Fantasy Notes: Better to Give Than Receive
Carlos Zambrano, coming off a no-hitter in his last start, failed to get out of the second inning and was pounded by the Cards Friday. A line of 1 2/3 IP with six hits, three walks and eight earned runs, including a grand slam by Adam Kennedy certainly shattered a few fantasy owners’ dreams. Kennedy, who earlier in the day had requested a trade out of St. Louis due to his reduced playing time as of late, responded by going 4-for-5 with the grand salami, five RBI and three runs scored. However, all of us Zambrano owners could be bitter over this effort for a while.
Shin-Soo Choo is still hotter than fire, going 3-for-4 Friday with two homers and four RBI for the Tribe. He is currently sporting a .307 BA, with 13 homers and 57 RBI in only 287 at-bats. Choo has the potential to be a very solid sleeper pick heading into next spring. In other news coming out of this game, Gary Sheffield and Fausto Carmona took centre stage in a seventh inning melee. After getting plunked by Carmona in the seventh, the two played the stare down game on Sheff’s leisurely stroll to first, and after a pick-off move to first and the customary exchange of pleasantries, the brawl was on. Sheffield charged the mound and repeatedly attacked Carmona’s fist with his face. Come on Sheff, with that display you must have attended the Robin Ventura School of Fisticuffs. Stay tuned for the sure-fire suspensions to follow.
Down in Arlington on Friday, the Angels gave the record breaking Francisco Rodriguez the day off, and Scot Shields picked up his third save of the season in a 15-13 slugfest. The Angels, having clinched the division sometime back in mid-summer, will in all probability be resting some of their regulars in the last week of the season, making both Shields and Jose Arredondo solid options for save opportunities next week. For those playing in keeper formats Shields and Arredondo are both intriguing choices with K-Rod heading to free agency this offseason.
After totally destroying pitching at Triple-A Oklahoma, Nelson Cruz continued his onslaught at the majors, going 3-for-5 Friday with a homer and three RBI. Since getting called up at the end of August, he’s sporting a .346 BA, with five homers and 21 RBI in only 81 at bats. With Milton Bradley looking for a long-term deal fitting of his HOF calibre year, Cruz is positioning himself well for increased playing time heading into the 2009 season.
Jorge De La Rosa got the win Friday, his ninth of the campaign for the Rockies. The 27-year-old limited the Diamondbacks to three hits and three walks, with six punchouts and only one earned run over six IP. Since being inserted into the rotation back in the middle of August, he has gone 4-2 and has been steady if unspectacular in an early audition for 2009. Clint Barmes and Chris Iannetta both chipped in with solo homers in the victory. Iannetta’s was his 18th of the season, a very nice return for a guy that was looking to be nothing more than a backup heading into this year.
The bubble finally burst for Brett Myers, as he was tagged for nine hits, two walks and ten — yes, ten — earned runs in four IP in the Phillies’ 14-8 loss to the Fish. This was a devastating effort for his fantasy owners, as he had allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his previous 11 starts since his trip to the minors to get things straightened out back in July. Cameron Maybin continued his torrid return to the bigs by going 4-for-5 for his second consecutive four-hit game. He is now 9-for-11 in the three games since his callup from Double-A Carolina and is making a solid case for being a part of the Marlins’ plans for 2009. However, if talk that Hanley Ramirez may move to CF proves to be true, it will interesting to see where Florida finds room for Maybin.
In closing, I just wanted to pass on a strategy tip for everyone playing in Yahoo! leagues with an innings cap for pitching. If your league is using an innings cap, it is very important to remember that the cap only comes into play once it is exceeded, and Yahoo! gives full credit for all stats accumulated on the day the cap is passed. If the need is there for a last minute push in wins and strikeouts, feel free to wind ‘er up and start as many starters as you can on those last few days; it can be a difference maker.