'Mickey Mouse Florida Marlins Statue in front of the ESPN Zone' photo (c) 2010, Loren Javier - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

The world is full of good and bad. Sometimes it's perception that shapes our point of view, sometimes it's reality. I know, a deep way to start out an article isn't it? I'm not going to break down Aristotle or Euripides today, that would be something though. Instead, I'll talk about a handful of fellas that did something of note Monday night that led me to want to toss their names out to you all today.

Everyone is talking about Zach Wheeler, Dan Straily, Tyler Skaggs, Kyle Gibson etc., but little attention seems to be paid to Jose Fernandez who has flat out killed it this year. Fernandez has a better ERA than Shelby Miller (2.72 to 2.79), a better WHIP (1.06) than Matt Cain (1.07) and Shelby Miller (1.07), and he's struck out 94 batters in 92.2 innings. He might have an innings pitched cap this season of 160 or so, but the guy has been the nuts. More people should be talking about him. For more see this report from ESPN Stats Info.

Juan Francisco has gone deep four times in his last six outings and he now has 10 homers in 177 at-bats. He's also hitting just .232 in that time. Nothing new though for Francisco who has a nice power bat but struggles for consistency, partly because of his poor approach at the dish. Juan has 538 at-bats in his career and he's gone deep 24 times with 88 RBIs. He's hitting just .249 with a .298 OBP thanks in no small part to 35 walks and 184 strikeouts.

Todd Frazier had four RBIs against the Giants Monday. Through 78 games of action he's hitting a paltry .243 with a decent .748 OPS, but he has gone deep 10 times with 41 RBIs for the Reds. Pretty much what should have been expected.

Yovani Gallardo is as frustrating an own as there is in baseball. Gallardo is a terrible 6-8 with a 4.78 ERA after getting lit up for eight runs against the Nationals. Gallardo is also sporting a 7.26 K/9 mark which is a career worst. Oh, and so is his 1.46 WHIP. Still, I have some faith (I know, I'm totally lame). Gallardo has a 1.79 GB/FB ratio. That would be the best mark of his career. Second, there's no way that batters will finish the year with a 25.5 percent line drive rate against him. Third, his xFIP is only three tenths above his career rate, unlike his ERA that is up a full run. Fourth before his most recent beating, Gallardo had allowed three earned runs in his previous four starts.

I went to Hawaii a couple of weeks ago for my first extended vacation in seven years. I've been there six times (including one time for 11 weeks as I attended summer school while in college – thanks Mom and Dad), and I have to tell you each time I go I get the itch to move out there. Question – would life be better if you were living there sipping fruity drinks on the beach as you watch the sunset each night or would you become used to it and lose the feeling of magic it brings when you're there? If I knew it would be the first and not the second outcome I'd move, by the end of the year. Something about that place just feels like home to me, know what I mean?

Curtis Granderson averaged 42 HRs last two years. Mark Teixeira averaged 31 homers the past two years (his season is over by the way as he had surgery on his injured wrist). Alex Rodriguez, who starts game action today in his return from hip surgery, averaged 17 homers the last two years. That means the trio averaged 90 homers the past two years. This season they've hit a combined total of four: Tex has three while Granderson has one.

Jason Marquis is 9-4 with a 3.74 ERA, not bad for a guy who went 8-11 with a 5.22 ERA last season. It is amazing that he's had that much success given that he's walking more batter than at any point before – his 5.35 BB/9 mark is straight pitiful. Because he doesn't strike anyone out, he has six more whiffs than walks, his K/BB ratio is 1.10. And you thought that Yovani Gallardo was in trouble. The bottom is going to fall out on Marquis, quickly, if this keeps up.

Cody Ross has four homers in 216 at-bats this season. With an effort like that he very easily could lose a lot of playing time once Adam Eaton is ready to go. Gerardo Parra hurt himself last night when he banged his noggin on the ground when he tried to make a diving catch. He doesn't have a concussion. He's been impressive this year hitting .301 with a .360 OBP and 47 runs scored, but with only seven homers and six steals he's still more of a depth option in mixed leagues.


By Ray Flowers


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About Ray Flowers

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.

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