I'm about ready to move on to Hawaii for a well deserved break. However, I awoke Sunday morning and noticed a few things that I wanted to comment on before heading to lunch to get my carnitas torta. Man does that sound good right now after a night of Sangria.

CLOSERS

1876.jpgGrant Balfour used to be a closer. He thinks he knows why he's been struggling. Maybe he was tipping his pitches? "I'm not saying I pitched the best, but it doesn't help when someone knows what's coming. It could be an issue. It's definitely cleaned up, so we'll find out." I have no idea how that has much to do with the fact that he's not throwing strikes (a god-awful 27 walks 36.1 innings).

1998.jpgJoe Nathan is still the closer says Brad Ausmus. Why? “I'm sure there's a possibility I could reach a point sometime," he said. "I'm not near that point. I'll let you know when I am." Nathan has a 9.00 ERA over his last 20 outings. I'm all for track record meaning a lot, but it's ridonkulous that he's still closing for the Tigers. 

8273.jpgZach Putnam or Jacob Petricka? According to usage one would assume Putnam would be the arm to own with the White Sox since he's earned back-to-back saves for the Sox. Still, Looks like Robin Ventura is equivocating as to who will take over the job full-time. Oh, and Matt Lindstrom is closing in on a return and he could certainly end up being in the mix. Anyone else get the feeling that Mr. Ventura is a bit lost leading that club?

OH BOY

In an interview with Jim Bowden Sunday, Reds' GM Walk Jocketty mentioned that the quad issue that Joey Votto is suffering from could keep him out of action for another five weeks. If that's accurate, we may not see Votto back on the field until September. Ugh-city. 

HITTING

Chris Dickerson hit a couple of homers Saturday and through eight games with the Indians he's batting a robust .435 with two homers, three RBIs and six runs scored. In 646 career at-bats, and I bet you didn't realize this, he has a fairly impressive fantasy line: .268-17-63-99-32.

David Freese has been really productive of late. I know, but it's true. Over his last 22 games he's hit .342 with a .957 OPS. He's also hit three homers and drive in 18 runs. Professional hitter. 

9446.jpgJordy Mercer is a player no one wants. Still, some signs of something for those in league specific setups at the very least. Since June 11th he's batting .295 with a .764 OPS. He's also driven in 17 runs and scored 15 times. Since that's a span of 33 games he's on a pace for about 60 RBIs and 70 runs scored over 130 games. Not bad for a middle infield option, right?

TOUT WARS UPDATE

My Tout Wars team stinks.

Yasmani Grandal didn't hit for half the season.
Ditto Eric Hosmer.
Ditto Aaron Hill
Brett Lawrie and Corey Hart were hurt.
Danny Salazar was awful.
Taijuan Walker can't get going.
A.J. Burnett has been junk.
Sergio Romo lost his closing role with the Giants.

So I decided to go on the offensive in the 15 team mixed league making changes everywhere. Thought my best shot at bringing this team back to respectability would be to add the most talented guys I could in trades. Of course, the only way I've been able to get those guys is because they are all under performing so I've been able to buy them cheap. Here's what I've done the past two weeks.

Give: Brett Lawrie, Trevor Bauer, Elvis Andrus
Get: Michael Morse, Adam Jones, Brad Miller

Give: Billy Butler, Torii Hunter
Get: Desmond Jennings, Nathan Eovaldi

Give: Zack Greinke, Alex Rios
Get: Jason Heyward, Steve Cishek, Tanner Roark

Give: Corey Hart
Get: Lorenzo Cain

Check out my outfield now: Matt Holliday, Hunter Pence, Jason Heyward, Desmond Jennings, Adam Jones with Lorenzo Cain at UT. Who knows if it will work, but that's as good a group of outfielders as you will ever see in a 15 team league – talent wise at least.




Comments

Derek Braselton 

I wonder if Mr. Flowers likes Alcohol.....


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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

Hitting the @redbull right now... no vodka though since I'm not hanging with @Jeff_Mans or @Tedschuster

#mlb ARTICLE for @FantasyAlarm - A review of the wild AL Wild Card game - http://t.co/wzdJ5kBFHb