It's sunny outside, congressman Anthony Wiener is finally resigning over “Weiner-gate”, and the San Francisco Giants are in first place. All is right in the world. Well not quite, but I'm gonna try to stay positive today in the face of the horrendous actions of those people in Vancouver who decided to act like Neanderthals last night after the Canucks fell to the Bruins in the Stanley Cup finals.
Chad Billingsley hit a new low last night allowing seven runs while making it through only four innings. That pathetic effort came on the heels of a 4.2 innings, six run outing on June 10th. Moreover, Chad has allowed at least four earned runs in four of his last five starts to drive his ERA up to 4.65 and his WHIP to 1.52. If he didn't have his name, he'd likely be on a whole lot of waiver-wire's this morning. That's being positive? Wait, it gets better, I promise.
Should you dump him Billingsley because of his recent stretch of failure? I say no. The easiest way to understand why I say that is to look at Billingsley's xFIP (figured the same way as ERA, it takes into account those factors that are directly in the pitcher's control while normalizing for a league average home run rate).
2008: 3.58 2009: 3.99 2010: 3.67 2011: 3.65
Billingsley is pitching the same as he always does, it's just not showing up in the results. If you don't believe xFIP, look at these numbers.
2011: 2.11 K/BB, 1.44 GB/FB, 0.61 HR/9 Career: 2.10 K/BB, 1.37 GB/FB, 0.66 HR/9
I'm not saying if you own him you should continue to run him out there right now as he is getting pounded, but hold fast if you can. This obviously means Chad is a wonderful hurler to try and buy low on if you're looking to bolster your pitching staff.
How the mighty have fallen. Did you see that the Angels released Scott Kazmir yesterday? At one time one of the brightest left-handed starters in baseball Kazmir, who won 13 games with a 3.48 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 2007, allowed 30 runs in 15.1 innings in the minors this season leading to the easy decision made by the Angels. It appears that his devastating slider simply ruined his arm. As a rookie his average fastball was 93.7 mph and last year it registered a mere 90.5 mph. His big league career could be over at age 27. So much for staying positive today like I said I would at the top of the piece.
Joe Mauer should be back in action on Friday for the struggling Twins. If you own him get him immediately back into your lineup. At the same time, you'd best hold on to whichever catcher you've been riding in his absence since I'm far from convinced that he'll be able to play nearly every day.
Jorge Posada has been tearing it up the last two weeks hitting .444 over 36 at-bats. However, he didn't hit a homer in that stretch and he's still hitting only .227 on the season.
Welcome to the party Jimmy Rollins. The Phillies' shortstop has two bombs, six RBI and four runs scored in his last three outings. There's no way around the position that he has been a disappointment at time this year, but even so he's still on pace to steal more than 30 bases, to score more than 90 times and to hit 14 homers with 64 RBI. Those are still pretty darn solid numbers for a shortstop aren't they?
Speaking of disappointing shortstops, Troy Tulowitzki is probably second on the list behind Hanley Ramirez when you consider what preseason expectations were. Bit should he be? Tulo is on pace for 31 homers, 110 RBI and 14 steals, so don't feel too sorry for those who took him in the first round this season.
The last 30 days... Dan Uggla has hit .133, B.J. Upton .136 and Adan Dunn .156. Think of how bad your team would currently be performing you had rostered all three of those guys this draft season. The crazy thing is, if I walked away from the draft table with those three I'd have been pumped. Guess that's why they play the games.
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.
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