So I’m a little late on posting some highlights from Sunday’s games, but with the limited game slate not starting until 7 PM (eastern) here on Monday, it’s not the end of the world. In fact, it just might be beneficial right now as there’s a bit of Monday morning news that might be worthwhile for you as you’re still able to make lineup changes and roster moves in most leagues. If your waiver period has ended, well, maybe there’s some food for thought here for next week. In the meantime, let’s just touch on a few things you’ll need to know moving forward.
Braves Trade 3B Juan Francisco to the Brewers
The fact that Double-A southpaw Tom Keeling is the player heading to Atlanta is probably the least important aspect of this announcement that came out this morning. What’s important for you right now is that Francisco heads to Milwaukee to fill in at first base (Alex Gonzalez was released and Yuniesky Betancourt heads back to the toilet where he belongs) for the time being, at least until Corey Hart returns. He’s set to start up his rehab stint later this week but still might be a couple of weeks away. Once he does return, you’ll see Francisco probably head to the bench until Aramis Ramirez’ next scheduled stint on the DL. When exactly that will come is anyone’s guess, but I’d put money down on sooner rather than later.
On the other side of the deal, this should mean a nice boost in value for Chris Johnson who has been hitting extremely inside the hot corner platoon the Braves had been running. He’s currently batting .336 with three home runs and 14 RBI and while people will immediately point to his .431 BABIP, we can’t simply dismiss his level of play because of it. Yes, his first month was crazy good when he hit .369 and had a .460 BABIP, but in May, he still had a strong BABIP (.389, to be exact) thanks to a slight increase in his line drive rate, moderate contact numbers and yes, a little bit of luck. He did see a spike in strikeouts, but he also more than doubled his walk rate. He’s not going to be the be-all, end-all third baseman, but he should still fare very well and finally receive the full-time at-bats he’s deserved.
In other news…
If you make weekly roster moves, then it’s time to activate Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers pushed him back a day from the anticipated Monday activation, but he should be in the lineup within the next day or so. No doubt, Hanley owners have been champing at the bit here.
The Dodgers have also listened to the fantasy prayers of many as they finally promoted outfield Yasiel Puig from Double-A. For those who have short-term memory issues, Puig was a house of fire during spring training but the team opted to give him more time to develop within the system rather than rush him before he was ready. Well, with Matt Kemp on the shelf, this seems like the perfect time to give Puig, who was batting .313 with eight home runs and 13 stolen bases, a chance to shine. Should the Dodgers continue to suck (last place in the NL West, 8.5 games out) and not compete for even a wild card, a fire sale just might be in order. If Puig shines bright, Dodgers fan won’t care who gets the heave ho.
Should Mets prospect Zack Wheeler be on your league’s waiver wire, you may want to look into picking him up for his big league debut next week. The Mets say that he’ll get one more start at Triple-A this week and be on track to join the rotation for the upcoming homestand against the Cubs.
With all this rookie love we’re seeing, lets pay tribute to a former well-hyped rookie who seemed to struggle in the early goings of his career but has suddenly jumped out front-and-center. He also happens to be Sunday’s…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Domonic Brown, OF PHI||3-3, R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI, BB|
Domonic Brown may not have had the best numbers of all hitters on Sunday, but with eight home runs in his last nine games, including one here, how could we not give him the honors. Phillies phans are phreaking the phuk out right now as Brown is batting .432 (16-for-37) over his last 10 games with the eight home runs and 16 RBI. That puts him at .283 with 16 homers and 40 RBI on the season. Oh yeah, did we forget to mention the four stolen bases?
Now there are a few things to keep an eye on though, such as his reduced walk rate and slight increase in strikeouts. He was obviously swinging for the fences regularly as he drew zero walks in the month of May while his K-rate spiked by almost two percent. He’s going to need to rein that in if he wants to continue being the complete ballplayer. I would also watch how right-handed pitchers start throwing to him in the coming weeks. Fifteen of his 16 home runs have all been pull hits and 12 of those are off right-handed pitchers. They’ll likely start throwing him outside more so he can’t turn on the pitch as easily and should he start fishing and not make the necessary adjustments, we could see that strikeout rate spike even more.
But I don’t want to rain on the parade that the City of Brotherly Love is likely throwing him right now, so lets’ just focus on how amazing of an asset he’s been to both the Phillies and his phantasy owners over the last two weeks. A well-deserved honor here, not just for the day, but for month really.
|Dexter Fowler, OF COL||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB|
|Paul Goldschmidt, 1B ARI||2-3, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB, 2 SB|
|Brian Dozier, 2B MIN||3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI|
|Jarrod Parker, SP OAK||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 7 K|
|Cliff Lee, SP PHI||W, 3.52 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11 K|
It looks like Dexter Fowler is looking to turn in a June similar to his April numbers where he batted .305 with eight home runs and 15 RBI as opposed to his homerless May where he only hit .265. At least the stolen base total has been maintained and it looks like he is en route to swipe more than 20 for the first time since 2009.
While I won’t put you through it again, I could literally sit here all day and gush about Paul Goldschmidt. No really, I could. But it’s starting to look like I’m just doodling Mrs. Paul Goldschmidt on my binder all day at school, so I’ll just say this: When he’s not popping home runs, he’s stealing bases and is looking like the most complete first baseman there is in the game right now.
Hey look at that….Brian Dozier belts his third home run of the season and has the average up to .230 for the year right now. I guess that busts through the old adage we like to use as the sun has seemingly shined on this dog’s ass not once, not twice but three times.
For those who withstood the temptation not just to drop Jarrod Parker but to also fly to Oakland to kick him in the groin, welcome to Benefit City. He’s 3-1 over his last five outings, all quality starts mind you, with a 2.41 ERA and 26:10 K:BB over 33.2 innings. Next week, he’ll face the same White Sox team that he just blanked for 6.1 innings.
And how about a little more Philly love for Cliff Lee? The strikeout rate is still down…now three years straight….but with ratios like he has right now and with peripherals showing that the current level of performance should be reasonable sustained, how can you argue against him?
|Adam Jones, OF BAL||0-4, 4 K|
|J.P. Arencibia, C TOR||0-5, BB, 4 K|
|Mike Carp, OF BOS||0-3, 3 K|
|Jeanmar Gomez, SP PIT||ND, 36.00 ERA, 5.00 WHIP|
|Michael Fiers, SP MIL||L, 27.00 ERA, 4.80 WHIP|
Not much to add in here with the Sunday flops, is there? Adam Jones is entitled to an off-day every now and again, J.P. Arencibia lives to strike out, but still posts strong power totals for a catcher, and did anyone really think Mike Carp was going to be worth a shot? That last one was rhetorical, Boston. No need to send me hate mail. As for the pitchers, well it's hard to blame Jeanmar Gomez for the forearm tightness, but neither should have even been trusted or in your active lineup anyway, no matter how deep a league you play in.
Jacoby Ellsbury, OF BOS – groin (day to day)
Paul Konerko, 1B CHW – neck (day to day)
Brandon Phillips, 2B CIN – forearm (day to day)
Rafael Betancourt, RP COL – groin (15-day DL)
Marwin Gonzalez, SS HOU – hamstring (day to day)
David Lough, OF KC – wrist (day to day)
Garrett Richards, RP LAA – ankle (day to day)
Carl Crawford, OF LAD – hamstring (day to day)
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP LAD – foot (questionable for June 7 start)
Justin Morneau, 1B MIN – illness (day to day)
Jonathon Niese, SP NYM – shoulder (questionable for June 7 start)
Chris Stewart, C NYY – dehydration (day to day)
Jonathan Papelbon, RP PHI – illness (day to day)
Yonder Alonso, 1B SD – hand (day to day)
Angel Pagan, OF SF – hamstring (day to day)
Pablo Sandoval, 3B SF – foot (day to day)
Michael Morse, OF SEA – quadriceps (day to day)
Adrian Beltre, 3B TEX – hamstring (day to day)
Stephen Strasburg, SP WAS – oblique (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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