Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature's influences.
• Gentlemen and lady - we accept the fact there's only one
extra X less Y chromosome (Edit: Obviously, we were terrible biology students) that regularly reads this blog - the Ass-O-Meter has collected dust long enough. Our favorite Dickies-wearing plodder blessed with the doughboy physique of Bob Hamelin and the sweet stroke of George Brett has returned.
Alberto Callaspo's Cedric Benson-like sauce-capade couldn't have been timelier.
Over the past 30 days we've fought through endless verbal insults that questioned our expertise, foresight and relationship with our mother. Hey, we realize that the firestorm and subsequent backlash over Butler was self-inflicted. But through the expletive-laced assaults, we've sought solace in Boulevard Pale Ale six-packs, shots of KC Masterpiece and counseling sessions with other Buttheads outside Busch Stadium.
We've emerged stronger from this entire ordeal and now that the 7.8 percent owned Butler is back, presumably to play everyday, we're completely overjoyed. So elated we spontaneous combusted for well over sixty minutes when we heard the news of his promotion.
For those of you who play in rudimentary leagues full of owners who sip expensive import wines and dine at fancy French restaurants, Butler is not for you. Frankly you don't deserve him. But for those of you who drink cheap domestic beer and relish cuisine from shanty-looking BBQ joints that likely wouldn't pass a routine health inspection, Butler is exactly what you need. Trust us. The man whizzes hits.
During his temporary Omaha vacation, KC's Mr. Belvedere went berserk. In 101 at-bats with the Triple-A Royals he compiled a .337 BA with 12 extra-base hits (5 of those homers), 13 RBI and, get this, a mere seven strikeouts (6.9 K%). For the 22-year-old his time spent in Nebraska was reflective. Per MLB.com:
"You learn about yourself as a person," Butler said. "I knew I had a lot of things to work on, emotional and everything. I'm happy with my life and I'm just ready to see this go. I know I went through a struggle up here, but who doesn't? It's one of those things where I had a bad spurt with my confidence at the plate. But my confidence is back and I'll be ready whenever my chance comes. I don't hold any grudges. I'm going to do whatever the organization needs."
Several of you are still understandably frustrated with Butler's lack of immediate rewards. But the kid's renewed vigor, discerning eye and skyward contact rates will make him a statistical marvel, at least for deep-thinking owners. Eventually the power will come, but right now anticipate roughly 8-12 homers over the second-half. Still, with David DeJesus and Mike Aviles scorching the Ass-O-Meter could certainly register appreciable BA and RBI totals going forward.
Remember, in an eerily similar situation last year, Butler laced a .301 BA with 7 HR, 46 RBI and 35 runs (269 at-bats) after his early July promotion.
Are you willing to become a Butthead? Please post your reasons yes or no below.
• Before diving into this week's matchups, the sinister injury imp claimed two more victims tonight. Fantasy superstars Dan Uggla and Magglio Ordonez both left their respective games with lower leg injuries.
Here's how the Associated Press described Uggla's injury:
Uggla tried to stretch a single into a double in the fourth, appearing to injure himself as he pulled up to go back to first base. He was tagged out hobbling in the baseline and limped back to the dugout.
X-rays were negative, the team said. It was unclear how long he could be sidelined.
Robert Andino and Alfredo Amezaga would see a boost in playing time if Uggla's injury proved significant.
And the AP's take on Maggs' setback:
Ordonez appeared to pull up as he went after Troy Tulowitzki's leadoff double off the right field wall in the top of the third. After he threw the ball back in, Detroit trainer Kevin Rand came out to Ordonez, talked to him for a minute and escorted him off the field.
The team said he has spasms in his right oblique and lat. He will be evaluated further on Sunday.
Prodigious bomber, Matt Joyce, who launched five homers in 53 at-bats with the Tigers earlier this season, would likely be promoted from Toledo and see significant time in right if Ordonez lands on the 15-day DL.
• Questionable commodity: Chone Figgins (knee infection)
Hidden Lumberjacks (last 7 days): Jim Edmonds, ChC, OF (5-18, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 1.3% owned), Brian Buscher, Min, 3B (9-22, HR, 7 RBI, 0.12%), Mike Aviles, KC, SS (8-25, 7 RBI, 16.5%), Pedro Feliz, Phi, 3B (6-18, HR, 6 RBI, 5.0%), David DeJesus, KC, OF (10-23, 6 RBI, 22.1%)
Whiffers o' the weak (last 7 days): Joey Votto, Cin, OF/1B (5-25, 10 K, 84.4%), Adam Dunn, Cin, OF (4-21, 10 K), Jay Bruce, Cin, OF (3-23, 8 K, 88.8%), Ryan Howard, Phi, 1B (4-24, 8 K, 99.9%), Manny Ramirez, Bos, OF (4-22, 7 K, 99.9%)
Conspicuous Thieves (last 7 days): Randy Winn, SF, OF (7-24, 2 SB, 35.3%), Luis Castillo, NYM, 2B (3-20, 2 SB, 26.2%), Brandon Boggs, Tex, OF (3-13, 2 SB, 0.13%)
For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.
Other AL Double Dippers: Greg Smith, Oak (at LAA, at ChW), Luke Hochevar, KC (at Bal, at TB), Brian Burress, Bal (KC, Tex), Radhames Liz, Bal (KC, Tex), R.A. Dickey, Sea (Tor, Det), Scott Feldman, Tex (at NYY, at Bal)
Other NL Double Dippers: Clayton Kershaw, LAD (at Hou, at SF), Doug Davis, Tex (Mil, SD), Kyle Kendrick, Phi (at Atl, NYM), Dave Bush, Mil (at Ari, Pit), Jason Marquis, ChC (at SF, at StL), Tim Redding, Was (at Fla, at Cin), Zach Duke, Pit (at Cin, at Mil), Barry Zito, SF (ChC, LAD), Jeff Suppan, Mil (at Ari, Pit), Mark Hendrickson, Fla (Was, at Col)
TO CATCH A THIEF
Unrelated to the "Dateline NBC" predator stories, the "Rundown" investigates the best and worst base burglar matchups for the upcoming week. Stats reflect numbers through June 27:
FEAST OR FAMINE?
Torn between two stat-similar infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Scott Olsen is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through June 27:
Full Slate (teams with 7 games): Arizona, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Colorado, Detroit, Florida, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Oakland, Seattle, San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington