Is he Fish or Fowler is the lead question in this week's Week That Was.Dexter Fowler
: Thanks to the unfortunate injury to Charlie Blackmon, Dexter Fowler
got another chance to show he belongs in the show. Well, day one went well. Fowler doubled, swiped a bag and crossed home twice. Teams in need of a spark should look to the West. Fowler has great speed and great ability. If he has grown up just a bit during his last stint riding buses in the minors, he could be a difference maker. Remember, this is the same guy that stole 27 bases and scored 73 runs at age 23 in 2009 (all in 2/3 of a season). Buy.Juan Rivera
: In a nice story, Juan Rivera
had a strong debut for the Dodgers, going 2-4 with a dinger. Simply put, don't get too excited. First, Rivera is unlikely to unseat the better defender and younger Tony Gwynn, Jr. Also, Rivera was really not good in a far better hitter's situation in Toronto at .247 with a mere 7 HR. If someone is willing to deal for Rivera believing he hits in California, take the deal.Carlos Guillen
: In welcomed news for the Tigers and fantasy players alike, Carlos Guillen
is set to play 2b full time starting Saturday. Is he likely to stay healthy all year? No. Is he likely to be an upgrade over the Ramiro Pena
's of the world as backup MI in AL-only leagues? Um, ya. Guillen at 35 is not the allstar we remember. However, when on the field he produces. Last year, he hit 9 HR with 43 RBI in half of a season. His owners would surely take that for the second half of 11. Buy in deep leagues.Brett Myers
: Brett Myers
needs to get out of Houston. Despite striking out 11 in 6 innings, Myers lost to the Pirates and now "boasts" a 3-10 record. This is just another example of where you have to keep track of the T in SMART. T stands for Team. Bad teams' pitchers don't get wins. Bad teams' pitchers get traded in July. Look for Myers to end up with a contender and have his value increase substantially. Buy.Gavin Floyd
: Gavin Floyd
looked sharp in his first outing post All-Star Break, besting Justin Verlander
. Floyd gave up two runs over 7 2/3 innings, striking out 5. Floyd has averaged more than 150K and a 1.28 WHIP over that last three years. Look for similar solid numbers and a bunch of wins (when the Chisox bats wake up). Buy.Peter Bourjos
: Peter Bourjos
ended up on the DL after all. Bad for Bourjos, good for Mike Trout
. The 19 year old phenom will stick in the bigs for at least another week. If I had to bet, I would say he stays and plays. Those in keeper leagues are probably already too late to grab Trout. However, those in AL only single season leagues may be able to get the teenager at a cheap price. If you can, do it. There is no doubt about the talent. As to the playing time, it is just my gut feel that he will continue to get it. Jordan Zimmerman
n: According to reports, the Nats will let Jordan Zimmerman
n pitch on regular turns until he hits 160 innings. They will then shut him down. If these reports are true, he will not pitch in September. Zimm owners beware. Bottom line here -- if you are in contention and own him cheap, he is the perfect guy to deal to a team playing for next year. That team will not care about September and you will get someone who helps this year.
And last but not least, a super sized Schultz Says: "People like lists. I'm not the first person to come to this conclusion. In fact, I'm pretty sure I recall David Letterman saying something similar when trying out his first few Top Ten Lists. In that vein, this week The Week That Was gloriously presents for your perusal the 2011 Mid-Season All Schultz Awards.
THE 2011 "WHY I'M IN LAST" TEAM. The wonderful thing about rotisserie baseball is the fantasy world it allows us to live in, complete with the full denial as to why the team you bragged about in April is in the cellar. As a public service, here is a list of players that you believed would guide you to Roto-heights but are weighing you down in the roto-depths.
C: JOE MAUER (MIN) - rather than living up to his reputation as the finest roto-catcher in the world, his bi-lateral leg weakness caused the ghosts of his prior lower back problems to rattle their creaky chains.
1B: JUSTIN MORNEAU (MIN) - with his concussion issues behind him, Morneau batted .225 with 4 home runs before undergoing neck surgery that he claims will not be season ending.
2B: DAN UGGLA (ATL) - his 15 home runs come nowhere close to making up for a dismal .186 batting average and 36 RBI.
SS: HANLEY RAMIREZ (FLA) - once in the discussion for roto-MVP, Han Ram isn't even in the cream of the class for his weak-hitting position.
3B: RYAN ZIMMERMAN (WASH) - narrowly edging out Evan Longoria
, like his TB cohort, injuries have caused his numbers to dwindle to 4 HR, 16 RBI and .256.
OF: CARL CRAWFORD (BOS) - expectations were off the charts for his first season with the Red Sox juggernaut and he's responded with a .243, 6 HR and 8 SB. EIGHT STOLEN BASES!!!
OF: SHIN-SOO CHOO (CLE) - before breaking his thumb, the perennial .300 hitting 20/20 man was sitting on .244 with 5 HR, 28 RBI and 11 SB on a resurgent Indians ball club.
OF: JAYSON WERTH (WASH) - celebrating his extravagant new contract by taking the first year off, Werth is bottoming out at .216, 10 HR, 31 RBI. Sadly, you paid as much as the Nats.
SP: ROY OSWALT (PHI) - after the Beverly Hillbillies rise from the cellar to the penthouse, much more was expected than a 4-6, 1.33 WHIP and 43 strikeouts.
RP: JOAKIN SORIA (KC) - remember before the season when Soria was in the can't miss category with Rivera and Papelbon; remember when he spent a week as Aaron Crow
's set-up man.
DH: JORGE POSADA (NY) - it got so bad that the Yankees thought about releasing him when the sub-Mendoza at the time DH begged off of hitting 9th.
THE CLEVELAND INDIANS TEAM. Before the season, nearly every pundit - including Glenn Colton - condescendingly congratulated the Tribe on their quick start and told everyone that they shouldn't believe what they were seeing. As the Indians sit in first place in the AL Central, not a single one - including Glenn Colton - have admitted they were wrong. None of the players on this list were touted or believed in at the beginning of the season. If you did, you're smarter than the average bear.
C: ALEX AVILA (DET) - in the absence of a true breakout catcher, the Detroit backstop gets the Kyrie Irving nod as the most surprising catcher with his .282, 10 HR 46 RBI.
1B: PAUL KONERKO (CHI) - when Konerko bottomed out in 2008 with a .240, 22 HR season, you couldn't have predicted a .320 22 HR, 67 RBI first half in 2011.
2B: MICHAEL YOUNG (TEX) - with trade rumors swirling, the situation with Young in Texas was toxic; he responded with a .322, 60 RBI first half while getting eligibility at second base.
SS: ASDRUBAL CABRERA (CLE) - after an injury-plagued 2010, the AL MVP went undrafted in most leagues; he's busted out this year as the most valuable roto-shortstop not named Reyes.
3B: RYAN ROBERTS (ARZ) - the HDTV superstar (seriously, check out his tattoos) is on pace for a 20/20 season.
OF: LANCE BERKMAN (SL) - moving to the outfield was supposed to end his career not resurrect it to the tune of 24 HR, 63 RBI and .287.
OF: CURTIS GRANDERSON (NYY) - finding a monstrous power stroke, Granderson might be the most dangerous hitter in the Yankees line up with a respectable .269 to go with his 25 HRs
OF: MATT JOYCE (TB) - he's tailed off recently, but for a healthy stretch in the first half, he provided the offense the Rays were missing with Longoria on the DL.
SP: RYAN VOGELSONG (SF) - when you get 6 wins, 70 Ks, a 2.17 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP from a pitcher who was out of baseball for 4 years and not that good when he played - yeah - that's a steal.
RP: JOEL HANRAHAN (PIT) - he has a better ERA, a better WHIP, more strikeouts and more saves than Mariano Rivera
. He also cost infinitely less.
U: MIKE MORSE (WASH) - perhaps the first pre-season sensation to actually have a good season - his .303, 15 HR and 49 RBI are a pleasant surprise.
THE VINCE VAUGHN IS PROUD OF YOU TEAM. Just imagine him standing on a table in a diner shouting drunkenly about how happy he is for these guys cause they're all grown up. You might not recognize him, he'll be much skinnier.
C: MATT WIETERS (BAL) - if you ignore the improbable, lofty expectations foisted upon Wieters upon his promotion, you won't be upset with his .270, 20 HR 75 RBI pace.
1B: GABY SANCHEZ (FLA) - criminally overlooked due to the presence of Mike Stanton
, Logan Morrison
and (until recently) Cameron Maybin
, Sanchez is the sole one to mature into a dependable roto-asset.
2B: RICKIE WEEKS (MIL) - he doesn't make this team by hitting .273 or slugging 17 homers, he's on the list for not getting injured in more than 1 1/2 years.
SS: YUNEL ESCOBAR (TOR) - he's found a home in Toronto, hitting leadoff or third, he's been steadily around .300 while on pace for 20 HR.
3B: PABLO SANDOVAL (SF) - hamate bone setback notwithstanding, Kung Fu Panda has proven that last year's season was an aberration.
OF: JOSE BAUTISTA (TOR) - until the aliens come back to reclaim the powers they've given him, the home run master of the universe plays north of the border
OF: ANDREW McCUTCHEN (PIT) - the heart of the feisty Pirates squad, McCutchen has become a five category star.
OF: ADAM JONES (BAL) - he's come close to matching his 2010 stats in half a season and on the verge of realizing his potential.
SP: GIO GONZALEZ (OAK) - a sub 2.50 ERA and close to a strikeout an inning, almost all too typical of a young pitcher in the Oakland system.
RP: DREW STOREN (WASH) - closers come and go at a rapid pace as hitters figure them out and eat them for lunch; Storen seems like he's doing the opposite.
THE MacBETH TEAM. Everyone on this team will be pretty fun to have and make a lot of noise as they have some fantastic games but in the end, it won't amount to much as they won't help you this year.
C: Wilson Ramos
1B: Eric Hosmer
2B: Dustin Ackley
SS: Dee Gordon
3B: Mike Moustakas
OF: Desmond Jennings
OF: Mike Trout
OF: Domonic Brown
SP: Dillon Gee
RP: Jake McGee
Response: Leaving aside the homer-Indian pipe dreams, this is good stuff. Well done Schultzie.
Final Thought: All I could see in my head when I heard that the prosecution caused a mistrial in the Clemens case by failing to follow a court order was the image of Raul Julia as Sandy Stern in Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent saying "what a colossal blunder!" My two cents -- Clemens walks and the Hall of Fame debate reignites.