Kicking it old school (USAT)
Let's start with a couple of weekend streamables, and then we'll get to the news of the day.
• I understand the concern that comes with Bronson Arroyo, soft-tossing guitar player. Sometimes those off-speed pitches hit the corners and sometimes they don't; catch him on the wrong day and a crooked number ruins your ratios. Nonetheless, I made the one-day Arroyo add for Saturday, noting his home stats (3.15/1.11, 70 Ks against 15 BB) and an opponent he's handled twice (Milwaukee). Arroyo is still roaming free in about 45 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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• The Scott Kazmir return at Oakland was a flop, but perhaps a trip home and an appealing matchup (hello, Minnesota) will smooth things over. The Twins are 11th in the American League in runs, they won't have Joe Mauer in the lineup, and the offense generally doesn't travel well (.231/.307/.376). Kazmir stopped Minnesota easily over the first three meetings (1.42/0.84, 17 K, 4 BB) so let's play the card again. He's owned in just 19 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• And just like that, we've reached the end of the Rafael Betancourt program. The Colorado reliever blew a couple of saves in the Philadelphia series, and now he's expected to have Tommy John surgery on his elbow. Check please, game over. Rex Brothers has been terrific as the stand-in closer, and should be a Top 15 handshake man the rest of the way. Brothers is still free for the asking in about 55 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• Perhaps the Jeff Locke pixie dust has worn off for good. The All-Star lefty was kicked around at San Francisco (4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 3 K), this on the heels of an eight-run mess against Arizona. Locke's ERA has jumped ninth-tenths of a run over the last month, and his K/BB ratio (1.47) has been in danger zone all season. A lucky hit rate and strand rate can't last forever. Locke's next two turns come against Milwaukee, reasonable enough, but I don't trust him for the final quarter of the year.
• It wasn't a smooth night for Matt Cain, either: he gave up seven hits (two homers) and three runs over 3.1 innings, then left after a line drive clipped his forearm. X-rays came back negative, but it's still not clear if Cain will miss any starts. The Giants are 15 games below .500 and buried in the standings, which makes you wonder how they'll handle injured players in the final weeks of the year. There's no reason to take a chance with any long-term asset.
• It's a good thing the Braves have that dreamy depth in the starting rotation, because we have to worry about Brandon Beachy again. He didn't feel right during his Tuesday start and he's scheduled to meet Dr. James Andrews on Monday. Everyone knows what that means; prepare for the worst. Add Mike Minor back into your weekly plans; he'll step in for Beachy and pitch Sunday against St. Louis.
• I guess we can make this last call on Emilio Bonifacio - either you need a rabbit or you don't. He swiped two more bags Thursday, giving him six in just eight Kansas City games. He's basically going every time he can - he's collected seven hits and three walks with his new club. The speed-merchant specialist is still unclaimed in 83 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bronson Arroyo