Jimmy Nelson becoming big time highlights this Week’s Week That Was.

Jimmy Nelson:   Jimmy Nelson looked good again Sunday.  While he gave up 4 runs, he also struck out 8 and walked none.  As reported right here on fantasy alarm -- over his last seven starts, the 26-year-old righty has pitched to a sensational 1.93 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 8.5 K/9 across 46 2/3 innings.  Simply put this is a guy to target for your pennant race this year and for those already planning for the future.  Nelson throws hard averaging 93.3 on his fastball, raised his ground ball percentage to an elite 50% and has increased his swinging strike percentage to an also elite 10+%.  Buy even if you need to pay full freight.

David Murphy:   David Murphy had a nice Sunday going 3-6 with dinger and 4 RBI.  Those with daily transactions, those who play DFS and those who study the weekly matchups need to pay attention to Murphy. First, he has moved to a far more potent offense in Anaheim.  Second, this guy has been super productive when he plays.  This weekend, he was 5-14 with 5 RBI.  On the year, Murph is hitting .288 with 6 HR and 32 RBI in 243 AB.  To illustrate how productive that is, assume 600 AB and you would have approximately a 15 HR, 80 RBI campaign at .288.  Not too shabby for a guy who can be had for a song.

Miguel Gonzalez: Miguel Gonzalez was torched Sunday in his 4.6 innings giving up 7 hits, 4 runs and two walks.  If you are still on this train, disembark – quickly.  In his last 11 starts he has an ugly 5.49 ERA and an equally ugly 1.50 WHIP.   To make matter worse, he cannot rely on an inflated BABIP or deflated strand percentage to justify these numbers.  Everyone off the train!

Odubel HerreraOdubel Herrera had another good day Sunday going 2-5 with a dinger.  On the year, Herrera has been quite a pleasant surprise.  The Rule 5 pick is hitting .291with 32 RBI and 11 SB.  Philly has no reason to let him sit, so he will continue to play.  If he can make a tad better contact and learn better plate discipline, Herrera could have a long stay in the majors.  Since you can probably still grab him cheap, I would do it.

Jake Arrieta:   Jake Arrieta stayed scorching hot, throwing 7.6 innings of scoreless ball Sunday.  As noted right here on fantasy alarm, Arrieta has given up three runs or less in 10 straight starts and during that span, he has posted special numbers: 1.23 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 8.5 K/9 in 73.3 innings. If you are in a pennant race this year, pay the premium.  If you can deal him in a keeper league, make sure you get a king’s ransom.  Oh, and if you need more support, the 50+% ground ball rate and the 10+% swinging strike rate say the success is for real.

Chris Johnson:   Chris Johnson had a nice day for his new team as the now Indian went 4-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.  Ok, now sell!  2 HR in 158 AB with a 30% K rate? Really?  Pass.

Corey KluberCorey Kluber was awesome Sunday, tossing a complete game three hitter while striking out 10.  In his encore year, Kluber has tossed 171 innings with 186K, only 33 BB and a 1.08 WHIP.  Only that 3.46 ERA is less than superstar.  Given that his swinging strike rate has increased over his special 2014, his ERA should continue to come down as he leads many a fantasy team to a title.  I cannot imagine you can land him in your league but if you can, stop reading and start dealing!


And now the moment you well, may or may not be waiting for, the Baron of Bottom of the Page pontificates a/k/a Schultz says: “Schultz isn't really going out on a limb when he says that the only thing more distressing than learning that one of your starting pitchers leaves a game with forearm or shoulder soreness is that an appointment has been scheduled with Dr. James Andrews. Seriously, are there three more distressing words in sports than "Dr. James Andrews?" Even Diamondback fans would rather hear that they've resigned Byun-Hyun Kim than hear that any of their starters are heading to the Andrews Center in Birmingham. While knowledge of the realistic expectations for pitchers returning from Tommy John and rotator cuff surgeries are well within the ken of knowledgeable practitioners of our fair fantasy sport, it always strikes Schultz as odd that expectations for hitters returning from wrist injuries are generally skewed.

Better folks than I can offer the medical explanation but for the purposes of our little discussion, it is safe to say that the wrists and hands play a significant role in the success of any MLB hitter. Statistically-minded wonks love talking about bat speed, wrist snaps and velocity off the bat and as any physics-inclined individual will confirm, they do so for good reason. Consequently, the sigh of relief most owners emit when they find out one of their star hitters will be back relatively soon from a wrist sprain or dislocated finger is usually premature. 

When Dee Gordon went onto the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb, he was atop the NL average leaders with a .338 average and 33 stolen bases. In the 10 says since his return - a little more than two weeks after suffering the injury - he's been hitting .222 with only one steal. Those in denial may want to write this off to a small sample size or assume that it'll take a week before the Marlins' All-Star returns to form. Rather, Schultz suspects that the injured hand will once again factor into the typical summer swoon that the former phenom-prospect heads into as each season comes to a close. Bonus (and still topical) wisdom from Schultz: those counting on Jayson Werth to round quickly into form after missing two months with fractures in his left wrist may want to take measured notice of his .128 average and 2 extra base hits in his first two weeks back in the majors. 

Only rest permits fractures and dislocations to heal and that is something a major league baseball schedule does not afford.”

Response:  Yes, Schultz is correct – be wary of hitter with hand and wrist injuries.  Oh, and nice BH Kim reference!