Tuesday night was so loaded with action that it’s tough to know where to start here. Do I appeal to your traditional baseball side and talk about the hot, young starting pitching that we saw or do I go lowest common denominator and appeal to your inner thug? Decisions , decisions. Well, why don’t I do both and we can cover it all? And since that Dodgers/Diamondbacks game got pretty crazy and had some fairly big names involved, let’s just lead with that, shall we?
So the fun fact here is that Ian Kennedy has hit 41 batters since 2010, second most to Justin Masterson who has actually hit 43. But while Masterson had dealt with numerous control issues in the past, Kennedy’s actions Tuesday seemed to come with a bit more purpose. Kennedy came in high and tight on baseball’s newest darling, Yasiel Puig, in the bottom of the sixth. The ball seemed to slightly glance off the top of Puig’s shoulder and clipped him in the nose. OK, it happens. The guy is white-hot at the plate, you come inside, and the pitch gets away from him a little. Andre Ethier came up next and clubbed a two-run shot to tie the game at two.
In the top of the seventh, as you would expect, Zack Greinke hits Arizona catcher Miguel Montero in the back. Typical, right? Tensions flare a little, there’s a small gathering on the field, the umpires warn both benches and that should be the end of it. You hit our guy, we hit yours, let’s finish the game. But unfortunately, things didn’t end there and really, it’s all Kennedy’s fault.
It doesn’t matter who did what to who first or whether there’s bad blood between the two clubs from past games (remember Clayton Kershaw vs Gerardo Parra?). The dust-up should have been over. But like a moron, Kennedy comes in high and tight again to Greinke and hits him in the head, knocking his helmet off. Well, as you can imagine, things got ugly form there as both benches and bullpens cleared, punches were thrown, obscenities were yelled and six players and coaches in all were ejected from the game. Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario came in like a house of fire, swinging wildly, Puig got heated in the melee, coaches Mark McGwire and Matt Williams squared off and even Donnie Baseball had to be restrained.
Things could have gotten worse as it started to pour into the Arizona dugout and near the fans, but order was finally restored. As you can imagine, suspensions will be handed out and I’m guessing Belisario and Kennedy will see the harshest penalties. But will the punishment fit the crime? Maybe a few games off for Belisario will suffice, but Kennedy deserves the harshest of treatment. That’s fine if the Puig pitch was a mistake, but to come in high on the opposing pitcher like that after he evened the score with some age-old baseball justice, is ridiculous. And while he may not lead the league in hit batsmen since 2010, it kind of makes you wonder how many of Kennedy’s were actually on purpose.
In other news…
Fantasy owners’ hearts were all aflutter Tuesday night with the debut of 2011 first-round pick Gerrit Cole. He pitched a solid game, giving up just two runs on seven hits with no walks and two strikeout over 6.2 innings, and earned his first big-league win. He’s probably already gone in your league, but it really can’t hurt to check the waiver wire just to be sure. But if you ask me, I say to hedge your expectations. Yes, he’s a high-end prospect, but you’re also talking about a guy whose strikeout rate has dropped with each advancement to another level and has seen his walk rate rise as well. He’s pitching to a lot of contact right now and truth be told, he’s going to need to miss a lot more bats if he wants to stay successful. He’s going to be very reliant on his defense if he doesn’t and I can’t really say that the Pirates are loaded with gold glovers in the infield. Grab him if you can, use him while he’s here, but just don’t get crazy with high expectations.
Not to be outdone by the 22-year old Cole, Tony Cingrani made his return to the show Tuesday night and pitched a fantastic one for himself to as the Reds beat up the Cubs 12-2. Cingrani also gave up two runs, but he limited Chicago to four hits and one walk while striking out five over seven innings. For me, Cingrani is the pitcher to own between the two. He seems a little more polished overall, and the strikeout rate is going to be significantly higher. Cingrani showed he belonged in the majors with some dominant starts earlier this season and when he got sent back down because Johnny Cueto was back from injury, he was even more fierce against the Triple-A competition. Look for him to stay this time around and when he does, watch out!
Welcome back Giancarlo Stanton! Not only does he hit a home run in his return from the disabled list, but as I discussed with Jeff Mans on the Fantasy Alarm Show on SiriusXM radio Tuesday night, that Marlins lineup is suddenly looking pretty strong. Early in the year, there were complaints from fantasy owners that Stanton had no protection in the lineup, but now, with the hot-hitting Marcell Ozuna and the return of Logan Morrison, the meat of the order is suddenly….well….meaty. Ozuna needs to hit for more power and most are expecting his .400-plus BABIP to come down, but he’s actually going to see a lot of pitches to hit, batting between Stanton and Morrison. If the Marlins can get some quality table-setting by the ageless Juan Pierre, that heart of the order can do some significant damage. Keep an eye on the club’s offensive production over the next few games and keep the other eye on your waiver wire to see if anyone helpful from the club is out there.
Some significant injuries to keep an eye on include Yoenis Cespedes who pulled up lame running out a grounder in the first (a little too frail maybe?), Marco Scutaro who got hit on the hand with a pitch, and say goodbye to Cameron Maybin again as the fresh-off-the-DL outfielder tore the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee and is done for another six weeks minimum.
Now let’s hit the regular format…
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Aaron Harang, SEA||9.0||1||2||0||0||0||10||0.00||0.22|
I think I just threw up in my mouth typing this one up. Really? Aaron Harang? Painful. You know the metaphor without me having to say it, so I won’t. I will say that this clown should have his job on the line each and every start because apparently that’s what he responds to. With news that Erasmo Ramirez is nearing a return, the Mariners will have to bump somebody. Obviously Harang’s name is the first to come up, but now let’s see if he can truly help himself or if this was just a one-time, last-ditch effort. He faces the Angels on the road next, so something tells me that start will seal his fate.
|Desmond Jennings, OF TB||3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Tyler Colvin, OF COL||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Pedro Alvarez, 3B PIT||3-3, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI|
|Miguel Gonzalez, SP BAL||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 5 K|
|Max Scherzer, SP DET||W, 2.57 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 6 K|
Let’s just breeze through these as I’ve been long-winded enough here today…
Love the breakout game for Desmond Jennings, but in truth, I need more from him in what should have been a big breakout year. I don’t necessarily need to see more power, but let’s show some speed and keep this guy in the leadoff spot.
A day like this from Tyler Colvin only means that the Rockies should have an easier time dealing away Michael Cuddyer. Should Colvin continue to hit, he should make for an easy replacement for Cuddyer and be very worthy of a fantasy roster spot.
The rarity of a perfect day at the plate for Pedro Alvarez is always worth noting.
Typical solid stuff from Miguel Gonzalez and Max Scherzer. No complaints with either guy all year long.
|Torii Hunter, OF DET||0-5, 3 K|
|J.P. Arencibia, C TOR||0-4, BB, 3 K|
|Mark Trumbo, OF LAA||0-4, 3 K|
|Matt Garza, SP CHC||L, 16.20 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, 3 K|
|Jon Lester, SP BOS||L, 13.50 ERA, 3.21 WHIP, 3 K|
Same old same on the bad day front although J.P. Arencibia makes yet another appearance here with his hefty strikeout total. He doesn’t really catch a good game, he whiffs far too much but bot can that kid hit a ton when he locks in. Great power from behind the dish for your fantasy team if you can withstand the woeful batting average.
Alexi Casilla, 2B BAL – finger (day to day)
Michael Cuddyer, OF COL – oblique (day to day)
Anibal Sanchez, SP DET – shoulder (questionable for next start)
Hanley Ramirez, SS LAD – hamstring (day to day)
Placido Polanco, 2B MIA – back (day to day)
Ryan Braun, OF MIL – thumb (day to day)
Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK – hamstring (day to day)
Cameron Maybin, OF SD – knee (headed to the DL)
Marco Scutaro, 2B SF – hand (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.
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