Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Medlen Bedlam

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Few things in sports -- no, few things in life -- compare to Major League Baseball’s July 31 trade deadline. And the advent of Twitter, blogs and immediate information-sharing has made it even more of a wild ride.

The @Rotoworld_BB crew pumped out over 200 player news blurbs throughout the day Tuesday, many of which contained pinches of fantasy advice. But let’s offer a quick of review of the more fantasy-relevant deadline transactions here in Wednesday’s Daily Dose for readers who couldn’t follow a pace so brisk:

The Giants acquired outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros. And will start him in right field. San Francisco’s offense isn’t much better than Philly’s and AT&T Park can be a tough place to hit, but perhaps the change of scenery will kick Pence into gear. The owner of an .823 career OPS, he was batting just .271 with a .784 OPS in 101 games for the Phillies.

The Reds landed reliever Jonathan Broxton from the Royals. It’s a trade that kills Broxton’s fantasy value because he’s not going to leapfrog Aroldis Chapman for save opportunities in Cincy, but it does leave an opening back in Kansas City. And Greg Holland has the type of dominant stuff that could give him significant fantasy value down the stretch.

The Rangers got right-handed starter Ryan Dempster from the Cubs. It would be foolish to expect the veteran’s 2.25 ERA to improve or even hold firm, but his potential for wins does skyrocket and that sort of thing is big in standard fantasy leagues. Dempster had a cool 1.04 WHIP and 83/27 K/BB ratio in his 104 innings this season with Chicago.

The Pirates took a chance on first baseman Gaby Sanchez, acquiring him from Miami. The trade should at least get Sanchez back into a major league uniform. He was batting .302/.431/.491 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 34 games for the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans and is capable of earning a good chunk of playing time in Pittsburgh.



Liriano Appears Refreshed In White Sox Debut

White Sox pitching Don Cooper told reporters a few days after the White Sox acquired Francisco Liriano from the Twins that he had already identified some changes that the left-hander could make to improve his performance. And Cooper apparently wasn’t blowing steam.

Liriano looked sharp in his debut with the Pale Hose on Tuesday night at Minnesota’s Target Field, allowing just two runs on four hits over six innings in a 4-3 defeat of his former team. He fanned eight and threw a season-high 113 pitches without showing any signs of fatigue.

Liriano displayed flashes of dominance earlier this season with the Twins and has now racked up 117 strikeouts in 106 innings this year. He has the goods to be a force down the stretch for Chicago and is worth adding again in standard mixed fantasy leagues.



Atlanta’s Medlen Shines In First Start Of Season

The Braves weren’t able to land a starter at the deadline, so they turned inward in an effort to find a fix for their starting rotation woes. As it turns out, they should have been looking there the whole time.

Kris Medlen, who has operated as a reliever since the 2010 campaign, finally got a chance to prove his worthiness for a rotation spot on Tuesday night against the Marlins and did not disappoint. The 26-year-old right-hander yielded just one run on four hits as the Braves cruised to a 7-1 victory. He struck out three, walked one and needed only 57 pitches to get through his five impressive frames.

Medlen is sure to get another opportunity this weekend and could soon become a long-term option in Atlanta's rotation mix. Pick him up in fantasy leagues before he gets too popular.



National League Quick Hits: Pirates right-hander A.J. Burnett carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning Tuesday against the Cubs … Brandon Phillips admitted to reporters late Tuesday night that his left calf strain will keep him out “a while” … Tim Lincecum held the Mets to one run in seven innings Tuesday, earning his fifth victory … Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia (shoulder) will make his second rehab start Saturday at Double-A Springfield … Cliff Lee collected his second win of the season Tuesday after throwing seven scoreless innings against the Nationals … The Cubs are expected to place Matt Garza on the disabled list because of a lingering triceps injury … Astros closer Wilton Lopez is day-to-day with tightness in his right elbow … Ryan Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche, both dealing with back injuries, are expected to return to the Nationals’ starting lineup on Wednesday … Dexter Fowler was scratched Tuesday against the Cardinals due to a flu-like illness … Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick is suddenly on pace for 28 home runs and 82 RBI … Aubrey Huff was placed on the disabled list with a right knee strain … Rafael Furcal remains day-to-day with a sore back … Domonic Brown was called up by the Phillies on Tuesday and should get everyday playing time down the stretch … The Padres placed Yasmani Grandal on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique … Matt Harvey took his first loss Tuesday despite allowing only two earned runs over six innings against the Giants … Tommy Hanson landed on the disabled list Tuesday with a lower back strain.

American League Quick Hits: Angels first baseman Albert Pujols launched a pair of solo home runs on Tuesday night against the Rangers and is now on pace for 31 dingers and 104 RBI … Miguel Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk on Tuesday against the Red Sox, lifting his RBI total to 85 … Evan Longoria (hamstring) suffered a minor setback on his rehab assignment and is no longer expected to return from the disabled list Friday … The Yankees activated Joba Chamberlain from the 60-day disabled list after a nearly 14-month absence … Jered Weaver collected his league-leading 14th win Tuesday in the Angels’ defeat of the Rangers  … White Sox left-hander John Danks will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery on Monday … Justin Verlander yielded four runs in five innings Tuesday in a rain-shortened loss to Boston … Neftali Feliz is scheduled to undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery on Wednesday … The Royals have identified Greg Holland as their new closer … Ryan Dempster is scheduled to make his debut for the Rangers on Thursday against Texas … Still with the Rays, right-hander James Shields tossed a three-hit shutout, striking out 11, Tuesday against the A’s … Josh Beckett made an early exit from his start Tuesday against the Tigers due to lower back spasms … Ryan Sweeney had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken knuckle and is likely done for the season … The Orioles placed Jim Thome on the disabled list with a herniated disk.



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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