Touching The Bases
Nick Blackburn has made nine starts this year. Though he has a 3.40 ERA, his WHIP is a pedestrian 1.40. However, what’s more interesting is that he has allowed exactly five earned runs in three starts while in his other six outings he has yet to allow more than two earned runs. In fact, in five of his nine starts on the year he has allowed zero or one earned run.
I talk about skills versus role all the time. I wish the Dodgers were listening. With Vicente Padilla on the shelf, it looks like Matt Guerrier is going to get first crack at the 9th inning for the club. MG is a perfectly solid bullpen arm, there is no disputing his track record there, but really Dodgers? Has anyone ever looked at MG and said ‘now there’s a closer’? Not once. Though his K-rate is up to 7.33 – he owns a career mark of just 5.98 – he’s also walking batters at the second worst rate of his career at 3.86. He just doesn’t have the kind of stuff you look for to close out games. Kenley Jansen has that stuff – and then some. In 44.1 innings in the bigs Jansen has a K/9 rate of 14.21, a simply amazing mark. Yes he has trouble throwing strikes, he’s walked 5.71 batters per nine on the year, but his 2.64 K/BB ratio is still light years ahead of the 1.90 mark from MG this season. I understand the Dodgers reluctance to give Jansen 9th inning work, but he’s still the arm I want to add.
Ramon Hernandez lost his 11 game hitting streak Thursday night. On the year he is hitting .337 though, so don’t feel too sorry for him. His career mark by the way is .266.
I posed this question on Twitter, and the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the dark haired beauty. If you had your choice, and by “you” I mean me when I make it big and head to Hollywood, would you rather date Mila Kunis or Natalie Portman?
Howie Kendrick might miss a couple of games with a tender hamstring, but he has been a force all season long for the Angels. Kendrick, who leads the AL with 19 multi-hit games on the year, is hitting .322 with seven homers, 18 RBI and four steals. He is the only second baseman in baseball to have reached all four of those marks. Do you all remember back in March when I had Kendrick ranked as my 68th best player in my Top-300? I remember quite a few people saying I was an idiot. Well, so far so good. Of course, there is always the chance that he ends up no the DL as his history would suggest, but I’m keeping the faith with the second baseman/first baseman/outfielder (this season he has appeared in 30 games at second, 12 at first and nine in the outfield).
Albert Pujols has gone 91 at-bats with a home run. Erick Aybar hit one 15 at-bats ago. In 10 seasons Pujols has never failed to hit at least 32 homers. Will this be the first year that he fails to hit 30 (he has seven in 45 games)?
Everyone loves to hate on B.J. Upton. Don’t get me wrong I get it, the guy is a total flake, fails to hustle at times, and clearly has a .10 cent head, but man does the guy have skills. After a so-so start in April, he has exploded in May for a .295 average, four homers, 16 RBI and a .918 OPS. Unfortunately he has stolen only one base on the month, but he is still well on pace to go 25/25 this year, and there just aren’t that many guys in the game who can do that.
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own 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.
- James Harrison announced his retirement
- Jacoby Ellsbury not in starting lineup Saturday
- Shane Robinson underwent shoulder surgery
- Bills agreed to contract with QB Kyle Orton
- Venters will undergo a third Tommy John surgery
- Mahinmi may miss from two to three months
- Pirates option Gerrit Cole to Bristol
- Masahiro Tanaka is feeling arm soreness
- Aldon Smith has been suspended 9 games
- Bengals cut RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis