Giants going to a closer by committee
It is interesting that the Giants are going to a closer by committee after moving Tim Lincecum to the bullpen, isn't it? Well, I am not sure they are so keen on using Lincecum in the ninth inning just yet, but they are going to a closer by committee, according to Alex Pavlovic from the Mercury News:
Bochy considered using Casilla in eighth but matchups favored Romo. Seems they're back to a committee, with Romo back in closer mix.— Alex Pavlovic (@AlexPavlovic) August 28, 2014
If Sergio Romo is available in your league and you need some saves, go out and grab him now. After getting clobbered in June and losing his closer role, Romo has pitched better of late, pitching to a 3.72 ERA in July and has yet to give up a run in 8.2 August innings. He hasn't given up a run in his last 12 appearances since July 19th, covering 12 innings.
For more on the Giants, make sure you check out McCovey Chronicles, SB Nation's Giants fan site.
Drew Smyly placed on an innings limit
It was reported last night that the Rays are placing an innings limit on recently acquired starter Drew Smyly. Here is Roger Mooney from the Tampa Tribune on the news:
#Rays Maddon said Smyly's innings will be limited to 150-160 this season. He's at career-high 141.1.— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) August 28, 2014
So, it appears he has only 2-3 more starts before the Rays will shut him down for the season. Smyly has pitched well since moving to the Rays, giving up just six earned runs over 36 innings in his last five starts. Smyly has pitched very well this season, pitching to a 9-10 record with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 23 starts.
For more on Smyly and the Rays, check out DRaysBay, SB Nation's Rays fan site.
If I remember correctly, I ranked Braves starter Mike Minor in my top 20 starters heading into this season, and drafted him in two of my NL only keeper leagues, so, yeah, I was high on him. Well, it wasn't too long ago that I was telling you to drop Minor, and I did just that in both of those leagues. Like many young starters, Minor has had his ups and downs this season, as he has been one of the worst starts in the game this season. But, recently, Minor appears to be righting the ship. Last night, he limited the Mets to one run on 4 hits, a walk and 5 strikeouts in 7 innings in the Braves 6-1 win. The win moved his record to 6-8 with a 4.70 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and a 111-36 strikeout to walk rate in 126.1 innings. He has pitched better in August, but still has a lot of work to do to regain his status as a top 40 starter.
If you are looking for some offensive help in the next few weeks, I would take a look at one of George Springer, Yadier Molina or Chris Owings, all of whom should be activated off of the disabled list in the next week or so. Molina could be activate as soon as TODAY, so grab him if he is available in your league. It was reported recently that the Astros plan to activate Springer for their September 2nd series vs the Angels. Owings probably needs more rehab time in AAA, as he has missed almost two months due to a shoulder injury. When he does return, he will see time at second base, with Aaron Hill moving to third base.
Cubs second baseman Javier Baez has a huge ceiling as a fantasy hitter, capable of hitting 30+ home runs in the very near future, but with that power come a lot of swing and miss. A LOT of swing and miss. Yesterday, Baez went 0-4 with two more strikeouts, lowering his slash line to .189-.222-.442 with 7 home runs, 13 runs scored and 13 RBI in 95 at bats. With two more whiffs yesterday, Baez has struck out 43 times in 95 at bats, an astronomical strikeout rate. He has played in just 23 games in the big leagues, but already owns four golden sombreros, where he has struck out four times in one game. I don't see the Cubs sending him back to AAA with the minor league season coming to an end in the next week or so, but there is a chance he starts the 2015 season in AAA to gain some confidence and make more contact. Something to watch in September.
Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton has had his share of ups and downs in his rookie season, but yesterday, he went 2-2 with a double, 2 walks, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI and a stolen base in the Reds 7-2 win over the Cubs. Hamilton raised his slash line to .267-.302-.385 with 6 home runs, 69 runs scored, 46 RBI and 51 stolen bases in 70 attempts. His stolen base percentage should improve with more experience reading pitchers, and with that he should challenge for the major league stolen base title for several years, barring an injury or poor performance at the plate. Should he improve his ability to get on base, the stolen base total could improve as a result, and he could single handedly win the stolen base category for his fantasy owners.
Indians pitching coach Mickey Callaway has to be considered one of the better pitching coaches in the game for his work with Scott Kazmir, Corey Kluber, and now Carlos Carrasco. Last night, Carrasco limited the White Sox to a run on 4 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts in 6.2 innings in the Indians 3-2 win. The win moved his record to 6-4 with a 3.01 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a 86-21 strikeout to walk rate in 89.2 innings this season. He has given up just 5 earned runs with a 29-4 strikeout to walk rate over his last five starts. Five starts is a small sample size, but Carrasco appears to have turned the corner with his control and has made that next step to be an effective major league starting pitcher. He is owned in just 33% of leagues right now, so grab him if he is available on your league waiver wire.
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