49ers traded a conditional 2015 4th-rd pick to Buffalo for WR Stevie Johnson.
This could be a HUGE steal for the 49ers as they now have one of the more impressive wide receiver corps flush with great hands. Johnson brings a fantastic possession-receiver element much in the way Anquan Boldin brought last season and now the team has a wide receiver corps flush with great hands. Adding Johnson to a mix with Boldin, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis is going to be a big factor for a team usually known for its run-first mentality and it's going to keep defenses from loading up in the middle and from limiting coverage to just one or two receivers. Now the question remains, can Colin Kaepernick get them the ball? He's going to have to improve his field of vision and learn how to spread it out more if this is going to be a truly elite offense. The potential is certainly there, but he needs to show signs of improvement. The only one who loses out on this deal is second-year receiver Quinton Patton who is now buried even further down the depth chart. ANALYST: Howard Bender
D.J. LeMahieu went 3-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored against the Diamondbacks on Saturday.
LeMahieu broke a four-game, 0-for-14 stretch with this performance and produced his first RBI in nine games. The production has been weak lately, but he’s still batting .300 with four home runs and 10 stolen bases. The numbers aren’t eye-popping by any means, but the overall production is certainly more than what was originally expected. The fact that he plays half his games in Coors Field certainly helps, but if you have the opportunity to improve your second base position, we’d jump at the opportunity. Analysis: Howard Bender
Wandy Rodriguez coughed up five runs on nine hits and three walks with just two strikeouts over five innings against the Angels on Saturday.
For the third-straight start, Rodriguez failed to pitch past the fifth inning and for the second time in his last three outings, he’s allowed five or more runs. He had a real hot start to the season, so this performance only pushed his ERA to 4.23 on the year, but this latest version, this inconsistent performer, is the Wandy we should have grown to expect. It’s tough to expect him to limit the runs while also going deep into games so you should really start picking and choosing your battles with him more carefully. His next outing, which comes against the Padres, is certainly favorable, though with a recently-rising 9.4-percent HR/FB, you’d rather not have this start coming at home. Analysis: Howard Bender