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Fantasy Forward: Marketing’s not this difficult

What’s worse than major league baseball not over-hyping Bryce Harper and Mike Trout facing off during a two-game set? Dusty Baker sitting Harper out when he can use him as a designated hitter. Sometimes the advertising or making too much of a match-up between two players proves to be nauseating, but not getting the most out of two of baseball’s most talented young superstars in a mini-series being virtually ignored does not make sense. Rant over.

Arizona showed off its shiny new toy, J.D. Martinez, who left the game as a precautionary move after being hit on the wrist by a pitch. X-rays returned negative so his fantasy owners along with Diamondbacks fans hold their collective breath. Kyle Hendricks will throw a bullpen session with the Cubs this weekend and if all goes well, should return to the rotation. Where John Lackey ends up remains to be seen, but he threw the gauntlet down saying he’s a starter. In other trade fallout, the White Sox announced Tyler Clippard, he of the 10.80 ERA since June fourth and 41 percent hard contact rate, will assume the ninth inning going forward. Stay away. There’s more saves to be had soon by pitchers who will not harpoon ratios.

Ryan Dull headed out on a rehab assignment to hopefully bolster the A’s bullpen in August. Cameron Maybin went to the disabled list with his right MCL sprain. Rumors center on Pablo Sandoval signing with the Giants. The Yankees designated Rob Refsnyder and Ji-Man Choi for assignment. Life comes at you fast. Off to the recaps.

Starting Pitcher Observations

Mike Montgomery won his second game in possibly his last turn in the rotation. He held the Braves to two hits, one earned run and one walk with five strikeouts.

Nick Pivetta reeled in his third win pitching 5.1 innings allowing five hits, three earned runs and one walk with four strikeouts in Miami.

After slow start, Jose Berrios rebounded to win his ninth game pitching 6.2 innings giving up six hits, one earned runs and two walks with five strikeouts.

Big Maple, James Paxton, continued his dominance over the Astros en route to his ninth win. Paxton struck out seven over seven innings allowing six hits, one earned run and one walk.

Jon Gray rebounded in a game at Coors lasting six innings giving up seven hits, four earned runs and two walks with seven strikeouts. After his implosion against the Mets, Colorado will take the progress.

Sonny Gray did not get traded yet and finished 6.1 innings for his sixth win. Gray allowed seven hits, two earned runs and two walks with six strikeouts on 19 swinging strikes.

Both Carlos Carrasco and Matt Cain turned in quality starts in a game decided by the bullpens. Carrasco worked six innings giving up six hits, two earned runs and two walks with six strikeouts. Cain also pitched six innings allowing five hits, three earned runs and two walks with five strikeouts.

Zach Davies pitched well in Pittsburgh limiting them to one run (unearned) over seven innings with four strikeouts. However, Gerrit Cole pitched even better racking up 10 strikeouts over seven innings generating 11 swinging strikes.

Either the Rangers offense’s struggling or Kevin Gausman is turning a corner. Usually it lies somewhere in between. Gausman struck out eight yielding four hits, one earned run and two walks for his sixth win. Texas could become sellers this weekend.

Jacob deGrom notched his 11th win pitching 6.2 innings giving up seven hits, one earned run and one walk with three strikeouts against the Cardinals.

Despite walking (5) more batter than he struck out (3), Drew Pomeranz won his 10th game for Boston. He pitched 6.2 innings of three-hit baseball allowing an unearned run.

Kenta Maeda won his eighth working five innings giving up five hits, one earned run and one walk with three strikeouts.

Justin Verlander turned in a solid outing striking out eight on 16 swinging strikes. An encouraging number for his owners. Jason Hammel also recorded a quality start going 6.1 innings allowing four hits and one earned run with two strikeouts.

Alex Meyer returned from the minors with a strong outing at home limiting the Nationals to one hit over seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He’s been terrific at home, can he produce on the road?



Bullpen Musings

Working for the fifth time in six days, Edwin Diaz saved his 18th game giving up a walk with a strikeout. Sam Dyson notched his fifth save allowing a hit and a walk. Raisel Iglesias pitched 1.2 innings striking out three but Micheal Lorenzen garnered the win after Cincinnati walked off with the win in the 11th inning.

Addison Reed recorded four outs for his 16th save striking out two and allowing a hit.

Both Kelvin Herrera and Justin Wilson blew save chances, in the same game. Herrera tried to pitch through a 102 fever but yielded a two-run home run to give up the lead. Then Wilson entered giving up a hit and a walk along with two earned runs for the loss.

Hitter Highlights

In a game Kris Bryant left early due to a pinkie sprain, the Cubs still amassed eight runs. Bryant’s replacement, Tommy La Stella went 2-for-3 with a home run, his second. Javier Baez finished 2-for-4 with two runs, a double and three RBI. Over the last 30 days he’s hitting .338/.378/.519 with 11 runs, two home runs and 11 RBI in 82 plate appearances. Addison Russell tallied four hits in as many at-bats with two doubles and two RBI. He’s slashing .301/.346/.521 with three home runs and eight RBI during his last 78 plate appearances. Ender Inciarte added two more hits including his eighth home run. Inciarte’s scored 21 runs over his last 24 games played. Tyler Flowers hit his seventh home run as well.

Philadelphia scored 10 runs without a home run yesterday. Daniel Nava led the way with four hits and an RBI. Cesar Hernandez, Freddy Galvis and Tommy Joseph all finished with three hits. Hernandez scored two runs with an RBI, Galvis doubled twice and scored thrice. Nick Williams tripled two times, scored two runs, drove in two and walked. Maikel Franco doubled among his two hits and drove in three runs. Andrew Knapp continues to wrestle the catcher job from Cameron Rupp going 2-for-3, scoring two times with an RBI. Speaking of marketing, did you know Giancarlo Stanton launched his major league lead tying 30th home run yesterday? You should. Christian Yelich making good in the second half hit his ninth home run as well.

Clint Frazier went 2-for-4 and scored the Yankees only run. Brett Gardner drove him in. Brian Dozier doubled, scored and walked twice. Miguel Sano hit a three-run bomb, his 23rd of the year.

Jean Segura finished 2-for-4 with a run and stole his 12th base. He’s now second in batting average in the American League hitting .346 for Seattle. Ben Gamel hit his fifth home run driving in two. George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman tallied two hits with Bregman scoring a run along with stealing his ninth base.

Jabari Blash made the most of his trip to Coors and drove in two during the final game of the series. Cory Spangenburg went 2-for-4 with his seventh home run and three RBI. Nolan Arenado had himself a day. Arenado’s 5-for-6 performance included home runs in three straight at-bats (19,20,21), he scored four runs and drove in seven. Charlie Blackmon went 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBI but left early after tweaking something during a swing. Monitor this news closely. Gerardo Parra added four hits and two runs. Trevor Story tripled among his three hits, scored three times and drove in three. Ryan Hanigan also tallied three hits, scored twice and drove in two.

Steven Souza left the Rays game early noting wet conditions on the field. He’s day-to-day for now like the rest of us. Evan Longoria, Logan Morrison and Brad Miller all tallied two hits. Matt Joyce hit his 12th home run and drove in two. Marcus Semien scored twice, singled and walked. Yonder Alonso, Jed Lowrie and Rajai Davis all racked up two hits.

Michael Brantley went 2-for-4 scoring two runs with an RBI. Jose Ramirez also finished with two hits in four at-bats with two RBI. Denard Span keeps the theme going with a 2-for-4 game, scoring two runs, he doubled and hit his seventh home run with an RBI. Brandon Crawford also went 2-for-4 with a run and a double. Buster Posey’s pinch hit double provided the go ahead runs driving in two.

Domingo Santana’s three hits led the way for Milwaukee. He doubled and homered (16). Jesus Aguilar added a two hit night with an RBI. Josh Harrison finished 3-for-5 with a run. Francisco Cervelli went 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Shin-Soo Choo tallied two hits and stole his eighth base. Joey Gallo launched his 22nd home run. Adam Jones hit his 16th home run among his three hits, scored three runs and drove in two. Jonathan Schoop doubled going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Trey Mancini added a 2-for-4 line with three RBI as well.

David Peralta’s 3-for-5 led the way for Arizona with his ninth home run. A.J. Pollock went 2-for-5 with a run. Paul Goldschmidt moved to cleanup with a hit and stole his 15th base. Billy Hamilton racked up three hits, scored two runs and swiped his 40th bag. Zack Cozart may be heating up going 4-for-6 with his 11th home run going yard in back-to-back games.

Speedster Magneuris Sierra went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Cardinals. Asdrubal Cabrera added three hits for the Mets and scored two runs. Yoenis Cespedes dyed his hair blue, went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Lucas Duda doubled, scored and drove in one.

Mookie Betts scored two runs and stole his 17th base. Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-3 with three RBI. Deven Marrero’s 1-for-3 game included a run and two RBI.

Chris Taylor racked up three more hits, scored three runs, doubled, hit his 11th home run and drove in two. Corey Seager also went 3-for-4 with his 15th home run and three RBI. Kike Hernandez continues to torment southpaws with two home runs (9,10) and two RBI off of Carlos Rodon. Yasiel Puig added two hits and stole his 10th base. Melky Cabrera accounted for the White Sox only run with his 12th homer.

Mikie Mahtook hit a pinch hit two-run home run (6) to give the Tigers a brief lead in the ninth. Brandon Moss finished a 3-for-4 game with two runs, his 11th home run, a double and two RBI. He’s on pace to hit 19 home runs and only drive in 33, think about this.

Yunel Escobar led off going 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Mike Trout homered for the second straight day, his 18th, scored twice and drove in two. C.J. Cron hit his fourth home run and drove in two as well.

Statistical Credits: MLB.com, BaseballSavant.com, ESPN.go.com, Fangraphs.com

 

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Greg Jewett
I am a father, PE teacher & fantasy baseball writer. Using saber metrics & information to evaluate players & trends is exciting to me."Passion is the oxygen of the soul." Bill Butler

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