Return of the Closers

Return of the Closers
With the All-Star Game and the first closer trade in the rearview, it's time to do some good old fashioned closer talk.
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Jeff Francoeur went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk as the Padres' right fielder in his debut Wednesday.

Francoeur has a history of getting off to hot starts with his new teams, though that never materialized in his last major league stint with the Giants last year. We'll see what happens this time around. He's worth owning in NL-only leagues with Cameron Maybin out.
Jul 24 - 1:14 AM

Albert Pujols went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a win against the Orioles on Wednesday.

The veteran first baseman got back on the board after going hitless over his past two games. He'd been plenty hot before that, however, entering tonight batting .313 with four homers in July. Pujols is hitting .274 overall with 20 homers and 66 RBI.
Jul 24 - 1:11 AM

Jered Weaver limited the Orioles to two runs on six hits over eight innings Wednesday in a 3-2 win.

He struck out six and walked zero. The Angels have won seven consecutive Weaver starts (with Weaver himself getting credit for four of those victories). The 31-year-old has encouragingly held the opposition in the ballpark in each of his last four starts, and six of his last seven. Weaver improves to 11-6 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.12 WHIP, numbers he'll take into a rematch with the Orioles on Tuesday.
Jul 24 - 1:10 AM

Chris Tillman tossed six innings of one-run ball Wednesday in a no-decision against the Angels.

He struck out three, walked two and gave up five hits to earn his first victory since June 27. It's not as though he's been pitching poorly. Tillman has slashed his ERA from 5.20 on June 5 to 3.92 today, allowing three earned runs or less in nine straight starts. Tillman hosts these same Angels on his home turf next week.
Jul 24 - 1:07 AM

Alex Cobb struck out 10 in seven innings Wednesday in the Rays' 3-0 victory over the Cardinals.

Cobb also doubled in the Rays' first run of the game, giving himself all of the support he'd need. It's the fourth time this season that he's gone without allowing a run, but the first time since May 22. There's still no reason he can't be a top-20 starter the rest of the way.
Jul 24 - 12:56 AM

Jake McGee struck out the side in the ninth for his ninth save Wednesday against the Cardinals.

The Rays don't want to use McGee as a full-time closer, but it just hasn't worked out very well when they've gone other routes lately. Manager Joe Maddon didn't fool around tonight, using his second best reliever, Brad Boxberger, in the eighth and then his best in the ninth to secure a 3-0 victory.
Jul 24 - 12:54 AM

Desmond Jennings went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored as the Rays' leadoff hitter on Wednesday.

The good news is that Jennings is hitting .311 this month. The bad is that he hasn't attempted a single steal after going 1-for-4 in June. He also has just one homer, so he hasn't made much of a contribution in mixed leagues. He rates as a pretty big disappointment for fantasy purposes.
Jul 24 - 12:51 AM

Jose Bautista homered and doubled to lead the Blue Jays past the Red Sox 6-4 on Wednesday.

The homer off Andrew Miller was his first since July 2 (and the first Miller has given up since May 13). Whether it's a coincidence or not, Bautista has slumped mightily with Edwin Encarnacion sidelined. Still, this makes back-to-back two-hit games for him for the first time since June 4-5.
Jul 24 - 12:40 AM
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