After a one day hiatus to discuss that quarterback who I shall never mention again, you know the one who has retired about 13 times over the past two years only to return to action, let’s get back to what I know best, and that is the game that is played on the diamond.
Johnny Cueto will be placed on the DL with shoulder inflammation. I wonder what genius it took to figure out that he wasn’t physically “right” as his ERA has gone from 2.69 on July 1st to 4.61. That’s right, over his last nine appearances he has gone 1-6 with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.97 WHIP. Unless he suddenly morphed into a 66 year old version of Jamie Moyer, it’s pretty flipping clear he just hasn’t been right.
Zack Greinke lost his eighth game of the year on Wednesday after allowing four runs over seven innings. Greinke has been great this season with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP over 25 starts, but the man has only one victory in his last nine times on the hill while he has accrued five loses in that time. If you ask me, his shot at the Cy Young Award is pretty much non-existent at this point as I think he is no better than third on the list behind Roy Halladay (13-5, 2.65 ERA, 1.08 WHIP) and Felix Hernandez (12-4, 2.66 ERA, 167 Ks, 1.18 WHIP). You could also make a valid argument for Justin Verlander (13-6, 3.28 ERA, 194 Ks, 1.16 WHIP) or even C.C. Sabathia (14-7, 3.58 ERA, 1.13 WHIP) could have moved ahead of the Royals’ hurler, so maybe Greinke is on danger of not only falling out of the top-3, but possibly the top-5.
Mets Injury Update
* David Wright (concussion) – Hopes to be cleared for action on Thursday and is eyeing a return near the end of August.
* Carlos Beltran – Running in the outfield and also took batting practice on Wednesday. Hopes to return sometime in September.
* Oliver Perez – May not make his next start as his knee is still bothering him. Maybe his sore knee threw him off balance in his last start leading to just a single walk. Hey, what else explains a measly walk for a guy who has averaged 4.31 walks per start? Maybe he should pitch hurt more often.
* Billy Wagner – Should be activated by the weekend after proving that his elbow is sound. Could be valuable down the stretch in NL-only leagues.
There are of course more Mets options I could discuss here, but I’m falling asleep typing name after name from this club so I’m gonna just leave it where it is and move on.
Jake Peavy likely won’t make that start on August 28th as the White Sox hoped – what a shock. The best case scenario is that he will return on September 2nd, or possibly in the following series against the Red Sox. This guy could turn out to be a difference maker for the Sox, but I gotta tell ya he hasn’t sold me on the idea that he will be able to contribute this season.
Willy Taveras was placed on the DL today with a strained left quadriceps muscle, and while this is bad news personally, and for those of you counting on his speed in NL-only leagues, it is likely great news for the Reds. Why do I say that? Let me count the ways. First, the man is hitting .238 with one home run, and those numbers are only acceptable if you take the hill once every five days. Second, though he has 25 steals and was on pace for a fifth straight season of 33 steals, he has seen his steal total drastically reduced from his career best total of 68 from last season disappointing all involved. Third, the man owns a .273 OBP this season. Since the league average is .334 Taveras can be said to be only 82 percent of “average” in this respect, and that is flat out awful for a man who has spent 390 of his 395 at-bats in the first or second hole in the order. I wouldn’t be worried about how Dusty Baker uses pitchers as much as I would question how the man puts together his batting order. Clearly Taveras has world class speed, but with a complete inability to get on base this season he should have been holding down court in the eighth slot all season.
By Ray Flowers