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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 6/29/2008 5:07:00 PM
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After another brilliant performance Sunday, Kevin Slowey has to be considered a major asset in even the shallowest of mixed leagues. His current 3.47 ERA will likely never be better because of his tendency to give up home runs, but his control is outstanding (1.12 BB/9 IP), so most of the long balls are solo shots, leaving him with an exemplary WHIP (1.04). His last four starts have all come against NL teams, which has certainly helped, but his 6:1 K:BB ratio on the year is elite. Teammate Scott Baker has been similarly impressive.

If a fantasy draft were held today, Iíd have no problem whatsoever with C.C. Sabathia being the first pitcher taken. How about a 36:4 K:BB ratio over the past four starts? On May 3, he had a 7.51 ERA Ė 10 starts later that number is all the way down to 3.78. Sabathia gave up six more runs over the first 18 innings this season than heís allowed during 96.1 innings since. Last seasonís big workload is still a concern, but thereís certainly nothing to worry about the way Sabathia is currently throwing.

Thereís not much to like about Pedro Martinezís 7.12 ERA and 1.75 WHIP, but consider his last three starts came against the Rangers, Rockies (in Coors Field) and Yankees, so Iím not ready to write him off just yet.

Itís safe to say Billy Beane is kicking himself for not dealing Joe Blanton during the offseason. After getting pounded by the Giants on Sunday, Blantonís ERA is now an ugly 4.97. His BABIP is similar to last season, but heís walking more batters while striking fewer out. His true skill level is probably somewhere in between last year and this year.

Even though I own him in zero leagues, I hated to see Jacob McGee go down. The Rays are still in place for a big run this decade, but that was a major blow.

Over his last four starts, Rocky Nolasco has posted a 27:4 K:BB ratio with a 0.91 WHIP, so he can no longer be ignored. His BABIP and strand rate arenít flukish, and last yearís awful campaign can be directly related to injury. The former fourth round pick once posted a 2.95 ERA and 1.21 WHIP with a 9.63 K/9 IP mark in Double-A as a 22-year-old, so this isnít coming completely out of nowhere. Nolasco has also increased his velocity this year. With three upcoming starts against the Nationals, Padres and Dodgers before the All-Star break, he needs to be owned in fantasy leagues.

Gil Meche endured a rough April, but he has a 1.13 WHIP with a 3.1:1 K:BB ratio since then. His terrible first month is still bringing down his overall numbers, but a 7.8 K/9 IP mark over the last two months suggests heís well worth owning. Contracts like Barry Zitoís and Carlos Silvaís are going to look far worse than the one Meche signed.

So far, my preseason advice to avoid Javier Vazquez at all costs has looked good. He hasnít allowed fewer than four runs in any of his starts during the month of June. Like the rest of his career (other than last yearís aberration), his fantastic K rate and K:BB ratio donít match up to his ERA. Vazquez has been unlucky (.345 BABIP), so expect his WHIP to drop, but he still allows too many homers and struggles from the stretch to be a help in the ERA department. And in all fairness, I was also high on Brett Myers entering the year.

Hopefully David DeJesusí recent rib injury isnít too bad, because heís been a nice surprise in 2008, thanks in no small part to a major league leading .463 batting average with runners in scoring position. Donít mess with the DeJesus.


Excellent Lebowski reference.
Posted by Erickson at 6/29/2008 5:15:00 PM
There's always "a draft held today" my friend. You know how to reach me.

Nolasco's emergence as 2008 useful actually dates back to early May.

Scribbled in the Harvard bathroom, in different handwriting: "Jesus is the answer . . . What's the question?. . . Who was the third Alou?"
Posted by spianow at 6/29/2008 5:45:00 PM
Did somebody say draft?
Posted by MPStopa at 6/29/2008 6:02:00 PM
I wonder if Beane has been too busy patting himself on the back for not resigning Zito/laughing at the Giants and forgot to deal Blanton.
Posted by kevinccp at 6/29/2008 6:34:00 PM
The difference between Zito, Meche, and Silva is Meche's stuff. I'll pay the extra dollar for the hard-thrower (caveat: without a serious history of problems, and with semi-decent control) than the soft-tossing innings-eater who put up a few good seasons.
Posted by bscwik at 6/29/2008 8:45:00 PM
6/28/2008 early afternoon: Barring a more encouraging second opinion Saturday, Isringhausen (knee) is headed back to the disabled list, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. A Friday MRI indicated a strained ligament in Isringhausen's right knee. It's been a tough season for Izzy, who looks to be out at least a couple of weeks whether he hits the DL or not.

6/28/2008 9pm: Team doctor George Paletta told Jason Isringhausen late Friday night that his right knee strain will not require a stint on the DL."[Paletta] said there was a very minute chance that I would hurt it more," Isringhausen said. "So I'll just put a brace on it and take some Tylenol." Izzy will take a few more days off to rest but should be active in the bullpen by the middle of next week.

6/29/2008: J Isringhausen 1.2 IP 2 hits 1 BB 1 ER THIRTY-EIGHT PITCHES!!!!!

What the heck is wrong with Tony Larussa? Seriously??? He's a nut job...
Posted by billgoofnow at 6/29/2008 9:13:00 PM
Glad you caught the Lebowski reference...Nolasco actually has been useful for a while now, you're right Pianow...Beane isn't infallible after all, although maybe he pushed hard to deal Blanton and there were just no decent offers...I'm with you on preferring hard throwers over soft stuff Bret, although that does also assume more injury risk. Still, need those Ks...No clue what Larussa was thinking with the Izzy situation.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 6/30/2008 7:48:00 AM
Dalton, you're presuming LaRussa thinks.
Posted by MPStopa at 6/30/2008 8:19:00 AM
Any predictions of fireworks in TB tonight?
Posted by kevinccp at 6/30/2008 12:57:00 PM
The thing is, the umps are on such notice, they won't let even a hint of trouble start with the Rays/Sox. Although it could get interesting once Papelbon makes an appearance.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 6/30/2008 11:54:00 PM
Eh, I think La Russa is a mixed bag. Surely having not one, but two books hype him up (George Will, Buzz Bissinger) have made him a little too larger than life, but at the same time, I think he does get a lot of mileage out of what he has, especially on the hitting side of the ledger.
Posted by Erickson at 7/1/2008 11:01:00 AM
It would be hard not to vote LaRussa as Manager of the Year right now in the NL, right?
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/1/2008 11:56:00 AM
Man, I was just sitting at my desk and I heard a RIDICULOUSLY loud whistling noise.

I looked outside, and I saw a red/orange glowing object moving VERY quickly in the sky.

I went to google to see if it was the space shuttle, but it turns out it was just Edinson Volquez returning to Earth.

Last two outings:

@ Toronto: 4 1/3 IP 6 hits 3 walks 5 ER ZERO Ks
Tonite vs Pirates: 5 1/3 IP 7 hits 3 walks 3 ER only 3 K

It's only two starts, but I believe the unavoidable correction has begun.
Posted by billgoofnow at 7/1/2008 6:48:00 PM
billgoof, as the Cardinals beat writer, I want to thank you for quoting my brilliant prose. Seriously though, the Cardinals pitching staff - particularly its bullpen - has been in tatters lately. They probably desperately needed Izzy to get those five outs because maybe no one else was available. How they manage to keep winning with the problems they've had is beyond me. Like him or hate him, TLR is hands-down the manager of the year in the NL right now.
Posted by kennruby at 7/2/2008 11:58:00 AM
It was bound to happen with Volquez at some point.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 7/2/2008 8:00:00 PM

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