Are we really nearly halfway through another week in fantasy baseball. Tonight's news revolves around a fantasy ace straightening things out, a rookie who has hit a rough patch, and a couple of veterans who have plenty still to prove. We have one great rookie who hit his first home run among other things in tonight's version of Rounding The Bases.
After a rough three weeks, Tim Lincecum has definitely snapped back and is looking like the guy you expected when you drafted him. On Wednesday he struck out ten over just six innings and gave up two runs against the Orioles as he collected his seventh win of the season. I hope to everything holy that you didn't do anything crazy when he was struggling and trade him away, because while he isn't Cy Young, he is still one of the top three or four pitchers in fantasy.
Aubrey Huff is on an incredible tear over the last six days, but there is absolutely no way that this can last. With his home run on Wednesday, Huff now has four over the last six games, and he has driven in ten runs over that span. He has been a reasonably good fantasy player in spurts throughout his career, but he is definitely fading and there is no way that you can trust him on a long term basis. On his own he won't have any trade bait, but maybe as part of a deal someone might see him as having value and could help complete a deal. He is going to fade so you would be wise to try to capitalize on this any way you can.
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The word on the street is that the Philadelphia Phillies are considering signing Pedro Martinez for another second half run. Pedro was more than decent last year for the Phils, but this time I would not consider him when if/when he does return to the majors. I didn't expect him to bring anything to the table in 2009, and now he is another year older and the Phillies aren't scoring runs like they did last year. Sure, the National League is more of a cake walk than the AL, but I would want to see two or three solid starts from Pedro before considering adding him to my roster in anything but an NL-only league.
Joel Pineiro has been completely feast or famine this year, and for a guy who doesn't get too many strikeouts he is tough to own. This was Pineiro's 14th start of the year and in six of them he has given up two runs or less, and in five of them he has given up four runs or more. That leaves just three starts this year that he has had an average game. He is also averaging nearly a strikeout every other inning, which is not good at all in fantasy baseball for a guy with a .500 record and a near 5.00 ERA. At best I would have him on my bench and would consider dumping Pineiro.
Jonathan Niese continues to pitch well and continues to be a guy that I like a little more every time that he takes the ball. He got his fourth win of the year as he allowed just two runs over seven innings. Niese struck out just three but hasn't given up more than two runs since May 11th. He is a young guy so you have to expect that he is going to get bombed from time to time, but overall I like the future of Jonathan Niese and expect him to turn into a very good pitcher. Having a home ballpark like Citi Field doesn't hurt him at all either.
Yesterday it was Gordon Beckham that seemed to get back on track (although he was 0-4 today), and now it is Carlos Quentin who had a good game for the White Sox which is hopefully the first of many more to come. Quentin had two hits and two RBI, and while he is hitting just .205 he still has driven in 35 runs. I know that it is easy to give up on a guy like Quentin, but I wouldn't do it just yet. The guy was a possible AL MVP not too many years ago and has a ton of talent. I know that it has been over two months of struggling, but hopefully you have a bench spot that you can keep him on until he heats up. I wouldn't move him into the starting lineup yet, but one or two more good games and I would do just that. Stay patient with Quentin and it will pay off.
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Congratulations to Jose Tabata for connecting on his first major league home run. His drive came off of John Danks, and while he hasn't been spectacular to this point, Tabata is at least hitting in most games. He has hit safely in five of his first six games and does have two steals already, numbers that you shouldn't be complaining about. I wouldn't expect him to top 10 homers on the season, but he could steal 20 bases giving you a nice second half player.
Mike Leake has now had two straight pretty rough starts, but I have to tell you that you shouldn't be too concerned about the kid. Every starting pitcher goes through this kind of period during the year. I have written this before but I think it bears repeating. Most starters make 33-35 starts during the year and a Cy Young caliber season is 20 wins. That means there are 13-15 starts during the year that the pitcher doesn't win and potentially pitches badly. Leake is still a young guy who is going to have some bumps along the way. The fact that he has now given up five earned in two straight starts isn't a reason to drop him. If he does it three or four more times than you can be concerned.
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