Melky Cabrera was hit on the right elbow by a pitch and is listed as day-to-day after an X-ray came back negative. Nolan Reimold replaced him and would stand to benefit if Cabrera misses time. Cabrera has a line of .315/.367/.480 with 14 home runs, 59 RBIs and a .846 OPS in 115 games. Reimold is a career .253 hitter with decent pop, who’s been plagued by injuries for most of the last two seasons.
Brett Lawrie is back on the disabled list after just three innings of play coming off his last trip to the sidelines. While frustrated owners are likely to write him off for 2014, he is still worth hanging on to if you can spare the roster spot. He has 12 HRs in just 282 PA and could still stroke another 3-5 if he returns in two weeks when eligible. The Blue Jays will rotate Munenori Kawasaki and Danny Valencia at third base while he’s gone. Neither is worth a pickup in Fantasy.
Josh Beckett, profiled on these pages just yesterday, is expected to go on the DL today with a hip impingement. He’ll be evaluated further by Dr. Neil ElAttrache, who may prescribe surgery that would end Beckett’s season.
Trends and News
The Mariners opted to send SP Roenis Elias to Triple-A since the team won’t need a fifth starter for the next two turns through the starting rotation. Elias currently leads all AL rookie pitchers in starts (23) and innings pitched (134.2) after throwing just 130 Double-A innings last season. Since the Mariners are still hoping for a post season berth they want to limit Elias’ innings as much as possible to preserve him for October. Fantasy owners of Elias should hang on to the rookie, though, because the Mariners plan to bring him back on or around August 18.
Jason Kipnis went 3 for 4 Wednesday, trying to get his sputtering second half bounceback going again. He had a rough first half, missing a month of games with an oblique strain and producing disappointing numbers across the board Entering Thursday’s game, Kipnis was batting .246 with six HRs, 36 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 87 games. He started off hot after the All Star break but has slowed considerably. He is batting .286 in seven August games thus far.
The Andy Marte experiment is over already in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks announced that he was designated for assignment to make room on the roster for 3B prospect Jacob Lamb. Lamb has a .321/.406/.553 slash line with 37 home runs and 193 RBIs in 1079 career minor league plate appearances. Given that Lamb will be the only traditional third baseman on the active major league roster, he will likely get a long look for the rest of this season as the Diamondbacks assess their team for 2015. Lamb has a nice combination of power and patience that could translate into some decent production. He’s certainly worth monitoring over the course of the rest of this season.
Mark Trumbo has hit safely in six of his last seven games and is batting .289 over his last 10. However, he’s only had three extra base hits since returning from a broken hand on July 11 and is slashing just .224/.253/.263 in the 21 games played since then. Trumbo hasn’t hit a home run since April 21.
Caleb Joseph homered for the fourth consecutive game last night, a stretch in which he’s 6 for 14 (.429) and raised his average from .199 to .220 while more than doubling his HR total. But please, don’t go running to the waiver wire. Joseph has legitimate pop, having hit 22 HRs in Double-A last year. But he batted just .268 over seven minor league seasons, and at 28 years old isn’t suddenly going to be the second coming of Mike Piazza.
Dustin Ackley has homered in two straight games and now has three homers in August and four in his last seven games. Since the All Star break, Ackley is slashing .360/.368/.587 to raise his season line to .257/.303/.398. Any chance to buy low on him is long gone, but he’s still worth grabbing in a trade for the balance of the season if you need batting average and power help. His .292 BABIP indicates that more positive regression is in the offing.
Stephen Drew had just 11 RBIs in 39 games with the Red Sox before they sent him to the Yankees for a bag of baseballs and some cash. In seven games with the Yankees, Drew has six RBIs. Just sayin’.
Homer Bailey shut down the Indians on Thursday, allowing just for hits with eight strikeouts and one walk over seven shutout innings. Bailey is just 2-1 in his last seven starts but that’s hardly his fault. Over that period he’s pitched 50 innings with a 1.62 ERA with a .168 BAA. The Reds’ offense has scored just 17 runs in those seven starts (eight in the two wins) for an average of 2.43 runs per game.
Today in Baseball
Ian Kennedy takes the mound tonight at PNC Park in Pittsburgh against Vance Worley. Kennedy (8-9, 3.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) has an odd set of home/road split trends. At Petco Park this season, Kennedy is 3-5 with a 4.00 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP with batters hitting .251 against him. However, on the road he is 5-4 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and a BAA of just .230. Over his career he’s never pitched well at PNC, with a record of 0-2 and a 7.90 ERA in three starts there. So, which wins out tonight? Will it be this year’s incredible road warrior stats or his dreadful run in Pittsburgh? Daily Fantasy Sports players are probably scratching their heads over that one.
Also of note tonight, the former Fausto Carmona, Roberto Hernandez, makes his Dodgers debut against Kyle Lohse and the Brewers at Miller Park. Hernandez was 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA for the Phillies in 20 starts this season prior to heading west after they traded him to LA for a couple of prospects early in July.