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Roto Arcade

Cargo Time: Carlos Gomez shocks the world

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez get silly in the outfield (USP)

You can say almost anything you want with a cut-up statistical sample (this is a recording). Let's have some fun with arbitrary endpoints, anyway.

Over the last seven weeks (the second half, essentially), this outfielder has hit for a .285 average, with nine homers and 16 stolen bases. He's scored 29 runs and driven in 20. Only five fantasy hitters have been more valuable — Trout, Headley, Miggy, Pujols and Posey. Impressive company.

And still, 67 percent of Yahoo! owners want no part of Carlos Gomez. Come on, amigos. Let's not go into the football bunker just yet. We've got fake trophies to secure.

I've tried to push as much Gomez Propaganda as possible. He was the Closing Time lead item on July 25. I'll thrown a handful of silly Gomez Tweets your way. He picked up set-and-forget status on my no-surrender Friends & Family Club a solid month ago (I know, I know — perhaps surrender is the right play there).

Maybe the story seems to be coming out of nowhere, but let's examine some of the angles that back up the Gomez breakout:

-- He's in his Age 26 season. A logical time for a growth season, we all know that. He turns 27 in early December.

-- He's always been a plus defender and an excellent base stealer (120-for-151 over his career). No one's surprised to see Go-Go running wild. It's not like the kid can't play.

-- At 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, there's an athletic frame here. And heck, Gomez did knock eight homers last year in 231 at-bats. He's never going to be the second coming of Willie Mays, but this isn't a banjo hitter, either.

Gomez hasn't shown improved plate discipline in the second half (we'd love to see that), but his contact rate has improved. His OBP has jumped by 51 points, too. Heck, his second-half pace projects out to a 35-homer, 63-steal season. Why shouldn't that interest us? On one of my keeper-league teams, Gomez is a possible holdover (along with Trout, the most unfair player in the land).

At the end of the roto day, I don't care where the numbers come from. A 41-game sample at this pace has to be taken seriously. I know many of you are already on the bandwagon, and I know some others are just going to take shots at Gomez because it's an easy punchline. But when the category juice is this rich, why shouldn't we buy in?

Maybe you missed out on Carlos Gonzalez, the real Cargo. Understandable, he's a pricy player. Now it's time to let Affordable Cargo into your fake-baseball life. Let's have some fun with it. There's still room for you.

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The way we were (USP)

Things are going to get easier for Josh Beckett very soon, but his debut in Colorado was, understandably, a messy one. The Rockies knocked him around for seven hits and three runs over 5.2 innings, including this Tyler Colvin rocket to open the game. Meanwhile, Beckett's LA teammates couldn't do a thing with Rockies retread Jeff Francis. I hear the chicken and beer was super after the game, nonetheless.

Beckett's next turn is a friendly one, at home against Arizona. Chavez Ravine will hide some mistakes, Vin Scully will settle him down. After that, it's a non-threatening trip to San Francisco. As down on Beckett as I've been this year, I have to accept he's a Top 40 pitcher for the final month. Location, location, location.

Is everyone having fun with this Colvin story? He's on a .337/.389/.590 binge over the month of August, with a zesty 14-2-14-5 production line. Not even Jim Tracy can stop him; with so many Rockies on the DL (Helton, Cuddyer, Young), Colvin has to play. The slugging outfielder still strikes out a little too much, but he's been productive when given a chance to play. Like Gomez, Colvin is oddly available (74 percent) in most Yahoo! leagues. We can't make the point and click for you.

While the home cooking was good to Erik Bedard in Pittsburgh (3.26 ERA, 1.16 WHIP), it wasn't enough to save him. The Pirates decided to release the veteran, pointing to a 14-start run of mediocrity (4-9 record, 6.35 ERA). The underwhelming Kevin Correia (4.53/1.34) slides into the Bucs rotation. No matter where Bedard winds up — someone will take a chance on the lefty — I'm not interested for roto purposes. You do have to respect Pittsburgh's hard line on this — there's no time to waste, they need wins right now.

Although Dale Thayer has been solid in the second half, it looks like paternity may have cost him the temporary closing gig in San Diego. Thayer left the Padres for a few days on the weekend — his lady was giving birth to their child — and when he came back, Luke Gregerson had the ninth inning locked down. Bud Black used Thayer in the eighth and Gregerson in the ninth during Monday's victory over Atlanta. Bagels everywhere, and then one long handshake line. (The Chicken nods in approval.)

Either arrangement would probably work fine. Thayer has a 2.33 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in the second half, with 12 strikeouts against four walks. Solid numbers. Alas, Gregerson has been untouchable: 20.1 scoreless innings, three walks, 20 strikeouts. He hasn't allowed a run since July 3. That doesn't mean Gregerson has to pitch in the ninth — maybe a lockdown arm like that is better suited for the jams, not the rocking-chair handshakes. But Black is probably looking at a winning hand either way.

Rookie Casey Kelly picked up the win for the Friars, posting six scoreless innings in his MLB debut. The highly-rated righty hasn't pitched that much in 2012 due to an elbow problem, but his eight starts in the minors (over three levels) were impressive: 37.2 IP, 33 H, 14 ER, 3 BB, 39 K. He's been on Baseball America's top prospect list for three years running, though his rank has fallen in each of the last two years. The buzzkill to the story: Coors Field lies in wait for the weekend.

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