I've tried to explain how in the world that Jose Bautista is doing what he's doing, an I've pretty much come up craps. In Take a Swing, Jeff Passan takes his hacks.
I don't remember the last time I did this, but I'm going to quote myself (how narcisitic is that?). Here's a Twitter post of mine from earlier today. "Did you listen to me about Trevor Cahill? Last five starts: 0-4, 7.52 ERA, 2.06 WHIP, 0.71 K/BB." Well did you listen and downgrade him when I told you to or did you blindly push forward irrespecitve of my advice?
Carlos Carrasco has five wins in his last six outings and over his last two efforts, spanning 15.1 innings, he's held the Twins and the Yankees off the scoreboard. All of a sudden everyone is interested in the Indians' hurler. Carrasco, a former Phillies' minor league standout, has done a good job limiting the walks at less than three per nine innings. However, his K-rate is barely over 5.50, and that portends trouble unless you are able to generate a lot of ground balls. Fortunately Carlos does a good job of inducing grounders with a 51.4 percent career GB mark. What I see here is a solid AL-only arm, but one that would be a stretch in a 15 team mixed league. When he's got the ground balls flowing he can pitch very well, but the lack of strikeouts means he isn't going to be someone who makes a true impact in the fantasy game.
I'm still fielding questions about Josh Collmenter. Please tell me you aren't one of the people asking if you're in a mixed league. Collmenter has gotten by to this point with a boatload of luck, batters are having a hard time picking up his release point, but the truth of the matter is that Josh simply isn't a very good pitcher. I know he has a 1.86 ERA an a 0.86 WHIP through 14 games which makes me look stupid, but scouts will tell you that he doesn't own a single pitch that grades out as better than big league average. He doesn't strike anyone out (5.74 per nine), doesn't get any grounders (40 percent of batted balls), and has been one lucky devil with a .205 BABIP. He might end up with passable numbers by the time the season is over, but even if that's the case there is a ton of regression coming down the pipe.
Alcides Escobar has hit .500 during his seven game hitting streak. He's still hitting just .235 on the year, but he might be a person of interest in deep mixed leagues who use a middle infielder because in addition to all the hits of late he's also started to run again with four steals in nine games. The key to that is simple – he's finally getting on base. The owner of just 10 walks this season, Escobar owns a pathetic .267 OBP. You can't steal a bag if you can't get on base.
Everyone in the world seems to think that Jason Heyward is a wussy, and that he has lost all his talent and value. I don't get that at all. Oh he might be a wussy or diva-like in not wanting to play when he isn't 100 percent physically, but the skills are still elite (as an aside, he's traveling to Atlanta to have his shoulder looked at and he could be back in action for the Braves very quickly). His is an example of people simply panicking because they aren't seeing it on the field. I'm telling you, the young man still owns Hall of Fame talent, still lashes liners harder than just about any person on the planet, and should still be a building block if you're in a keeper league. I'd bet that in two years you'll have forgotten all about his dismal first half in 2011.
Josh Johnson was transferred to the 60 day DL. That means the Marlins' ace will be out of action until at least July 16th. Johnson has yet to throw off the mound since hitting the DL with his shoulder woes, but the team remains confident that he will be ready to go as soon as he's eligible. When injured he left behind some of the best numbers in the game (1.64 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 56 Ks in 60.1 IP), but the guy is probably the riskiest top-10 hurler in the game.
Joakim Soria has saves in three straight outings since he returned to the closers role for the Royals. He also picked up a win in his outing previous to the saves run, and he is unscored upon in his last six outings. All is right in the world yet again.
By Ray Flowers
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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.
- Durant injures foot/ankle
- Giannis Antetokounmpo will start Thursday
- Zaza Pachulia will start at center Thursday
- DeMarcus Cousins will start Thursday
- Dwight Howard will play Thursday
- Taj Gibson will not play Thursday
- Tyreke Evans will not play Thursday
- Kendall Wright is active
- Amar'e Stoudemire will start Thursday
- Carmelo Anthony will not play Thursday