Join SI.com's James Quintong in a discussion of some of the latest news in football, baseball and other sports and how it relates to fantasy teams and leagues.
6/05/2007 03:43:00 PM
The big fade
Tim Hudson is just 3-4 since the end of April.
Have you found yourself in the middle of the pack after leading the standings early on? It might be because you have some of these players who are slumping after a hot start. For most of these players, all you can do is ride out the storm since they have the ability to turn it around once again. But there are others who you might be able to deal off now since their overall season stats still look enticing enough, although nowhere close to their levels from April and early May.
Tim Hudson, P, Braves: Hudson has lost three of his last four starts, giving up 19 runs in that time. After finishing April with a 1.40 ERA, he's now pushed over 3.00. While he's still got a lot left this year, his trade value isn't where it was even in mid-May.
Gil Meche, P, Royals: First we scoffed at the signing, then we took it back after his great start. Now he's lost four straight, although he's only allowed four runs total in his last two starts. His ERA is sitting at 3.00, and while it could stick around there all year long, the wins may not be forthcoming.
Chris Capuano, P, Brewers: He won his first five decisions, then lost four straight starts. He's rebounded a bit, allowing only four runs over 14 innings in his last two starts with a loss and a no-decision, striking out 16 in that time. Like Meche, run support has killed him, as the Brewers have scored six runs in his last five outings.
Salomon Torres, P, Pirates: He picked up four quick saves, then blew three of his next five chances. Then came five straight saves, then he lost his job with two more blown ones. Matt Capps now has his job, but Torres might get it back temporarily with Capps facing a suspension.
Todd Jones, P, Tigers: He has 15 saves and four blown ones, with the blown ones coming in pairs, including his last two outings. He has a 27.00 ERA in his last four games, which includes two saves and two blown ones. There aren't many options behind him with Joel Zumaya out and Fernando Rodney only coming back from the DL today.
Jimmy Rollins, SS, Phillies: After hitting nine homers in April, Rollins may not even get into the NL All-Star race at shortstop as he's hitting just .248 with no homers since the end of April. On the plus side, he has five triples in that time. Rollins is a notably streak hitter, so he's got another power surge in him.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Rangers: Similar to Rollins, Kinsler has just one homer after nine in April. Even worse was his .174 average in May, although he's bounced back a bit this month. He is stealing a few bases, though.
Jim Thome, DH, White Sox: Before going on the DL, he seemed to be the only one hitting in the White Sox lineup. Now he's lined up with the rest of the underachievers, going 6-for-37 after a five-RBI game on May 22. On the plus side, he has homers in his last two games.
Carlos Beltran, OF, Mets: A knee injury has kept him out the past few games, although he's expected to return tonight. That might have led to a .234, two-homer outing in May, although he did draw 21 walks in that time, so Beltran should be back to normal soon.
I'll highlight some late-rising players in tomorrow's entry.
Other notes for Tuesday: -- Homer Bailey will be making his big-league debut on Friday, instead of Saturday as earlier reported. Pitching at hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark against a good Indians lineup isn't necessarily how I'd want to start my career, though.
-- Yunel Escobar had four hits and his first big-league homer against the Marlins on Monday, which should help his short-term value while Chipper Jones is on the DL.
-- Jonathan Broxton got his first save of the season on Monday with Takashi Saito likely out for this series against the Padres with a hamstring injury.
-- Reggie Willits will keep his place in the Angels lineup even with Garret Anderson back. Anderson will log a lot of time as the DH, pushing Shea Hillenbrand to a bench role.
-- There are rumblings out of Oakland that Rich Harden could be turned into a reliever when he comes off the DL. There could be a spot for him as a short-term closer with Huston Street out, although Alan Embree has been useful in the position so far.
-- Would you believe that the Royals' John Buck is second among all catchers with 10 homers after hitting two on Monday? Only Victor Martinez (12) has more. Buck has done in it just 125 at-bats, and he has more long balls than such notables as Andruw Jones, Manny Ramirez and David Wright.
Homer Bailey has 30 strikeouts in his last four starts for Triple-A Louisville.
After a couple of delays, it now appears that the Reds will indeed call up top pitching prospect Homer Bailey for a start Saturday against the Indians. Bailey is a solid 6-1 with a 2.39 ERA plus 51 strikeouts in 58 1/3 innings. However, the 24 walks in that period does bring up a few red flags, as does facing the potent Cleveland lineup in his potential first start.
With the Reds flailing away in the NL Central, it's as good time as any to bring up Bailey, although as both Phil Hughes and Tim Lincecum have already shown, it's not easy to keep up a consistently good profile in the majors. Lincecum has already seen his share of ups and downs in his big-league career, and he hasn't been able to stop the Phillies yet (11 earned runs in two starts vs. seven earned runs in his other four starts). Hughes had a so-so big-league debut, then had a no-hitter before injuring his hamstring against Texas and likely won't be back until later this summer.
The Reds could use another good arm in the starting rotation to go with Aaron Harang, as Bronson Arroyo has definitely not lived up to expectations. However, the hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark, along with a sometimes spotty offense, could give Bailey some trouble early on. Keeper leaguers obviously will ride the storm with Bailey, but others should be careful with him, although he would be an upgrade over any team's worst couple of pitchers.
And of course, taking a big leap with some of these notable in-season callups can be a major gamble, given the spotty track record of this year's rookies. We've already seen Brandon Wood, Felix Pie and Andy LaRoche get called up and sent back down. Alex Gordon is still below the Mendoza line, Delmon Young and Troy Tulowitzki are getting there, Adam Lind has slowed down after a hot start, and the jury is still out on recently recalled Ryan Braun (the Brewers' third baseman).
On the other hand, there have been some success stories early on, like the Astros' Hunter Pence keeping his hot bat from spring training and Reggie Willits running wild for the Angels. But it seems like the production has yet to match the hype.
Other notes for Monday: -- Takashi Saito is officially day-to-day after leaving Sunday's game with a hamstring injury. While Joe Beimel got the save in relief of Saito, it's very possible that Jonathan Broxton could pick up some save chances should Saito miss time.
-- Veteran Matt Stairs probably gets the bulk of starts at first base for the Blue Jays after Lyle Overbay broke his hand Sunday and will be out 4-6 weeks.
-- Staying in the division, Josh Phelps now takes over at first base full-time for the Yankees after Doug Mientkiewicz broke his wrist in a scary collision with Mike Lowell on Saturday. However, there are rumblings that Johnny Damon could take a crack at first base with Melky Cabrera taking over in center, possibly making Phelps a DH again.
-- The Braves played Jarrod Saltalamacchia at first base on Sunday. With Brian McCann settled in behind the plate, Saltalamacchia does need a place to play, and first base might be the most logical choice with veteran Craig Wilson already cut and Scott Thorman failing to impress in replacing Adam LaRoche.
-- The White Sox shook up their bullpen by demoting David Aardsma and Mike MacDougal to the minors. Aardsma saw his ERA quickly skyrocket after a great start, while MacDougal never really seemed to threaten Bobby Jenks for the closer's job.
-- Since returning from a short trip to the minors, Edwin Encarnacion is hitting .353 with two homers and nine RBIs.
-- With interleague returning this weekend, Travis Hafner could be building up enough games to qualify at first base in more leagues. He's already got four games under his belt, and with the Indians playing at Cincinnati this weekend, he'll probably start over Ryan Garko there as well. It will be interesting, though, to see what the Red Sox do in Arizona this weekend with David Ortiz needing to go to first, but Kevin Youkilis playing very well.