Eno Sarris

Baseball Daily Dose

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Murphy, Mets Meet Doctor

Monday, August 08, 2011

More than a few hearts sank this weekend, especially in New York. Jose Reyes left the game Sunday with a sore hamstring. It was the same hammy that caused him to lose time earlier this season. The team is calling it a mild pull but hasn't stated how much time he might miss. The Mets were hit hard over the weekend as Daniel Murphy, who has stepped forward as a cracker-jack infielder with a professional bat, suffered an MCL tear when Jose Costanza slid into him at second base. The Irish Hammer is out for the season. Even a former Met was hit. Carlos Beltran sprained his wrist and might miss a few games.

Other assorted health updates from the weekend are due. Chase Headley broke his pinkie but he's not on the DL yet. The team will try to figure it out soon. Add Hanley Ramirez to the list of players with cloudy futures. He sat out again Sunday but says he wants to play. He also says he doesn't have full range of motion in his shoulder. Sit him out if you can.

Some guys are on their way back. Alex Rodriguez will probably begin his rehab Friday, which would be not a moment too soon for his owners. Brian McCann has taken two straight days of batting practice without pain in his oblique. He think he'll be back in a week-plus. Jair Jurrjens just went on the DL with his knee issues, but the team backdated the move and it looks like he'll be back as soon as he's eligible August 17th. Mike Minor is a great young pitcher that should be a decent spot start in the next week-plus. Victor Martinez might be back Tuesday from his left knee sprain, according to his manager. Shin-Soo Choo is going to begin a rehab assignment Monday. Indians former and present getting healthy. Stephen Strasburg only got five outs in his first rehab start, but he was in the upper 90s on the gun so it was a huge first step. Juan Nicasio had surgery to repair a fracture in his neck after that scary line drive incident. The Rockies trainer said the prognosis for recovery is good, even if the surgery and injury were rare.

* Like a first kiss, a first home run must stick in the memory banks forever. Brett Lawrie broke the seal with a solo job off of Alfredo Simon. After his weekend, it seems that he might be an immediate boon in leagues of all sizes. He has a little power and speed and doesn't strike out a ton, and he's looked comfortable so far. Lawrie is supposed to have more power than fellow second base prospect Jason Kipnis, who hit his fifth home run this weekend, all before his 60th plate appearances. The Blue Jay is a definite add. Though Trayvon Robinson also hit his first home run (another solo home run, off of Tyler Chatwood), he's not as much of an immediate add. He strikes out enough that it might be an issue for his batting average, and his power is not no-doubt enough to depend on in Seattle. He's more of a deep league play, highlight real catches or no.

* Let's look at the notable pitching performances of the weekend. Roy Oswalt had his first start since June, but it wasn't good. He gave up 12 hits in six innings in what should have been a nice matchup for him. You can't cut him in mixed leagues, but it's possible that his back is going to bother him the rest of the season. Now you know what paragraph this is. Javier Vazquez has re-found some of his velocity, but he's still living on the edge. He gave up four runs in six against the Cardinals. Call the six strikeouts a good sign if you want to be positive. Bud Norris gave up six runs in five innings, but it was the fact that he only struck out two that is more worrisome. Usually, he'll give you the strikeouts and be iffy with the rest. Tommy Hanson gave up seven runs in 3 1/3 on Saturday. It wouldn't be of much concern except that he faded down the stretch the last couple of years and has had a few bad starts in a row now. He's still a fantasy ace.

Ian Kennedy only struck three in seven innings, but he headlines the good paragraph because he only allowed three runs. He should be owned in all leagues. John Lannan only gave up one run in six-plus innings, so he gets to hang with these pitchers right now. But he doesn't belong here, as he has no strikeout punch (three on Sunday), and with an average walk rate, his ground-ball ways only make him interesting in deeper leagues. Ervin Santana held the Mariners to one run in 8 1/3 innings and is smoking hot. He might not be this good, but why deal him away when his downside is workable? Jaime Garcia gave up two earned runs in five innings, and struck out five. He's an excellent young pitcher, and shouldn't really see a cap this season. At worst, the team will skip a start or two of his down the stretch to keep him fresh. Trevor Cahill gave up three runs in four-plus against the Rays, but he also struck out seven. In some ways, he's pitching better this year, but the results haven't shown it recently. Don't drop him in mixed leagues. Mat Latos is worth picking up for anything less than full price. He struck out seven and gave up two runs in seven against the Pirates. He's a fantasy ace.

* What about the players at the plate? Albert Pujols hit his 26 and 27th home runs this weekend. Did we think this was a bad season? There's no way Adam Dunn makes this season a good one. Now his manager is thinking about giving him another extended break from the lineup. Yuck. Adam Jones hit his 20th home run of the season, a career-high for him. He's probably a little above his head right now, considering his career power numbers. Jorge Posada has been benched and the Yankees are thinking about calling up Jesus Montero in the next couple of weeks. Montero is an exciting catcher prospect in most leagues, given the state of the position. Apparently Aubrey Huff won't get the same treatment. His manager says he's going to hit Huff in the middle of his lineup the rest of the way. Huff's been better over the past two weeks but he's still pretty useless.

* Closers close the paragraphs too. Ron Washington says now that Neftali Feliz is in no danger of losing his closing duties, but that was right before Mike Adams saved the game with Feliz unavailable. And Feliz did blow a save Saturday. And Feliz does have worse peripherals than his fellow late-inning relievers. Maybe all those Adams owners held on to him all season for a reason! Javy Guerra collected his tenth save Friday with a four-out scoreless effort against the Diamondbacks. He might be good enough to hold the job all year.

National League Quick Hits: Zack Greinke pitched like the great pitcher he is when he held the Astros to one run in seven with six strikeouts Sunday … Brandon Phillips sprained his ankle and is day-to-day … Dan Uggla's hit streak is up to 28 games … Will Venable had three hits and two stolen bases Sunday and is playable against righties on the road in more leagues than you might think … Corey Hart was hit in the hand, but X-rays were negative … Placido Polanco (hip) will be out of the lineup for a few more days … Jason Bay had three hits on Sunday and is starting to look worthy of a mixed league bench spot … Dee Gordon (shoulder) missed Sunday after hurting his shoulder on a dive and is day-to-day … Chipper Jones singled in his return from a quad issue … David Freese (concussion) worked out some and should be fine … Jose Altuve had two hits Sunday but the diminutive one is surviving on batted ball luck right now … Todd Frazier doubled and homered and is an option in all deeper leagues right now … The Dodgers' Nathan Eovaldi held Arizona to two runs in five innings and is an interesting sleeper for deeper leagues … Alex Presley (thumb) will begin his rehab this week … Cody Ransom hit his first home run as a D-back and could begin to steal at-bats from Willie BloomquistBarry Zito (foot) will begin a rehab assignment Monday … Yonder Alonso hurt his ankle on a sprinkler head, no lie, but should be day-to-day at worst … Team-mate Chris Heisey hit the DL though, so Dave Sappelt and Fred Lewis will split time in left field … Justin Turner hit two home runs for the Mets on Sunday but doesn't have power like that and isn't a mixed leaguer … Big Man Kyle Blanks had five RBI Saturday (a grand slam helped) and power is his best attribute, but he's a deep leaguer for now.

American League Quick Hits: Adrian Beltre (hamstring) won't be ready for another three weeks after aggravating his hamstring running the bases Saturday … Jed Lowrie will be back Monday and will jump right back into competing with Marco Scutaro for time … Max Scherzer struck out five in five, but labored some and allowed four runs to the Royals … J.J. Hardy's ankle will be fine long term, but he's still day-to-day … Jake Peavy held the Twins scoreless and struck out six in eight innings, so he's a play while he's healthy … Mark Reynolds hit two solo jacks Sunday … Colby Rasmus hit his first home run as a Blue Jay and has been better of late … Josh Reddick got the walk-off single to end the extra-inning affair Sunday night against the Yankees and useful in all leagues … Phil Hughes lost that game, which probably doesn't mean much other than a possible missed start … Alex Rios homered and is now five for his past nine; He could he be on the comeback trail perhaps … There's some speculation Kevin Slowey could rejoin the Twins rotation soon, perhaps to the detriment of Nick Blackburn, especially since the two pitchers are on the same schedule and Slowey is pitching well … Matt LaPorta (sore foot) was hit by a pitch Friday and thinks he'll be back by Tuesday … Coco Crisp has a strained calf and missed Sunday's game … Mike Carp had three hits (one a home run) but he's getting insanely lucky on batted balls and won't show a batting average like this going forward … Justin Smoak said his thumb felt better and he's a day or two away … Alex Cobb has some numbness in his right hand and dead-arm, so he's on the DL … An MRI on the shoulder of Chris Davis revealed nothing serious.

Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
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