• To play roto is to be burned by Homer Bailey at one time or another. He gets all of us. But I don't see how we can ignore the four-game winning streak he's on: 30.2 IP, 27 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 27 K. The best start of all came Friday against Milwaukee, a 10-strikeout gem over eight innings. Here's some snappy video to get you started.
Perhaps this run has been mostly fueled by the schedule, given that two of the wins came at San Diego and Los Angeles. I hear you. But if the matchups keep falling right, we need to take advantage. Bailey works at Houston next week, one of the cushiest spots in the majors right now. He awaits your call in 78 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Anyone feeling a post-hype buzz?
• The schedule is doing all it can to assist Tim Lincecum, too. The enigmatic righty dominated the Astros last weekend and he had everything working at Philadelphia on Friday (7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 6 K). If you've held on this long, you might as well dial up Timmy at home against San Diego next week. But I'd hit the trade market aggressive after that, with the Mets and Rockies (at Coors) lying in wait. He's still nowhere near my Circle of Trust.
• It's been a tumultuous six weeks for Johan Santana, as he's fallen from the scrapbook to the scrap heap. We're always remember the no-no against the Cardinals, lefty, no matter how much controversy that game inspired. But Santana's eight starts since then have been a mess (6.54 ERA, 11 homers allowed), perhaps because of an ankle injury Santana suffered three turns back.
The Mets have decided to put Santana on ice for a while; he landed on the DL after Friday's loss to the Dodgers. Even if you have DL slots in your mixer, I don't view Santana as someone you absolutely have to keep. In today's pitcher-driven context, you need to find safer, better options.
• The way Tommy Milone is twirling the ball right now, I might be willing to graduate him from the streaming pool. He shut down the Yankees with seven superb innings on Friday (6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K), a clinic in working high and low, in and out, setting up batters. He had to settle for a no-decision when the bullpen imploded, but that line is useful for all of us. Milone has allowed two earned runs or less in six straight starts, piling up 36 whiffs against just three walks.
Everyone knows the lefty is money at home: 0.91 ERA, 0.80 WHIP. But the road starts have been better of late, too: he beat Minnesota and Seattle out of a suitcase, and even the loss at Texas had some roto utility (5 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K). I won't blame anyone who skips the turn next week at Toronto, but I'll absolutely start Milone at home against Tampa Bay at the end of the month and I'll be open-minded to his upcoming road assignments. He's fun to watch, too, a quick worker who pounds the strike zone.
• New shortstop Josh Rutledge continues to hit for the Rockies, on a 9-for-24 binge since joining the club. He's stolen three bases in three attempts, too, a nifty trick given that he bats eighth in the Colorado order. I'd love to see what the kid might do with a better batting slot, especially when the Rocks get back to Coors Field. His impressive run at Double-A Tulsa (.306/.338/.508, 13 homers, 14 steals) earned a two-level promotion from the club a week ago. Maybe this eventually turns into a story for all mixed-league players.
• Yasmani Grandal's career is just 17 games old but he's already learning all about what Petco Park does to hitters. Grandal has a .258/.258/.419 slash at home (he did homer Friday), compared to the .321/.321/.786 line on the road (with four taters). Mind you, he could help himself by taking a pitch now and then: he's struck out 12 times and hasn't taken a walk yet. He'd be in the 12-14 range on a Catcher Shuffle Up if I were doing one right now, a great option for two-backstop leagues but not an automatic play for the owners who need just one. Ownable in some deeper leagues, sure, but let's not make him a Glorified G just yet.