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You know, for a day with a short slate of games, Thursday turned out to be quite eventful for baseball fans and fantasy owners alike. There was crazy extra-inning drama, unsung heroes, devastating injuries, and breaking news filled with both hope and despair. We’ve got our usual highlights for you here, but once again, with fewer games on the docket, we can break from out usual format and discuss more than just the top (and bottom) performers from the evening. So let’s not waste any more time and get right to it.
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.
We’re going to keep it short and sweet here as Thursdays tend to be slow days without a full slate of games anyway. But what I wanted to do was throw you a bit of fantasy advice which is more of just a heads up than anything else. While your waiver wire probably looks like it’s been picked clean and that the help available is pretty sparse, things are about to start looking up and your immediate attention will be required.
When the Toronto Blue Jays began their roster overhaul during the offseason, things were looking pretty good for the Great White North. The deal with the Marlins landed them an elite shortstop in Jose Reyes, a highly touted starting pitcher in Josh Johnson, a speedy super-utility guy in Emilio Bonifacio and a veteran lefty in Mark Buehrle all for very little. They then brought in Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey and Maicer Izturis to add to a fairly strong core group that already consisted of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow and J.P. Arencibia. They immediately went from also-rans to top contender in the American League.
I definitely enjoyed Ray Flowers’ article the other day in which he broke down a number of the pitching performances from some of the aces we saw on Opening Day. There were, obviously, a number of names we expected to see, such as Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg, but we were also treated to some outstanding performances from guys like Jeff Samardzija, Jhoulys Chacin and even Ricky Nolasco. While you shouldn’t expect to see some of these guys pitching at that level each and every time out, their performances do give credence to the belief that starting pitching is crazy deep and you can, in fact, build a winning pitching staff without investing heavily in one of the top aces out there.
With the July31st non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching, we’ve been seeing a few deals pop up recently that obviously have some effect on the fantasy baseball world. It’s not like we’ve seen any real big blockbusters that are sending owners into some panicked frenzy, but, rest assured, those will certainly be coming soon. For now though, there are some that are having a bit of an impact that we should probably be taking a look at as they are happening. So let’s just do a quick rundown here and see what’s been going on.
Just like in real life, fantasy squads depend on the man on the hill to lead their team to fantasy greatness. The problem, as it is in real life, is choosing the right men to lead that squad. In what follows we'll profile five hurlers – Phil Hughes, Matt Moore, Jarrod Parker, Ervin Santana, Ryan Vogelsong – and give our thoughts on whether or not you should be counting on them. We'll then hit on some of the lead stories in the game from Tuesday night including the demotion of Bard, the en feugo bats of Quentin and Rasmus, and the suddenly dominating left arms of Liriano and Pettitte.
While the traditionalist inside me loathes the idea of interleague play, I can’t deny that it brought on a world of excitement in its first night of the 2012 season. There were pitcher’s duels, big nights at the plate, and a world of drama. Just the Cubs/White Sox game alone was loaded with enough action that had you on the edge of your seat for some time. Between Paul Konerko taking a pitch to the face and Kerry Wood’s mid-game retirement (did you see his kid come running out of the dugout and into his arms? Holy tearjerker!) I was glued to the TV. I might not dig the whole money-grubbing aspect that interleague has brought on, because that (the almighty dollar) is why it’s done these days, but I won’t deny that I watched some pretty good ball on Friday. Here’s a look at the highlights.
Well, when no one is jacking three home runs in a game and you’re not quite ready to announce who the newest Fantasy Beast of the Day is just yet, it’s tough to focus on just one thing from Tuesday’s games. Do I talk about the possibility that Albert Pujols is this year’s Adam Dunn? The wild finish between the Rangers and the Blue Jays? News of Cory Luebke’s sore elbow and the perpetual concerns one should have with the health of young pitchers? Really, the options are almost limitless. So rather than just pick and choose, I’m just going to run through each game and toss out some fantasy nuggets that you may find useful as our season moves along. In no particular order, here’s what I noticed on Tuesday…