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The Tampa Rays Bullpen And Other Fantasy Notes

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Rays' second-year pitcher Andy Sonnanstine handed a one-run lead to his bullpen and watched it preserve his 5th victory of the season.  What a change!  Last season, Sonnanstine would have seen the Devil Rays' bullpen blow his victory.

Speaking of blown victories, Yankees' star middle reliever Joba Chamberlain was handed a 3-2 lead in the 8th inning and proceeded to relinquish the lead and Andy Pettitte's 4th Win and 205th career victory.  Are there any Yankees' homers who will remember this when they clamor about how Joba can't be moved from middle relief because other possible replacements would blow 8th inning leads?

In the same game, Indians' starting pitcher Fausto Carmona walk five batters, and now has issued 31 free passes in 39.2 innings of work.  Does anyone believe he can continue with a stellar ERA (2.95) if that walk rate does not rapidly decelerate?

White Sox' starter Gavin Floyd took a no-hitter into the 9th inning.  He finished with a one-hitter over 8.1 innings of work with 4 Ks and 3 BBs.  Thanks to that +1 K edge, he has now struck out more batters this season than he has walked. 19 to 18.  I have no idea how Floyd is doing it.  Could he be the new Brian Bannister?

In the same game, Twins' catcher Joe Mauer got the lone hit and drew two of the walks.  He is now hitting .337, but he doesn't have a HR or a SB.  At 6'5 230 lbs, he is surprisingly bereft of power.  He does have 14 RBIs though as the #3 hitter.  That defies standard baseball strategy, but, as long as his team is in 1st place, nothing the Twins do on offense will change.

Santiago Casilla closed out the A's 4-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles last night.  There isn't much to read here as closer Huston Street had pitched the previous two games.  I guess the A's could always look to trade Street if another team got desperate enough, but I'd expect most major league teams to be leery of dealing with Beane after the heist he pulled off on the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Texas Rangers have finally found starting pitching!  Sidney Ponson threw seven brilliant innings last night to win his second consecutive start for the Rangers.  In three starts, he has pitched 20.1 innings and allowed just four walks.  You know you want to pick-up Sir Sidney in hopes the pitcher from the 2003 re-emerges, don't you?

The Atlanta Braves brought Manny Acosta in to save Jair Jurjjens 4th win.  He allowed two singles wrapped around a fielder's choice and was removed when lefty Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate.  This doesn't sound like a closer who has a lock on the role, does it?  With doubt about John Smoltz' shoulder forcing him into the bullpen and the discouraging news on Rafael Soriano's elbow, there appears to be the opportunity for Acosta to lock down the role, but that doesn't appear to be what is happening.  With Mike Gonzalez set to return by the end of the month, time is running out for Acosta.

Anyone notice that Phillies' OF Jayson Werth has 6 HRs and 5 RBIs so far?  This imporves upon his excellent 255 AB 2007 season where he hit 8 HRs and stole 7 bases.  He looks like he is going to approach the quietest 20/20 season ever.

Finally, Hong-Chin Kuo went all Max Scherzer on the Mets last night.  He struck out eight in 3.2 innings of work.  On the season, he has 33 Ks in just 24.1 innings.  Assuming Scherzer goes to the bullpen, I don't see why Kuo couldn't approach Scherzer's production without the use of waiver claims or hype.  Of course, that assumes Kuop's arm doesn't fall off.