Welcome back to another edition of the Tuesday Top Ten list of relevant and newsworthy fantasy baseball stories. This week presented a whole new batch of insignificant happenings that of course caught my eye and must be posted immediately. Now, without further adieu, here is the Tuesday Top Ten fantasy baseball headlines for August 16, 2011.
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10. Saved by the Parnell – After the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez earlier this season, it was only a matter of time before they handed the closer’s role over to Bobby Parnell. Now that Jason Isringhausen has picked up his 300th career save, the transition to Parnell officially begins. He possesses a 100 mph fastball, but with little movement he has been very hittable in his appearances as a set-up reliever. If you need saves down the stretch, Parnell may be one of only a very few free agents still available. But buyer beware, he could also burn you in ERA and WHIP.
9. Kung Foot Panda – Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval left Monday’s game after fouling a ball off of his foot. X-rays came back negative, but Sandoval may miss a game or two to ensure he has recovered. It is hard to believe there are bones beneath his massive layer of skin and fat, but apparently they can feel pain too. Sandoval has been red hot for the offensively-anemic defending world champions. Continue to monitor his condition in daily formats because while the team wants to be conservative with him, the Giants desperately need his bat in the lineup with Carlos Beltran out.
8. Insert A-Rod back in (your lineup) – Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to make his return to the Yankees this Thursday. After undergoing knee surgery in July, A-Rod should be fully healthy down the stretch as he looks to salvage what has been a disappointing season thus far. Age, injuries, poker games, and drug use have ravaged his body as the years have gone by. The Yankees will likely use him at DH sparingly to ease him back into full-time duty on the field. My hunch is that he will have a big impact upon his return and should put up impressive numbers the rest of the way. Get ready to activate him, or try and acquire him if you can.
7. Most Venable Player – It is not often that a Padres’ hitter makes the list as someone worth owning on your fantasy baseball team. In fact, Tony Gwynn may be more productive in retirement than most of San Diego’s current roster. But Will Venable has been on fire over the past few weeks getting regular playing time now that he is healthy. He has been stealing more than Linday Lohan, Winona Ryder and Mike Leake combined. If you need some outfield depth or some help with stolen bases, Venable has become a viable option on your fantasy team.
6. Nelso Cruz injured…in other news, man invents fire – Nelson Cruz was removed from Monday’s game with tightness in his left quad muscle. Cruz has a long history of injuries and has already missed time this year. He is as fragile as fine china sitting in your cabinet that you haven’t used since opening it as a wedding gift. There is no indication as to how much, if any, time Cruz will miss. But the Rangers will likely be cautious with him as they don’t want him to get attacked by splinters when picking up a bat.
5. Bay of Pigs – After giving Jason Bay some props last week, he reverted back to the form we have all come to expect. He managed to get his average above .250 for a short period of time, but is now 0 for his last 12 and unable to generate any kind of consistent production. Now in a position where he truly must be relied upon to carry a decimated Mets offense, he continues to fail to rise to the occasion worse than those guys in the Levitra commercials. This concludes your weekly rant about Jason Bay.
4. Homer Simpson says D’oh-mit – Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit returned from the disabled list in early August and has slowly but surely regained his stroke that once made him an attractive fantasy option at catcher. He also dabbled in the outfield and first base because his offense was so good. Now that he has returned, he is a good free agent option if available because he can clearly hit and should get some at bats in the field to keep him in the lineup. He is coming off a 4 for 4 game on Monday and has his average over .300.
3. Crazy Z – Bipolar Cubs’ pitcher Carlos Zambrano has been placed on the disqualified list meaning he is out for 30 days without pay and without contact with his team. He has indicated he wanted to retire after his latest outburst and antics. Whether he does retire or is for some reason brought back, it is apparent that Zambrano will no longer be relevant on your fantasy team for the rest of the year. However, if you are in a fantasy league that rewards lunacy, then Zambrano is definitely a keeper.
2. A.J. will be A-OK – Continuing with the theme of pitchers with mental disorders, the Yankees pie-flinging $82,000,000 headcase finally won his first game in the month of August with the team. A.J. Burnett has arguably been the most frustrating real and fantasy pitcher in baseball over the years because he has the stuff and talent to be a dominant hurler. However, he lacks the mental capacity and strength to endure high pressure situations. Joe Girardi will not remove him from the rotation, so he is here to stay. Call it a gut feeling, but Burnett could use his recent victory as a springboard to a hot streak where he puts up goose eggs and racks up strikeouts. He can be had for cheap, so take a chance and acquire him in a low end deal.
1. I don’t think so…Thome don’t play that – Even though he is no longer a viable fantasy baseball option, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Jim Thome’s historic accomplishment of reaching 600 career homeruns. Known as one of baseball’s true good guys and someone who has never been accused of tampering with performance enhancing drugs, Thome became only the eighth player in baseball history to reach 600 homeruns. He has done it with class, dignity and consistency over the last twenty years on five different teams. Thome was once a legitimate first round pick in a fantasy baseball draft and is now in the twilight of his career. But as baseball fans, we should take a moment to celebrate this monumental milestone achieved by one of the greatest hitters of this generation.
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