Posts Tagged ‘Roy Oswalt’

Starting Rotation: National League Central

January 22, 2010

Today, I am going to take a look at the starting rotations for each National League Central team.

Pitchers like Adam Wainwright, Chris Carpenter, and Roy Oswalt call this division home. This division has quality pitchers throughout.

Here are the starting rotations for each National League Central team as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Chris Carpenter, RHP

2. Adam Wainwright, RHP

3. Kyle Lohse, RHP

4. Brad Penny, RHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – This rotation is very top heavy with Carpenter and Wainwright leading the way. Carpenter’s health is key. If he is healthy, the Cardinals will be favorites to win the division. I like the Penny signing. The Cardinals don’t have a candidate for the fifth starter right now, so look for them to sign someone.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Yovani Gallardo, RHP

2. Randy Wolf, LHP

3. Dave Bush, RHP

4. Doug Davis, LHP

5. Jeff Suppan, RHP

Quick Take – With the additions of Wolf and Davis, this rotation is vastly improved from 2009. Wolf and Davis will give the Brewers innings. Look for Gallardo to continue to develop into an ace. Suppan will battle with Manny Parra for the No.5 starter spot.

Chicago Cubs

1. Carlos Zambrano, RHP

2. Ryan Dempster, RHP

3. Randy Wells, RHP

4. Ted Lilly, LHP

5. Tom Gorzelanny, LHP

Quick Take – This might be the most overrated pitching staff in baseball. Dempster has had one good year in the last seven years and was not worthy of his contract. It’s up in the air whether or not Lilly will be ready for Opening Day. I am starting to wonder if all those innings Zambrano threw earlier in his career is coming back to haunt him now?

Cincinnati Reds

1. Bronson Arroyo, RHP

2. Aaron Harang, RHP

3. Johnny Cueto, RHP

4. Homer Bailey, RHP

5. TBD

Quick Take – This rotation will really miss Edinson Volquez in 2010. Volquez might pitch in 2010, but not until towards the end of the season. Arroyo and Harang are prime trade candidates. The Reds’ No.5 starter spot is open right now. I don’t think it will be Aroldis Chapman to start the season.

Houston Astros

1. Roy Oswalt, RHP

2. Wandy Rodriguez, LHP

3. Brett Myers, RHP

4. Bud Norris, RHP

5. Brian Moehler, RHP

Quick Take – From where this rotation was at the beginning of 2009, the Astros have come a long way. Astros need Oswalt to have a bounce back year. Norris showed potential last season, but needs to cut down on his walks and needs to show development next season.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Paul Maholm, LHP

2. Zach Duke, LHP

3. Ross Ohlendorf, RHP

4. Charlie Morton, RHP

5. Kevin Hart, RHP

Quick Take – I really feel bad for Maholm and Duke. If they were on better teams, they would be more recognized and people would know how good they are. Morton came over to the Pirates in the Nate McLouth trade and at 26, he needs to step up and prove he belongs in the major leagues.

Tomorrow, I will have the final installment of this series and take a look at the division where pitching dominates–the National League West.

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Seattle Mariners Lockup Felix Hernandez

January 19, 2010

The Seattle Mariners invested not only for 2010, but in their future last night.

According to ESPN.com’s Keith Law, the Mariners have signed ace Felix Hernandez to a five-year, $78 million contract extension. The deal buys out Hernandez’s two remaining years of arbitration.

"King Felix" got paid last night

First, kudos to the Mariners’ front office for locking up Hernandez. It always pleases me to see when teams lock up home-grown talent to long-term deals.

The Cleveland Indians started this trend in the early to mid-90’s and it’s great to see the trend continuing into the 2000’s. We have seen over the years teams like the Kansas City Royals (Zack Greinke), and most recently the Florida Marlins (Josh Johnson) lockup young talent.

Second, kudos for Hernandez for taking a home town discount. I know it’s hard to say to a guy he just accepted a home town discount at $78 million, but the reality of the situation is, he did.

$78 million for a guy of Hernandez’s age (23) and caliber, is a pretty good deal for the Mariners. Just look at all the pitchers who signed contracts similar to Hernandez’s over the last couple of years.

Derek Lowe – Four years, $60 million

Roy Oswalt – Five years, $73 million

AJ Burnett – Five years, $82.5 million

John Lackey – Five years, $82.5 million

Carlos Zambrano – Five years, $91.5

Now, all of these pitchers are pretty good. There is no arguing that. But, none of them at the age of 23, have accomplished what Hernandez has accomplished so far at the major league level and has the skill level of Hernandez.

Last year, Hernandez was 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA and struck out 217 in 238.2 innings of work. He also finished second in the AL Cy Young award voting to Greinke.

One could make the argument that Hernandez could have asked for a CC Sabathia (seven years, $161 million) or Johan Santana (six years, $137.5 million) like contract. But he didn’t and now the Mariners have Hernandez locked up to a reasonable contract for the next five years.

Now that they have Hernandez locked up, I wonder how this affects the re-signing of Cliff Lee? Lee is a free agent after this season and will be looking for a significant raise from his $5.75 million salary in 2010.

If the Mariners can lockup both Hernandez and Lee, then they will really have something going in Seattle.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Starting Nine: National League Central

January 15, 2010

Next up in our Starting Nine series is the National League Central. Outside of the St. Louis Cardinals re-signing Matt Holliday, there haven’t been any big-time offensive additions to this division. As a whole, this might be the weakest offensive division in baseball (yes, even passing the NL West).

Let’s take a look at the starting lineups for all six teams in this division as presently constructed.

St. Louis Cardinals

1. Skip Schumaker, 2B

2. Brendan Ryan, SS

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Matt Holliday, LF

5. Ryan Ludwick, RF

6. Yadier Molina, C

7. Colby Rasmus, CF

8. David Freese, 3B

9. Chris Carpenter, P

Quick Take – Re-signing Holliday was crucial to this lineup. Despite having Holliday and Pujols in the three-four spot, this lineup will only be as dynamic as Rasmus and Freese takes them.

Milwaukee Brewers

1. Rickie Weeks, 2B

2. Alcides Escobar, SS

3. Ryan Braun, LF

4. Prince Fielder, 1B

5. Casey McGehee, 3B

6. Corey Hart, RF

7. Gregg Zaun, C

8. Carlos Gomez, CF

8. Yovani Gallardo, P

Quick Take – The Brewers sacrificed some offense for defense in 2010. This isn’t the powerful Brewers’ lineup of the last couple of years. There are a lot of automatic outs from seven through nine.

Chicago Cubs

1. Alfonso Soriano, LF

2. Kosuke Fukudome, RF

3. Derek Lee, 1B

4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B

5. Marlon Byrd, CF

6. Geovany Soto, C

7. Ryan Theriot, SS

8. Mike Fontenot, 2B

9. Carlos Zambrano, P

Quick Take – This lineup is getting old in a hurry. If Soriano, Ramirez, and Soto can come back from disappointing 2009 seasons, the Cubs could be in business in 2010. However, I still think they are going to be hard pressed to score runs in 2010.

Cincinnati Reds

1. Drew Stubbs, CF

2. Brandon Phillips, 2B

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Jay Bruce, RF

5. Scott Rolen, 3B

6. Ramon Hernandez, C

7. Paul Janish, SS

8. Chris Dickerson, LF

9. Bronson Arroyo, P

Quick Take – This lineup looks good for now and even better for the future. If Bruce can stay healthy, he could have a breakout year in 2010. I would like someone better than Janish at SS, but top prospect Todd Frazier isn’t ready to take over just yet.

Houston Astros

1. Michael Bourn, CF

2. Kaz Matsui, 2B

3. Lance Berkman, 1B

4. Carlos Lee, LF

5. Hunter Pence, RF

6. Pedro Feliz, 3B

7. J.R. Towles, C

8. Tommy Manzella, SS

9. Roy Oswalt, P

Quick Take – This six through nine is brutal. It’s hard to have a top offense when the bottom part of your lineup is this bad. Top catching prospect Jason Castro is not too far away, so this is Towles’ last stand with the Astros.

Pittsburgh Pirates

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF

2. Akinori Iwamura, 2B

3. Garrett Jones, 1B

4. Ryan Doumit, C

5. Andy LaRoche, 3B

6. Lastings Milledge, LF

7. Ryan Church, RF

8. Ronny Cedeno, SS

9. Zach Duke, P

Quick Take – I think in order to maximize their offense’s potential, the Pirates will play Jones at first and Church in right instead of playing Jones in right and Jeff Clement at first. The Pirates’ offense will be better in 2010, but will still have a hard time scoring runs on a consistent basis.

Last, but not least, tomorrow we will take a look at the National League West.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Houston Astros Sign Brett Myers

January 9, 2010

Back in January of last year (actually almost one year to the day), I wrote a post “Looking at 2010 to predict 2009.” The idea was to see which players would have a big year in 2009 based on their free agency status after the season ended.

I called this big year the “Adrian Beltre year.”

The pitcher I had targeted to have a big year or an “Adrian Beltre year” was the Philadelphia Phillies’ Brett Myers. Here is what I wrote about Myers last January:

Myers gave up a lot of HR's in 2009

“After being summoned to the bullpen in 2007, Myers had a descent 2008 by going 10-13 with a 4.55 in 190 innings. Like Blalock, there are a couple of things I like about Myers this year.

1. It seems like Myers has been in the majors forever but he is still only 29 years old. The ages of 28 and 29 is usually when a pitcher comes into his own.

2. This will be the first time Myers will be pitching for a free agent contract.

3. Myers will be pitching once again on a good team with a solid bullpen which won’t blow leads for him late in the game.”

Well, things always don’t work out the way you think they would.

Myers struggled in April and May giving up 17 home runs in 63.2 IP, went on the disabled list, ended up having hip surgery, and returned in September only to find himself in the bullpen. Even my thought that the Phillies would have a solid bullpen in 2009 didn’t hold true.

Overall on the season, Myers went 4-3 with a 4.84 ERA, gave up 18 home runs in 70.2 innings, and had his lowest K/9 ratio since 2004 (6.4).

Despite having a rough season in 2009, the Houston Astros are hoping Myers can bounce back in 2010. According to MLB.com’s Brian McTaggert, via Twitter, the Astros have signed Myers to a one-year, $5 million deal. The deal also includes an option for 2012.

One of the reasons that Myers signed with the Astros is because the Astros offered him a spot in their rotation. Myers will be the Astros No. 3 starter heading into 2010 behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez. Bud Norris and Felipe Paulino should round out the rotation.

I have my doubts as to whether or not Myers can improve on his gopher ball habits pitching in Minute Maid Park. However, considering the Astros started the 2009 season with Russ Ortiz and Brian Moehler in the starting rotation, Myers does represent an upgrade in 2010.

Myers is the third acquisition the Astros have made to bolster their pitching staff this offseason. Earlier in this offseason, the Astros signed Brandon Lyon and traded for Matt Lindstrom.

Despite their acquisitions to the pitching staff, the Astros still strike me as a fourth or fifth place team in the NL Central. I expect the Astros to finish behind the St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers, and perhaps the Cincinnati Reds in 2010.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

Houston Astros Hire Brad Mills As Manager

October 27, 2009

After Manny Acta spurned the Houston Astros to take the Cleveland Indians manager position, the Astros had to go to Plan B.

Plan B was Brad Mills.

Mills was hired today to be the next manager for the Astros. Mills replaces Cecil Cooper who was fired with 13 games left in the season. Former Astros manager Phil Garner and interim manager Dave Clark were finalists for the position.

Brad Mills

Mills was Francona's right-hand man in Boston

Mills has spent the last six seasons as the bench coach for Terry Francona and the Boston Red Sox. Francona and Mills were teammates and roommates at the University of Arizona.

Mills also spent 11 seasons as a manager in the minor leagues with the Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Will Mills make a great major league manager? That I don’t know. There is no way to tell who will be a great manager and who will fall flat on his face.

Here is what I do know. Mills is going to have a tough time winning in Houston if the talent he is managing doesn’t get better.

The Astros are in a bad spot right now. They are an aging team with bad contracts and are short on minor league talent. That’s usually a recipe for disaster.

Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Miguel Tejada, and Roy Oswalt all have huge contracts and are all at the back-end of their careers. The Astros do have Jason Castro and Bud Norris as young and up-and-coming players, but who knows if they can be solid players on the major league level.

Just like with Acta in Cleveland, the Astro fans are going to need to be patient with Mills. They are going to have to judge him on how he handles his players and can he get the most out of the talent he has to work with?

Mills takes over a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in four years and finished 74-88 last year.

JP Howell, Bud Norris Shut Down

September 27, 2009

A couple of quick, early morning fantasy notes that I wanted to touch upon.

First, the Tampa Bay Rays shut down closer JP Howell. Howell has logged a lot of innings the last couple of years and with the Rays out of the pennant race, I am sure Howell could use the rest.

Howell was shut down by the Rays

Howell was shut down by the Rays

Despite finishing the season with 18 saves and increasing his K/9 ratio from 2008 (9.27 to 10.67), Howell had a rather unspectacular season. He has blown an American League high (tied with Mark Lowe of the Seattle Mariners) eight saves and his ERA, WHIP, HR/9, and BB/9 all increased from 2008.

I fully expect the Rays to go out and get a legitimate closer for 2010, so Howell’s days of having fantasy value might be over. Look for Dan Wheeler to get first crack at save opportunities for the final week.

Second, the Houston Astros shut down RHP Bud Norris. Norris has logged 175.2 innings in 2009 between Triple-A and the big leagues, so the Astros didn’t want to push the 24-year-old.

Like most rookie pitchers. Norris was inconsistent in his first stint facing big-league batters. Despite striking out almost a batter per inning (54 K’s in 55.2 IP), Norris also walked almost a batter every two innings (25 walks in 55.2 IP).

Norris needs to cut down on the walks if he wants to be a successful major league pitcher.

Norris should start the 2010 season with the Astros right out Spring Training.  Look for Norris to be the No. three or four starter behind Roy Oswalt and Wandy Rodriguez.

Fantasy Week In Review, September 14-20

September 21, 2009

For the majority of fantasy baseball leagues, the playoffs are well underway. Since most leagues don’t allow pickups during the playoffs unless someone is injured, I am not going to list the potential pickups for this week.

Here are the fantasy studs and players who might be ruining some teams playoff chances.

Fantasy Studs

Miguel Olivo:.253/4/13. What was amazing about Olivo’s performance last week was that he walked three times. That accounted for a quarter of his walks for the 2009 season. Olivio has walked just 14 times this year.

Michael Cuddyer: .292/4/11. Cuddyer is filling in just fine for the injured Justin Morneau.

Wieters has turned it on in September

Wieters has turned it on in September

Matt Wieters: .480/2/10. Wieters has finally come around. It appears Wieters is getting more comfortable at the plate with each passing game.

Mark Teixeira: .520/2/9. Teixeira is making one last push for the AL MVP award.

Jason Bay: .471/3/9. Bay got off to a torrid start, slowed down in the middle months, and is now turning it on again.

Cliff Lee: 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA with 15 K’s in 20 IP. After a couple of rough starts, Lee bounced back nicely last week.

Jake Peavy: 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA and 13 K’s in 12 IP. It’s good to finally talk about Peavy on the field, rather than an off the field injury. Peavy still has his good stuff as his 13 K’s in 12 IP indicates.

Joe Nathan: Four saves with a 2.45 ERA and six K’s in 3.2 IP. With the Minnesota Twins on a hot streak, Nathan has been the beneficiary of some increased save opportunities.

Reasons for Concern

Roy Oswalt: The Houston Astros shut down their ace last week for the remainder of the season because of lingering back soreness. Was Oswalt another casualty of the World Baseball Classic.

In 2009, Oswalt had the lowest wins of his career (8), highest ERA of his career (4.12), had a higher WHIP than last year (1.241), and his K/9 rate dropped from last year (6.8 in 2009 and 7.1 in 2008).

With a full winter’s rest, I expect Oswalt to bounce back in 2009.

Is Hudson out of a job in LA?

Is Hudson out of a job in LA?

Orlando Hudson: It looks like Hudson will be splitting time with Ronnie Belliard the rest of the way. Hudson has struggled in September, only hitting .250 with a .690 OPS. Belliard, on the other hand has been raking this month.

Belliard is batting .308 with an impressive .903 OPS and is second on the team in RBI with 13.

If you have a better option at second base than Hudson–go with him.

Remember, you can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter at www.twitter.com/theghostofmlg

Fantasy Week In Review, July 13-20

July 20, 2009

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.

Fantasy Studs

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.

Lackey pitched like an ace on Sunday

Lackey pitched like an ace on Sunday

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.

Potential Pickups

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.

Waving His Magic Wand(y)…

July 17, 2009

For those of you who don’t live in the state of Texas and don’t follow the Houston Astros on a regular basis, I am going to let you in on a little secret. The Astros’  Wandy Rodriguez is having a month of July like Zack Greinke had in the month of April.

While Zack Greinke made national headlines because of his month of April where he went 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA, Wandy Rodriguez’s month of July so far has virtually gone unknown.

Last night Wandy Rodriguez and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0. Rodriguez went six innings giving up zero runs, just five hits, and he struck six in the winning effort. For the month of July, Rodriguez is now 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA, walked only five, given up 17 hits, and has struck out 22 batters in 22 innings.

Those numbers are Greinke-esque.

For the season, Rodriguez is 9-6 with a 2.81 ERA. His nine wins have matched his win total for each of the past three seasons. So why is Rodriguez having a better year this year than in his previous four seasons? I think the answer is pretty simple – maturity.

I have looked at Rodriguez’s vital stats from 2005-2009. K/9, BB/9, groundball/flyball, opponents BAA., pitches/IP, and WHIP. Rodriguez’s 2009 stats are pretty much in line with what he did from 2005-2008. Of course, there are some difference here and there, but nothing that jumped out at me.

Rodriguez’s WHIP from 2005-2008 was 1.46. This year his WHIP is 1.27. A difference in Rodriguez’s favor, but I don’t think that is enough to make the case that Rodriguez is having a better year because of his WHIP being slightly lower.

I just think Rodriguez is a classic case of a pitcher taking a little longer than expected to figure out the league. He is 30-years old now and has been with the same team, the Astros for the last five years and has pitched in the NL Central for five years as well. I think that 100 percent helps.

Rodriguez’s ERA has gone down each of the last four years (5.64, 4.58, 3.54. and 2.81). That tells me he is getting more comfortable in his surroundings and he is starting to get to know the hitters better year after year. Remember, it took Roy Halladay four year to figure out how to pitch in this league.

With Rodriguez’s emergence, the Astros have a solid one-two punch with him and Roy Oswalt. If Rodriguez can keep this up, the Astros might make a serious push for not only the Wild Card in the National League, but the NL Central title.

Softball Update

The Vipers season ended with a bang last night. In our final regular season game we won 18-2. We put the game away with a 10 run second inning. We finished the regular season at 7-6. Not an usual Viper’s record as we have never lost more than three regular season games coming into this season.

Our playoff chances hang in the balance as we are still waiting for the results from another game. I finished the season with a .483 avg with three HR’s, 10 RBI and eight runs scored in 29 AB’s.

One last note here. THIS IS FOR THE IDIOTS WHO THOUGHT IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO PUT BOULDERS IN THE OUTFIELD IN RANDALL’S ISLAND (RANDALL’S ISLAND IS IN NY, AND THERE ABOUT 14 SOFTBALL FIELDS THERE).

IT WAS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE SOMEONE SERIOUSLY HURT THEMSELVES. THAT TIME WAS LAST NIGHT. MAYBE NOW YOU CAN REMOVE THOSE BOULDERS!!!!

Fantasy Week In Review, June 29 – July 5…

July 6, 2009

I hope everyone had a great July 4th weekend!!! It was finally nice out for more than one day here in the northeast so the bbq’s were grilling, the beach was crowded, and the softball’s were flying.

Last week was a very intriguing week in fantasy baseball. We finally saw everyone’s preseason man crush get crushed and we saw one pitcher who is trying to make a run at something that only two other pitchers (Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson) have done in the National League – win back to back Cy Young awards.

Here are the fantasy studs, players who have us concerned and the potential pickups for the week of June 29 – July 5.

Fantasy Studs

Derek Lee – .250/4/12. Lee only had seven hits during the week, but four of them cleared the fence. That is being efficient.

Albert Pujols – .429/3/8/.571 and one SB. The look on David Weather’s face when Pujols hit the grand slam off him on Friday was priceless.

Casey McGehee – .370/2/10. McGehee is doing just fine filling in for Rickie Weeks.

Shin-Soo Choo – .409/3/9. Any guy who has seven RBI in one game is a fantasy stud.

Marlon Byrd – .450/3/9/.556. Byrd has filled in nicely for Josh Hamilton. Now with Chris Davis being sent down (more on that later), Byrd should continue to get AB’s.

Oswalt was a stud last week

Oswalt was a stud last week

Roy Oswalt – 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 14 K’s in 17 IP. Oswalt got off to a slow start, but has really turned it on as of late.

Ricky Nolasco – 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 20 K’s in 16 IP. It looks like Nolasco’s time in the minors served him well. Good to see him back to his 2008 form.

Tim Lincecum – 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 17 K’s in 16 IP. Lincecum is making a serious run at his second consecutive Cy Young award. If the season ended today, I would vote for him.

Reasons for Concern

Chien-Ming Wang – The New York Yankees placed Wang on the 15-Day DL with a right shoulder strain. At this point, I am confident in saying this isn’t Chien-Ming Wang’s year.

From his early season struggles, to being put in the bullpen, and now to being put on the 15-day DL this season has been a disaster for Wang. He is 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA this season.

There is no time table for Wang’s return.

Randy Johnson – Johnson left Sunday’s game against the Astros with a left shoulder strain. Johnson is going for an MRI today.

Hopefully for Johnson owners, the MRI is just a precautionary move. If it’s anything more, there is a good chance Johnson could be placed on the DL.

Davis was finally sent down

Davis was finally sent down

Chris Davis – Well, well, well everyone’s preseason man crush finally crushed the hopes of fantasy owners across the world. Davis was sent down to Triple-A in order to make room for the returning Josh Hamilton.

Davis was batting just .202 this season and was leading baseball in strikeouts with 114. I am guessing this won’t be the last we will see of Davis this year.

Potential Pickups

Ryan Sadowski – Two starts, two quality starts, two wins, and more importantly – zero runs allowed in 13 innings. As long as he is pitching in the very pitcher friendly AT&T Park, Sadowski has a chance.

As long as he keeps pitching the way he has, he will stay in the rotation for the San Francisco Giants.

Alfredo Aceves – With Chien-Ming Wang headed to the DL, Aceves becomes the likely choice to replace him in the rotation.

I will ignore that Aceves has the most inappropriate nickname in baseball “Ace,” and focus on what he can bring to your fantasy team. With the Yankees’ offense rolling, Aceves should be in line for some five inning, seven to four victories.

Softball Update

It’s been awhile since I have done a softball update, so I thought I would give one today. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Vipers. The players we lost from last year’s team that made the finals is starting to show in the lineup. Not being able to score runs in softball is probably the most frustrating thing ever.

We started off 4-1 and now we sit at 6-4 through 10 games.

As for me, I am hitting .520 with three HR’s, nine RBI, and seven runs scored in 25 AB’s. Very Miguel Cabrera-like. I am also fielding like Miguel Cabrera would if he was to play shortstop, but that is a different story.

Two big games for the Vipers this week, so I will give another update next Monday.