Still the man, for now (USAT)
Some days, there isn't a dominant lead story. You just load up the markers and see where they take you.
• I guess Addison Reed's arm isn't tired anymore - he needed just 11 pitches (eight strikes) to mow down the Astros and collect a handshake. Reed's now 16-for-18 on save conversions and his walk and strikeout numbers good, but nonetheless this isn't someone I'm comfortable owning. A 3.99 ERA is bad, a 4.88 FIP is ominous. He's already given up eight homers in 29.1 innings.
Brad Ziegler was the eighth-inning man Tuesday, and I could see him getting a closing shot if Reed eventually needs DL time (or an extended timeout). Ziggy had a stand-in save on the weekend, and remember he recorded 13 last year. He's sailing along with a 2.62 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, getting plenty of ground balls (63.9 percent). He's never going to be a strikeout ace, but he's currently at 7.34 K/9, the best of his career. An easy story to root for.
• Business as usual at the top of the Minnesota order. Danny Santana had a tasty 4-1-2-1 line (with a walk), and Brian Dozier had a juice box (homer, steal). If I were shuffling infielders right now, Dozier has to be in the $20s somewhere. Santana was at one-percent owned when we first discussed him last week; he's trading at 30 percent now. We love the three positions of eligibility (second, short, outfield), and the Twins figure to leave him alone in the No. 1 slot for a while.
Joe Mauer took the collar, something we're getting used to, and Kendrys Morales had two hits from the No. 5 slot. I expected the Twins to be one of the weaker offensive teams in the majors this year, but they're currently 13th in runs, a respectable club.
• It was an ordinary debut for Gregory Polanco: 1-for-5, a run, a couple of infield pops, a strikeout. Handy Josh Harrison took the third base start, while Polanco settled into right. We generally get a word from Andy Behrens when Polanco is the subject, so let's go the Chicago feed:
So true, isn't it? Polanco hit second Tuesday, a logical spot for the toolsy outfielder. For all the dancing the Pirates did (for logical financial reasons), they're not pretending anymore.
In many instances it's worth shopping a buzzy rookie the day he's recalled, since he has no record of struggles in the majors yet. The upside of the unknown. If you participated in a Polanco deal (coming or going) over the last 24 hours, let's hear from you.
The rest of 2014's callup trinity was quiet Tuesday. Oscar Taveras took a collar and is down to .194/.231/.306 through 10 games. He's walked twice, struck out six times, hasn't attempted a steal. George Springer is dealing with a sore knee and hasn't played the last two games. Off-the-cuff shuffle prices for the kids (2014 only): Springer $16, Polanco $14, Taveras $12. Your respectful disagreement is encouraged, as always.
Call the anagram police (USAT)
Back to the KC offense, what were the odds of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, and Alex Gordon homering on the same day? Moustakas would have to go on a monthlong tear before I change my mind on him; been burned too many times. Gordon's quietly been one of the best hitters in baseball this year, ranking 26th in offensive WAR. Hosmer is hitting the ball in the air more this season, but he's also popping up more than ever (and his line-drive rate is a mediocre 14.2 percent). Keeping with the off-the-cuff shuffling: Gordon $19, Hosmer $11, Moustakas $1.
• Sometimes you have to take a step back before moving two steps forward, and that's probably the case with Alex Wood in Atlanta. The Braves sent Wood down to Triple-A, ostensibly so he can stretch his arm out and prepare for a return to the Atlanta rotation at some point. Mind you, there's no opening for Wood right now and the team won't put a timetable on his return. Just recognize he's viewed as the team's No. 6 starter, so if anyone slumps or gets hurt, we'll have something to talk about.
• I expected a keg-tapper in Colorado for Monday; it arrived a day late. Atlanta scored seven runs in the top of the first and never trailed in the 13-10 victory, though Mike Minor (4 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) couldn't hold on for the win. The widely-available Tommy LaStella (three-percent owned) rapped out a couple of hits, improving his line to .368/.415/.368. He should be batting first or second on this OBP-lacking team, but Fredi Gonzalez has a lot of curious ideas. Soul-crushing B.J. Upton (.208/.283/.339) was in the No. 2 slot Tuesday.
• Corey Dickerson's ownership keeps inching forward, now at 26 percent. He did what he could Tuesday: 3-2-2-1, two walks, a steal. It's such an easy story in any format, a monster pedigree and a pinball home park. He's hitting at home and he's hitting on the road. I don't know why he's not taken in most of the Yahoo pools.
Anyone on the field in Colorado is at least worth a second look. Drew Stubbs has a .318/.353/.473 line in 129 at-bats, and Brandon Barnes has a similar slash (.305/.344/.441). Charlie Blackmon received a much-needed day off Tuesday, though he made a pinch-hitting appearance. Rockies shuffle (assuming Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer miss extended time): Blackmon $19, Dickerson $17, Stubbs $6, Barnes $3.
• We'll end with a tip of the CT cap to Bob Welch, gone too soon at age 57. His legendary battles with Reggie Jackson in the 1978 World Series (Welch won the first one, Reggie eventually got even) will never be forgotten, nor will Welch's brilliant 1990 season (27-6, 2.95 ERA). Rest in peace, righty.
- Sports & Recreation
- Gregory Polanco