It's been a busy week of baseball, and fantasy for that matter. It's now time to take a look at what's been going on, and what to expect in the week ahead.
Oh, and by the way, it's Father's Day, so kick up your feet, read this column, and enjoy the top summer game that actually has the word ball in it. Good luck.
Henry Rowengartner's Encore
These flame-throwers won't need to break their arms to post solid fantasy numbers this week. Make sure you lock them in to your rotation.
Angels starter Joel Pineiro -- Pineiro has three wins in four starts, and has a running earned run average of 2.67 against the Dodgers. Plus, just over a week ago he pitched a complete game and allowed one run while striking seven Dodger batters. Two, three, and four hitters Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Manny Ramirez combined to go 0 for 11 in that game.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco -- Not only are Nolasco's next opponent, the Baltimore Orioles, an offensive mess (216 runs scored, good for last in all of baseball), but the hard throwing right-hander has a 1.93 career ERA and a 9-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against the orange and black. Yes, Nolasco did struggle against the previous AL East opponent (Tampa Bay) on June 12th, but remember that the Rays are third overall in runs scored with 350; a totally different team. Overall, Ricky should have no problem shutting the door on the poor Orioles offense in the upcoming week.
Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez -- The Astros are up next for Sanchez, and are a team that he not only has a career ERA of 1.65 and 0.92 WHIP against, but in his previous outing in early August last season pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out eight. Sanchez has been one of Giants better starting pitchers this season with an ERA of 2.78, and a WHIP of 1.15.
Unfortunately the wins haven't come because the Giants don't exactly give him run support consistently. In fact, during three of his five losses the San Francisco offense was shut out completely. Lucky for Sanchez, though, the Astros have only scored 231 runs this season, good for 27th overall.
Feeling Like Benny "The Jet"
Here are a few players who are having fun, and are playing like they're on some kind of "Sandlot."
(All stats as of Saturday)
Braves second baseman Martin Prado -- Prado leads the entire league with 98 hits, and is tied for second in the National League with 49 runs scored. He is what makes the Braves offense go.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera -- Cabrera is blowing up the stat columns. His batting average sits at .331. His 19 homeruns and 59 RBI are both Major League highs. And his 48 runs scored ranks him in the top five in the American League.
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton -- Sandwiched in the middle of perhaps the best batting order in the bigs Hamilton has been spraying the baseball all over the field. He has 85 hits in 260 at-bats, including 16 homeruns, and has driven in 50.
Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips -- Phillips leads the Reds with 83 hits, and has scored a National League high 51 runs. He also has stolen 10 bases, and has hit nine homeruns.
Colder than the Bad News Bears
Here are a few players who are making Walter Matthau's crew seem like all-stars.
(All stats as of Saturday)
Blue Jays designated hitter Adam Lind -- Lind has had a disappointing season to say the least. He is currently two for his last 17 with no homers and one RBI. His season average is a miserable .207, and his eight 2010 homeruns are pacing him to finish well below the 35 he hit last season. The good news is that his fly ball rate is 43.5%, a clear indication that he's not putting enough of a charge in to his swing, which could change as the season progresses.
Padres third baseman Chase Headley -- Headley has one hit in his last six games, and since the beginning of June his batting average has plummeted from .289 to .264. As it is he's not a power hitter, and at this point of the season he offers little value to even those in NL only leagues.
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista -- The struggles continue for Bautista, as he is two for his last 19, has dropped his average to .227, and hasn‘t hit a long-ball since June 4th. Until he gets in to another one of his power grooves, it's safe to say that he may be less valuable than Chase Headley.
Dodgers starting pitcher Carlos Monasterios -- Los Angeles' latest pitching experiment has gone wrong in his last two starts. Monasterios is 0-2, and has allowed 10 earned on 15 hits in 6.2 innings pitched. His biggest turn-off, though, is that he has made it past the fifth inning just once in his six season starts.
Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez -- In his last two starts Rodriguez has allowed 14 earned runs through just eight innings of work. He has run his ERA up to 6.09, and is 3-10 on the season; a far cry from what many expected from him before the season after solid ‘08 and ‘09 campaigns.
Hotter than Dottie Hinson
Here are a few players that are making Dottie look more like Courtney Love, Donatella Versace, and maybe even teammate Doris Murphy (Rosie O'Donnell) all wrapped in one.
(All stats as of Saturday)
Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg -- The dazzling rookie has certainly lived up to the hype thus far, as he is 2-0 with an ERA of 1.86, a WHIP of 0.78, and a strikeout-to-inning ratio of roughly 1.6-to-1. However, do keep in mind that his next start is Wednesday against the Royals; a team that is 29th in all of baseball with just 358 team strikeouts (5.2 per game).
Royals first baseman Billy Butler -- Butler has been one of the hottest hitters in the past week. He's 13 for his last 25 with two homeruns, six RBI, and six doubles, and his line drive rate has increased to 20.1%. The only fantasy problem Butler owners are facing right now is that he has lacked juice in his swing all season and sits with just seven homeruns.
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia -- Pedroia is 12 for his last 22 with one homerun, five RBI, three stolen bases, eight runs scored, and just two strikeouts. He is now hitting .302 during the month of June with six of his nine season homeruns; this after batting .213 in May.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney -- Loney has 11 hits in his last six games, including six doubles. He also has driven in nine runs, and has even stolen a base. For the season he is hitting .305 with five homeruns and 45 RBI. His line drive rate is the highest of his career at 29.6% thus far.
White Sox starting pitcher Gavin Floyd -- Floyd has come out of nowhere, and has produced three consecutive one run outings after having a terrible showing against the Rangers to begin the month. He also has struck out 22 batters in his last 22 innings, and has lowered his season ERA to 5.20.
Rockies starting pitcher Jason Hammel -- Move over Ubaldo! In his last three starts Hammel has gone at least seven innings in each, hasn't surrendered a single run, and is 3-0. He has a lifetime 5.01 earned run average, and like Bautista in the month of May, is enjoying a nice little hot streak. In other words, now may be the time to send him packing before he returns to mediocrity, much like Bautista has done.
Roger Bomman's Binoculars Reveal...
These pitchers who should be locked in to fantasy rotations.
- AJ Burnett vs. Arizona and Los Angeles (Dodgers)
- Mike Leake vs. Oakland and Cleveland
- Jon Lester vs. Colorado and San Francisco
- Anibal Sanchez vs. Baltimore and San Diego
- Wade Davis vs. San Diego and Arizona
- Livan Hernandez vs. Kansas City and Baltimore
Last Saturday afternoon after writing this weekly column I made my way to Germantown to watch one of many of my 14-year old brother's baseball games. While at this particular game I overheard a gentleman behind me state the following, "Man, I don't know how that coach does it with so many teams. It's truly impressive. I can barely handle one team."
Yeah, that coach he was talking about was my father, coach Ed, who is in the midst of coaching four baseball teams (two Little League and two High School; JV and Freshman), all at the same time. In fact, coach Ed told me after this game that he has about two games a day, or so it seems.
How does he handle it? Well, like he always has; with fire and a passion for the game like no other human baseball manager I‘ve ever seen, even at the Major League level. And on this Father's Day I have to salute him for being the true hero he is to me, my brother, and the community and game that has embraced him.
His voice can be heard from miles away as he pumps up each and every young hitter that makes their way to home plate no matter what the score is; I‘m surprised he still has his voice. I mean he's like a rooster without the screeching crow.
His ability to let players know when they've made a mistake without making them feel small is unreal. And at the same time he will never deny any mistakes he makes, whether it's sending runners home when he shouldn‘t or calling the wrong defense for a certain scenario.
And often times you can even find him mowing and dragging the high school and little league fields, or putting up a pitching or batting net on his own time before or after games. Yeah, I don't think he sleeps much.
Yes, he loves baseball, and baseball loves him.
However, the most inspiring part about his heroism is the fact that, while his win-loss record is truly admirable, he's more worried about his players' progressions and the way they win games rather than the outcome of them. In other words, he wants his players to succeed no matter what the score is. It's what makes him such a great coach to play for. His pushing voice rings loud and clear, and 99% of the time his players respond to it.
In fact, I can say that his pushing voice is what often carries me, and is the one voice that I've taken with me to my current enjoyable job and this scribing world filled with letters, numbers, and passionate thoughts about the games that I love.
And now, as a young adult, I'm truly convinced there is no other father like mine, because, well, he's my dad and I'm more proud that he's my father than he probably realizes. Thank you dad for all that you've done for me.
And Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers out there!