Fantasy Baseball Prospects on the Rise: Gose, Harvey, Myers, and Marte

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss four players who have made or will soon make their major league debut and could help your fantasy team.

 

Anthony Gose, OF, Blue Jays

Gose picked up a single in his debut as a pinch hitter against the Yankees on Tuesday.  Just 21 years old, he boasts a high on-base percentage and even stole 70 bases a year ago.  He is not a power hitter, which is fine for a Toronto lineup with plenty of them.  The injury of Jose Bautista opens a door for Gose, who does strike out a little too often for a player most dangerous when on the base paths.

 

Matt Harvey, SP, Mets

The season-ending injury to Dillon Gee opens the door for Harvey to eventually make his debut.  For now, the Mets will go with veteran spot starter Miguel Batista, but General Manager Sandy Alderson did confirm that we will see Harvey this season with the Mets. Harvey has been a bit wild this season but he does miss bats and even hit a home run with a .267 average as a batter at Triple-A.

 

Wil Myers, OF, Royals

The former catcher is shining bright at Triple-A this season with 15 home runs, 46 RBI and a .313 average through 53 games. The Royals are very much playing for the future and will likely be sellers this summer in order to open up some playing time for Myers. Look for Lorenzo Cain or Jeff Francouer to be on the move to get Myers some Big League at-bats.

 

Starling Marte, OF, Pirates

The Pirates are a small-market team and usually prefer to upgrade from within. For the first time in a while, they will have that opportunity the second they call up Starling Marte. The outfielder has 11 home runs and 18 steals while batting .292 at Triple-A. Marte is bound to mesh well with Andrew McCutchen as the Pirates look to win the division.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com. 

Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire Report: Valdespin, Lind, Jones, and Brantley

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw break down four players worth picking up right now in your fantasy league.

 

Jordany Valdespin, 2B/LF, Mets

Valdespin is a middle infielder at heart, but the Mets have a need in left field with Jason Bay clearly a fragment of the slugger that he once was.  While Bay is batting .179 with four home runs, Valdespin is now hitting .269 with five home runs and has a .354 average since June 10. Valdespin is far from perfect, as he does not draw many walks, but he does have an electric bat. In the minor leagues last season, he boasted 17 home runs with 38 steals.

 

Adam Lind, 1B, Blue Jays

Lind is hitting .339 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 18 games since his return from the minor leagues on June 25. He will suffer with Jose Bautista out of the lineup but he is swinging a hot bat and should be picked up by anyone in need of some power in their fantasy leagues.

 

Andruw Jones, LF, Yankees

Jones is now something of a one-trick pony, as he offers power but very little of anything else.  He is batting .239 on the season but boasts 12 home runs in just 134 at-bats. Now that word has come out that the Yankees will likely be without Brett Gardner for the remainder of the season, Jones should get some decent playing time.

 

Michael Brantley, OF, Indians

On Tuesday, Michael Brantley was batting cleanup for the Indians. This was a major surprise for a batter with a .384 slugging percentage last season.  However, Brantley is just 25 years old, and he is starting to hit with some power.  In 28 fewer games played than last season, Brantley already has just one fewer extra base hit than a year ago, which places his slugging better than .430. He also has 10 stolen bases so far this season.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com. 

Fantasy Baseball Injury Report: July 12, 2012

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the injuries and set return dates of seven players who could have an impact on your fantasy team in the second half of the season.

 

Carl Crawford, LF, Red Sox

Crawford has not played this season due to left wrist surgery in March and a partial UCL tear in his elbow in April. In 2011, he had a .255 average with 11 home runs and 56 RBI. Crawford is set to return to the Red Sox lineup on Monday against the White Sox.

 

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Red Sox

Ellsbury played in just seven games before being sidelined by a separated shoulder in mid-April. In 2011, he had an incredible season with a .321 batting average, 32 home runs and 105 RBI. Ellsbury should return Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

Brandon Morrow, SP, Blue Jays

Morrow had a great start to the season. In 13 starts, he had a 3.01 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 67 strikeouts. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 13 due to a strained left oblique. The Blue Jays are hoping that he will return to the rotation this month.

 

Roy Halladay, SP, Phillies

Halladay has been sidelined since May 28 with a strained right lat. In 11 starts this season, he had a 3.98 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 56 strikeouts. He is set to return to the mound Tuesday against the Dodgers.

 

Giancarlo Stanton, RF, Marlins

Stanton had surgery on July 8 to remove loose bodies from his right knee. This is a big loss for the Marlins, as he was hitting .284 with 19 home runs and 50 RBI. Stanton likely won’t return until late August.

 

Matt Kemp, RF, Dodgers

Kemp had an incredible start to the season, hitting .355 with 12 home runs and 28 RBI in just 36 games. However, he has battled a hamstring injury and was placed on the disabled list on May 31. He is set to return Friday against the San Diego Padres.

 

Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies

Tulowitzki recently had surgery on his left groin muscle. He was batting .287 this season with eight home runs and 27 RBI. He likely won’t return to the Rockies’ lineup until mid-August.

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Ballpark Figures: Top Second-Half Storylines

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria discuss the top five stories in baseball after the All-Star break.

 

Will R.A. Dickey win 20 games?

Baseball fans are trying to figure out if R.A. Dickey is Tom Candiotti or Phil Niekro.  At 12-1, Dickey is enjoying a banner season and arguably would be the NL Cy Young award winner if the season ended today. The problem for Dickey is that the season does not end today and he still has about 15 starts to go. Can he possibly continue his dominance and nab another eight wins for an even 20?

Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro attained three different seasons with 20 or more wins.  On the other hand, Dickey might only win another 3-5 games this season and finish with a solid, but more expected total that is more in line with a solid hurler, such as knuckleballer Tom Candiotti, who won 14, 15 and 16 games in his career.

 

What becomes of Tim Lincecum?

The good news is that Tim Lincecum is on pace to strikeout 200 batters. The bad news is that he is also approaching 100 walks, which could lead to some time in the bullpen.  We’ve had some surprises this year that fill the bust category.  As of now both Jose Reyes and Albert Pujols join a recent trend of major free agents struggling with new franchises.

Lincecum is pitching for the very franchise he came up with and has dominated for the last five seasons.  However, he is getting hit often and hard, and with a 3-10 record and 6.42 ERA you have to wonder if he will stick in the starting rotation all season long.  Lincecum hasn’t made it out of the fourth inning in back-to-back outings.

 

Where will Zack Greinke end up?

The Brewers have had their struggles and perhaps for that reason, Zack Greinke’s performance has gone under the radar.  He is 9-3 with 111 K’s and a 3.32 ERA.  With the Brewers five games out of first place, the team will be in sell mode especially if Greinke does not indicate that he wants to stick there.

So what teams could be interested?  How about the Baltimore Orioles, or the St. Louis Cardinals?  Greinke’s presence could make a world of difference in how this ost-season shapes up.

 

Are the Phillies buyers or sellers?

The Phillies are in dead last place in the National League East.  They opened the season without Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, and now that they are coming back, the pitchers have been out: Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.

The big question for the Phillies is figuring out whether or not Cole Hamels will stay as a free agent.  There have been rumblings that he could be destined to the Dodgers, which would leave the Phillies in a bind if they do not get anything in return for his services aside from draft picks.  Hamels, by the way, is 10-4 with a 3.20 ERA with 118 K’s and a 1.10 WHIP.  He has been the ace for the Phillies this season.

 

Are the Pirates playoff bound?

The Pirates are in first place late in the season for a second straight year.  The question is whether they can stick this time and if they learned from last year’s collapse.  It looks like they could actually stick this time for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, they have an ace with James McDonald boasting a 2.37 ERA with much better control this season.  Next, their gamble with AJ Burnett seems to be paying off as he’s been a solid number two.  Though the starting rotation lacks depth, the bullpen is strong enough to let leads stick.

Finally, on offense there are several solid players, then an MVP candidate in Andrew McCutchen and a potential star in Pedro Alvarez. The Pirates lack some depth, but so far they have been good enough, and with extra wild card spots available, this team could advance.

 

For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com

Bloomberg Sports National League Fantasy All-Star Team

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss whether the fans’ selections for the National League All-Star team were right and who should be starting the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10.

 

Catcher

Buster Posey was not the right choice for the All-Star team. Phillies backstop Carlos Ruiz is having a sensational season, hitting .357 with 13 home runs, 46 RBI and a surprising three stolen bases. He has definitely been the best catcher in baseball this season.  

 

First Base

The fans got this one right by selecting Reds first baseman Joey Votto, who is probably the MVP of the first half of the season. He’s batting .350 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI.

 

Second Base

Brandon Phillips of the Reds should be starting rather than Dan Uggla. Phillips has a .279 average, 10 home runs and 47 RBI. He is also a good defensive player, which Uggla is not.

 

Third Base

The fans made the wrong choice by selecting Pablo Sandoval, who has missed plenty of time this season due to injury. David Wright of the Mets should have been the pick, as he has been an MVP candidate so far this year with a .350 average, 10 home runs, 55 RBI and eight stolen bases.

 

Shortstop

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro should be starting in place of Rafael Furcal. Castro is batting .291 with six home runs, 40 RBI and 16 stolen bases. Despite those numbers, he can be frustrating because he makes a lot of boneheaded plays but he is young and will hopefully grow out of that. 

 

Outfield

Not one of the three outfielders chosen by the fans was the right pick. Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies should be starting instead of Melky Cabrera. Gonzalez is batting .340 with 17 home runs, 58 RBI and 10 stolen bases, though he is helped out by playing at Coors Field.

Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun should have been selected over Matt Kemp. Braun is once again putting up MVP numbers with a .309 average, 23 home runs, 59 RBI and 13 stolen bases.

Finally, Pirates centerfielder Andrew McCutchen should have been chosen rather than Carlos Beltran. McCutchen is batting .360 with 16 home runs, 54 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Beltran would have been a good selection if the National League had a designated hitter. He has a .304 average, 20 home runs, 63 RBI and eight stolen bases this season.

 

For more insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Bloomberg Sports American League Fantasy All-Star Team

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Julie Alexandria and Rob Shaw discuss whether or not the fans’ selections for the American League All-Star team were right and who should be starting the All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 10.

 

Catcher

Mike Napoli of the Rangers was the fan choice, but White Sox backstop A.J. Pierzynski should be starting in the All-Star Game. Pierzynski is not one of the more popular players in baseball and was actually expected to lose his job coming into this season. However, he is hitting .285 this year with 14 home runs and 45 RBI.

 

First Base

Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays should be starting instead of Prince Fielder. Encarnacion has always had great potential but has been inconsistent in the past. This season, however, he is deserving of a starting spot in Kansas City with a .291 average, 22 home runs, 55 RBI and eight stolen bases.

 

Second Base

The fans got this one right, voting in Robinson Cano of the Yankees. He’s batting .310 with 20 home runs and 46 RBI. Not only is he an All-Star but he is clearly the Yankees’ MVP.

 

Third Base

The fans chose Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, which is a good pick because he is one of the best defensive players in baseball. Miguel Cabrera, however, is the best third baseman in the American League with a .314 average, 16 home runs and 62 RBI.

 

Shortstop

Derek Jeter is having a good season, but Elvis Andrus of the Rangers is the best shortstop in the American League right now. He is not a power hitter with just one home run but he’s batting .307 with 32 RBI and 16 stolen bases. The fans should have voted in Andrus instead of Jeter.

 

Outfield

Of the three outfielders voted in, only one was the right pick by the fans. It wasn’t a surprise that Josh Hamilton was selected, and he is the right choice. He’s on pace for more than 50 home runs and 140 RBI this season.

Angels rookie Mike Trout should be starting in place of Curtis Granderson. Trout is batting .339 with nine home runs, 33 RBI and 22 stolen bases, and keep in mind that he started this season in the minor leagues.

Adam Jones of the Orioles should have been selected in place of Jose Bautista. Jones has a .302 average, 19 home runs, 42 RBI and 11 stolen bases. He has a bright future and is likely one of the next big stars in baseball.

 

Designated Hitter

David Ortiz was the right pick by the fans. He continues to put up big numbers with a .302 average, 21 home runs and 54 RBI this season. This is Ortiz’s eighth All-Star selection.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Weekend Recap: Perez, Young, Thome, Davis, Alvarez, and Hosmer

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down the weekend in baseball and how it affects your fantasy team.

 

Martin Perez, SP, Rangers

Perez made his major league debut Saturday night against Oakland. The 21-year-old southpaw had five strikeouts and gave up six hits, one walk and two earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched. He had struggled in the minor leagues this season with a 1.29 K/BB ratio at AAA. However, he has been better in the past and there is reason to be excited about his future.

 

Chris Young, SP, Mets

Young has only started 13 games since 2010, but his numbers during that stretch are among the best in baseball. He has a 2.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, compared to Roy Halladay’s 2.60 ERA and 1.05 WHIP and Cliff Lee’s 3.00 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. This season, he has started five games, his greatest workload since 2009. The last time he made 20 starts was in 2007.

 

Jim Thome, Orioles

Thome spent his first 12 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and has since been on seven teams over the last 10 years. Moving to Baltimore allows him to play more regularly as a designated hitter. He has had 40 home runs in 553 at-bats over the last two years and could bring some power to the Orioles’ lineup and your fantasy team.

 

 

Shaw also discusses three players whose slumps have ended and who are putting up big numbers in recent weeks. First is Mets first baseman Ike Davis, who has six home runs, 24 RBI and a .333 average in 19 games since June 9th. Second, Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has seven home runs, 19 RBI and a .377 average in 15 games since June 16th. Finally, Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer has a .423 average, one home run and three RBI in his last seven games.

 

 

For more fantasy insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Twitter Trends: Arroyo, Rizzo, Ruiz, and Chapman

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw discusses the performances of four players who were trending on Twitter Tuesday night.

 

Bronson Arroyo, SP, Reds

Arroyo brought a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Brewers Tuesday night, but left with a no decision. He gave up three hits, one walk and three earned runs in 7.2 innings pitched. He is now 3-5 with a 4.13 ERA and 1.25 WHIP this season. The biggest surprise from Arroyo this season is his strikeouts. He has 60 strikeouts this year compared to just 14 walks.

 

Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs

Rizzo made his debut with the Cubs Tuesday night against the Mets. He went 2-4 with one RBI and one double. In 70 games at AAA in Iowa this year, he had a .342 batting average, 23 home runs and 62 RBI. Rizzo was brought up to play first base, which moves Bryan LaHair to the outfield.

 

Carlos Ruiz, C, Phillies

Ruiz is having an incredible season. He went 3-4 Tuesday night with one home run, two runs and two RBI. He now has a career-high 10 home runs this season, as well as a .361 average and 41 RBI.  Overall, Ruiz is providing much-needed offensive production to the Phillies lineup.

 

Aroldis Chapman, RP, Reds

Chapman bounced back from back-to-back blown saves Tuesday night. He had three strikeouts and one walk in one inning pitched to pick up his ninth save of the season. His numbers this year are still outstanding, especially his 64/12 K/BB ratio.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Surprising Base-Stealers: Molina, Kipnis, Saunders, and Beltran

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchor Rob Shaw breaks down four players who have a surprising number of stolen bases this season.

 

Yadier Molina, C, Cardinals

Molina had a career-high nine stolen bases in 2009, which is impressive from a catcher. He already has seven steals this season, in addition to 11 home runs and a .319 batting average. It’s hard to believe, but the Cardinals may have picked correctly when it came to which free agent to give a big contract to in the offseason, Molina or Albert Pujols. So far, Molina is performing at a higher level this season.

 

Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians

Kipnis’ career high in stolen bases was 17, which he achieved last year between AAA and the majors. He already has 17 steals this year and is on pace for nearly 40 by the end of the season. He’s also contributing in the power area with 11 home runs, 46 runs and 42 RBI.  

 

Michael Saunders, OF, Mariners

Saunders stole 29 bases in 2009 in the minors and has 12 stolen bases so far this season. What is surprising is how much playing time he is getting, but he can’t be taken out of the lineup with a .267 average, eight home runs and 35 runs.

 

Carlos Beltran, OF, Cardinals

We know that Beltran has speed, as he became just the eighth player in MLB history to have 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases. However, he only had seven stolen bases in the past two seasons combined, making his seven steals this year so surprising. He is also batting .312 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

Fantasy Baseball Closers in Trouble: Casilla, Cook, Francisco, Axford, Capps, and Chapman

 

Twitter: @RobShawSports and @BloombergSports

 

Bloomberg Sports Anchors Rob Shaw and Julie Alexandria discuss closers who are struggling right now and provide insight on who may replace them.

 

Santiago Casilla, Giants

Casilla allowed a run to score for a third straight game on Sunday when he gave up three earned runs to the A’s in his second blown save of the year. Sergio Romo appears to be next in line for closer, as he has both righties and lefties hitting less than .200 this season. Romo, however, is a specialist often used for less than an inning of work. Another option for the Giants could be Jeremy Affeldt, who has some closing experience with more than 25 saves in his career.

 

Ryan Cook, A’s

Cook, the A’s third closer this season, suffered an ugly blown save on Friday when he gave up two walks, two hits and four runs. In total, he has walked 20 batters in 31.2 innings pitched. Cook could be replaced by Grant Balfour, who started the season as the closer. Balfour has had eight consecutive scoreless outings, which could be good enough to win back his job as closer.

 

Frank Francisco, Mets

Francisco got a save and the only Mets win against the Yankees in the Subway Series over the weekend, but has landed on the disabled list with a left oblique strain. Bobby Parnell could take over as closer, as his control has improved and he is pitching better this season. Over the next couple weeks, he could emerge as the Mets’ closer for the future.

 

John Axford, Brewers

Axford may be struggling the most of all the closers on this list. He has given up nine runs in his last nine outings with three blown saves during that span. His primary issue has been walking too many batters, as he has 18 walks in 28.1 innings pitched. The pitcher ready to fill in for Axford is Francisco Rodriguez, who has 292 career saves.

 

Matt Capps, Twins

Capps has a 3.41 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, but a sore right shoulder will likely land him on the disabled list. Glen Perkins and Jared Burton are two replacement options for the Twins.  Perkins has been very good this year, with 40 strikeouts in 30.2 innings pitched. Burton picked up his first save of the season Sunday, though he walked two batters.

 

Aroldis Chapman, Reds

Chapman is the hardest thrower in Major League Baseball and has a 2.03 ERA and a dominant 0.76 WHIP. However, in his last seven outings, he has given up eight runs and has three blown saves during that stretch. Chapman came in as closer for Sean Marshall, who may now take over for Chapman as he has given up just one run in his last 17 outings.

 

For more fantasy baseball insight, visit BloombergSports.com.

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