Sunday, June 12, 2016


By Michael Wong

Edwin Encarnacion:  3/3 with 2 home runs (15 for season) while hitting .243.  Encarnacion has been low volatile in terms of being out there everyday and delivering consistent power which is the main reason you bought stock here.  The average continues to slip as he is not aging well there like David Ortiz but everything else checks out nicely.

Danny Duffy:  6 IP 3 H 0 ER 3 BB 10 K with an ERA of 2.94.  Well this one kind of snuck up on us I would say.  Duffy now sits with 59 strikeouts in 49 innings and his WHIP is splendid at 1.06.  There has been nothing but letdowns throughout Duffy's career as his big-time K numbers from the minors never made it to least until now.  Awful control and injuries were major derailments for Duffy but at least now he seems to have smoothed out the edges.  Like with all cases like this, Duffy needs to be ridden out until the numbers start to go the other way. 

Tanner Roark:  7 IP 6 H 0 ER 1 BB 7K with an ERA of 2.93.  Speaking of impressive young pitchers this season, Tanner Roark has been every bit that and more.  The move back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen is often death to a young pitcher's season and that is what undermined Roark a year ago which we can now throw out.  With Roark having started opening guys with a very good 2014 debut, we are looking at the uptick in the K rate and again terrific ratios as a guy we can now start to trust.

Xander Bogaerts:  4/5 with his 8th HR while hitting .358.  Yes I am a Bogaerts convert after trashing the guy the last few years.  Honestly though I had cause to trash Bogaerts as he was nothing but an empty batting average until this season where the power has now taken off.  It is a typical growth spurt for Bogaerts whose excellent pure hitting now goes tremendously with the power and slight speed.  This folks is a superstar fantasy baseball shortstop which is about as rare a commodity as one can get.

Jake Arrieta:  7 IP 4 H 2 ER 2 BB 3 K with an ERA of 1.86.  Other then the low K total, Arrieta was his usual Cy Young self.  It certainly looks like Arrieta wants to keep the award in his home as he is doing everything he can to repeat.  Now has 90 K's in 87 innings and is validating his insane 2015 more and more every time out. 

Ryan Braun:  2/4 with 2 home runs (11 for season) while hitting .316.  Braun was a mini-slump coming into the game but all of that was erased on an afternoon he got to feast on fill-in New York Mets pitcher Logan Verrett.  Braun remains a pariah with his steroids past which makes trusting any numbers he puts up tough to do but his 2016 has shown his best offensive rates since before getting into trouble. 

Matt Shoemaker:  8 IP 3 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 K with an ERA of 4.76.  Listen I won't deny Shoemaker has been tremendous over the last three weeks.  Just keep in mind that through all those great starts, his ERA still sucks.  There was never any argument over the strikeout stuff Shoemaker has but instead his incredible home run penchant.  Now my one caveat and nice thing I will say here is that Shoemaker is at the age where the proverbial light bulb goes on which means a jump up in performance would not be a total shock.  I am willing to see how the rest of the season goes before putting a firm judgement on this but Shoemaker has a lot of trust to earn from this corner. 

Colby Lewis:  8 IP 3 H 1 ER 0 BB 3 K with an ERA of 3.00.  Ever since coming back from Japan, Lewis has been a dependable and at times very useful fantasy baseball SP 4 or 5. That is obviously especially true this season but keep in mind that Lewis always starts strong and begin a fade around July.  Career numbers always go this route.  Unfortunately you won't be able to sell high here unless as a throw-in for a bigger deal as Lewis is a guy the fantasy baseball community fully knows his limitations. 

Rougned Odor:  3/5 with his 10th HR while hitting .286.  This past winter I told you all to reach a round or two early for Odor based on his massive potential and boy are we starting to see it.  Not only did he make us all happy by going Mike Tyson on the flamboyant Jose Bautista but Odor has become the five-tool and very rare infielder that make us all weak in the knees.  Think Robinson Cano with speed here folks.  Yes really. 

Ian Kinsler:  2/4 with his 12th HR while hitting .312.  We are seeing a fantasy baseball MVP-type season from Ian Kinsler in Detroit of all places and at an age where he should be eroding.  Instead Kinsler has been an absolute monster this season and combined with his draft stock slipping a bit the last few seasons, has been as good as buy at the draft table as one can get. 

Carlos Martinez:  8.1 IP 6 H 1 ER 5 K with an ERA of 3.46.  Third straight dominant outing from Martinez who looked completely lost coming off another shoulder scare.  Don't like the fact Mike Matheney let someone with past shoulder problems throw 122 pitches and that could hurt him next time out.  Something to watch there but this looks like it will continue being a high volatile stock to own. 

-It was Carlos Estevez and not Jason Motte who picked up the save in Saturday night's game for the Colorado Rockies as the first replacement in the ninth inning for the injured Jake McGee.  This is a mild surprise as Motte had the experience but Estevez got the call and successfully nailed things down with a scoreless 1.2 innings.  Estevez has a high 4.22 ERA but he has struck out 22 in 20.1 innings and pitched well the last few weeks.  Go get him. 


-Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will likely miss another MONTH with the calf strain that landed him on the disabled list.  That means post-All Star Break is when King Felix will return and that is obviously a huge blow.  Previously one of the most durable pitchers in baseball, this is more evidence of all the massive innings taking a toll on Hernandez both physically and through diminished numbers.  The diminished numbers came the second half of last season and the injuries this season.  Plus we were robbed of being able to see if Hernandez was going to fade again the second half of 2016 due to the injury.  I told you all to avoid Hernandez this season and this is why. 

-It looks like Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish will land back on the disabled list as he won't start Monday and will head for a dreaded MRI on his shoulder/neck.  Darvish returned for only three starts coming off 2015 Tommy John surgery and now this.  Again Japanse pitchers come over here with a slew of underlying physical problems due to the crazy pitch counts and workloads they have over there and that leads to injuries like we have seen with Darvish and Masahiro Tanaka.  Not good as we could even be looking at another Tommy John.  Very bad news here and it is starting to seem like Darvish's days as even an SP 2 could be in the past. 

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