It was quite the day in baseball, headlined by J.P. Arencibia’s impressive debut.  Gavin Floyd, Prince Fielder, and Robinson Cano were among those who continued to impess.  Joel Hanrahan struggled again, while J.J. Putz and Trevor Hoffman got unexpected save opportunities.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:


  • J.P. Arencibia (4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R) – Toronto Blue Jays – Now this was a way to make a Major League debut.  The Blue Jays launched eight home runs, six of which came off James Shields (4.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 2 K), who struggled coming off a brilliant performance against the Yankees. As for Arencibia, his Triple-A success was well publicized and if he can continue to produce, there’s reason to believe the Blue Jays will hand him the job, even once John Buck returns from the DL.  I’ve said it before, but there’s every chance he has the same late season impact that Geovany Soto did a few years ago.  In other words, if you need a catcher and he’s still available, what are you waiting for?
  • Robinson Cano (2-3, 1 RBI) – New York Yankees – This broke a five-game RBI drought.  The horror, I know.  He’s hitting .332 with 21 HR, 72 RBI and 74 R on the season.  Is he now the #1 2B for 2011?  It’s quite possible, and it’ll be interesting to see where he falls when we update our 2011 2B rankings this week.
  • Pablo Sandoval (1-3) – San Francisco Giants – He hasn’t homered since June 15.  He hasn’t scored a run in 10 games.  Since June 1 he has just 23 RBI.  Isn’t he supposed to be one of the few elite third baseman in the league?  To call him a major disappointment would be an understatement at this point.
  • Dan Johnson (2-2, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) – Tampa Bay Rays – He was hitting second and playing first in place of the injured Carlos Pena.  At 31-years old you would think we know what he is, but he’s hardly been heard from since 2007.  He was a monster at Triple-A (.303, 30 HR, 94 RBI), and that came in the International League, not known as an excessive hitters league.  In other words, he’s worth adding in deeper formats, especially with all the 1B who have gone done recently.  Right now he may be sharing time at 1B with Ben Zobrist, but if he keeps hitting he will get more AB.
  • Prince Fielder (1-4, 2 RBI) – Milwaukee Brewers – He has been on an absolute tear of late.  In his last five games he has gone 10-24 with 11 RBI.  Remember when he couldn’t buy an RBI?  Suddenly he has 57 and reaching 100 RBI is a very realistic possibility.
  • Mike Napoli (2-5, 3 RBI) – Los Angeles Angels – He’s on a seven-game hitting streak, going 9-26 with 7 RBI and 2 R.  He gets to stay in the lineup most days at 1B, making him even more attractive as a catcher.  He should be active in all formats.
  • Pedro Alvarez (3-6, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) – Pittsburgh Pirates – He certainly appears comfortable with the Major League game now, huh?  He’s on a modest four-game hitting streak, going 7-16 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and 3 R.  Those who stayed patient are certainly reaping some rewards.  If he’s still available and you are in need, he’s certainly worth grabbing.
  • Kila Ka’aihue (0-3) – Kansas City Royals – He’s 1-12 since returning to the Major Leagues, but with Jose Guillen sent packing he should be given the time to settle in and produce.  That said, stay patient with him now, on your bench, because you will enjoy the benefits later.
  • Chris Young (3-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) – Arizona Diamondbacks – It’s been a renaissance campaign for Young, now hitting .269 with 19 HR, 66 RBI, 62 R and 22 SB.  He has still struck out a lot (92 times), but that is down significantly from year’s past.  If he can continue to make contact, these are the type of results we can expect to continue seeing.
  • Ryan Zimmerman (1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) – Washington Nationals –He’s just slightly hot right now.  On a five-game hitting streak, he’s gone 8-19 with 4 HR, 5 RBI and 7 R.  We all know he’s one of the elite third baseman in the game, and he’s certainly proving it this season.
  • Francisco Cordero (0.1 IP, 2 ER, 0 H, 3 BB, 1 K) – Cincinnati Reds –He just didn’t have it.  Of his 25 pitches, only 12 were strikes and in a save situation, he got yanked from the game.  You don’t like seeing that, but you know his job is 100% safe.  Just keep him in there, it happens.
  • Edinson Volquez (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 2 K) – Cincinnati Reds – In his last four starts since returning from the DL he has walked 17 batters over 17.2 innings.  Yes, he had success today, but he’s asking for disaster.  I wouldn’t trust him until he proves he can consistently throw strikes.
  • Gio Gonzalez (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 2 K, W) – Oakland Athletics –He’s been good overall, now with a 3.51 ERA, but has been inconsistent.  In his previous five starts he had allowed 4 ER or more three times, trading off the good with the bad (though, he did strikeout 11 in his last time out, a bit of an aberration).  His next start comes in Minnesota, a tough matchup despite his strong start against the Twins earlier in the year (2 ER over 7.0 IP).  He deserves a much closer look, which we’ll take before this start.
  • Rich Harden (2.1 IP, 3 ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 2 K) – Texas Rangers – What is there to say despite, Ugh!!  He’s proven unusable at this point, as you just never know what you are going to get.  It’s easy to point to the DL stint, but he’s been this way all year long.  He has potential to be usable, especially with a strong offense behind him, but keep him on your bench for now.
  • Cole Hamels (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 11 K) – Philadelphia Phillies –He made one mistake to Jeff Francoeur (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) and that was enough to lose to Johan Santana on this night (7.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 6 K).  Hamels is now winless in his last five starts, despite striking out 21 batters in his last 14 innings.  Over the winless streak he’s allowed 9 ER over 34 innings, so it’s not like he’s pitching poorly.  Keep using him in all formats.
  • Brett Myers (6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 K) – Houston Astros – He hadn’t given up more then 2 ER in his last six starts, so you can argue that he was due for a bit of a clunker.  His next outing comes against the Pirates, so I wouldn’t worry too much.  He entered the day with a 3.10 ERA and 1.22 WHIP, so a rebound should come.
  • Jake Westbrook (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 9 K) – St. Louis Cardinals –In his two starts since the trade he’s allowed 5 ER over 13 innings, striking out 16.  Could the move to the NL really make that big of a difference?  I’m just not buying it.  He’s a good pitcher, but he’s not this.  He has low-end value, but I would expect a bit of a regression, especially in the strikeouts, moving forward.  Remember, for the Indians he had topped 5 Ks in a start four times in 21 starts.
  • Gavin Floyd (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W) – Chicago White Sox –He continues to rock and roll.  The last time he allowed more then 2 ER in a start was on June 2, a span of 13 starts.  Over thi amazing streak he’s allowed 11 ER over 83.1 innings (1.19 ERA).  Simply unbelievable.  He’s proven that he’s a slow starter, but once he gets going he’s a must start option.
  • J.J. Putz (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, SV) – Chicago White Sox – Let the Bobby Jenks speculation begin again.  He hadn’t pitched on Friday (though he allowed 3 ER in an inning on Thursday).  We’ll just have to see what happens, but if Putz (or Matt Thornton) is available he’s worth grabbing at this point.  Jenks may still be the “closer”, but the clock may be ticking.
  • Joel Hanrahan (1.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K) – Pittsburgh Pirates –Back-to-back disastrous outings, and I’m sure the rumblings of Evan Meek getting the next save opportunity are coming.  Keep a close eye on this situation, but both should be owned until this plays itself out.
  • Trevor Hoffman (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K, SV) – Milwaukee Brewers – Interesting that the Brewers turned to Hoffman over John Axford last night to pick up the save.  Axford hasn’t pitched since August 3, so it wasn’t the case of getting him a day of rest.  You have to wonder if, sensing Hoffman’s career is coming to a close, the Brewers are going to give him a chance to earn a few more saves and reach 600 for his career.  It certainly isn’t impossible, and puts a big hit in Axford’s fantasy appeal.  At this point, if you need saves both are worth owning
What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?  What was the biggest story?  Anything else worth mentioning?

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