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Fantasy Notes: Nathan Finds his Niche

July 2, 2006 | By RotoRob | comment on this post
Rondell White is struggling for the Minnesota Twins.
The look of frustration on Rondell White’s face has been far too common.

Have you ever seen a pitcher just find his niche the way Joe Nathan did when appointed closer of the Twins? He recently reached 100 saves for his career and it’s taken him less than three years to reach the plateau. For the season, he is 5-0, 1.91 in 29 games, with 13 saves in 14 tries. But most obscene is that 47/4 K/BB ratio. Nasty.

Owners of AL-only teams that were inexplicably holding on to Rondell White can feel free to jettison at will. White’s been put on the DL to make room for Shannon Stewart, who’s come off the DL. The official line is that White’s shoulder is hurt, but the fact he’s suffering from crapititis. He’s been farmed out for an injury rehab, but a more humane thing to do would be to set him adrift on an ice floe already. In the meantime, Jason Kubel is the undisputed owner of left field in Minny. And so it should be. He’s been on fire lately. It’s possible but unlikely he’s still available in a shallow mixed league.

Stewart will mostly DH, but he won’t be getting his lead-off spot back right now. If Luis Castillo continues to struggle (.219 over the past seven games), Stewart could reclaim the lead-off job. Castillo was excelling in the two-hole, so a shift would help both players.

Lew Ford is going to be on the outside looking in soon. He’s down to .216 thanks to a 1-for-13 skid.

Chris Capuano’s incredible run of consistency was snapped in resounding manner last night. Of 17 his starts this season, 16 have been quality outings. Saturday, he only lasted four innings and was shelled for 11 hits and six runs by the Twins. Bear in mind that he took a line drive off his pitching forearm in his previous start. Capuano says it wasn’t a factor in this game, but obviously something wasn’t quite right. Of course, nothing is going right for opponents of the Twins these days. That’s nine straight wins now and 17 of 18 for the boys from Minnesota. At home, they have a 12-game run going. It’s something to think about if your starters are facing Minny. Zach Jackson gets them Sunday, and then it’s Kansas City, but if you actually own a Royal starter, you might find more enjoyment in bouncing your head off the wall than in reading this drivel.

Slumping Milwaukee shortstop Bill Hall was given Friday off and there was a chance he was also going to get some pine time Saturday, but he did play. However, he was just 1-for-5 and is now in a 3-for-21 skid.

Brewers reliever Brian Shouse gave up a run Saturday after going the entire month of June — 15 appearances — without being scored upon. The streak dropped his ERA below 2.00 for the season.

You need to jump on Michael Cuddyer in mixed leagues if he’s still available. After a pair of doubles, a triple and two RBI Saturday, he’s on pace for 75 extra base hits and 105 RBI. Cuddyer’s career high in extra base hits is 40, and he’s already surpassed his personal high in RBI.

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