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Carlos Gomez, Francisco Liriano, Greg Smith And Other Fantasy Notes

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A day after being sat to catcher "a breather", Twins' CF Calros Gomez lead-off the game with his first HR of the season and followed-up with a single in his next AB.  Any fear he would be sent down when Michael Cuddyer was activated was allayed,  Denard Span was sent back to AAA after yesterday's loss.  FWIW, Span acquitted himself nicely with a .258 AVG and three SB.  This should keep him on the AAA-to-Majors express for the rest of the year.

Unfortunately, SP Francisco Liriano didn't take advantage of the one-run lead Gomez gave him to start the game.  Without making it out of the 1st, Liriano allowed six earned runs before being removed for Brian Bass.  This outing will likely result in Liriano being sent to the minors.

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On the winning side, rookie LHP Greg Smith tossed seven innings of two-run ball for his 2nd win of the season.  So far, he has pitched 25 innings allowing 21 hits and walking eight while striking out 16.  He is a pitcher who struck my eye this winter when I read this in the Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2008:

Smith doesn't have dominant stuff, but he gets hitters out with good command and a great feel for his craft.  He's perceptive and knows how to keep batters off balance, skillfully adding and subtracting velocity.  He has four legitimate pitches with an 88-91 MPH fastball, a cutter, a curveball and a change-up, and he has focused on improving his offspeed offerings.  He also has what may be the best pick-off move in the minors.

The immediately made me think of Andy Pettite.  Physically, Pettite is a bigger pitcher, but, on a k/9 in their minor league careers, the two pitchers are similar - 7.80 for Smith and 7.30 for Pettitte. On a good defensive team like the A's, Smith could be a very dark dark horse for the 2008 ROY award.

The A's claimed speedster Rajai Davis off waivers and had him starting in LF the next day.  What I found interesting is the one skill he offers the fantasy player, speed, is likely going to be wasted in one the least SB-friendly organizations in baseball.  Davis went 3-4 in his AL debut and stole no bases.  Of course, there were no opportunities to do so.  The closest he came to a SBO was the bottom of the 6th after he singled with two outs.  Unfortunately, the next batter, C Kurt Suzuki, fouled off the first pitch and then he fly out to RF on the next pitch.  (Thanks to MLB Gameday.)

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In the battle for last place in the NL West, the San Francisco Giants defeated the San Diego Padres.  Coupled with the Dodgers' loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Giants find themselves in 3rd place.  Leading the Giants is 2nd-year ace Tim Lincecum who won his 4th consectuive start after allowing no runs for the 2nd consecutive start.  For the season, he has pitched 29.1 innings and struck out 36.

However, I wouldn't order the Cy Young yet.  In his for starts, the Giants have scored a total of 14 runs with five of those coming in a single inning.  In order to continue winning, and subsequently remaining in the CY Young hunt, the Giants offense will have to score more runs.  Who thinks that is possible?

While Lincecum's peripherals clearly make him a better pitcher than his teammate Matt Cain, Cain has zero wins this season.  In three of his five starts, he allowed a total three runs over 19.1 IP.  Trading Lincecum before he goes on a Cainsian run of winlessness is something to be considered.