Fantasy relevant notes from last night:
Geovany Soto (CHC) - Homered for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks against Josh Johnson. Having posted a 2 for 24 since the break, hopefully this is a sign of breaking out of his 2 month slowdown. His OPS since June 1 is hovering at .700.
Chone Figgins (LAA) - Despite a 2 hit, 2 run night Figgins has turned into a 0 category player this year and has certainly disappointed those who drafted him in the 3rd to 5th round. When you have 0 home runs and 11 rbi's in 250 ab's you are hurting your team in 2 categories. If he's been any help in steals this year (and that's not much at all) he's killed his owners in two other categories making him a 0 category player thus far. We saw what he can do when he gets hot (see June '07) but, with names like Garrett Atkins coming up in trade rumors owners of Figgins have to wonder if he'll be able to keep his full-time job the rest of the way.
Chad Billingsley (LAD) - In this space at the beginning of June, I talked about Bills coming back from a difficult start to put up very useful fantasy lines for his owners. Counting last night's win against the Washington Nationals, Chad Billingsley has gone 6-3 with 66 K's in 64.1 innings and a 3.21/1.27 since my previous post. He looks to be a soft #2 starter in next year's draft.
Damaso Marte (PIT/NYY) - Pending a physical Damaso Marte will become property of the New York Yankees and consequently lose all his mixed league value. Short of Rivera taking his annual 15 day DL rest period Marte falls off the map with this deal. It's a grab bag in most leagues for Marte's replacement in Pittsburgh with John Grabow (5-2, 3.08/1.29) and Tyler Yates (4-2, 4.11/1.61) getting the first opportunity to close.
Wandy Rodriguez (HOU) - Has put together back to back great starts to lower his era to 3.18. His home and road split trend has continued this year (2.54 era vs. 4.02era) but, not nearly to the extreme of last year. His K/BB rate is above 3.0. He's just another player who teaches us to wait on starting pitching in the draft.
Joba Chamberlain (NYY) - Counting his dominating performance last night (7.0IP, 3H, BB, 9K) Chamberlain has a 26K's and 2BB's in his last 3 starts. With walks being his biggest problem as a starter his recent success could be the beginning of a necessarily dominant stretch of starts for the Yankees. It's good for his owners too. He's starting to live up to the hype.
JD Drew (BOS) - In a side note, Drew wins the award for best production from a player picked in the last 3 rounds of my shallow 12 team mixed league. Let's keep it up JD, I just traded for you in my keeper league!