Fantasy Notes: Giambi Still Ailing?
September 19, 2006 | | comment on this post
- Sure, Jason Giambi got his cortisone shot and returned to the Yankees lineup last week, but anyone who thinks his wrist is okay need look no further than his .171 BA and complete lack of long balls this month to know he is still hurting. The Yankees themselves have admitted that he is best served DHing only. But that’s going to be a problem because as soon as Gary Sheffield returns — and he’s getting closer — the Yanks are going to have three players (Giambi, Sheffield and Hideki Matsui) for two spots. And seeing as how Matsui will supposedly not play the field again this year and Sheffield is being groomed to play first base in the playoffs, something has to give. Let’s hope the Yanks don’t jettison Melky Cabrera from LF and let Matsui back out there.
- Not only has Chien-Ming Wang become one of the league’s top winners, but he’s now a true innings eater, which is a manager’s dream in this era of thin, shaky bullpens. Wang has gone at least five innings in 19 straight starts, ranking fifth in the AL overall with his 205 IP. He’s still a much better pitcher at Yankee Stadium, but he’s winning wherever he starts and sometimes that’s all that matters.
- Still with the Yanks, the strong are about to get stronger. Mariano Rivera came through a bullpen session on the weekend very well, and he could return to the team as soon as Friday. No one needs to be told what he means to New York. At 5-5, 1.90 with 33 saves, Rivera has won at least five games seven times in his career. Get ready to activate him next week.
- Torii Hunter has really picked up the power pace with three homers in the span of six games last week. He has now clouted five long balls with 15 RBI and an 825 OPS this month. His numbers are up across the board in the second half — all except his OBP. After walking 38 times against 58 strikeouts in the first half, Hunter has a mere five walks against 43 Ks in the second half. Yet his average is up 19 points and his slugging has soared 75 points. What’s up with that?
- Notwithstanding a blip yesterday, the Phillies’ bullpen has been lights out since Tom Gordon returned and restored its hierarchal structure. Swingman Eude Brito has been inconsistent, but tossed four perfect innings Wednesday. Fabio Castro has a 1.06 ERA since the All-Star break. Aaron Fultz struggled in August, but has yet to be scored on this month. Geoff Geary has a sub-2.00 ERA in September. Gordon is four-for-four in save chances since being activated and has tossed three straight shutout outings. Ryan Madson, before getting touched up yesterday, had thrown shutout ball in four of his previous five appearances. Matt Smith has not been scored on since arriving in Philly in the Bobby Abreu trade. Rick White has a streak of four straight scoreless appearances. If the Phils can close the gap and win the NL wild card, give a tip of the hat to the pen.