A Young Gun & Some Vets
Everyone loves rookies in fantasy baseball on the chance that they could be become superstars. The most recent guy to come up for discussion is a youngster from the Cardinals who is starting Thursday. I'll give my scouting report on Mr. Martinez below, as well as hitting on a handful of veterans who are hot, performing better than you think or looking for a new home.
Elvis Andrus had three hits Wednesday night to boost his average to .261. I get questions all the time about Andrus asking me why he is such a failure, but I don't know if that is fair. Andrus has 30 steals – more than any AL shortstop and the third best mark in baseball for a guy at that position, and he's scored 65 runs... the most in baseball for a shortstop.
Madison Bumgarner allowed four runs last night to the Brewers (three earned). Over his nine previous starts MadBum allowed two or fewer runs in every single outing giving up a total of 11 runs in nine starts. Even with his moderate outing Wednesday night Bumgarner still owns a 2.81 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and has 150 Ks in 154 innings pitched.
Tyler Chatwood has been placed on the DL with elbow inflammation. And so it ends. Well not quite, he's not expected to miss the rest of the season at this point, but his run of out of nowhere pitching seems to have run it's course. Through 15 starts the youngster has posted a 7-4 record with a 3.15 ERA. At the same time his WHIP is 1.39 and his K/9 rate is just 6.30. He's been really good for a Rockies hurler. However, he's been pretty much league average in the real world.
Carlos Martinez Scouting Report – I know you all want to know, so here it is. Martinez has been called up to make the start for the Cardinals Thursday against the Dodgers. The reason for the promotion is that Shelby Miller was struck by a line drive on his elbow after two pitches, so the guy set to throw Thursday was forced to come on in relief (Jake Westbrook threw 4.2 innings and did he ever take it on the chin for his team as he allowed 15 base runners and nine runs). The positive news for the Cards is that Miller is only dealing with a bruise and no DL stay is currently indicated. He may eventually end up there, and he's not at all certain to be ready in five days, so there would seem to be a small chance that Martinez could stick in the rotation. Small. Martinez owns a power fastball and a plus curve ball (his change up isn't that bad either). He's a future SP1 type. He's also been dominate at the Triple-A level this season over 10 starts as he's gone 4-2 with a 1.76 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, eight punchouts per nine innings as he's allowed a mere home run. He keeps the ball down in the zone, doesn't allow the big fly, and has the stuff to dominate. It's just a question of whether or not he sticks in the rotation.
Come on Martin Prado. The versatile hitter, your humble scribe is an unabashed fan, had four hits and four RBIs Wednesday. Yes he's been disappointing, but there is still some good here. Seriously. Prado has produced two hits in five of his last seven games and he's now hitting .274 (he's hit .388 with a 1.074 OPS over his last 18 contests). He's also on pace for about 13 homers, 65 RBIs, 65 runs... those aren't great numbers but for a guy who qualifies at multiple spots it's a usable line of production.
Rickie Weeks felt a little pop in his hammy Wednesday. Sounds like a 15 day DL stint is pretty much assured. Maybe this will finally put all of us out of our misery. An all-star talent, Weeks has been an abject failure this season by any measure. His fantasy line is just awful - .209-10-24-40-7. It's so hard to give up on him because of the talent, but goodness gracious Mr. Weeks.
Mark Reynolds was designated for assignment (the club called up Preston Guilmet and Lonnie Chisenhall will take over at third base). What that means is that he has been removed from the Indians 40-man roster. Here's what will happen. (1) He must return to the 40-man in 10 days, (2) be traded, (3) be released or (4) placed on waivers. The bottom line is that it seems unlikely that he will remain with the Indians. Reynolds has had, well, a Mark Reynolds year as he's hit .215 with 15 homers and 48 RBIs in 99 games. The problem has been that he hit .301 with eight homers in April and he's been a total disaster since (the guy has hit, if you can call it that, .133 with no homers over his last 20 games). He could always have a huge couple of months for someone, but at this point expecting him to get a full-time gig with any club is likely expecting too much.
*** GET YOUR COPY OF THE NEARLY 200 PAGE 2013 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT GUIDE.
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.
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