|When I said dude I wasn’t kidding. (Icon/SMI)|
James Shields had good peripherals last year and an ugly 5.15 ERA. This year his peripherals are only marginally better, yet after Shields’ complete-game shutout yesterday his ERA is a smooth 2.00 flat. Take a hundred points off a man’s BABIP and you have given him life said Hemingway, I think. Yours truly is lucky enough to own Shields in all three of his leagues this year so I get not once, not twice, but thrice the satisfaction of owning the dude. And that’s about as good as it gets in fantasy baseball.
Justin Turner—Went 0-for-4 in his first hitless game this year. I still like the firebird as more than just a jump-and-dump type player.
Asdrubal Cabrera—Hit two home runs, stole a base, went five-for-five… ya know, just a typical day for Asdrubal.
Josh Judy—This Indians reliever was just called up and pitched a scoreless frame in his first major league inning. I now know Michael Stein’s favorite player!
Carlos Santana—Sorry if you were misled after seeing the Indians score 12: Santana pitched in by going 0-for-5. I think Santana is one small change mechanically or in mindset from joining the McCanns and Poseys of the catching world. Whether that happens in a week or next year is the question.
Chris Johnson—Has gone seven for his last 19 and is simply put, on a heater. If you’re in a shallow league and Johnson was dropped, now is a good time to pick him up again.
Mike Morse—Picked up two hits Sunday to raise his season average to .267. I sense some strong winds in the tropics that could develop into a Morse hit barrage as it reaches the States in the coming weeks.
Rick Porcello—Tossed eight scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Don’t think his stuff will hold up against the Red Sox next. Call me Dom Cobb cause now I bet you are thinking about that.
Alexei Ramirez—Had himself a 4-for-5 day with his sixth home run and five RBI. A couple of weeks ago I was feeling capricious and was considering dropping Ramirez in one league. His day-to-day production won’t impress you but you paid for a .280 average, 15 homer and steal shortstop and that appears to be what you will be getting.
Allen Craig/Jon Jay—Two Cardinals position players who keep hitting and I hope will continue to find their way into the lineup even when some of the injured regulars return. Craig is just one start at second short of eligibility there.
Felix Hernandez—Had his most dominant* outing of the season, allowing one run in eight innings with 13 strikeouts. *Was against the Padres.
Adam Kennedy—Went 2-for-5 with a steal and should be entering the conversation for 14-team mixed leagues and added in anything deeper.
Jason Heyward—Headed to the DL because of his shoulder. Hoping he heals completely instead of having this issue drag out all season and down on his numbers.
Trevor Plouffe—0-for-4 as I’m having second thoughts about opening a restaurant named Plouffe’s Soufflés. Regardless of my culinary plans I’d still own Plouffe in all leagues.
Brett Lawrie—The kid all the cool kids are adding as Lawrie is tearing up Triple-A. I don’t believe the Blue Jays have mentioned anything about calling him up and I wouldn’t worry too much if someone has already beaten you as you read this.
Saves: The Astros made Mark Melancon work five outs to earn his third save. If that doesn’t say “I trust you” to a closer I don’t what does… Kevin Gregg allowed only one walk in nailing down save eight… Neftali Feliz got two outs without allowing a baserunner for his ninth save… Jose Valverde allowed one hit and got one K for save 11… John Axford walked one but got his 12th save… Matt Thornton pitched two scoreless to get his second save only because the White Sox scored two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth… Fernando Salas allowed a run but got his already seventh save… Jordan Walden got a much needed ninth save to cool the fire beneath him… J.J. Putz pitched a clean ninth for save 12.