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.
Grant 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).
Joe 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.
Zach 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?
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.
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.
Jordy 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.