Thanks to the official end of the first half of the 2009 baseball season, it was a short week last week. Some teams only played three games (I think the Detroit Tigers want a do over), while others played four.
Just because it was a short week, it doesn’t mean that there wasn’t some solid fantasy performances. That being said – here at the fantasy studs, players who might be of concern, and the potential pickups for the week of July 13 – 20.
Yunel Escobar – .500/2/8 with three doubles. This kid has so much talent it’s ridiculous. Hopefully he will now put it together at the major league level.
Jim Thome– .500/2/7/.615. Five years after he retires, Thome will be the most interesting Hall of Fame debate in quite some time.
Edwin Encarnacion– .583/2/6/.688. After missing most of the first half with an injury, Encarnacion is looking to have a big second half.
Raul Ibanez– .500/2/5. Ibanez picks up right where he left off in the first half.
Alfonso Soriano – .400/2/5. The Chicago Cubs really need this guy to wake up in the second half. So far he is off to a good start.
John Lackey– 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and six K’s in nine IP. Lackey was outstanding yesterday vs. the Oakland A’s. I have Lackey on my fantasy team and this was a great sign for myself and other Lackey owners in the world of fantasy baseball.
Roy Oswalt– 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and five K’s in nine IP. Oswalt walked into Dodger Stadium and tossed the very rare complete game. Oswalt is a notorious second half pitcher (68-20, 2.86 ERA for his career), so fantasy owners should expect more of the same from Oswalt in the next couple of months.
JP Howell – Three saves, zero hits, zero walks, and four K’s in three IP. Howell has really stabilized the Tampa Bay Rays pen. He has nine saves and a 1.97 ERA on the season.
A quick note about Howell. Howell was drafted in the first round (31st overall) by the Kansas City Royals. The Royals traded him just two years later for Joey Gathright.
Just one of the many reasons why the Royals have had one winning season since 1994.
Reasons for Concern
Orlando Hudson – Hudson left Sunday’s game with soreness in his left wrist. It’s something that is not believed to be serious, but it is worth noting that this is the same wrist that Hudson had surgery on last year.
Keep an eye on this situation going forward.
Nelson Cruz – Cruz fractured his right ring finger when he was diving back to first base in Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins.
Like Hudson’s injury, Cruz’s injury doesn’t appear to be serious.
Cruz was scratched from the lineup on Sunday and is considered day-to-day.
Mark DeRosa – Things have gone as badly as humanly possible for DeRosa since the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Mr. Versatility from the Cleveland Indians in June.
DeRosa started 0-9, then went on the 15-day DL with a wrist injury, and is now 0-6 since returning from the DL. That is 0-15 for those of you scoring at home.
Garrett Jones – I wrote about Jones on Sunday. Jones is hitting .286 with seven HR’s in just 14 games. As long as he keeps hitting, he should get plenty of AB’s in Pittsburgh.
Jason Schmidt – Yes, Jason Schmidt is still alive. Do you want to throw up? Jason Schmidt made six starts in 2007, zero starts in 2008, and will make his 2009 debut tonight against the Cincinnati Reds and has made $46 million in that span.
I am not expecting much out of Schmidt these days. He is probably a four or five inning pitcher at this point in his career. He might get a cheap win over the Padres or the Nationals here and there, so he might be worth a pickup if you have a spot open on your roster.
Tags: Alfonso Soriano, Edwin Encarnacion, Garrett Jones, Jason Schmidt, Jim Thome, John Lackey, JP Howell, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mark DeRosa, Nelson Cruz, Orlando Hudson, Raul Ibanez, Roy Oswalt, St Louis Cardinals, Yunel Escobar