It’s fantasy football season for seemingly everyone on the planet, but we all know that it’s still fantasy baseball season as well. Today I’ll mention two young arms who seasons are over, three veteran arms that are rolling, a bullpen that continues to role with their “setup” man in the 9th inning, a couple of dynamic guys at the dish and an AL lefty who can’t get his record to .500 even though he continues to dominate batters.
Jarred Cosart is done for the season as the Astros decided to protect his young arm. The Astros hurler threw a total of 153 innings this season, a year after tossing 132.2, so it’s a bit odd to see him shut down – or at least I should say a bit safe. Still, he was dynamite in ERA with a 1.95 mark over 10 outings though he won only one game and somehow had a 0.94 K/BB ratio (yes, he walked more batters than he struck out). A solid AL-only option down for the year.
I know that Jason Grilli is back with the Pirates but I’m not thinking he’s going to be taking over the 9th inning duties anytime soon. Mark Melancon continues to simply annihilate whomever dares to stride to the plate with a bat in their hands. Melancon picked up his 12th save Monday and he’s now the owner of 26 holds, 12 saves, a 0.85 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, 60 Ks in 63.1 innings an a 7.50 K/BB ratio. Why would you remove that from the 9th inning? Exactly.
Ubaldo Jimenez is actually having a solid season for the Indians. The guy I spent $1 in AL LABR this season allowed an unearned run Monday as he punched out 10 Royals. Check these facts out. (1) He’s allowed two of fewer earned runs in his last nine starts leading to a 1.94 ERA since the All-Star Game. (2) He’s struck out 157 batters in 154.1 innings. You can live with the 11-9 record and 1.39 WHIP given that he was so cheap on draft day and because he’s been lights out the last two months.
Jon Lester is 13-8 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 160 Ks in 193.1 innings, a nice rebound season that forced the Red Sox to pick up his $13 million option for 2014. Like Jimenez, Lester has been much better in the second half with a 2.53 ERA, 3.56 K/BB ratio and 7.58 K/9 ratio. He’s back to being someone you can trust.
Ricky Nolasco tossed six innings without allowing an earned run Monday. Talk about rolling. In 12 starts with the Dodgers Nolasco is 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 62 punchouts in 74 innings. He’s been an ace. Yes, I just typed “ace” in a sentence referring to Nolasco. No way around it – he’s been special since he was sent to the west coast.
I’m going to get a filling fixed at the dentist today. I write that cause Wilin Rosario has missed three games with an infected lower right wisdom tooth. Hopefully my recovery will go smoother than that. Speaking of Rosario, the dude has had a great season. A year after hitting .270 with 28 homers and 71 RBIs he’s gone on to hit .289 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs. He never walks, he has a pathetic total of 15 in 429 at-bats, and that makes me question his ability to hit for a high batting average, especially when you realize his BABIP is up .051 points from last season at .340.
Chris Sale has been fantastic this season with 207 punchouts in 195.2 innings (both numbers are career bests). He’s also sporting a truly elite set of ratios: 5.05 K/BB, 2.90 ERA and 1.04 WHIP. Despite all those numbers he’s not in the top-10 right now in pitchers in the fantasy game because of his 11-12 record. Something is wrong with the way we reward players in the fantasy game is it not?
Denard Span is up to 20-straight games with a base knock. He’s also batting .322 in 177 at-bats since the All-Star game. Not many seem to care for a guy who is basically just helping in one category though as he’s owned in only 19 percent of Fleaflicker.com leagues.
Juan Uribe hit three solo homers Monday. Three. Uribe is batting .270 with 10 bombs and 44 RBIs giving him some value in NL-only leagues after hitting .199 with six homers and 46 RBIs over 143 games in 2011-12.
Taijuan Walker is another rookie who will be shut down because of an inning count limit. Walker, who made three starts with the Mariners posting a 3.60 ERA and 1.00 WHIP, has got as good a shot as any youngster in the AL to win the Rookie of the Year award next season (Walker threw 126.2 innings last season and he will finish this season at 156.1). All this shutdown talk kinda makes you wish it was 1967 when the following rookies went at least 200 innings: Tom Seaver (251.0 innings), Gary Nolan (226.2), Dick Hughes (222.1), Tom Phoebus (208), Rich Nye (205) and Bill Singer (204.1).