Eno Sarris

Baseball Daily Dose

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S is for Strasburg & September

Thursday, August 25, 2011


It's time to make sure that Stephen Strasburg is not available in any of your shallow leagues. He's got Triple-A rehab starts scheduled for Saturday and then September first, and then he might join the major league team. He's not really ahead of schedule, he's just on schedule, and schedules for Tommy John recovery have just gotten shorter as doctors have gotten better at it. There's really no reason not to pick him up if he's staring you in the face, unless you're in a shallow league and really need every single stat to get into the playoffs.

A few other health updates went well. Justin Upton's plunked elbow was fine, as he returned to the lineup Wednesday. Adam Jones recovered from his chest pains and also rejoined the lineup. Hanley Ramirez took batting practice Tuesday, and his manager said he wouldn't have a long rehab stint and could be back early next week. David Ortiz returned! Too bad for Ryan Lavarnway, but the kid will factor into the Red Sox plans next year, somehow. Dee Gordon will begin his rehab assignment Thursday and will surely return right when the rosters expand. Grady Sizemore took batting practice and might begin a rehab assignment this weekend as well.

But the grim news comes for us all at some point. Shin-Soo Choo was scratched from Wednesday's lineup with 'trunk soreness,' but hopefully it's not a big deal. Colby Rasmus needs at least three days to recover from his wrist sprain. Alex Rodriguez is out again with his thumb injury, and this offseason is the last time you'll get good value for him in a keeper trade, so wait for the end of the year and then consider shopping him. Jayson Werth is day-to-day with a groin injury. B.J. Upton missed his second straight with his shoulder issues. He hans't started throwing yet, which means Sam Fuld gets more time. Raul Ibanez might return Friday from his sore groin, but John Mayberry Jr .might have hit him into a platoon role while he was gone. Eh, these aren't so grim, at least not for fantasy players.

* Some waiver claims made big news Wednesday, but they'll likely fail to produce real change. Heath Bell was claimed by the Giants, but he's a Type A free agent, and it doesn't seem likely that the Giants will give the Padres something better than the two picks they would get for Bell's departure. Bell himself reported that he wasn't traded. Wandy Rodriguez was also claimed by the Rockies but then was pulled back. He didn't have a good game in Colorado Wednesday (two strikeouts, four walks, ten hits, four earned in six innings), but his stuff should actually translate well to Coors Field. Studies have shone that sinkers, cutters and fastballs suffer the most in that park, and that curveballs and changeups move just about the same as normal. Those are Wandy's best pitches. File that away for later. Carlos Pena made it all the way down to the Yankees, but the Cubs pulled him back, or at least so goes the newest rumor. Jim Thome and Jason Kubel are still waiting to hear if their waiver claims will turn into a deal. It's tough to navigate the waiver deadline, and there may not be a single trade to come out of all of these rumors. Well, other than Kevin Kouzmanoff in Colorado, who went hitless in five at-bats in his debut. Whoo-hoo!

* Let's talk pitching. The only thing Josh Tomlin does in an above-average way is not walk people, and though that seems like enough for some matchups, you can't stream everyone against the Mariners. Tomlin gave up six runs in fewer than five innings and might not even stick in the rotation. Javier Vazquez struck out 11 and hit 94 on the gun! He's still talking about retiring and is probably a spot starter, really. Tim Lincecum struck out seven, walked five and gutted out eight innings with one run against Tim Stauffer, who only struck out one, walked none, and gave up two runs in his six innings. Both guys should be owned universally at this point. Make sure Max Scherzer is owned, too. He kept the Rays to two runs in five innings, and he struck out four, which he does. Of course Trevor Cahill held the Yankees to two runs in six innings when we all put him on our bench. He's still doing better than we think we this year.

* How about being hot at the plate. Kyle Seager went four-for-four Wednesday to give him ten hits in 26 hours. Fire. He doesn't have a ton of power or speed upside, but he could put up a decent batting average and help the Mariners at third base, which has been a tough position this year around baseball. Logan Morrison returned from his undeserved attitude rehab and hit a home run. He's a good pickup in most leagues, even if his power is not elite and he has little speed. Carlos Beltran hit a solo home run, and since the Giants only scored two runs, he was half the offense. Pick him up if someone dropped him for some reason. Justin Morneau got a hit. That makes him hot. Four-for-four with two home runs makes Coco Crisp suddenly hot. Samesies for Nick Swisher and his two solo home runs. Oh, and some dude named Joey Votto hit two home runs too. Brett Lawrie tripled and homered and why isn't he 100% owned yet?

* The (bull)pendulum swings. Bobby Parnell finally got his first major league save as The Closer. Captain Fastball touched 102 by the end of the inning, but he did put two runners on. He's a classic gas guy, but while he's young and under team control, he could make for a decent young cheap closer in New York, which hasn't happened for a while. Kenley Jansen is back in the major leagues, and really, he's a better pitcher than Javy Guerra. Who knows what that means any more. Leo Nunez has been bad recently, and wasn't available Wednesday, but he hasn't lost his job yet, says his manager. It probably helped Nunez's case that Edward Mujica failed at his first chance to close a game and needed Steve Cishek to come in and bail him out. Mujica might still be the next in line for another chance. Brian Wilson could play catch Thursday, but Sergio Romo will beat him back because he had a 30-pitch bullpen.

National League Quick Hits: Chris Narveson will miss his next start but isn't headed to the DL again … Chipper Jones hit a solo home run and that's three in six games; Don't forget that he's useful … Nate Schierholtz won't injure himself further if he plays, so he'll try to soldier through his fracture in his foot … Jon Niese and Scott Hairston officially hit the DL Wednesday … Alfonso Soriano hit a home run against the Braves and is a power-only play in most leagues … Ryan Ludwick hit the DL with back spasms … Brian Bogusevic had three hits and is playing against most righties, to the detriment of Jason BourgeoisLivan Hernandez gave up four runs in 7 1/3 innings and been as bad as his peripherals since the break … Randy Wells held the Braves to one run in 6 2/3 but he doesn't really have the secondary stats to support fantasy worthiness … A.J. Ellis is catching again in the show, but has no power and is really best used in very deep OBP leagues … Pat Burrell might retire if he can't play on his chronically injured foot.

American League Quick Hits: Carl Crawford homered, doubled, and drove in five, so don't sit him against lefties … Kevin Youkilis (back) wants to be back September 2nd … Carlos Santana left Wednesday's game after a few foul balls hit his mask, but it was a blowout and might not mean much … It doesn't sound like Carlos Quentin will play Friday, and this sprained shoulder might take a little time … Jeremy Guthrie struck out five and walked two and held the Twins to one run in seven innings, but that might mean something about the Twins as a good matchup … In the same way, Wade Davis held the Tigers to two runs in nine innings despite not really owning a stand-out skill … Trayvon Robinson was hot, but went oh-fer Wednesday and needs to work on his strikeouts … Brandon Allen also strikes out too much to have a good batting average, but he's playing every day from here on out, says his manager … Kevin Slowey gave up five runs in fewer than five innings, but he only walked one and that's his game … Wily Mo Pena homered for the Mariners Wednesday and could get some at-bats for them since they need power so badly.


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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