It doesn’t happen often but there are times, every so often, that you’d like to see your fantasy team get some credit for defensive plays. As I flipped between several of the games Saturday and then watched the highlight reels later on in the evening, I saw some unbelievable plays in the field. Colorado rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado had, what I thought was, the play of the day as he dove towards the line – full air, full extension – snagged the ball and after what appeared to be a T.J. Hooker-like roll, threw the runner out while still in the sitting position. Catches by Ichiro Suzuki and Jon Jay made the highlights as well, but as good as they were, neither touched Arenado’s play. Obviously it’s subjective as to how amazing you thought each play was which is why you just can’t score something like that at an appropriate value, but worthy of acknowledgement nonetheless.
We’ll hit the fantasy highlights in just a moment, but how about a few other things from Saturday that will impact your fantasy team…?
Alex Cobb took a nasty liner off the back of his head, just behind the ear it seemed, and while concussion tests were successfully passed, it is possible that he misses a start. We’ll have to see how he feels come Sunday, maybe even Monday, but it’s obviously something to watch before setting your lineup for the week.
Mark Teixeira pulled himself out of Saturday’s game after experiencing pain in the same wrist that had him out for most of the first half of the season. Manager Joe Girardi says that after a day off Sunday and Monday’s off-day, he should be ok, but that just might be a manager’s optimism. I’d try to be optimistic too if I had to field that lineup every day. What a ragtag group of players.
Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez was hoping that a skipped start and some rest would be the cure for his shoulder problems, but after 72 pitches (42 strikes) and two runs allowed in just 3.2 innings, he was pulled from the game. Check in with what they say about him heading into the week, because there’s a chance they give him some extra time off again.
And just some quick hits…
Boston’s Clay Buchholz (neck) has already been scratched from his start this Tuesday and a DL stint is very possible.
Texas activated Ian Kinsler from the disabled list which has prompted the Rangers to start testing Jurickson Profar in the outfield.
With Tom Wilhelmsen “temporarily” removed from the closer’s role in Seattle, it was Oliver Perez who got the save. Hard to imagine Perez suddenly turning into a closer, let alone a valuable fantasy commodity, so look for a committee approach for now.
Now let’s get to the fantasy highlights…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|B.J. Upton, OF ATL||2-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, SB|
How many B.J. Upton owners have been waiting for a night like this? I’d say all of them, but with the way he’s played this season, his ownerships percentages have dropped significantly over the last month. So while some were owners, they might not necessarily be anymore. I can’t say he’s turned a corner here because we’ve all known he’s got this potential, but consistency is the key and I am skeptical of his ability to use this game as a springboard. I also don’t see him doing as much stealing as people would like. That, however, can be blamed on manager Fredi Gonzalez who is not one to be aggressive on the bases with his players. That was one of the reasons Michael Bourn looked elsewhere during his free agency. So if you were banking on 30-40 steals from Upton this year, there’s disappointment ahead in your future.
|Carlos Beltran, OF STL||3-6, 3 R, 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Trevor Plouffe, 3B MIN||3-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB|
|David Freese, 3B STL||3-4, 3 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Scott Feldman, SP CHC||W, 1.29 ERA, 0.43 WHIP, 6 K|
|Felix Hernandez, SP SEA||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 8 K|
Carlos Beltran continues to perform like a fantasy stud and while there’s always the risk that he finds his way onto the disabled list for the umpteenth time in the last few years, it’s a risk worth taking as he’s batting .311 on the season with 16 home runs and 44 RBI and is currently on a 14-game hitting streak.
If you’re going to have to be at work for your birthday, you may as well do it like Trevor Plouffe. He was activated from the disabled list prior to Saturday’s game and then put up a killer stat line. He’s not going to do much in the way of batting average for you, but if you’re in need of some cheap power at third, Plouffe is definitely someone to check out.
Cardinals third baseman David Freese is looking to build up another hit streak after losing his 20-gamer this past Wednesday. He’s now hit safely in 22 of his last 23 games and, so long as he’s healthy, should continue to help you out in the batting average department. The power could stand to be a little better but given the overall state of the position, most are just happy with mid-level contributions and an average that doesn’t kill you in the standings.
While Scott Feldman might not be the most glamorous pitcher to own, he’s definitely a serviceable starter worth looking into if you have some struggling hurlers in the back end of your rotation. This outing was a nice rebound from getting roughed up by the Reds his last time out, and he now has quality starts in three of his last four outings. Also, if you look at his peripherals, while they aren’t numbers that make a fantasy ace, his xFIP and SIERA are both under 4.00, he’s got a 50-percent ground ball rate which is helpful when you pitch in Wrigley, and he’s maintained stable walk and strikeout rates. You may have to play some match-ups with him, but he’s going to be a decent play most of the time.
Not much to say about Felix Hernandez is there? A little rough patch towards the end of May, but the guy is money in the bank and will be for the rest of the season….and beyond.
|Chris Marrero, 1B WAS||0-3, 3 K|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B NYY||0-4, 3 K|
|Alejandro De Aza, OF CHW||0-4, 2 K|
|Sergio Romo, RP SF||BS, L, 27.00 ERA, 12.00 WHIP, 1K|
|Jonathan Pettibone, SP PHI||L, 18.00 ERA, 3.67 WHIP, 1 K|
Not much going on over here. One closer mishap for Sergio Romo and a bunch of guys you shouldn’t be trusting right now anyway. I thought Alejandro De Aza would be able to build more off of last season’s success, but he’s been a bit of a disappointment this year.
Carlos Quentin, OF SD – shoulder (day to day)
Mark Teixeira, 1B NYY – wrist (day to day)
Alex Cobb, SP TB – head (day to day)
Jason Hammel, SP BAL – illness (day to day)
David DeJesus, OF CHC – shoulder (15-day DL)
Jonathan Broxton, RP CIN – elbow (15-day DL)
Jeff Baker, OF TEX – thumb (day to day)
Logan Morrison, OF MIA – back (day to day)
Mike Napoli, 1B BOS – illness (day to day)
Starling Marte, OF PIT – ribs (day to day)
Dexter Fowler, OF COL – hand (day to day)
Placido Polanco, 3B MIA – back (day to day)
Alexi Casilla, 2B BAL – finger (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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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