Diamondbacks. Lincecum moved his record to 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and a 101-44 strikeout to walk rate in 113 innings. Over his last four starts, including the no hitter vs the Padres, he has given up one earned run on 10 hits, and a 24-9 strikeout to walk rate in 30.1 innings, winning all four starts.
The Brewers handed their second base job to Scooter Gennett at the beginning of the season, moving Rickie Weeks to the bench, and Gennett has responded with a very productive rookie season. Last night, he went 3-5 with a triple, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI in the Brewers 7-6 loss to the Cardinals. Gennett raised his slash line to .307-.342-.482 with 7 home runs, 38 runs scored, 31 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 274 at bats.
Brewers outfielder Khris Davis was one of the more popular fantasy sleepers back in the offseason, and he has not disappointed to this point. Davis went 1-5 with 2 RBI last night, and is now hitting .252-.303-.470 with 14 home runs, 51 runs scored and 46 RBI hitting in the 6-hole in the Brewers lineup on most nights. He is on pace for 24 home runs, 88 runs and 79 RBI, so he has been very productive for a late round pick in most 2014 drafts.
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