Michael Cuddyer may have come back a bit too soon, or perhaps playing both ends of a doubleheader his first day back was a bad idea. Whatever the reason, Cuddyer was a late scratch yesterday due to a sore hamstring. The Rockies don’t believe this will be a long-term problem. Hmmmm.
The Brewers are hoping that Matt Garza and Kyle Lohse can return soon. They’ve set a timetable that brings Lohse back sometime next week, while Garza has been targeted for the first week of September.
Andrew McCutchen was activated from the DL yesterday as expected. However, he went 0 for 4 at the plate against Aaron Harang, who held the Pirates to just three runs on nine hits over 8.1 innings.
Yonder Alonzo’s season is over, as tests revealed a torn tendon in his right forearm. He was originally diagnosed with tendinitis and missed 30 games, however, he heard a pop in the arm when warming up to hit recently, which led to the MRI that found the tear. There is no word from the Padres about the next step for Alonzo, but surgery seems likely. Tommy Medica will be the most likely beneficiary of playing time with Alonzo gone.
The Nationals announced that Nate McLouth’s season is also over due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He is scheduled for surgery on Thursday to repair the damage.
Carlos Gonzalez had season ending surgery on his knee that may affect his ability to return on time in the spring. The procedure was fairly extensive, as it included a repair of the middle third of the tendon, removal of the bursa sac and repair to the fatty pad behind the patella. He’ll be on crutches and in a straight leg knee immobilizer for at least three weeks.
The Padres are planning to activate Andrew Cashner from the disabled list this coming weekend after a successful rehab start this past Monday. Cashner has been sidelined with a sore shoulder since June.
Yu Darvish will not be activated on August 25 according to the Rangers official website. It appears that neither Darvish nor the Rangers want to risk further injury given the lost nature of this season. Of course, neither of them care that Fantasy Baseball owners are pining for some strikeouts from Darvish.
Trends and News
Those of you that were frustrated with Justin Upton back in June, but hung on to him hoping for a comeback, are being rewarded for your patience now. In 31 games prior to the All Star break, Upton slashed .258/.321/.417 with four homers and 21 RBIs and one stolen base. Not bad numbers, but not what you expect from a stud like Upton. However, in the 31 games since the break, Upton has a .315/.403/.602 triple slash with seven HRs, 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored. The Braves lineup is finally catching fire after sputtering for the majority of the season. They could be peaking at just the right time to hit their stride down the stretch.
David Peralta is now the Diamondbacks number three hitter in the lineup, batting in front of the snoozing Mark Trumbo, who isn’t hitting homers like he should. Peralta, however, is hitting homers, one in each of the last two games and four in the month of August so far. The power has come at the expense of his batting average, though, as he began August batting .311 but has dropped to .291 over the last 17 games, during which he has slashed just .250/.282/.529. Still, he’s a great OF option in deep mixed leagues and all NL-only leagues, especially for those in need of power.
Aaron Harang put together another strong outing for the Braves yesterday to bring his record to 10-7 with a 3.50 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and a strikeout rate of 6.6 K/9. While I can see the temptation to stick with Harang in your Fantasy rotation down the stretch, be forewarned that he is trending in the wrong direction with several key statistics.
|Innings||K/9 IP||BB/9 IP||HR/9 IP||ERA||WHIP|
|First 13 Starts||78.1||8.85||3.33||0.46||3.33||1.28|
|Last 13 Starts||83.2||4.52||3.23||0.75||3.66||1.51|
As you can plainly see, his strikeout rate has plummeted over the last two months to well below average depths, and he’s giving up more home runs. The most disturbing trend is the WHIP because it’s hits that are driving the rate up since his walk rate has remained flat. The increased hits haven’t made much of an impact on his ERA thus far, but that’s due to a very lucky strand rate. The bottom line is that it’s only a matter of time before we see his ERA start to approach his 4.23 xFIP, which is a clear indicator that regression is on the horizon. Sell!
Drew Stubbs has been a pleasant surprise this season as far as batting average is concerned. Since the All Star break he is slashing .325/.381/.532 with three HRs, 11 RBIs, 12 runs and four stolen bases. Stubbs normally struggles against right-handed pitching (.230 career average) but this season his is batting .262 with 7 of his 13 HRs against them. With CarGo gone for the season and Charlie Blackmon batting .185 in August, Stubbs could see some extra playing time for the Rockies over the last six weeks.
Little Leaguer Makes SI Cover
Last week, Little League pitcher Mo’ne Davis became the first girl to throw a shutout in Little League World Series history. Next week, she’ll be the first little leaguer to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine. The 13-year-old pitcher from Philadelphia has a 70 mph fastball that she blew by opponents in notching eight strikeouts during her two-hit performance. That was her second great outing of the LLWS; all told she has 14 strikeouts and allowed just five hits in two shutout games. The Xpert Eye congratulates Davis on her accomplishments in baseball and wishes her good luck going forward. Hopefully, nobody has told her about the SI cover jinx.