I was struck by quite a few oddities on this day as I sat down to pen this entry, so I just went with that theme for today.
Mat Latos was reportedly hitting 97 mph on the radar gun last night in his seven shutout innings against the Giants. Latos was almost matched on the night by the Giants Jonathan Sanchez who allowed only one run in his seven innings as the Giants lost 1-0. Moreover, Sanchez struck out 10 while allowing only one hit in the loss. Three points. (1) The last time that the Giants lost a game in which they allowed only one hit World War I was happening – it was September 22nd, 1917. (2) Latos is a potential stud. I worry though that the Padres will limit him to 150-160 innings, so it might be wise to ride him for a while and then move him to a leaguemate who isn’t aware that his innings will be limited. (3) I keep saying it, and people keep laughing at me, but Sanchez just might end up being as valuable as Clayton Kershaw in 2010. Seriously.
The Cubs are a mess, and Lou Pinella isn’t one to sit idly by. He’s already switched the lineup around moving Marlon Byrd (vs. lefties) and Kosuke Fukudome (vs. righties) to the top of the order, and now the team is making a change in the rotation. With Ted Lilly set to return from his minor league rehab assignment this weekend, and with that a starter will need to be moved to the bullpen. Speculation was rampant on Twitter today about who it might be, and ultimately the man chosen to move might have been the one least likely to have taken on a bullpen role – and that is Carlos Zambrano. Big Z hasn’t made a bullpen appearance since 2002. Zambrano certainly has the stuff to dominate in shorts stints, but there are two big concerns. First, he often has no idea where the strike zone is, and you don’t want a late game arm coming in walking guys. Second, Zambrano is the hot head of hot heads. How anyone thinks that matches a role where, even at best, you often end up blowing things for your team, is beyond me. Be very afraid Cubs fans, but if you can, hold on to him in fantasy leagues cause this simply cannot last (sooner or later Carlos Silva will implode).
Mark Ellis missed seven games with a hamstring injury before playing last night. Well, he suffered a setback and today the A’s placed him on the DL. So, he’ll now have to miss 15 more games. Would the team have been better off just placing him on the DL when the injury initially occurred, thereby saving them a week of time? Probably. Too bad the Red Sox did the same thing with their handling of the rib injury to Jacoby Ellsbury (they left him on the bench, but not on the DL, for a week and a half before deciding to DL him).
Prince Fielder isn’t hitting his weight, which is something when you way like a quarter of a ton (he is hitting .224). Beyond the concern with the batting average there is the fact that he hasn’t gone deep in 49 at-bats. Well, I guess we know why – he has a sore hand. I have a sore wrist, but it hasn’t precluded me from continuing to type out really good articles the past week (I must be tougher than Prince).
Zack Greinke allowed two runs over seven innings against the Blue Jays only to see his bullpen cough up the lead and the game. He’s now 0-2 through four starts despite a 3.28 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Speaking of the Royals, Jose Guillen continues to mash as if he was the reincarnated Josh Gibson. Guillen is hitting .377 with six homers and 13 RBI through 15 games. How is that for a forgotten man in the fantasy game?
Oh, and one last thing. Mr. Lyle Overbay, my starting first basemen in JEDWARS, an AL-only league, please remember how to hit. How he is batting .119 through 59 at-bats, considering that he owns a .277 career average, is simply astounding. It also goes to show you that things always even out. What do I mean? I have Guillen going absolutely nuts on that same squad, though his production has pretty much been negated by the failures of Overbay.
By Ray Flowers