July 21, 2011
Kipnis has been promoted, and he'll make his debut on Friday night against the White Sox.
If you haven't already added the 24-year-old, give him a serious look. Right now. Go. He's a second baseman with power, speed, and on-base skills; there aren't many of those dudes just sitting around the free agent pool, at least not in deeper leagues. Consider the pick-up.
Kipnis has been well-hyped already, so there's no need for us to retell the full story here. This is simply a time to add. Over 91 games at Triple-A Columbus this season, Kipnis has delivered 12 homers, 12 steals, 36 extra-base hits and an OPS of .842. He wasn't promoted to merely sit and watch; he'll play, likely at a level that's useful in the fake game. Kipnis has some outfield experience, too, so he offers flexibility.
I'd prefer him to Jose Altuve(notes), but not to Dustin Ackley(notes) (close, but no). And I'd rather have Brett Lawrie(notes) in the bigs, but that hasn't happened just yet. Kipnis is here, and it's time to act.
• The Padres promoted Kyle Blanks(notes) to the majors on the same day they optioned first basemen Anthony Rizzo(notes) back to Tucson. Blanks is a monstrously large power hitter (6-6, 270) who was having no difficulty whatsoever at Triple-A, delivering a 1.137 OPS and 11 homers over 34 games. Rizzo had become an 0-for-3 machine for San Diego, and clearly needed further instruction. Perhaps we'll see him in September. Blanks definitely isn't joining an ideal lineup and he won't do his hitting in a favorable home park, but there's still power potential here. Add as needed.
• Naturally, I can't get through a Closing Time without a Brett Lawrie update. Surely you've adjusted to this fact by now. Lawrie went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI at Triple-A on Thursday, one day after going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs. So it looks like he's getting his timing back following the wrist injury. Please, Toronto: Make the call.
• Sticking with the overdue prospects theme for just one more blurb, outfielder Desmond Jennings(notes) reached base four times for Durham on Thursday, scoring twice. He's up to 12 homers and 17 steals on the year, getting on base at a .374 clip. OK, that's it, we're finished with the prospecting. Moving on...
• It's not everyday that we have an opportunity to link to video of a stand-up steal of home. Well done, Dexter Fowler(notes). Not so well done, Brian McCann(notes). Obviously that was not a straight steal, but rather a squeeze botched by both the batter and the catcher. Fowler owners aren't complaining. Dexter has scored at least one run in every game since he was recalled, going 7-for-23 with four walks, five RBIs and three swipes. Charlie Blackmon(notes) is (foot) already on the DL and Carlos Gonzalez(notes) having his right wrist examined (uh-oh), so there's basically no doubt that Fowler will remain in the lineup, possibly at the top.
• Just in case you missed it, Florida manager Jack McKeon has suggested that Edward Mujica(notes) would likely become his closer in the event of a Leo Nunez(notes) trade. Appreciate the tip, Jack. Here are a few choice quotes, via the Miami Herald:
McKeon said Mujica has the mentality to pitch the ninth.
"He comes in and pretty much goes right after you," McKeon said. "That's part of being a good closer. He doesn't get intimidated."
"[Mujica] is my good luck charm," McKeon said. "I've had guys like that in the past. When you ride a good horse for a while, you ride him."
• San Diego outfielder Cameron Maybin(notes) went 4-for-5 and swiped two bags against the Fish, his former employer. The four-single effort raised Maybin's season average to .277, where it probably won't stay. But still, this was a very nice day for the 24-year-old. He's stolen 19 bases in 21 attempts this year; he went 5-for-5 on the base-paths in the three-game series versus Florida. "They probably scored more runs in this series than they'd scored all month," said McKeon, who is awesome.
• Here's a fun fact that might win you a few bar bets (if you're the sort of idiot who makes lots of bets in bars): Over the past 10 seasons, no pitcher in baseball has recorded more strikeouts than Javier Vazquez(notes). Not Roy Halladay(notes), not Johan Santana(notes), not CC Sabathia(notes) ... no one. After Thursday's start, Vazquez has 2,008 Ks since the 2001 season. Impressive. His recent streak of useful outings ended when the Pads put up five runs against him over 4.1 innings. It's worth noting that he kept San Diego in the park (like that's so hard), and most of the damage was inflicted Maybin-style.
• With all due respect to Jason Isringhausen(notes), there's just absolutely no way this tweet is accurate. Of course the team is willing to part with a 38-year-old reliever who isn't under contract next year. C'mon. Stop it. Teams are surely interested, and Izzy looks great (he schooled Pujols on Wednesday). Still a very good chance he'll move, with Bobby Parnell(notes) taking the ninth full-time.
• If it makes you feel any better, Mariners fans, your team received a stern (possibly profane) lecture from Eric Wedge on Thursday, after suffering its 12th straight loss. And now your next nine games are against the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays, so good luck with that. If there's a bright side for the Mari—
Well, OK, there's no bright side, not when you've lost 12 in a row and your manager unloads. But fantasy owners will note that Ichiro(notes) went 3-for-4, stealing his 24th base of the year. And Justin Smoak(notes) got a hit, which almost never happens.
• Rangers starter CJ Wilson(notes) was fantastic on Thursday, limiting the Angels to one unearned run (Endy!) and two hits, striking out eight batters over 8.0 innings. Highlights here. Wilson just happened to pick the wrong day to pitch. He faced Jered Weaver(notes), who allowed no runs over seven frames, striking out six. Downs and Walden shut the door on a 1-0 Angels win.
• Tip of the cap to Kyle Farnsworth(notes), who struck out three Yankees in the ninth to earn save No. 19. His fantasy ratios are ridiculous (1.82 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) at the moment; if you drafted him, please take a victory lap. Well played.
That's all for now, gamers. Enjoy the Kipnis. We take you to this week's Justin Verlander show, already in progress...
Photos via US Presswire