Raging Wild FiersWednesday, August 08, 2012
Brewers right-hander Michael Fiers was a 22nd-round selection in 2009 out of Nova Southeastern University and didn’t make it anywhere close to Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects list this past winter. But everybody is taking notice of him now.
Fiers carried a perfect game into the seventh inning on Tuesday night against the National League Central-leading Reds and is now sporting a 1.80 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 80/16 K/BB ratio through the first 80 innings of his major league career.
His fastball is far from dominant -- with an average velocity of 88 mph -- but he mixes in a deceptive cutter, a sweeping curve and a changeup, and has been able to keep big league hitters off balance thus far without showing any signs of a looming regression.
Fiers had a 2.80 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and 9.6 K/9 across 346-plus innings in the Brewers’ minor league system before being promoted to Milwaukee in late May. The 27-year-old should be up for good, and he should be started in all standard fantasy leagues going forward no matter what the matchup looks like.
D’Backs Strike Gold With Johnson Acquisition
When the Astros dealt third baseman Chris Johnson to the Diamondbacks just before the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for prospects Bobby Borchering and Marc Krauss, most called it a victory for Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Johnson had reached his peak with the ‘Stros, the analysts said, and Luhnow did well to inject some more talent into his farm system. But suddenly a case can be made that Arizona’s acquisition of the 27-year-old from Naples, Florida was the most impactful move made by any team last month. Because he has been an absolute force here in August for the Snakes.
Johnson hit two home runs and tallied a total of five RBI on Tuesday night in a 10-4 defeat of the Wild Card-leading Pirates. He now has five home runs and 15 RBI in just eight games played with his new club.
Johnson has always carried decent power potential and is now playing for a team that boasts one of the most power-friendly home parks in Major League Baseball. Perhaps this is a match made in heaven.
San Fran Turning To Affeldt, Romo For Saves
Giants manager Bruce Bochy finally opened up to reporters on Tuesday evening about his strategy for the club’s ninth-inning role, and it should please some opportunistic, waiver-hunting fantasy owners.
Jeremy Affeldt, a left-hander with a 2.56 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 45 2/3 innings this year, will split save opportunities down the stretch with Sergio Romo, a right-hander with a 2.06 ERA and 0.94 WHIP through 35 innings. This according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com.
Javier Lopez will also be in line for opportunities should those two need rest. All three warrant ownership in standard fantasy leagues, though it was Affeldt who was called upon to close out Tuesday night's 4-2 victory over the defending World Series champion Cardinals.
National League Quick Hits: The Reds aren’t planning to activate Joey Votto (knee) from the disabled list until early next week … Troy Tulowitzki fielded 70 grounders on Tuesday without feeling any lingering discomfort in his groin … Nationals closer Tyler Clippard collected his 23rd save of the season in Tuesday’s defeat of the Astros … Tommy Hanson (back) is aiming to return to the Braves when first eligible on August 15 … Cole Hamels tossed his first shutout since 2009 in Tuesday’s victory over the Braves … Allen Craig has 17 home runs and 58 RBI in just 69 games played this season … Brewers reliever Jim Henderson earned his first career save in Tuesday’s win against the Reds … Pablo Sandoval (hamstring) could return to the Giants on Sunday … Pirates youngster Starling Marte launched the third home run of his career in Tuesday’s loss to the Diamondbacks … Alfonso Soriano is day-to-day with a bruised right hand … Steve Cishek tallied his seventh save of 2012 in the Marlins’ win over the Mets on Tuesday … Ryan Howard has five home runs and 12 RBI in 25 games since returning to the Phillies … Nationals starter Ross Detwiler lowered his season ERA to 2.99 with another fine performance Tuesday against Houston … Jose Reyes could need some time off soon to rest his sore right hand … The Cubs placed starter Matt Garza on the 15-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his right elbow … Yonder Alonso is day-to-day because of a minor hamstring issue … The Giants have expressed interest in free agent first baseman Lyle Overbay … Henry Blanco is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn UCL in his left thumb … The Astros placed Jordan Schafer on the disabled list with a separated shoulder … Jason Bay has been stripped of his role as the Mets’ everyday left fielder.
American League Quick Hits: Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera homered for a third consecutive game Tuesday while boosting his league-leading RBI total to 95 … Brett Lawrie remains day-to-day with an aggravated oblique … Evan Longoria singled and drove home a run with a sacrifice fly in his return from the disabled list Tuesday … White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup because of a sore right knee but expects to return on Wednesday … Jose Bautista is still experiencing pain in his left wrist and is scheduled to visit with a specialist later this week … Indians closer Chris Perez blew his second straight save opportunity in Tuesday’s loss to the Twins … Colby Rasmus hit his 20th homer and tallied his 66th RBI in a loss to the Rays on Tuesday … Ryan Dempster held the Red Sox to three (unearned) runs over 6 1/3 innings Tuesday in his second start since joining the Rangers … Yankees corner infielder Eric Chavez has three home runs in his past six starts … Rays closer Fernando Rodney earned his 33rd save of the season in Tuesday’s defeat of the Blue Jays … Alejandro De Aza (back stiffness) is hoping to return to action on Wednesday … Carlos Villanueva will return to Toronto’s starting rotation on Wednesday after missing a couple of days while taking care of a private matter … The A’s activated shortstop Cliff Pennington from the disabled list … The Rays designated infielder Brooks Conrad for assignment … Brendan Ryan missed a third straight game Tuesday with a left elbow bruise … Jose Lopez was designated for assignment by the Indians.