Call it a comeback (USAT)
We go where the roto stories take us, and on this fine morning, Seattle is the place to be. Time to catch up with the Blue Jays and Mariners. Pour the coffee, slap your gum against the wall and let's get to it.
• The knocks keep coming for Brett Lawrie, a name for the post-hype file. Toronto's well-inked infielder had a single, double and triple in Monday's win at Seattle, hiking his average up to .233. Here's a look at the key hit of the game, a rally-sparking triple off Hisashi Iwakuma in the eighth inning. Nifty piece of hitting.
The 23-year-old Lawrie has been especially robust since the All-Star break, rocking a .302/.366/.587 line with four homers over 18 games. The plate discipline stats tell you how locked in Lawrie is - seven walks, nine strikeouts over the last three weeks. Throw in two positions of eligibility (second base, third base) and you have someone who should probably be owned in more than 69 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Tattoo you.
• Similar to Lawrie's profile, the Justin Smoak season doesn't look like much if you strictly examine it on the bulk of the numbers. But if you focus on Smoak's play since his return from an oblique injury, the story changes. Maybe the former hot prospect is putting things together at age 26.
Smoak rejoined the M's back on June 18 and he's been a force to be reckoned with ever since. He's crushed eight homers and posted a terrific .300/.400/.548 slash over that period, with 19 walks thrown into the mix for good measure. Here's the latest round-tripper, a smash off R.A. Dickey on Monday.
Smoak still has plenty of areas to improve in - although he's a switch hitter, lefties continue to beguile him. But in the current state of the game, we'll take pop anywhere we can get it. Smoak awaits your call in 90 percent of the Y! world.
• If you're eager for a Tom Wilhelmsen siting, readjust your GPS and head to Tacoma. The Mariners demoted the right-hander after Monday's game, a strange move given The Bartender had been reasonably reliable prior to last week's meltdown at Boston.
"I'm not throwing strikes, it makes sense," Wilhelmsen told the Seattle Times. A stand-up guy to the end.
Fireballing Danny Farquhar now gets a chance to take the closer gig and run with it. Farquhar recorded two saves over the weekend and you have to love his velocity (94.5 mph on the fastball) and his ridiculous strikeout rate (13.5/9). The 5.09 ERA is significantly misleading; he's also carrying a 1.25 WHIP and he's pitched much better of late. Last call in medium and shallow pools, save chasers. Make the add.
• The stream police, they live inside of your head. Let's see what we can find for Wednesday's slate.
Ryan Dempster has been a hot mess of late, but perhaps a trip to Houston will straighten him out. The Astros have the worst home record in baseball (19-37) and they've been outscored by 160 runs overall. This is good work if you can get it. You can make the Dempster dive in 52 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Miguel Gonzalez has fallen on hard times in his last two turns, but his previous eight starts were begging for Circle of Trust privileges (six wins, just 14 earned runs allowed). Now he's crossing over for a rare visit to the NL - Petco Park of all places. Let's forgive and forget. Gonzo can be yours in 74 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
Samuel Deduno won't knock your socks off with the K/BB ratio - it's actually a major point against him. But with eight useful starts in his last ten outings, maybe we shouldn't hassle it. Deduno's ridiculous ground-ball rate (61.5 percent) keeps him out of trouble, and even when opponents elevate the ball, it usually stays in the park (7.5 HR/FB). The Royals are sizzling, but in deeper leagues, you have to be open minded. Sammy D is a free grab in 93 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
- Sports & Recreation
- Brett Lawrie
- Justin Smoak