Johnny Damon is putting up sweet numbers for the Yankees. (Boston.com)
In today’s Fantasy baseball notes, the Yankees are getting a great contribution from the top of the order and may get a boost to its staff, while there’s trouble in B-More with a veteran catcher.
- The Yanks are positioning themselves for another run at the postseason, and they’re getting a nice shot in the arm from the top of the lineup. Johnny Damon is riding a five-game hit streak, capping it Sunday with a pair of solo shots into the upper deck. He’s back up to almost .300 and is on pace to top 20 homers and 30 steals, making him a serious Fantasy factor. New York will need more of the same this week as it looks to knock the Jays out of the race.
- Still with the Yanks, Cory Lidle should provide a boost to the staff, but he’s hardly a panacea. He’s been very effective of late, winning his last four starts — three of them very impressive performances — to lower his ERA to 4.74 and go over .500 on the season. Lidle has been a worse pitcher in the second half in recent years, and you’ve got to figure the move to the AL hurts him as well, so don’t expect too much. For what it’s worth, he has won both starts he’s made at Yankee Stadium in the past three years, but was mediocre in doing so. Overall, Lidle is a perfectly average pitcher and the Yankee offense can help mask that with runs, but that doesn’t mean his ERA is something you want on your team.
- Javy Lopez, who snapped a slump with his first multi-hit game in three weeks on Sunday, is pissed he wasn’t moved at the deadline and has asked the Orioles to release him. He wants to be traded to a team that will let him catch every day or at least more than he’s been doing with the O’s. Right now, Lopez is barely playing at all. Baltimore did try to move him, but to no avail. The logistics of him being dealt now make it very difficult, but if Jason Varitek has to go on the DL after twisting his knee on Monday, chances are Boston would be interested.
- When the White Sox pulled out of the Alfonso Soriano sweepstakes, which never occurred anyhow, it meant Alex Cintron would maintain some value. He’s an improving asset in AL-only leagues, and snapped a slump on Monday with three hits, including a dinger, for a pair of RBI. It’s conceivable that Cintron is still available in your AL league, so check it out.
- The White Sox, in fact, didn’t reinvent themselves at the deadline, opting simply to add reliever Mike MacDougal and catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. MacDougal, just off the DL recently after being out all year, gave up his first run of the season on Sunday. Before all is said and done, MacDougal could figure into the save situation in Chicago this year, even though Bobby Jenks has been lights out for the most part.