Last week marked the final week of the official first-half of the season. For the first time in a long time, it seemed like there were more players we should be concerned with than there were fantasy studs. Never a good sign.
As always, here are the fantasy studs, the players who have me concerned, and the potential pickups for the fantasy week of July 6 – July 12.
Ryan Ludwick – .481/4/15. It was better late than never last week for Ludwick, who finally decided to show up in 2009.
Jayson Werth – .292/4/11/.438. Not a bad way to celebrate your first all-star selection.
Pablo Sandoval – .333/3/11. The “King-Fu Panda” took his all-star snubbing out on NL pitchers last week.
Paul Konerko – .391/3/10. All three of Konerko’s HR’s came in one game last week. Still good enough to be a fantasy stud last week.
Adam Wainwright – 2-0 with a 1.10 ERA and 14 K’s in 16.1 IP. Ended the first-half of the season on a positive note for the St. Louis Cardinals by shutting down the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night.
Jarrod Washburn – 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA and only gave up five hits in 16 IP. Washburn is making a serious push to land another big, free-agent contract in the offseason.
Josh Beckett – 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA and 11 K’s in 15 IP. Yesterday’s game against the Kansas City Royals was over when Beckett was doing his bullpen session before the game.
Rafael Soriano – Four Saves, eight K’s and a 0.00 ERA in four IP. Soriano has been lights out lately for the Atlanta Braves, and has taken the closer job from Mike Gonzalez.
Reasons for Concern
Torii Hunter – Placed on the 15-day DL with a strained groin. Hunter is eligible to return on July 22.
My concern here is that groin injuries are like hamstring injuries – they never seem to go away. Hunter did have 13 SB’s this year, so this might affect his stolen base numbers going forward.
Ryan Dempster – Placed on the 15-day DL because of a broken right toe. Dempster broke his toe when he tripped over the dugout rail after the Cubs beat the Brewers. That is classic.
Geovany Soto – Placed on the 15-day DL with a left oblique strain. This really hasn’t been Soto’s year so far.
He got off to a terrible start, he is only hitting .230, and now he goes on the DL.
The Cubs and fantasy owners for that matter, need him in the second half to make some sort of contribution in order to win.
Jay Bruce – Placed on the 15-day DL with a fractured wrist. I had Bruce on this list before the wrist injury.
It was a terrible week for Bruce. First he was benched, then he comes back only to face Johan Santana, and then he breaks his wrist.
Bruce has struggled this year with a .207 average, but does have 18 HR and 41 RBI. Bruce has tremendous value in Keeper Leagues, so don’t give up on him just yet.
According to the Cincinnati Reds’ official Twitter page, Bruce will be out six- to-eight weeks.
Magglio Ordonez – Ordonez will now platoon in rightfield with Clete Thomas for the Detroit Tigers.
I am guessing the Tigers are determined not to let Ordonez reach his incentives so his $18 million extension won’t kick in.
Ordonez’s fantasy value is limited at best for the remainder of this year.
Andy Pettitte – Pettitte was 0-2 last week with a 10.45 ERA and gave up 12 runs in just 10.1 IP.
This almost seems like repeat from last year with Pettitte. Pettitte got off to a 10-7 start in 2008, but faded in the second half going 4-7 with an ERA over five.
Pettitte has been terrible his last two starts so this might start becoming a trend for the older Pettitte.
Johnny Cueto – Either this guy is hurt or he is just worn out. He is too good to be this bad over his last two starts.
Cueto in his last two starts is 0-2 with a 20.65 ERA and has given up 13 runs in 5.2 IP.
Keep an eye on Cueto (if you have started already) in his next couple of starts. If he continues to struggle, then there might be some cause for some major concern.
There are no potential pickups for this week.
How about a little prediction for tonight’s Home Run Derby. For those of you not aware, here are the participants…
I don’t like anyone in the AL, so that eliminates Cruz, Inge, Pena, Mauer.
Pujols is too easy, so I won’t pick him.
Fielder’s weight and stamina are a concern, so he is won’t last.
That leaves Gonzalez and Howard. Howard was born in St Louis, so I think he might feel the pressure.
The winner will be Adrian Gonzalez. Having spent his entire season trying to hit HR’s in the cavernous Petco Park, Busch Stadium will feel like a little league field to Gonzalez.
Tags: Adam Wainwright, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Andy Pettitte, Brandon Inge, Carlos Pena, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, Fantasy Baseball, Geovany Soto, Home Run Derby, Jarrod Washburn, Jay Bruce, Jayson Werth, Joe Mauer, Johnny Cueto, Josh Beckett, Magglio Ordonez, Nelson Cruz, Pablo Sandoval, Paul Konerko, Prince Fielder, Rafael Soriano, Ryan Dempster, Ryan Howard, Ryan Ludwick, St Louis Cardinals, Torii Hunter