Mike Fiers shuts down the Dodgers
Heading into the 2013 season, Brewers starter Mike Fiers was a popular sleeper starting pitcher choice, as he had come off a solid 2012 season where he struck out more than a batter per inning and limited to free pass to just around 2.50 B/9. Unfortunately for his owners, he struggled to start the season, was sent down to AAA to work on things and then was hit by a line drive in his forearm, missing the rest of the season.
The Brewers called up Fiers to replace Matt Garza who was placed on the disabled list last week. On Saturday night, Fiers limited the Dodgers lineup to one run on 3 hits, a walk and 5 strikeouts in the Brewers 4-1 win.
Fiers is held in less than 1% of leagues right now, and is a decent waiver wire add in most deeper mixed and NL only leagues right now. He has performed very well in AAA this season, striking out more than 11 batters per nine innings and keeping the walks around 1.50 BB/9, and has always been a solid strikeout pitcher, so he can help owners in several categories.
For more on Fiers and the Brewers, make sure you check out Brew Crew Ball, SB Nation's Brewers fan site.
Corey Kluber: Top 10 Starter in 2015?
I am working on my very early top 20 starters for 2015, and have ranked Kluber in my top 10 starters at this point. I got the idea to take an early look after reading ESPN's David Schoenfield's Top 10 starting pitcher piece earlier in the week.
On Saturday afternoon, Kluber continues to dominate American League hitters, as he shut out the Yankees on four hits, a walk and 10 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Indians 3-0 win. Kluber moved his record to 13-6 on the season with a 2.46 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and a 187-36 strikeout to walk rate in 171.2 innings.
Kluber has given up one run or less in each of his last four, and seven of his last ten, starts and has won seven of his last eight decisions. Kluber has followed his spectacular1.54 ERA in five July starts with a 0.68 ERA in his first two August starts. Kluber currently ranks second with a 5.3 fWAR behind only Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.
For more on Kluber's dominance and the Indians in general,. make sure you check out Let's Go Tribe, SB Nation's Indians fan site.
I recall reading Keith Law's scouting reports on Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco where he opined that Mesoraco will eventually be a middle of the order hitter. Little did I know that it would happen this season. Mesoraco went deep not once, but twice on Sunday, the second was his third grand slam of the season. Mesoraco is having one heck of a break out season in 2014, hitting .293-,366-.580 with 20 home runs, 40 runs scored and 61 RBI. I see him as a top 5 fantasy catcher heading into 2015.
Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras hasn't been exactly lighting the world on fire with his performance at the plate this season, but he is firmly entrenched, I think as the Cardinals right fielder. With that said, he will have to show some improvement over the next two months to give the Cardinals, and his owners, some confidence heading into the 2015 season. Taveras is hitting just .214-.252-.298 with 2 home runs, 8 runs scored and 12 RBI in 42 games played thus far.
Mets young starter Zack Wheeler is beginning to show some of the potential bestowed on him when he was drafted by the Giants a few years ago. There were some Clayton Kershaw comps placed on him, and he is making some of the same adjustments Kershaw had to make when he was called up to the big leagues. On Sunday, Wheeler gave up 3 runs on 3 hits, 3 walks and 5 strikeouts in 6 innings in the Mets 7-6 loss. Wheeler left with the Mets leading 6-3 but their bullpen faltered. Wheeler is 7-8 with a 3.53 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and a 135-58 strikeout to walk rate in 140.1 innings. Wheeler has improved his strikeout rate, walk rate and ground ball rate this season, but still needs to work on his control to breakout, which is quite possible in 2015.
Here is a tweet from Mets bear reporter Adam Rubin on Wheeler:
Dan Warthen told the Post that John Smoltz had a talk with Zack Wheeler just over a month ago that seemed to really help Wheeler turn corner— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) August 11, 2014
He could be a top 40 starter in 2015 and I am flirting with including him in my top 20…..seems too high though.
Fantasy owners drafted Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki thinking they were getting a hitter with a very good batting average and 25-30 stolen bases. Instead, Aoki has hit .267 with just 13 stolen bases to date, with three of them coming on Sunday against Tim Lincecum and the Giants. In fact, the Royals stole seven bases in total, with Jarrod Dyson also stealing three bases. Aoki would need a fantastic last two months to reach the 25-30 stolen base total this season.
I recently wrote about Miguel Cabrera's disappointing power numbers this season, and am shocked to learn that he is getting closer and closer to seeing his slugging percentage fall below the .500 level. Miggy went 3-9 with 2 runs scored in the Tigers 6-5 loss to the Blue Jays in 19 innings on Sunday. He is now hitting .304-.364-.508 with just 17 home runs, 71 runs scored and 84 RBI this season, and right now his slugging percentage is the lowest of his career. I have to think he is playing hurt.
What do you think? Is Miggy playing with an injury that is affecting his power?
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