Fantasy Fare: Gio owners get a do-over
JOEL COLOMBY, QMI Agency
Nowhere else in fantasy sports but baseball can you get a mulligan. One of those nightmarish outings for a player you own that you wish you could wake up from and start over. It happened Wednesday night in Arlington, Tex., when, under threatening skies, and his owners following along in horror, A’s lefty Gio Gonzalez endured the worst inning of his career — seven runs in the third. But then the rains came and, more than two hours later, and with no let-up in sight, the game was called and Gonzalez’s brutal outing was mercifully off the books,. Of course, there was the other side: Rangers’ Mitch Moreland clubbed his first career grand slam in the inning, which doesn’t count, either. “One apology I want to make is to Mitch,” Gonzalez said later. “Sorry, buddy. I’ll definitely sign you over a cheque or something. Whatever you want. I got away with one and I admit it.”
— After a rough season in Yankee pinstripes in 2010, it was believed all Javier Vazquez needed was a return to the NL. But instead, the Marlins have gotten more of the same from the right-hander: A 6.88 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP. The problem is pretty simple. Vazquez’s fastball dipped from the low-90s in 2009 with Atlanta, to the high-80s in the Bronx. And it hasn’t returned in Florida, averaging just 88 m.p.h., this season.
— Carlos Gonzalez’s slow power start — the Rockies slugger hit just his third homer earlier this week — is pretty elementary. His fly-ball rate is down a significant 10% from last season while his ground ball rate is up 11%. And while many of those fly balls fell into the seats or into the gaps at Coors Field, they are going to infielders’ gloves and been responsible for a .234 average more than 100 points less than in 2010.
— Still in Colorado, Ian Stewart has been shipped back to triple-A. The highly regarded 3B prospect began the season 2-for-27, then went 1-for-21 in his second try. With Ty Wigginton ready to take over the hot corner, Stewart won't be back for a while.
— Kendrys Morales, who was struggling in his attempt to come back from that freak leg break last season -- the one he sustained jumping on to home plate after a walkoff home run -- will require another operation to clean up painful scar tissue and bone cysts. He’s gone for the year, which means rookie Mark Trumbo sticks around as the Angels’ almost-everyday 1B. His power stats have been decent so far, but the average and OBP may suffer further as he faces more RH starters.
— The Orioles say they are contemplating giving 3B Mark Reynolds an extended seat on the end of the dugout bench. The free-agent signing wasn’t expected to hit for a high average, but .178 with only three HRs? Yikes! He probably would have been benched sooner, but the alternatives are non-existent. And top prospect Josh Bell, despite five HRs at triple-A and a respectable .277 average, owns a scary 4-38 BB-K ratio.
— Best not to try and figure out the Pirates catching situation and just plan on Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder getting around 300 ABs apiece by season’s end. Doumit, a switch-hitter, seemed to be pulling away this week when he started three consecutive games, going 5-for-10 with a HR. But Snyder, a RH bat, started the next two. Bottom line is that, despite Doumit’s ability to bat left, there is not much to choose from between the two stats-wise and it will show in their playing time.
— The White Sox have activated SP Jake Peavy but will go with a six-man rotation for the time being. Edwin Jackson was supposed to be the guy he replaced, but hurled a gem against the Angels on Monday.
— Mark DeRosa has returned from the DL and is playing 3B for the Giants in place of injured Pablo Sandoval, who will be out for another month with a fractured wrist. Mike Fontenot did a nice job filling in while both 3Bs were disabled but apparently his time is up.
One of the more perplexing stats in baseball these days is that Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista has only 21 RBIs to show for his 12 HRs. The relatively low RBI total is even more puzzling next to his .365 average. But look further into the stats and you see a perfect storm: Nine of his bombs have been solo shots and, when the Jays do get runners on base ahead of him, he is hitting just .217.
Miguel Batista STL
When was the last you time you saw these two stats even on one pitcher? Six of the nine runs he has given up have been unearned.
HOT AND NOT
(Starters the past three weeks)
Ian Kennedy ARZ
1-0, 1.47, 0.85
Philip Humber CHW
2-1, 2.33, .070
Brad Penny DET
3-1, 1.95, 1.03
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Kyle Drabek TOR
1-2, 7.10, 2.05
John Lackey BOS
1-3, 6.93, 1.82
TRAINER’S ROOM TICKER
Grady Sizemore is out with a bruised knee but won’t need the DL … Dallas Braden has opted for shoulder surgery and is done for the year … Chase Utley (knee) is finally out on a rehab stint, but will likely need a couple of weeks … Turns out David Aardsma has a strained ligament in his elbow and any pending return has been put on hold … Joe Blanton’s right elbow is still bothering him on some pitches but feels he can pitch through it. Sounds like trouble … Hong Chi-Kuo is on the DL, again, with an anxiety disorder … Domonic Brown sprained his thumb during a rehab stint … Orlando Hudson (hamstring) should return to the Padres on Tuesday … Nelson Cruz (quad) is about a week away barring a setback … Jason Heyward has been out with a sore shoulder … Chris Young (the Mets SP) has opted for season-ending shoulder surgery … Magglio Ordonez has been DL’d with a weak ankle.
With fantasy rating out of 5
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With Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chi Kuo DL’d, he moves up to No. 2 behind Vicente Padilla on the team’s closer depth chart, even though his stuff is regarded as the best of the four. He bailed out Padilla for a one-out save on Friday and since his recall in late April has 13 Ks over 6.1 shutout IPs.
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His ERA (2.51) and WHIP (1.32) are improved from last season. However, his walk rate is up while his strikeout rate is down, which should serve as a red flag. Still, with Dallas Braden out for the year, he has a job in the rotation.
We’ll say the same thing about him as we did two weeks ago with fellow Seattle OF Carlos Peguero: Good power, good speed but just doesn’t make enough contact. Wilson would get the short end of any platoon, though we see neither making much of an impact. And Franklin Gutierrez’s imminent return from the DL should make this a moot point.
Vancouver native remains an intriguing prospect, even after two elbow operations cost him most of three seasons and forced him to re-invent himself as a reliever. Could work himself into a closer’s role, but not for a while.
SS, Red Sox
Known more for his glove and arm, 21-year-old Cuban looks like he has an aggressive bat but will have only a limited window to show his stuff before Marco Scutaro returns from the DL. He may not hit enough to warrant even stashing away for next year.