Timeout for a shameless piece of self-promotion: Don’t forget to tune in to hear Rick Wolf and me on Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio Tuesday nights from 8-11pm eastern time. It’s a fun three hours of sports, fantasy and goofy humor.
Justin Maxwell: Justin Maxwell hit his 7th dinger of the year Friday. In just 104 ABs, Maxwell has 20 RBI to go with the 7 HR. He may not be a star, but he is a player who has long been touted as an athletic power/speed combo and is finally getting his chance to shine in the rebuilding project that is the Houston Astros. I would not be surprised to see the Astros move El Caballo (Carlos Lee) before the trading deadline, opening up even greater opportunity for Maxwell. Those in deep leagues should buy and hold. Those in shallow leagues should ride the current wave. Just be warned that Maxwell's 13K/2BB over the last two weeks of the hot steak shows a low batting average will likely accompany the power Maxwell provides.
Kyle Drabek: In terrible news for Kyle Drabek and the Jays, Drabek has a ligament tear in his right elbow and likely will undergo Tommy John surgery. If you own Drabek in a fantasy league and can divorce yourself from the human issue of not wanting to see anyone get hurt, you will see that you caught a break. Drabek was not going to give you quality ratios as his whopping WHIP of 1.60 shows. On the other hand, the injury does open the door for the return of Brett Cecil. The southpaw has been doing quite well in the minors since his surprise demotion in March -- 3.47 ERA and 40/14 K/BB ratio over 49 1/3 innings. Cecil makes a nice speculative buy especially in AL only leagues.
Ryan Vogelsong: Ryan Vogelsong was dealing Friday, giving up just two runs and four hits in seven innings. Thus far this year, Vogelsong is proving doubters wrong with a 6-2 record and 2.29 ERA. Vogelsong has posted at least 7 straight quality starts and won 5 of those. Can this continue? Yes. Not only is Ryan hot, he pitches in a great pitcher's park. Having been there to see the game Tuesday night, I can tell you that the dimensions seem even bigger in person. Notch up the value of all Giant pitchers when they pitch at home.
Anthony Bass: Anthony Bass continues to struggle. He is no longer the quality roto spot starter he was a month ago. Last night Bass was filleted for seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings by the offensively challenge A's. With an ERA of 4.88 and rising, Bass should be reserved or cut in all but the very deepest NL only leagues. If the A's hit him hard . . . nothing good is likely to come about in the near future.
Brandon Phillips: Brandon Phillips is en fuego. Phillips went yard for the third straight game yesterday. Yes, he is a frustrating player to own as he never seems to have that monster year you think he should have. However, he plays the weak 2B position and has been great all month-- .339, 4HR and 15 RBI in 13 games. If you can snag Phillips away from his owner, do it. Talk up his failure to hit even .280 in four of the five years before 2011 and his failure to hit more than 21 HR since 2007 and maybe you can get yourself a bargain.
Jason Bay: The cursed tenure of JasonBay with the Mets continues. After finally having a good game -- his first in memory -- on Thursday hitting a homer and stealing a base, Bay now has a concussion and is likely headed back to the DL. It may just be time to give up on Bay and his .187 batting average. The only silver lining is that the Mets can go back to playing Andres Torres for speed and defense and the productive Kirk Nieuwenhuis (.297, 6HR, 38 runs scored). If you own one of those players in an NL league, your team just got better.
Phil Hughes: Phil Hughes had another good start last night leading the Yankees to their 7th straight win. The good news is that Hughes mowed down 9 Nats while walking only 2. The bad news is that he still loses focus at critical points. The only run he did give up was when he mysteriously hung a curveball to Michael Morse after blowing two fastballs by him. For roto purposes, Hughes strikes out a lot of guys, pitches for a team that will give him plenty of run support and opportunities for wins. In the world of real world baseball, you just have to worry about the big mistake in close games.
Carlos Marmol: Carlos Marmol is again the closer for the Cubs. The question is: how long will it last this time? My view -- he will lose and regain the role a few more times this year. Given the wildness and miserable ratios (1.98 WHIP and more BB than K), you should chase Marmol only if you are desperate for saves. If you own James Russell, hold him. The lefty will still vulture a few saves and wins pitching in front of the mercurial Marmol.
Aubrey Huff: Doing his best Jason Bay imitation, Huff has followed stone cold performance (.155) with an injury. I think the era of Huff producing big roto numbers is over. In fact, I think with Brandon Belt, Gregor Blanco and of course, Melky Cabrera all hitting, there is little reason for Bruce Bochy to make room for Huff when he returns. Nothing more to see here. Move on.
Josh Beckett: According to reports, Josh Beckett will miss one or two starts due to shoulder inflammation. This is very frustrating for his roto owners. First, he has been solid (1.15 WHIP, K/B over 3.00) and will be out. Second, the fact that he may miss just one start means it is hard to know whether to reserve him. My view, do it. Even if you miss one start, it could be a rush back variety where the results are not up to par. Franklin Morales will take Beckett's turn and will likely be on a pitch count. However, he does have ability so he is worth watching for now.
And last and but not least, this from the Baron of the Bottom of the Page -- Schultz says: “If you've read this little part of the column for any period of time, you may have come to the realization that Schultz (mmm hmmm, third person again this week) is a fan of the Cleveland Indians. Yes, my friends, no bandwagons here. This will likely not come as much of a surprise but Mr. Schultz - the official father of Schultz Says - is also a Cleveland Indians fan. Since it's Father's Day this Sunday, Schultz thought an all-Cleveland Schultz Says might be appropriate.
Hopefully, you all remember the first Schultz Says (by the way, this week I'm breaking the Guinness World Record for saying Schultz in a 500 word blurb) of the year where Schultz said to ignore Chris Perez' horrific appearance on Opening Day. You may also remember this as the column where Colton the Overlord opined that Pure Rage would be traded at the All Star break because he forgets that a healthy Indians team is actually quite good. The outing was so bad, it made my 70-year-old father text his furious anger (mainly because he thinks Twittering is something that the men do on America's Top Model to show that they're FABulous). Since Opening Day, Perez rattled off 21 consecutive saves and leads the majors in that category, all while rallying the Cleveland fan base that wasn't paying him and his teammates the proper respect. There's no reason to think that Perez will falter in the second half or to believe that he'll be pitching elsewhere.
The other Opening Day Tribe hurler to raise eyebrows was Justin Masterson, who looked utterly dominant and seemed poised to live up the pre-season hype. Oh, strike that. Everyone was lining up to malign the centerpiece of the Victor Martinez trade and has gleefully rejoiced in his troubles the past six weeks. The difference between last year's model and this year's was control. Last year, Masterson hardly walked anyone; this year, it was free passes for all and it's made all the difference. Take note though, in his last four starts, Masterson has struck out 26 and only walked 6. This is a drastic turnaround from his May outings. Very likely someone cut Masterson and he's sitting on your waiver wire. Quietly pick him up and reap the benefits.
Happy Father's Day Mr. Schultz.
Oh yes, one last thing: GO THUNDER!!!! ”
Response: Yes, Chris Perez has been great, though a trade in July still could happen. Roster Vinnie Pestano too if you can. As to Masterson, next week Schultz will tell you why you should (or should not) believe Masterson can get lefties out consistently (something he has not done in the past). And Yes, GO THUNDER!!!! ”
Final Thoughts: Best wishes to all fathers out there and most importantly to my own! Dads, enjoy the day, some baseball and here is wishing that your roto teams are thriving!