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MLB Notes
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 8/19/2008 7:51:00 PM
View more posts by this author


Quietly, Jose Lopez has been a very valuable middle infielder this year. He doesn’t offer great speed or power, but he’s batting .298 and is on pace to finish with 80 runs scored and 88 RBI. That’s sneaky production.

Speaking of middle infield run producers, Jed Lowrie has been an excellent source of RBI since he took over shortstop duties for the injured Julio Lugo. Since the All-Star break, Lowrie has posted a .326/.404/.506 line with solid plate discipline. If you prorate his stats over a full season, you’d be looking at 108 runs batted in.

What has gotten into Paul Maholm? He’s allowed two runs or fewer in five of his last six starts, including a 52:14 KBB ratio since June ended. With a 2.94 ERA and 1.10 WHIP since the second half of the season started, the former first round pick looks to be putting it all together.

Could Dan Uggla’s nightmare of an All-Star game be having such a carryover effect? Since that game, he’s batting .189, and his power has all but evaporated. The weirdest part of his season has to be his .190/.289/.333 line against left-handers.

Max Scherzer has to be owned in all leagues right now. His arm feels fresh after returning from the DL, as his fastball has reached 97 mph. His slider and changeup are still coming along, but he has the stuff to make a major impact as soon as Arizona recalls him, something that figures to happen within a week or two. Rightfully, he’ll go back into the starting rotation.

As a Giants fan, it’s positively horrifying to hear that Matt Cain has thrown more pitches than anyone in the league. Tim Lincecum is No. 2.

Amazing what happens when Toronto quit messing with Adam Lind and just left him in the lineup. He’s batting .324 with six homers since the All-Star break, including four long balls over the past six games. Impressively, Lind has also hit southpaws even better than he has righties.

Ian Stewart is going to be the type of difference maker who wins fantasy leagues for those who added him when he was called up last month. He has 27 RBI during the 28 games since getting recalled. Production like that is pretty hard to find for someone available at second base. Remarkably, the left-hander has posted a 1.330 OPS against southpaws this season and has actually hit better on the road than at Coors Field so far.

All right fine, I give up. I believe in Ryan Dempster. He still walks too many batters, but with an 8.2 K/9 IP mark, this breakout is legit. How about a 1.86 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 45 Ks over 38.2 innings since the All-Star break? He’s been a little lucky still with his hit rate (.270 BABIP), so a sub-3.00 ERA shouldn’t be expected, but all those strikeouts and groundballs induced will lead to future success regardless. I must admit, I didn’t see this one coming.

A.J. Burnett, Rich Harden and Kevin Slowey combined for a 35:1 K:BB ratio Tuesday. That’s pretty good.


Late game addendum: make it a foursome with Ricky Nolasco and they're at 46:2.
Posted by Jaycees67 at 8/19/2008 11:24:00 PM
Almost did that myself. Crazy.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 8/20/2008 12:19:00 AM
I hate Ryan Dempster... hehe he ruined one of my seasons like 6 years ago :)

CC Sabathia has been ridiculous. And I think it's quite clear that the Brewers have absolutely no intention of signing him after the season is over. I can imagine the conversation going something like this: "We've just traded LaPorta to try and win the title this year and this year alone. CC wants way too much money over the next 5 years, so we won't be signing him - so just throw the heck out of him this year and get every possible out you can and let his arm issues be someone else's problem next year."

Havin CC pitch the 8th and 9th inning with a 5 run lead when already at 100 pitches 2 nights ago was absurd. I don't care if he gets an extra day off before his next start.

Brandon Lyon had an outrageous 3 months to start the year (2.73 ERA as of June 30th) and yet has managed to find himself with a 1.45 WHIP and 4.6 ERA in mid August. The other shoe dropped really hard...(14 IP 26 hits 4 walks 14 ER in July and August)
Posted by billgoofnow at 8/20/2008 6:36:00 AM
Dempster is dumbfounding. How did a move to the rotation improve his stats?...Good call on CC's usage.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 8/20/2008 8:16:00 AM
While Sabathia pitching the ninth inning on Monday was ridiculous, the complaints about his usage are way overblown and unfounded. His pitches/inning are actually quite low and outside of Monday's game, is there another game where he absolutely shouldn't have been in the game?

Here's Sabathia's pitch count for the five games prior to being traded:

The first seven after being traded:

Is Sabathia really pitching any more than he did with the Indians? No, not really, it's just that you hear about it more by the media, so everyone believes that he's being "abused". Outside of two early season games where he got lit up, Sabathia went over 100 pitches in all but one game with the Indians this season. It's basically the same usage as in 2007 and 2006 where he averaged 106 pitches/G and 109 pitches/G respectively. In fact, if Sabathia had not come out to pitch the ninth inning on Sunday, he would have almost exactly the same number of p/g for the Brewers this season as he had with the Indians prior to the trade. For some reason nobody talked about how the Indians were abusing him during his free agent season, though.

So here's the deal: Sabathia pitches a lot of innings and throws a lot of pitches. In 2006 he finished the season with 12 consecutive games of over 100 pitches and 10 of those 12 were 110+ pitch games. The next season he won the Cy Young. This isn't something new for Sabathia and I'm not sure why it's suddenly new for everyone else. He'd be getting used the same whether he was still with Cleveland or if he wasn't a free agent at the end of the season.
Posted by herbilk at 8/20/2008 9:04:00 AM
I haven't looked at the stats to support this, but I have to think that Ian Stewart has been the best second baseman in fantasy over the last month. He's been better than Utley, Uggla (obviously), Kinsler (who's now hurt), and Brandon Phillips. I suspect the only 2B who is even close is BJ Upton, and that's simply because of his steals.
Posted by MPStopa at 8/20/2008 10:13:00 AM
I picked up Jose Lopez after Orlando Hudson went down. So, I agree with you. DDD threat, I am leading or in contention in a couple of leagues, but I have been slammed with my RP situation. I have Wagner and Sherrill. Ouch. Any advice? I put one of them on DL, and I picked up Wheeler. You have only given me sound advice in the past. So, I am very interested in your opinion.
Posted by jhermann at 8/20/2008 5:41:00 PM
It's Melvin Mora's world this last week, we're just along for the ride. Look at Jensen Lewis, Chris Perez or Eddie Guardado for saves.
Posted by kevinccp at 8/20/2008 5:45:00 PM
By my count, Sabathia has 7 starts left. If he somehow wins all 7, finishing at 15-0 with the Brewers, you basically have to give him Cy Young, right? Even with only half a season in the NL?

Sutcliffe got it in 1984 when he went 4-5 with Cleveland and 16-1 with the Cubs. If Sabathia finishes at 13-1 with Milwaukee, keeps his ERA under 2.00, and leads the NL in complete games and shutouts, do you still give it to him? I would, with apologies to Webb, Lincecum, Volquez...and Dempster. Shudder.

Posted by kennruby at 8/20/2008 6:10:00 PM
By the way, Nolasco is my new man crush. In his last 14 starts: 7-3, 98.1 IP, 81 H, 30 ER, 12 QS, 2.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and an astounding 97:11 K:BB.
Posted by kennruby at 8/20/2008 8:58:00 PM
Rauch with the save over Lyon tonite

the Rauch era in Arizona officially begins
Posted by billgoofnow at 8/20/2008 9:04:00 PM
Herb - Interesting stuff regarding CC's usage. Good point.

JHermann - Wish I had a good answer for you, but I'd need to know some RPs who are available in your league. I wouldn't count on either of those two guys helping you much from here on out, unfortunately.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 8/21/2008 8:58:00 PM
Kevin - Mora has been unreal. Completely out of nowhere.

Kenn - I'm def. with you on Nolasco. His stuff is so legit. He's the real deal.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 8/21/2008 9:00:00 PM

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