Fake Teams Podcast, Episode 27: Better Lucky than Good
Zack and Andrew hosted episode 27 of the Fake Teams Podcast on Sunday night where they discussed some of the recent prospects called up including Travis d'Arnaud, Kolten Wong and Matt Davidson. They also discussed Jason Heyward's in-season bounce back, and some of Zack's bold predictions from early spring.
You can listen to the podcast in two ways:
Xander Bogaerts called up but how much will he play?
It was announced early Monday morning that the Red Sox were calling up one of the top hitting prospects in the game, Xander Bogaerts. My first thought when I read the news was that the Red Sox need pitching help, not hitting help, and I tweeted the same thought. My next question was how much is he going to play? I took to twitter, as I wasn't sure if he was going to be playing every day or not. I am not sure why the Red Sox wouldn't play the talented shortstop every day, but he is only 20 years old.
A few of my Twitter followers explained that he will more than likely play a few days a week, playing shortstop vs lefties and spelling Wil Middlebrooks at third base. He could also play some third base with Middlebrooks moving to first base due to the injury to Mike Napoli.
Bogaerts was not in the lineup on Monday night in San Francisco, with manager John Farrell going with .247 hitting Stephen Drew at shortstop and .223 hitting Middlebrooks at third. I have to imagine Bogaerts is the best hitter of the three and should see more playing time as the season goes along. I own Bogaerts at $5 in an AL only keeper league, and in the Tout Wars mixed league (where I am 3.5 points out of first right now), so seeing him playing more than three times per week would be nice.
With that said, he will probably play just a few times per week initially, but like I said, I see him playing more into September.
For more on Bogaerts call up, make sure you check out Over the Monster, SB Nation's Red Sox fan site.
Jeff Samardzija bounces back with complete game effort
I recently traded for Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija in an NL keeper league where I bailed a few months ago. I traded a bunch of guys I probably won't keep next season for a $2 Samardzija, and I think he was made available by his owner because he has been much more hittable this season. But, last night, he limited the Nationals to just one run on 6 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts in a complete game victory.
Over his last ten starts, Samardzija has gotten lit up a few times, giving up 9 runs twice in his last 8 starts, and giving up 3 runs or more in six of the ten starts. Looking inside his overall stats, he has seen his strikeout rate drop slightly and his walk rate jump up to around 3.50 BB/9. On a positive note, his HR/9 has dropped slightly and his ground ball rate has bumped up from 44.6% to 47.6% this season.
For more on Samardzija's outing, make sure you check out Bleed Cubbie Blue, SB Nation's Cubs fan site.
Jose Fernandez just continues to cruise
Marlins 21 year old ace Jose Fernandez has been nothing short of dominant in his rookie season, and last night was no different, as he stifled a hot Dodgers lineup in the Marlins 6-2 win. Fernandez held the Dodgers to two runs, one earned, on 4 hits, 3 walks and 8 strikeouts to win his 9th game of the season. He escaped a no out bases loaded jam, getting Carl Crawford to ground into a fielder's choice and striking out Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.
Fernandez is now 9-5 in his 24 starts, with a 2.41 ERA, 2.75 FIP, 3.11 xFIP, a 1.02 WHIP, and a 157-51 strikeout to walk rate in 145.2 innings. News came out yesterday that the Marlins will shut Fernandez down around the 170 inning level, so he has about 3-4 more starts before he is shut down.
I am not sure if this will affect how many votes he gets for National League Rookie of the Year, but it appears to be a 3-4 man race between Fernandez, Yasiel Puig, Shelby Miller and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
For more on Fernandez's performance, and the rest of the Marlins, please check out Fish Stripes, SB Nation's Marlins fan site.
Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz is making the most of his starting gig in Chicago this season, as he might be the Cubs most consistent hitter. Last night, Schierholtz had one of his best games of the season, going 3-4 with 2 HRs, a double, 2 runs and 6 RBI. He is now hitting .277-.330-.524 with 18 HRs, 47 runs, 58 RBI and 6 stolen bases.
I am sure the Rangers expected more from Matt Garza when they traded for him several weeks ago. Last night, Garza got knocked around once again, this time giving up 5 runs on 8 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in the Rangers 16-5 win over the Astros. Since the trade, Garza has made six starts, giving up four runs or more in four of the six starts, with an ERA over 4.00, and has given up six home runs in 41+ innings.
Dillon Gee had a very rough start to the 2013 season, as his April and May ERAs were both over 5.00, but since then has pitched very well. Yesterday afternoon, he held the Twins to just one run on 6 hits, a walk and 9 strikeouts in 7.2 innings. Gee is now 9-8 with a solid 3.60 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 152.2 innings this season. Since May 31st, he monthly ERAs are: 2.73 in June, 2.88 in July and 1.74 in August.