Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Kimbrel Rocks

Friday, July 08, 2011


Braves closer Craig Kimbrel earned his 27th save of the year in Thursday afternoon's victory over the Rockies, setting a rookie record for most saves in the first half of a major league season. The 23-year-old has experienced more than a few hiccups along the way, but he hasn't allowed a run since June 11 and currently boasts a tidy 2.40 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. With a fastball that averages nearly 96 mph and a sharp-breaking slider that serves as an ideal out-pitch, Kimbrel is likely to remain atop fantasy closer rankings for years and years to come.

This is Friday's edition of the Daily Dose...

* After suffering through over three months of brutal offensive production at the shortstop position, the Reds finally decided to do something about it Thursday, promoting 25-year-old prospect Zack Cozart from Triple-A Louisville. Paul Janish was shipped to the minors after batting just .227/.259/.271 in 246 plate appearances and playing spotty defense. Edgar Renteria will remain on the active roster, but Cozart is expected to draw the everyday nods.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Cozart registered a .310/.375/.467 batting line, seven home runs, 32 RBI and nine stolen bases in 11 chances over 77 games this season at the Triple-A level. He's not going to enjoy that kind of success in his first taste of the major leagues, but Cozart has a decent glove and should have no trouble outperforming the two-man platoon he is now replacing. He's worth monitoring in NL-only fantasy formats and may be worth an addition in deeper mixed leagues if he's quickly able to take advantage of Great American Ballpark's power-friendly dimensions.

* Twins right-hander Scott Baker has been a breath of fresh air this season in an otherwise suffocating 2011 campaign for Minnesota. With a 3.01 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 104 strikeouts through 17 starts, he's essentially been the Twins' ace. But an MRI exam taken Thursday on his sore throwing elbow showed a mild flexor muscle strain and he has been scratched from what would have been his final start before the All-Star break.

Anthony Swarzak has been asked to take the mound in his place Sunday against the White Sox and will have another shot at proving his worthiness for more spot starts down the road. The 25-year-old has posted a 3.71 ERA in 34 innings this season while working as both a starter and reliever. He was considered a fairly promising pitching prospect just a few years ago and makes for a decent flier in deep AL-only fantasy leagues.

National League Quick Hits: Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is expected to miss three weeks with a left hamstring strain … The Reds optioned struggling starter Edinson Volquez back to Triple-A Louisville … Padres catcher Nick Hundley is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow Friday and could miss a month … Troy Tulowitzki (quad) is aiming to return to the Rockies' lineup Saturday … Carlos Gonzalez (wrist) is hoping to play Friday … Kevin Kernan of the New York Post reports that the Mets are "beginning to accept calls" on Carlos Beltran … The Cardinals and left-hander Jaime Garcia are reportedly close to agreement on a four-year contract extension … Brad Hand earned his first major league victory Thursday with seven scoreless innings against the Astros but was optioned back to the minors shortly after the game … Shane Victorino has earned a spot on the National League All-Star roster via MLB's "Final Vote" … Rockies rookie Charlie Blackmon may need surgery to repair the fractured bone in his left foot … Barry Zito tossed eight innings of one-run ball Thursday in a defeat of the light-hitting Padres … Arizona's fill-in closer David Hernandez earned his sixth save of the season Thursday in a win over the Cardinals … Homer Bailey was shaky again Thursday in a loss to the Brewers … J.A. Happ walked seven Marlins hitters Thursday … Carlos Zambrano (back) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Friday with Single-A Peoria … Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez could be headed for the disabled list because of an oblique strain … Aaron Harang (foot) will return from the disabled list on Saturday to face the Dodgers … Chris Young acknowledged Thursday that he has a ligament strain in his left thumb but pledged to play through it … Brad Lidge (elbow) threw a perfect rehab inning Thursday at Single-A Lakewood … The Giants activated Brandon Belt from the disabled list, then optioned him back to Triple-A Fresno … Ivan Rodriguez is day-to-day with a sore oblique … Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer in Thursday's win over the Rockies … Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched eight scoreless innings and struck out nine Thursday in a win over the Mets.

American League Quick Hits: Veteran catcher Jason Kendall has been diagnosed with two tears in his rotator cuff and will undergo career-threatening surgery within the next couple of days ... Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall was pulled Thursday after taking a pitch to the face … The A's activated setup man Grant Balfour and outfielder Josh Willingham from the disabled list … After another impressing outing, Angels ace Jered Weaver is now holding a league-leading 1.86 ERA … Derek Holland threw his second shutout of the season in Thursday's 6-0 defeat of the A's … Travis Hafner slugged a walkoff grand slam Thursday to beat the Blue Jays … Paul Konerko won the "Final Vote" in the American League, earning the last All-Star roster spot … Yankees closer Mariano Rivera has bowed out of the All-Star Game due to lingering soreness in his right triceps muscle … Joe Mauer made his major league debut at first base Thursday without any issues … Shin-Soo Choo (thumb) had his cast removed Wednesday and is telling friends that he could be playing by the second week of August … Angels outfielder Peter Bourjos is day-to-day with hamstring tightness … Philip Humber hit a rut Thursday, allowing six runs over three-plus innings in his worst start of the season … Rich Harden yielded five runs in five innings Thursday against the Rangers … The Indians have recalled infielder Luis Valbuena, who was batting .314/.381/.515 with 12 home runs and 55 RBI in 76 games at Triple-A … Dustin Pedroia mashed one of six Red Sox homers in Thursday's defeat of the Orioles … Austin Jackson is day-to-day with left wrist soreness … The Rays placed right-hander Wade Davis on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain … Fausto Carmona (quad) will make at least one minor league rehab start before gaining clearance to return from the disabled list.


Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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