We saw a big name closer lose his job yesterday, with it being announced that Jonathan Broxton would not be used in the 9th inning for the time being, and that Hong-Chih Kuo would get the majority of the save opportunities. Clearly, if he's not owned in your league, you need to go get him fast, as this team should have a fair amount of save chances.
Mike Stanton raised his batting average to .270 yesterday with a 3 hit game. He also hit 2 homeruns, bringing his total to 14 on the season. I don't necessarily believe the batting average is going to stay that high, but I think he has a very good chance to get to 20 homers this year, and give probably a .250 batting average with it. I even think there's an outside shot he hits 10+ homers from today onward.
Josh Johnson had one of his poorest starts of the season, lasting only 3 2/3 innings and giving up 6 earned runs and 10 hits in the loss to the Reds. He struck out nobody, and walked 2. To me, these things are going to happen from time to time, and it really doesn't affect his value in the slightest.
Marc Rzepczynski had a great start yesterday against the Angels, going 7 shutout innings and striking out 6 in the victory. I keep looking at him for one of my keeper leagues, but it's the fact that they can't seem to decide whether to keep him in the rotation or not that holds me back from grabbing him. But if he keeps pitching like this he's going to force their hand one way or the other.
Sean Burnett got the save in yesterday's Nationals game, and to me it remains a very fluid situation in the closer's role for the Nats. Burnett pitched 2 innings yesterday, The team did not have a game yesterday, and Drew Storen did pitch in Wednesday's game, but it remains unclear who will get the bulk of the save opportunities.
James Shields had another poor start yesterday, going 5 innings and allowing 4 earned runs and 10 hits to the Orioles. I'm wondering if it is possible that if and when Jeff Niemann or Wade Davis return from the disabled list, if Shields is the one who is left without a chair to sit in for the Rays' rotation.
I keep waiting for the wheels to fall off for Tim Hudson, and it just isn't happening. He threw 8 shutout innings and struck out 6 to beat the Dodgers 1-0 yesterday. It is really starting to look like he is just having one of those amazing seasons where everything is coming up his way. (Now that I've said this, his next start will probably be a stinker, but oh well.)
Josh Hamilton continues his push, going 4 for 5 last night with 4 runs scored and his 25th homerun of the season. He's now gotten his average up to .362, and I'm wondering how much higher it could go. He's been extremely hot the last 3 months, hitting .454, .418 and .303 respectively with a total of 15 homeruns. I think he's got a decent shot at getting to 35 homers before the season is over.