As always a very special thank you to Michael Stein of Fantasy Judgment for pinch hitting for me on Tuesday with his Top Ten Headlines, please be sure to check out his site as well. This is my first August article, and the best thing about baseball and fantasy baseball is that the news never stops no matter what part of the season you are in. Tonight's article is headed by two third basemen, one who might be getting himself in some hot water, and another who had his first hot night of the season. There is injury news as always, one good, one not as good with two guys with a very bright fantasy future. And of course there is some talk of two young prospects recently called to the majors, and not only how they are faring right now, but what you might expect from them going forward. It is time for you to finish up your Hump Day with Rounding The Bases.
FantasyAlarm LITE has arrived! Get our premium email service FREE! First 100,000 users only. SIGN-UP TODAY!
Alex Rodriguez could have put himself in a little bit of hot water with Major League Baseball as he is currently being investigated for his involvement in some underground poker games in which there was nearly some violence and drug use. Apparently he has been warned about this sort of behavior before and the league is seriously investigating this and he could face a possible suspension. I would be SHOCKED! I say again SHOCKED! if he actually misses games for this, especially with so little time left in the year. There might be some BS suspension that happens when he is injured anyway, and he doesn't really face any true disciplinary action. This story will likely linger, but I am not putting much stock in it.
After a season of mediocrity, Casey McGehee tried to make it up to his fantasy owners all in one day as he had three hits, all home runs, in a 10-5 trouncing of the St. Louis Cardinals. Sadly, that brings his season total to eight, and he has now driven in just 48 runs on the year, a season after knocking in over 100. At this point I have no doubt that McGehee is on your waiver wire. I guess if you are in dire need of help at third base, this could signal a reason to pick him up, but I really wouldn't expect too much, nor give him too long of a leash just because of this game.
Super Phenom Stephen Strasburg is set to go on his first rehab start as he attempts to come back in 2011 from Tommy John Surgery and he will pitch for the first time on Sunday where he will throw an inning or two for the Nationals Class A affiliate in Hagerstown. He will throw a number of these rehab starts before coming back to the major leagues, but Manager Davey Johnson has said that the team hopes to have him back in September sometime. I really don't know how much fantasy value Strasburg will have for the rest of the year, but in seasonal leagues he is worth adding in a couple of weeks if you are trying to catch lightning in a bottle down the stretch. He will likely be a boom or bust kind of guy as he should either dominate again, or get lit up like a Christmas tree because his stuff just isn't there fully after recovering from surgery.
Hanley Ramirez injured his shoulder on Tuesday diving for a pop fly and an MRI that he had on Wednesday showed a sprain and he is likely to miss a few games. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Fish hold him out for the rest of the weekend as it isn't like the Marlins are winning any playoff spot so why force your franchise player back into action? Keep Ramirez on your bench until further notice.
I keep writing about Dan Uggla, and the guy just keeps producing. Uggla's hit streak is at 25 games now as he had two more hits, including his 23rd home run of the season. Funny thing is I keep getting emails and we get phone calls on the radio show about people still looking to trade or dump Uggla. PEOPLE WAKE UP! This is what you have been waiting for all season! The guy is finally on fire, please enjoy the ride until it stops and don't even think about jumping off of it right now.
Brad Lidge took the first step towards reclaiming the closer's role on Wednesday as he had a flawless ninth inning and even struck out a batter. I think that this is the signal that Lidge is indeed getting the job back. He might not pitch on back to back days for a week or more, but it is now clear that it is his job to reclaim. Antonio Bastardo, who has done great in his absence, pitched a shaky eighth inning but picked up a hold. It is time to grab Lidge if you haven't already if you are in any need of saves at all, or just want to block an opponent.
Dontrelle Willis was more than serviceable again for the Cincinnati Reds as not only did he allow just two runs over six innings and strike out two, but the D-Train also hit his first home run of the season. Willis has been very effective since the Reds called him to the majors, and he could be a nice addition to your team if someone hasn't already grabbed him up. You just have to let go of the thought that he is going to be the guy that won 22 games in 2005, because those days are long gone. The 2011 Willis isn't going to go too deep into games or rack up too many strikeouts, but he won't kill your ERA or WHIP, and he will win a few games as well.
The Mariners' wonderful trade of Doug Fister was looking better and better on Wednesday as both players they acquired did well. Charlie Furbush started the game and allowed just one earned run over five innings, didn't walk a batter, and struck out three. I think Furbush will be a nice streamer in the last two months of the season, I am just not sure if he is a guy who will go deep enough into games, collect enough decisions, or strikeout enough batters to be a solid fantasy contributor. Casper Wells had two singles, and drove in two runs for the second consecutive day as he seems to be rounding into form quite well for the Mariners. Now, I think this is a guy who could help you down the stretch if you need someone in your outfield as Wells won't hurt you in batting average, and could give you six or seven home runs in the last two months of the season.
One of the Diamonbacks' top prospects, Collin Cowgill, is settling in nicely with the big league team, even though he isn't a regular contributor just yet. Cowgill was having an amazing season at AAA where he was hitting .354 with 13 homers, 70 RBI, and had 30 steals through just 98 games. He had his first major league two hit gametonight and was in the second spot in the order. Cowgill isn't playing every day just yet, but I would think the D'Backs will get smart before too long and put him in left field every day over Gerardo Parra, even though it is tough to start a rookie in a pennant race. Cowgill's got the goods though to be a big time contributor in all fantasy categories.
A catcher that a lot of folks in the fantasy industry had their eyes on was Tampa Bay's Robinson Chirinos. He had a huge breakout season in 2010 with 18 homers and 74 RBI while batting .326 and walking one more time than he struck out. Well, Chirinos didn't get a chance in the majors for a long, and he took a huge step back in the minors this season as he was hitting just .265 with five homers and 22 RBI. He singled and hit his first home run of the season, and also walked twice against the Toronto Blue Jays. Chirinos isn't quite playing every day just yet, but keep an eye on him and his production. I know he was struggling this year in the minors and that doesn't make you feel good about his transition to the majors, but the kid has a lot of talent and some pop in his bat, and trying to replace a catcher now is next to impossible. Chirinos could be the guy to lead you down the path to success.
Want to win your league this year? Learn more about the Fantasy Sports Secret Weapon!
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty