Dustin Ackley, what the heck happened to you? Weren’t you supposed to be a polished hitter, ready for immediate big league success after being taken 2nd overall in the 2009 Entry Draft? Not so much eh? Ackley does have a few things going for him in that he’s scored 68 runs (pace of 88) and has 12 steals (pace of 15). Those numbers, when combined with 41 RBIs (pace 53), mark him as a potential middle infield option in deep mixed leagues. However, when you look over and see that .229 batting, that outlook becomes an outdated one. You can’t give up on Ackley and what should be a successful career, but it’s pretty obvious at this point that he just hasn’t been able to put together consistent at-bats in the bigs, and that leaves his fantasy value teetering on the brink of irrelevance in many leagues (he’s only owned in 56 percent of leagues at Fleaflicker).
Aaron Cook has made 11 starts this year for the Red Sox, and he’s gone 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Clearly the Sox have had issues with their rotation or why would they have bothered to give Cook 11 starts. But that’s not my point here. Do you know that in 11 starts Cook has – 11 strikeouts? Eleven. One an outing. One every 5.6 innings or 1.60 per nine. Among pitchers who have thrown at least 60-innings in a season since 1950 that’s the 7th worst K/9 mark. George O’Donnell somehow had a 0.83 K/9 mark in 1954 with eight Ks in 87 innings. That was his only season in the big leagues.
The Astros’ owner, Jim Crane, is “open” to adding Roger Clemens to the club if the 50 year old proves he still has something left. Why not since the Astros have the worst record in baseball at 39-86, and according to my latest look at their roster they do not have a single player on their current roster making more than $750,000 other than Ben Francisco at $1.537 million. That’s embarrassing. How could you possibly be an Astros fan?
The Red Sox have placed Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez and Jon Lester on waivers. It’s unlikely any of the trio will be moved, but we have learned that the Dodgers have placed a claim on A-Gone meaning they have 48 hours to see if they can work something out with the Sox. Don’t count on that happening.
Albert Pujols‘ calf issue is improving, and he could be back in action as soon as this weekend for the Angels. That’s hugely important to Pujols owners considering that he had hit eight homers and driven in 19 runners in his first 19 games played in August. Who would have thought it, but it seems probable that Pujols will get to 30 homers and 99 RBIs for a 12th straight season. He may not get to .299, the mark he has posted each of his first 11 years, he’s at .283 right now, but he has hit .317 since the All-Star break so it’s possible that a strong finish could get him up to that mark.
Mike Trout leads baseball with 41 steals, and he’s also been caught just four times for a 91 percent success rate, a big time success rate that is hard to maintain from year to year. The only player in baseball with more than 30 steals who has been caught fewer times is Emilio “I can’t stay healthy” Bonifacio who has 30 steals in 33 chances. Given that he’s played in only 64 games this season, Emilio is on a 160 game pace of 75 thefts, a huge number in this day and age. Speaking of steals, Tony Campana, in limited playing time, has racked up a rather impressive total of 26 steals. I say that because he has appeared in just 70 games with a mere 158 at-bats. Campana is also sporting a pathetic OBP of .299, has knocked in five runs all year, and somehow has scored five less times (21) than he has stolen a base. Amazingly, the mighty mite has just one steal since June 30th which means he has one one theft in roughly two months.
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By Ray Flowers