My apologies for not getting to the Roundup on Saturday morning, as I was up early to help a friend pick up a bedroom set in north Jersey,then had a barbecue to attend, so I didn't have time to get to it.
Fake Teams Podcast; Episode 10: Let's Make a Deal
Zack and Andrew hosted episode 10 of the Fake Teams podcast on Sunday night, where they discussed the Wil Myerspromotion, Rick Porcello, Corey Kluber, Carlos Beltran and also discussed how to make a trade in keeper and redraft leagues. Make sure you listen to the podcast
Wil Myers hits first big league home run
Rays outfield prospect Wil Myers had his best day as a major leaguer on Saturday, going 3-4 with a HR and 4 RBI. The home run came with the bases loaded and was off of Yankees ace CC Sabathia. Myers batted fifth in the Rays lineup yesterday vs the lefty Sabathia, and raised his triple slash line to .280-.280-.440. Myers has at least one hit in five of the six games he has played thus far. I expect Myers to hit for power, but go through slumps that most hitting prospects deal with after their initial call up.
Ryan Howard homers twice
The Phillies will probably never extract enough value from the contract they gave Ryan Howard a few years ago, but, every year, when the weather starts getting warmer, he usually goes on a power surge. And maybe yesterday will be the start of it, as he went 3-4 with 2 HRs and 4 RBI in the Phillies 8-7 win over the Mets. Howard is now hitting .282-.332-.496 with 10 HRs, 30 runs and 41 RBI this season. He will always have a problem with the strikeout, and this year is no different as he has struck out 81 times in 252 at bats this season. He is on pace to hit just 22 HRs and drive in 89 runs, so he will have to really go on a power hitting surge to reach the 30 home runs and 100+ RBI projection many expected of him on draft day.
Jason Kipnis: Top fantasy second baseman?
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis filled up the boxscore yesterday, going 3-4 with a double, triple, 2 RBI and a stolen base in the Indians 8-7 win over the Twins on Saturday. Kipnis is now hitting .275-.351-.474 with 9 HRs, 35 runs, 40 RBI and 17 stolen bases this season, and is on pace for a 20 HR, 38 stolen base season. Should he reach that projection he could battle Robinson Cano for the top spot amongst fantasy second baseman heading into 2014. He will have to stay away from the second half slump he encountered last season to do so.
Amongst fantasy second baseman this season, he is currently fourth in home runs and RBI, 10th in batting average, ninth in runs scored and tied with Jose Altuve with 17 stolen bases.
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke bounced back from a poor outing to limit the Padres to just one run on 4 hits, a walk and struck out 8 in the Dodgers 6-1 win yesterday. Greinke is now 4-2 with a 3.79 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and a 43-16 strikeout to walk rate in 57 innings this season. His season has been cut short due to the collar bone injury he suffered in the brawl with Carlos Quentin a few months ago. He certainly hasn't performed up to his top 15 starting pitcher ranking this season, but has plenty of time to recover his past dominance. His strikeout rate and ground ball rate are both down in a big way this season, and he is relying on his cut fastball and changeup more this year than last. Of his 10 starts this season, four have been what I consider blowup starts, where he gave up four runs or more in five innings or less.
Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin silenced the struggling Nationals lineup yesterday, shutting them out on five hits, a walk and three strikeouts in the Rockies 7-1 win yesterday. Chacin is owned in less than 10% of ESPN leagues right now, but probably deserves more of your attention, as he is now 6-3 with a 3.92 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a 51-25 K-BB rate in 87.1 innings this season. Chacin is benefitting from a rising ground ball rate this season, and has lowered his walk rate to right around 2.50 BB/9.
Speaking of hitters on a power surge, Reds outfielder Jay Bruce is on a huge power surge right now. Bruce went 2-3 with 2 HRs and 3 RBI in the Reds loss to the Diamondbacks yesterday. Bruce is now hitting .279-.325-.532 with 18 HRs, 44 runs, 54 RBI and 2 stolen bases thus far, and has homered five times in his last four games, and eight times in his last nine games. Bruce is once again proving that he is one of the more streaky power hitters in the game.
One of the pleasant surprises for the struggling Marlins this season has been the solid performance from young starter Jacob Turner. Turner put up another excellent line yesterday, limiting the Giants to just one run on six hits, a walk and two strikeouts in seven innings of work in a no decision. Turner is owned in just 6.7% of ESPN leagues and is 1-0 with a 1.97 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a 20-11 K-BB rate in 32 innings. Turner doesn't strike out too many batters, but succeeds with an excellent 51% ground ball rate.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon entered the ninth inning looking to preserve a two run Phillies lead, but gave up two runs to blow his third save of the season yesterday. He ended up with the win as the Phillies responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the ninth in their 8-7 win over the Mets. Papelbon has been mentioned as a possible trade target for the Tigers and Red Sox recently, and it would not be a shock if he is not traded by July 31st trade deadline.
Diamondbacks closer Heath Bell appears to have returned to the Heath Bell we all know from last season, as he gave up a game tying two run home run to Jay Bruce yesterday. He was quickly removed from the game for Brad Ziegler and appears to be on very thin ice in the closer role. Bell has given up home runs in each of his last five appearances, and has given up 7 runs over that stretch. David Hernandez is probably the next in line for saves in Arizona until J.J. Putz returns.
Reds closer Aroldis Chapman felt bad for Bell and blew his third save of the season, giving up two runs on two hits and two walks yesterday in the Reds loss to the Diamondbacks. Chapman is not in any danger of losing his job, but has walked four batters in his last three appearances, so that trend bares watching.