Yesterday, Giants starter Tim Lincecum had his second best start of the season, and best since late April, as he shut out the Dodgers AAA lineup for 7 innings yesterday to earn his third win of the season. Lincecum gave up just 4 hits, walked 2 and struck out 8, lowering his ERA to 5.60, his lowest ERA of the season.I am not ready to state that he has turned the corner just yet, as he beat a Dodgers lineup that was without Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Speaking of Ethier, he left the game yesterday in the first inning, after straining his left oblique. He is a virtual certainty to land on the DL, which shouldn't surprise his owners. Ethier has landed on the DL in each of the last 3 seasons. You will hear plenty of trade rumor talk with the Dodgers involved as they need a middle of the order bat desperately. Ethier was having a terrific season at the plate until Matt Kemp got hurt. He was hitting just .218 in the month of June with 1 HR and 11 RBI.
The Yankees were dealt a couple serious blows to their starting rotation yesterday as CC Sabathia landed on the DL with a strained abductor muscle and apparently will only miss two starts. He should return after the All Star break if all goes well. Then later in the day, starter Andy Pettitte took a line drive off his leg and landed on the DL with a broken fibula and will miss anywhere from 6-8 weeks. Somewhere in Chicago, Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein are making plans to watch some Yankee prospects in the next few weeks.
I was watching the Nationals-Rockies game last night and they gave some Rockies news and notes during the 7th inning, one of them was the announcement that third base prospect Nolan Arenado will spend the rest of the season at AA Tulsa. You can't blame the Rockies for making that decision, as that clubhouse has to be in shambles right now and I am sure after Bob Apodaca resigned, there might be a few other behind him.
The Rockies announcers discussed the possibility of AA shortstop Josh Rutledge getting a call up at some point this season. I ranked Rutledge as my 10th ranked shortstop prospect in our Midseason Rankings a few weeks ago.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco has struggled in his first 100 at bats at the major league level, but there are some positive signs to take away so far. Thus far, he is hitting just .198-.293-.356 with 4 HRs, 12 runs and 9 RBI. Not much production from the top ranked catching prospect coming into the season, but he hasn't been playing everyday, but has shown a solid eye at the plate, walking in just over 11% of his at bats and striking out less than 20% of the time. His .211 BABIP tells me he has had some bad luck in his 100+ at bats this season. Consider this: if he gets 20 hits in his next 60 at bats, he can raise his BA to just under .250, so all he needs is some regular playing time and a hot streak to be respectable this season. His real value comes next year when, more than likely, he is playing everyday. He should be able to put up 15-20 HRs on a regular basis playing in Great American Ball Park for half of his games.
Well, it didn't take Chase Utley long before he made an impression in the Phillies lineup, but they still lost to the Pirates. Utley went 3-5 with a HR in his first at bat of the game. Utley batted in his regular third spot in the batting order, and played 9 innings at second base. Let's see how long he can go without a day of rest. I imagine the Phils will take it slow with him.
Diamondbacks pitching prospect Trevor Bauer makes his major league debut tonight vs Atlanta facing Jair Jurrjens. I think Bauer will help those of you in 5 x 5 leagues where strikeouts are a category, but I am interested to see if he can keep the walks to a minimum as he has had some control issues in the minors this season. He is 11-1 with a 116-48 strikeout to walk ratio in 93 innings in AA and AAA this season.
I thought Angels outfielder Mike Trout would be one of the best players in the game at some point in the next few years, but never did I imagine that he could be the best player in the the game, or at least the AL RIGHT NOW. Trout made an amazing catch to rob J.J. Hardy of a HR yesterday, and also went 4-6 at the plate with 3 runs scored and an RBI. He raised his triple slash line to .344-.402-.532 with 7 HRs, 47 runs, 30 RBI and 21 stolen bases, in just 218 at bats. Multiply those stats by 3 and you can see what type of player he will eventually be.
Mets first baseman Ike Davis had one of his better games as a major leaguer yesterday, going 3-5 with a HR, 3 runs and 4 RBI, raising his triple slash line to .201-.281-.376 with 10 HRs, 26 runs and 41 RBI in his 234 at bats. He has a high strikeout rate, as he has struck out 70 times in 234 at bats, but he has made the most of his RBI opportunities to date. In his last 10 games, he is 9-35 with 4 HRs and 13 RBI.
I considered Rangers outfielder David Murphy as a breakout candidate heading into the 2011 season, but i might have been a year early on him. Yesterday, he went 4-5 with 2 HRs and 5 RBI, and is now hitting ,.283-.374-.497 with 9 HRs, 28 runs, 30 RBI and 6 stolen bases. He is pace for 19 HRs and 13 stolen bases this season.