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It’s been a week of surprises in Major League Baseball.
Jason Motte takes over the closer’s role from Fernando Salas despite the fact that Salas was doing perfectly fine and also happens to be younger.
Madison Bumgarner looks as good as his two colleagues Tim Lincecum and Matt Caine and finally, Doug Fister looks like an absolute steal by the Tigers.
Jason Motte, RP, Cardinals
There has been talk about Jason Motte becoming the Cardinals closer for a few years now and in his last chance to grab the job, he struggled two years ago and again earlier in the season before Fernando Salas took over. Salas has been solid with 23 saves and a 2.47 ERA. The problem here is that Motte has been even better and is a harder thrower that better exemplifies the role of a closer. Motte has not surrendered a run since the All-Star break, in fact the last run he allowed was back in June. Though he is older than Salas, with a 1.57 ERA and 0.91 WHIP, Motte earned the opportunity to impress Tony LaRussa in the ninth inning.
Madison Bumgarner, SP, Giants
We knew Madison Bumgarner was a solid pitcher. He proved this last season when as a rookie he played a large role in the Giants winning the World Series. We just did not know until recently that he could be as dominant as his teammates Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Over his last three starts Bumgarner has allowed just three runs to score over 22 and 2/3 innings. He is averaging just under a strikeout per inning and the ERA is down to 2.69 since the All-Star break. Poor run support explains the 12 losses on the season, but at just 22-years old this southpaw is clearly an ace in the making.
Doug Fister, SP, Tigers
Coming into the weekend Doug Fister already had the lowest ERA of any pitcher with 12 or more losses. Then he went out and threw the game of his life, offering eight stellar frames while fanning 13 and walking one. The 6’8 hurler was a great acquisition by the Tigers and clearly will have some fantasy value throughout the remainder of the season with a 3.17 ERA. Fister has now allowed just three runs to score over the last four starts, three of which have been wins. He is 4-1 with the Tigers with a 2.64 ERA through seven starts. The Mariners by the way have been happy with Casper Wells while Charlie Furbush has been inconsistent.