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Jorge Is No Jesus

Jorge Posada, who has been strictly a designated hitter this year for the Yankees, is showing some decent power this year with 6 HR in 109 AB, but with a putrid .165 AVG he has become a huge liability for the team’s offense.  Posada’s BABIP is ridiculously low at .164, but there really is not much reason to think that it is a result of bad luck, as I refer you to what I said about Posada in my pre-season catcher rankings: “Posada’s BABIP was .287 last year, well below his .318 career mark and his lowest since his rookie season.  Does that mean he was unlucky to hit for just a .248 AVG?  No, those rules don’t apply to aging players in the twilight of their careers, and especially not to 38-year olds who have played catcher for over a decade.  His skillset has declined and his numbers for 2011 aren’t likely to be that much greater than his 2010.”  Since Posada has struggled so badly to get base hits this season, manager Joe Girardi moved him down to 9th in the batting order on Saturday, which resulted in Posada throwing a “hissy fit” and taking himself out of the lineup.  Then the rumblings of the word “retirement” began to swirl in baseball circles, but I don’t think that Posada would retire out of the blue like that.  However, because of the way that Posada reacted to this whole situation of being dropped in the batting order, if he does not start to produce soon then the process of him being released from the team will be accelerated.  If Posada does eventually get the boot or does happen to retire then top catcher prospect Jesus Montero could receive the call up to the Majors.  Montero is the #3 prospect on Baseball America’s Top 100 and he hit .289 with 21 HR and 75 RBI last year at AAA and he currently owns a .327 AVG with 2 HR and 11 RBI in 27 games at AAA this season.  A call up of Montero could put him in a timeshare split behind the plate with Russell Martin and I assume he would also see some time at DH.  This would put him in line for a good amount of playing time and he could put up 2010 Posey-esque stats.  At the thin catcher position Montero could help a lot of fantasy teams out there and it might be worth it to stash him for now until he gets the call up since Posada’s days in the Bronx could be numbered.

Here’s what else happened on Saturday: 

  • Anibal Sanchez — 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K in a win versus the Nationals.  Sanchez silenced the Nationals for the 2nd time in a row and now has pitched 15 straight scoreless innings allowing only 7 baserunners while striking out 20 Nationals.  Sanchez improved to 3-1 with a 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, with 52 K/19 BB in 49 2/3 IP.  I still think that he comes down with some sort of injury eventually, but he still can be pretty effective if he is healthy.  He gets the Cubs next.
  • Leo Nunez — 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K in a save versus the Nationals.  Nunez got into a bit of trouble trying to protect the 1-run lead, but he was able to nail down his Major League leading 14th save of the season.  Nunez remains perfect in save opportunities this season with a respectable 3.05 ERA and 1.26 WHIP.  I picked him to be This Year’s Matt Capps and he is making good on my promise so far and could be on his way to a 40 save season.
  • Danny Espinosa — 0 for 4, 1 K.  The 0fer dropped Espinosa’s average down to .198 as he finds himself mired in a bit of a slump.  I have said that he has 20/20 potential, but I also issued the warning that he probably would not post a good average due to his high strikeout rate (28.2%).  This is Espinosa’s rookie season, so there is plenty of room for growth.  When he makes the proper adjustments to Major League pitching then he is going to be a pretty solid force at the second base position.
  • Martin Prado — 2 for 4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R.  Prado is super hot right now as he has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games with a .361 AVG, 4 HR, 14 RBI, and 12 R during that span.  He now has his average up to .295 on the season and thanks to his very good strikeout rate of 13.1%, he is going to be able to flirt with a .300 AVG all season long.
  • Jason Heyward — Heyward still remains unavailable to start due to his ailing right shoulder, but he came in as a pinch-runner on Friday and as a defensive replacement on Saturday.  The Braves (and my fantasy team) hope to have him back in the starting lineup early next week.
  • Jair Jurrjens — 7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K in a win versus the Phillies.  Jurrjens continued to roll by posting his 6th quality start in 6 starts this season, and he improved to 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.99 WHIP.  Jurrjens is strong start brings some mixed feelings from me as I know that he has gotten very fortunate with his LOB% and his strikeout rate is down, but he also is inducing groundballs at a career high rate and he has shown great improvement in his walk rate up to this point with 1.45 BB/9.  Throughout his career he has been a pitcher to post rates just above 3.00 BB/9.  I’m not sure that he can sustain the low walk rate, and given that his fastball velocity is down about 1.3 MPH this year, he could run into some struggles soon.  He will face the Diamondbacks next.
  • Cameron Maybin — 2 for 4, 2 R.  Maybin remained hot on Saturday and is now 10 for his last 14.  Maybin has received the majority of his at-bats batting 7th (also has some batting 1st and 6th), but he was moved to the 5th spot in the Padres batting order a few games ago and given his recent production he will probably stick there for a bit, which will give him so additional value.
  • Aaron Harang — 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K in a no-decision versus the Rockies.  After Harang’s last start I said: “Uh oh, (Coor’s Field) is not an ideal place to start him for fantasy.”  Nailed it.  He now has a 5.05 ERA and 1.40 WHIP and will get the Brewers next.
  • Carlos Gonzalez — 2 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R.  CarGo has seen a significant drop in his BABIP from last season since his .384 mark from a year ago was way too high to sustain, but this year his BABIP is now much too low to sustain (.260 BABIP entering the day).  His stats are going to get better, but he still has a very good chance to end up as a draft day bust by season’s end like I predicted.  He is hitting .237 with 4 HR, 20 RBI, 23 R, and 6 SB. 
  • Todd Helton — 1 for 3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R.  Helton is still showing that he can swing the bat and is now hitting .319 with 5 HR, 18 RBI, 16 R, and 0 SB.  He is available in a lot of leagues and will help out in AVG if you need it.
  • R.A. Dickey — 5 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 2 K in a loss to the Astros.  Top 15 Pitcher Busts.  Dickey is now 1-5 with a 5.08 ERA and 1.60 WHIP and really shouldn’t be owned outside of NL-only leagues.
  • Carlos Lee — 2 for 4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R.  El Caballo is picking up some steam and is now on an 8-game hitting streak going 13 for 31 (.419 AVG) in that span.  For the season, Lee is now batting .245 with 4 HR, 22 RBI, 18 R, and 1 SB.  Lee’s BABIP is riding pretty low around .250, so he has lots of room to improve upon that.  I picked him to be This Year’s Vladimir Guerrero, but he is going to have to start making quality contact more often if he is going to be the .290 hitter that he used to be.
  • Kyle McClellan — 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K in a loss to the Reds.  McClellan finally took his first loss of the season and it should start going downhill from here for him.  In his 8 starts this season, McClellan has only recorded more strikeouts than walks in just 2 of those starts.  I said to try and sell him a couple weeks ago and he is now one more bad start away from a 4.00 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.  However, he might be able to turn in a decent game against the Astros in his next start.
  • Ryan Franklin — 1 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.  Ever since being ousted from the closer’s role in St. Louis, Franklin has a 9.00 ERA and 2.11 WHIP in 9 IP.  Yeah, that’s not exactly the way to put your name back into the mix.  Stick a fork in him.
  • Fernando Salas — After Eduardo Sanchez' blown save yesterday, pitching coach Dave Duncan now says that Sanchez is done as the team's first option to close games and that Salas is now the guy to get the first crack.  Ay caramba.  This blowpen situation really blows.  And of course I owned both of them but waived Salas the other day because I needed to pick up a hitter since my offense is riddled with injuries.  This might not be the last closer change in St. Louis this year, but Salas is the guy for now.
  • Drew Stubbs — 3 for 4, 2 R, 1 SB.  Stubbs is now hitting .276 with 7 HR, 20 RBI, 30 R, and 13 SB.  That is valuable.
  • Brandon Phillips — 2 for 3, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R.  Phillips is batting .326 with 5 HR, 23 RBI, 23 R, and 2 SB, proving to be a very good fantasy second baseman.  However, he is riding a BABIP that is about 60 points higher than his career .288 mark.  And then when you see that he is hitting line drives at a career worst rate that is not even close to his career rate, you know that his batting average should come down a lot.  He will retain his value though with his power/speed combo from the second base position and the fact that he hits in a very good Reds lineup.
  • Ramon Hernandez — 3 for 3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R.  Hernandez blasted 2 solo shots on Saturday and is now batting .342 with 5 HR and 14 RBI.  He is in a 50/50 timeshare as catcher for the Reds with Ryan Hanigan, so he’s not really worth owning in standard mixed leagues.  But if it is a daily league and you can somehow own both of them and start whichever player is starting each day then you might get some pretty solid results.  These two catchers have combined for a .312 AVG, 7 HR, 26 RBI, 21 R, and 0 SB.  I would argue that Rymon Hernanigan (see what I did there?) is the most valuable fantasy catcher this year so far.  Obviously there would be some flaws with this approach, but it’s got to make you wonder.
  • Johnny Cueto — 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K in a win versus the Cardinals.  Cueto made his season debut last week with success and he turned in another good one in a much tougher matchup.  He’s looking pretty good and is a very talented pitcher, however, he has displayed a decrease in his strikeout rate in each of the last two seasons.  It would be nice to see him get that back up to at least 7.50 K/9 this season.  He will face the Indians next.
  • Gavin Floyd — 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K in a loss to the A’s.  I picked Floyd to be This Year’s Brett Myers and he had been pitching well this season, but he turned in a poor game on Saturday and his dip in velocity this season has to be of concern for the long term this year.  He’s now 4-3 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.18 WHIP and will get the Dodgers next.
  • Brad Penny — 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K in a win versus the Royals.  Penny was downright awful in his first 4 starts of the season, but in his 5 starts since then he is 4-1 with a 1.51 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.  I picked him to be This Year’s Carl Pavano and right now he’s certainly looking like he can do it, and Penny is certainly doing his best Pavano impression with a wimpy strikeout rate of 3.63 K/9.  Penny will have to receive a good amount of luck to make my prediction come true, but that’s what it’s all about since Pavano’s 2010 season was pretty lucky.  Penny might not be so fortunate in his next start against Boston though.
  • Dan Haren — 7 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K in a no-decision versus the Rangers.  Haren left the game with the lead, but was denied his 5th win after Fernando Rodney allowed an inherited runner to score.  Haren continues to dazzle this season and is 4-2 with a 1.93 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and an incredible 61 K/8 BB.  Haren has been known to experience a second half decline, so hopefully that does not happen this season.  Haren will look to tear the Mariners apart in his next start.
  • Brad Bergesen — 9 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K in a complete game shutout versus the Rays.  This was a very impressive outing against a surging Rays team and Bergesen earned his first victory of the season in the process.  Bergesen had been ineffective the whole season up to this point because of some poor luck, but probably mainly because of the fact that he had been giving up way more flyballs than groundballs.  Coming up through the Orioles farm system, Bergesen had been praised for his great ability to induce groundballs, but that just had not been happening for him this season.  On Saturday he had more success in that regard and it showed in the results.  If he can get back to his groundball ways then he could be an effective starter for the Orioles, but he is probably not someone that you want to go picking up in fantasy just yet, especially since he faces the Yankees next.
  • Jose Bautista — Bautista’s only production of the day came when he hit a 2-run HR in extra innings.  He now has 13 HR this season to lead the Majors.  Bau-BEAST-a!
  • J.P. Arencibia — 2 for 5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R.  Arencibia has cooled off a lot since the first week of the season, so he needed a game like this one.  He is now batting .226 with 6 HR and 15 RBI.  He will provide a good amount of HR for a catcher, but he is not going to help in many other ways, especially since Jose Molina starts at catcher for the Blue Jays when Kyle Drabek and Brandon Morrow start.
  • Brandon League — Manager Eric Wedge insists that League is still his closer, which is pretty hard to believe considering the damage that League has caused in the last week as he single handedly lost the team 4 games.  He is probably the team’s most talented reliever, but he just doesn’t have it right now.  If League blows another one in his next opportunity and Wedge still sticks with him then there is really something wrong.  Yeah, Jamey Wright is not exactly closer material, but League is completely out of whack at the moment.
  • Chad Billingsley — 8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K in a loss to the Diamondbacks.  Billingsley pitched a masterful game, but he came away with the loss despite only giving up 1 hit and 0 earned runs.  However, it should be noted that the one unearned run that did cross the plate was his own fault as he attempted a pickoff at second base and threw it into center field since nobody was covering the base.  Any way you look at it though it is a tough luck loss for the righty as he drops to 2-3.  The strong game though improves his ERA to 3.36 and WHIP to 1.17.  Billingsley is not quite ace material, but he is pretty solid.  He will face the Giants next.
  • Josh Collmenter — 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K in a win versus the Dodgers.  Collmenter had been pitching out of the bullpen for the Diamondbacks, but he made his first Major League start on Saturday and he stifled the Dodgers hitters.  He only made 71 pitches through 6 innings, but was pulled from the game anyway since he is not stretched out to go much more than that yet.  The strong start likely earned Collmenter some more time in the starting rotation and he might be able to have some pretty good success in first go round because of his delivery.  Collmenter has a pure over the top delivery that allows him to hide the ball pretty well.  Hitters might have a difficult time adjusting to it.  He’ll make his next start against the Braves.
  • Ryan Vogelsong — 6 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K in a win versus the Cubs.  Vogelsong had not pitched in the Majors since 2006 as he went to Japan for a few seasons.  But this year he has now appeared in 6 games (4 starts) for the Giants and he has a 2.36 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 24 K/8 BB in 26 2/3 IP.  This is an interesting development and could Vogelsong end up being This Year’s Colby Lewis?  Probably not, but just taking career path into account, he is as close as it is going to get.  He is getting pretty lucky with his BABIP so far and I don’t think that he has all of a sudden discovered new found control.  Besides, he figures to only last in the rotation as long as Barry Zito is on the DL.  Zito is making $18.5 million this year, so I don’t imagine that he would be moved to the bullpen.
  • Josh Beckett — 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K in a win versus the Yankees.  Beckett continues his 2011 dominance with another gem against the Yankees.  He is now 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, and 49 K/15 BB in 51 1/3 IP.  Yes, his BABIP and LOB% are much better than the league average, but expect him to remain one of the game’s better pitchers as long as a health issue does not impede his performance.
  • Adrian Gonzalez — 1 for 5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R.  He just keeps on going.  That’s 4 straight games with a HR and 8 HR in the last 11 games.  If the Red Sox are in contention in September then he is the AL MVP.
 


Notes

  1. aupps reblogged this from thebackwardsk and added:
    I hope Jesus gets the call up
  2. thebackwardsk posted this