Tag: Francisco Cordero

2014 Boston Red Sox: Biggest Winners and Losers of Spring Training

The Boston Red Sox are getting closer to starting the defense of their World Series title when they begin regular season play on March 31 against the Baltimore Orioles.

Some questions about the roster have been answered during their time in Fort Myers, Fla. However, new ones have appeared due to certain performances, and others still need to be figured out.

A few players have taken full advantage of their opportunity this spring, while others aren’t getting the results they were hoping for. Unfortunately, strong performances from some in Red Sox camp won’t end with a spot on the Opening Day roster.

With the 2014 season-opener less than a week away, let’s take a look at some of Boston’s biggest winners and losers from this spring.


All player statistics sourced from RedSox.com, unless otherwise noted.

Begin Slideshow

Have the Cincinnati Reds Thrown in the Towel or Was That the Fat Lady Singing?

At the time of this writing the Reds are nine games out of first place, pending what the Milwaukee Brewers do later. They have just lost the series to the upstart Chicago Cubs and try (I hope) to avoid a sweep tomorrow afternoon.

When your ace blows up you know it is not your day. That is what happened today to Johnny Cueto. After looking like one of the best pitchers in all of baseball, he was shelled for seven hits and five earned runs in less than four innings.

The Cubs who are on a seven-game win streak looked anything but doormats for the rest of the NL Central Division. Carlos Zambrano, (9-6) picked up the win and belted a home run in the 11-4 trouncing of the defending Divisional Champions.

The only bright spot I saw in the game was the continued hot heating of Yonder Alonso who hit his first MLB dinger today, becoming the 17th Reds player to hit their inaugural home run in Wrigley Field.

As for Alonso, if anybody was ever made to be a designated hitter it is he. He absolutely looked pitiful in left field today, but the entire team looked like a comedy of errors. Todd Frazier, Edgar Renteria and Alonso all made errors in what certainly looked like a team just finishing out the year.

All-Star second baseman Brandon Phillips left the game in the fourth inning after spraining his right ankle in a collision with outfielder Drew Stubbs.

The S.O.S. Stubbs continued to disappoint striking out twice, and looking nothing like the defensive player he is.

The game smelled like September, with so many different players at positions they are not normally seen. Miguel Cairo had to spell Phillips, Frazier played third, and Alonso was in left field.

It is hard to imagine how this team could possibly bounce back and become a factor in the division. Even if they became white hot, they would have to depend upon the Brew Crew to grow tired of winning in order to climb the latter.

They have just lost a series to both teams lower in the standings than themselves. That will not get the job done. It would be hard to imagine that Dusty Baker and GM, Walt Jocketty aren’t having some back office meetings.

There is so much wrong that it becomes difficult to see where the malignancy actually started. Guys are having problems pitching, guys can’t hit and strikeout in crucial situations, and now the injury bug is starting to creep in.

With so much wrong on a team widely seen as very talented, the trigger could be pulled at the top, with Baker looking for a new gig or sliding back into the booth at ESPN. I haven’t heard any winds but the timing would be right.

You may feel free to continue in hopeful bliss, but this writer has seen enough to call it a year. I think it is time for a fire sale. The Reds should start playing people they expect to start in 2012, seeing what deals can be made with dead weight players like Coco Cordero and Edinson Volquez.

They should throw Aroldis Chapman into the deep end of the pool. If he swims, praise the Lord. If he doesn’t then he becomes fodder for the trade mill. Either let him start games now or mold him into a closer. Middle relief is where pitchers go to die.

There is always next year, but hey let us at least see what we have on the farm. Is something wrong that Billy Hamilton can’t be promoted? He is playing a tad over high school ball in Dayton. Low Single A, come on, if he is an untouchable start implementing him into the system.

It is time for all of us to cinch up the old apple sacks and face reality. It’s over.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds: Francisco Cordero Blows Save

With a blown save that does not show any pattern but shows that the fallibility of a closer is clearly one week to the next, Francisco Cordero closed with a loss on Saturday in Wrigley.

Sure, every week is another and every game is a rebirth, but at the end of the day Cordero was a less than appreciated closer with the Brewers and now has his first loss in the 2011 season.

Cincinnati is already struggling, showing no consistency that mirrored this point in the 2010 season and yet the season is a new and the players are clearly more than the same.

The question is whether there is enough to move past the first round of the playoffs.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB 2011 Fantasy Baseball: Value Saves Options

Everybody loves Brian Wilson because of that crazy beard. Mariano Rivera is…the…best…closer…ever. However, the closer position, perhaps more than any other position, provides more value picks. Average Draft Positions are from Mock Draft Central.

Jonathan Broxton, Los Angeles Dodgers: Broxton had just 22 saves last year, and even lost his gig to Hong-Chih Kuo, but was one of the top closers in 2009 when he saved 36 games and struck out 114 batters in 76 innings. He has the closer gig back, and if he can hold onto it, a return to 30 saves with 90 strikeouts is a strong likelihood. His ADP is 164, making him the 15th-ranked closer, though he has top-five potential.

Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies: Lidge bounced back last year to save 27 games and post a 2.96 ERA. With the Phillies four aces, he should get plenty of save opportunities. With an ADP of 192 he’s a terrific value.

Francisco Cordero, Cincinnati Reds: Cordero has averaged 39.3 saves over the past four seasons. His WHIP is usually a little more robust than you want from your closer, which can explain his 196 ADP, but if you’re looking for steady saves, Cordero is a great option.

Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox: Thornton has been one of the best setup men in baseball the past few years and finally gets his crack at the closer position. Chris Sale is there if he falters, but he should be a solid value with his 203 ADP.

Ryan Franklin, St. Louis Cardinals: Franklin had 27 saves last year and 38 in 2009. His ERA jumped from 1.92 to 3.46, but his WHIP fell dramatically from 1.20 to 1.03. His ADP is 204.

Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins: Judging by Nathan’s 209 ADP, he’s at a discount because of concerns surrounding his return from Tommy John surgery. He was a top-five closer before being injured, so he’s worth the risk.

David Aardsma, Seattle Mariners: Aardsma comes at a discount (217 ADP) because he will miss the start of the season as he recovers from a hip injury. He had 69 saves the past two years so he should be a nice value pick when he returns.

The Rest

Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves (226) gets his first crack at closing.

Fernando Rodney, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (227) is wild, but will accumulate saves as long as he can lock down the gig.

Joel Hanrahan, Pittsburgh Pirates (230) has waiting in the wings if he struggles.

Kevin Gregg, Baltimore Orioles (236) will get first crack at closing in Baltimore, but they have options if he isn’t up to the task.

Frank Francisco, Toronto Blue Jays (248) faces a similar situation in Toronto.

Brandon Lyon, Houston Astros (249) is a decent option.

Leo Nunez, Florida Marlins (317) has anything but a firm grip on the Marlins’ closer gig.

Also check out:

2011 Fantasy Baseball Value Picks
2011 Fantasy Baseball Profiles

2011 Fantasy First Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only First Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only First Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy Second Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Second Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Second Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy Third Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Third Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Third Basemen Rankings

2011 Fantasy Shortstop Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Shortstop Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Shortstop Rankings

2011 Fantasy Catcher Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Catcher Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Catcher Rankings
2011 Fantasy Outfielder Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Outfielder Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Outfielder Rankings

2011 Fantasy Starting Pitcher Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Starting Pitcher Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Starting Pitcher Rankings
2011 Fantasy Closer Rankings

2011 Fantasy A.L. Only Closer Rankings

2011 Fantasy N.L. Only Closer Rankings

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Milwaukee Brewers: John Axford and The Cursed Closers Of Brewers Past

John Axford had an impressive debut season in 2010 when he filled in for Trevor Hoffman as the Milwaukee Brewers closer.

Equally impressive was his mustache which rivaled the infamous beard of Brian Wilson and revived memories of renowned Brewers closer and former Cy Young Award winner, Rollie Fingers.

Axford went 24-3 in save opportunities and compiled 76 K in only 58 innings for a 11.65 K/9—good for fourth best amongst closers. He maintained a 2.60 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in that time.

His performance was one of the few bright spots in the Brewers season and a relief considering the struggles of one of baseball’s all-time greatest relievers.

Now John Axford has become the primary closer for the Milwaukee Brewers entering the 2011 season. 

The promotion might seem like a glorious achievement for the longtime minor leaguer, but in reality, inheriting the Brewers closer role has been something of a curse over the last 10 years.

In fact, you might say it is career suicide as the majority of pitchers to have recorded a save for the team since 2001 have gone on to either immediately retire or suffer severe drop offs in performance.

There might be no such thing as curses in the real world, but in the superstitious sport of baseball they are most definitely real and this particular curse began with Curtis Leskanic.

Begin Slideshow

Cincinnati Reds: Guys Like This Make the Team Easy To Root For

I have been meaning to post a “Hot Stove” update for several weeks, but the misery of watching and writing about the Bengals has taken its toll.  However, when I read this story written by Paul Daugherty, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to comment.

Jay Bruce generosity knows no bounds

Jay Bruce is quickly becoming one of my favorites.  I think he is primed to have a big season in 2011.  However, my growing admiration has nothing to do with his walk-off home run to clinch the division last year.  It is not influenced at all by his abilities with a bat, glove or the rocket attached to left shoulder.

Bruce is simply a good dude.

He (and all of the Reds for that matter) have always been receptive to my family.  Whether it be the season-ticket holder picture day, Redsfest, or a chance meeting on the street, the guys on this team all seem to be genuinely nice people.

I remember watching Bruce at Redsfest playing whiffle ball with disabled children.  I was amazed at his maturity and wondered how I would have responded to that situation at 23-years-old.  It was obvious that Bruce wasn’t putting on an act either.  He was enjoying himself.

Daugherty’s article mentioned that Bruce is taking over Aaron Harang’s program that provides free tickets to military families.  He is also adding a ticket program to benefit the families of special-needs kids.  Bruce said he has learned not to take things for granted through his sister, who is mentally disabled.

Another Red was exposed for his charitable contributions.  Apparently, Francisco Cordero donates “well into the six figures” to local causes.

Read more at Reds Country

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Awards 2010: NL Relief Man of the Year Is San Francisco Giants’ Brian Wilson

Every year, managers, coaches and writers from around Major League Baseball award honors and trophies to the players—and every year, they screw up.

So Bleacher Report’s featured columnists decided to do it ourselves. Instead of just complaining about the awards as they were announced as we would normally do on our own, we teamed up to hold our own mock awards vote.

This week, we looked at the Comeback Players of the Year in the AL and NL before naming the AL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year. Today, we end Week 2 of our four-week series with the best relievers in the National League.

The top five vote-getters are featured here with commentary from people who chose them. The full list of votes is at the end.

So read on, see how we did and be sure to let us know what we got wrong!

Begin Slideshow

2010 MLB Playoffs: Justin Morneau and the 10 Prime Question Marks for Contenders

We are in the home stretch of the long, arduous MLB season. The Minnesota Twins have wrapped up the AL Central, while five others (New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds) are all pretty much guaranteed spots.

That leaves the quartet of the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres and Colorado Rockies jockeying for the final two postseason spots: the National League West Crown and the NL Wild Card.

While each team has their strong points, such as the Padres pitching, and the Rockies having MVP candidates Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez (nice move Billy Beane), they also have their issues.

Below are the top ten players or factors that could affect teams already in or fighting for a postseason spot.

1) Justin Morneau

How bad was that innocuous slide into second base on July 7th for Morneau and the Twins? Well, it turned out to be very harmful, as Morneau has not played since that day, missing over 60 games with a concussion.

Prior to the injury, Morneau hit .345 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs and the former 2006 MVP was on his way to another award this season.  

There is no set timetable for Morneau’s return, and while he did take batting practice last week, his symptoms persist.

The Twins have fared very well in Morneau’s absence (Michael Cuddyer has moved to first base and filled in admirably), but that was mostly against the mediocre at best AL Central foes. The absence of Justin’s big bat in the middle of the lineup could prove fatal in the post season against a team like the Rays, Yankees or Rangers.

2) Joe Mauer

Not only has Morneau missed considerable time, but now the other M of the “M & M Boys” is out with an injury. Mauer hurt his left knee swinging during a game this past Sunday, but an MRI has revealed no structural damage.

This is great news for the Twins who were hoping Mauer did not aggravate a prior left knee injury he suffered in 2004 which ended his rookie season. That injury to his meniscus required surgery.

Winning the division on Tuesday night gives the Twins time to get Mauer needed rest and hopefully back into the lineup for the Division Series.

3) Josh Hamilton

Will Hamilton be able to overcome the pain and play in the post season? Finally diagnosed with two slightly cracked ribs, Hamilton hasn’t played since September 4th. The Rangers lost that game and have been 8-8 with Hamilton out of the lineup.

That is not good enough in the postseason. The Rangers heavy right handed hitting lineup needs Hamilton’s left handed production to win.

My bet is Hamilton plays through the pain.

4) AJ Burnett

The Yankees were ecstatic when Andy Pettitte pitched six high quality innings in his first major league outing after missing two months with a groin strain. Why he was not allowed a seventh inning is still puzzling, but his success gives the Yankees another consistent, top starter for the postseason.

With Phil Hughes back on track after last night’s performance, the Yankees have their third starter ready to go.

But unlike last season, when the Yankees rode three starters to a World Series title, they need four this year.

That is where AJ Burnett comes into play.

Will he be good AJ or bad AJ? He had a horrible June (0-4, 11.35 ERA) and August (0-4, 7.80 ERA), but a great April (3-0, 2.43 ERA) and July (3-1, 2.00 ERA).

His four starts in September have been OK, but unless the Yankees crush the ball in a game, none have been good enough to win a tight postseason game.

He will get a start, but whether it is in Game 2 or Game 4 will depend on how AJ pitches in his last couple starts.

5) Matt Garza and All Rays Pitchers Not Named David Price

This is basically all about the Rays starting pitching, and many of their relievers too. Widely recognized as the premier organization in developing starting pitching, this facet of their team has been terrible in September.

And their relievers have not been great either.

After the recent debacles by Garza and James Shields in the Bronx, Rays starters are 4-6, with a 5.47 ERA and 1.510 WHIP. Remove the four starts by Price, and Rays starters are 2-6, 7.11 ERA in September.

As mentioned previously, the relievers have not fared much better, posting a 4-4 record, 5.07 ERA and 1.459 WHIP.

But with his prior postseason success, Garza again needs to be the No. 2 man behind Price. Other than that, it is up in the air, and if I were Joe Maddon, I would not hesitate to start rookie Jeremy Hellickson in a postseason game.

6) Francisco Cordero

The Reds closer has recently been nothing short of a nightmare. In eight September appearances, Cordero has a 1-1 record with two blown saves and a couple more really scary moments.

His walk rate of 4.8 per nine innings pitched is an insanely high rate for a reliever, let alone a closer. And now he is giving up well more than a hit per inning this past month.

With Aroldis Chapman slinging 103 MPH fastballs and hard-breaking sliders, if Cordero continues to falter in the next two weeks, the Cuban defector is a viable option to close for Reds manager Dusty Baker.

But closing in postseason games is another matter and Chapman has only a month of major league baseball under his belt. My guess is Baker sticks with Cordero, good or bad.

Red fans hope it is the former.

7) San Francisco’s Lineup

If the Giants lose a postseason spot in 2010, they will look back at the time from the season’s commencement through May 27th.

Why? Those days contained the 47 games in which Buster Posey did not play for the Giants. The Giants management told their fans that Posey was “not ready” for the majors behind the plate, but they still needed his bat.

Well, he seemed pretty good to me, and his bat was definitely ready. So, instead of trying to save money by eliminating his Super 2 status, the struggles of Bengie Molina warranted Posey’s call up before the Giants really intended.

But waiting so long might have cost the Giants a few wins early in the season. The Braves are happy they brought up Jason Heyward early. Imagine where the Braves would be now if they did not have Heyward’s .292 AVG/.400 OBP/.578 SLG/.978 OPS in April and May?

Since Barry Bonds last played in 2007, the Giants have always struggled with their offense. They added Aubrey Huff and desperate for offense, the Giants signed two of the biggest negative clubhouse influences in Pat Burrell and Jose Guillen.

Those moves were made because last year’s hitting star, Pablo Sandoval, has struggled all season. The Giants are 12-6 in September, but have scored two or fewer runs in 11 of those contests.

That will not get it done the last dozen games.

Burrell and Guillen have helped in spurts and surprisingly have not caused any issues, but the Sabermetrics guys would say their short time in San Francisco would be a “very short sample.”

The pitching is there in San Francisco, but guys like Sandoval need to hit better, and Burrell and Guillen need to be more productive.

You would hate to have to look back on the first two months and think what might have been? Especially if the Giant miss out on the postseason while Heyward and the Braves sneak in as the Wild Card.

8) San Diego’s Confidence and Strength

The Friars suffered through a stretch where they lost 10 straight games, but still held on to the NL West lead. But after sweeping three games from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pads went on to lose five of their next 12. 

Now they are a half game behind the division leading Giants and a full game behind the Wild Card leading Braves. Interestingly, none of these games are in the loss column, as all three teams have 66 losses.

But this season for the Padres will not come down to their offense (anemic, but still better than the Giants) or their pitching (good, but nearly as good as the Giants), but their constitution and strength.

While they are a small market team with a low payroll, this is NOT a exceedingly young team. Veteran presence is strong with Adrian Gonzalez, David Eckstein, Yorvit Torrealba and recent additions Miguel Tejada and Ryan Ludwick.

Three of the starting pitchers are young, including ace Mat Latos (who has been bombed in his last two starts), but veterans Jon Garland and an experienced bullpen headed by Heath Bell and Mike Adams are sound.

My feeling is that the Padres’ veterans and staid manager Buddy Black overcome this lowpoint and come away with a postseason spot. This will be helped by a favorable schedule which sees two more games versus the lowly Dodgers and a seven game homestand against long-distance travel teams in Cincinnati and Chicago.

But the final three game trip to San Francisco is going to be must watch TV late at night here on the East Coast.

9) Joulys Chacin

They have Tulo and CarGo, and Jason Giambi probably is wearing his golden thong again. The lineup has produced a .298/.370/.476/.846 OPS helping lead the annual September surge for the Rocks.

But their pitching staff is just OK, and even with Ubaldo Jiminez seeming to round back into form, their starters are only 8-8 with a 4.05 ERA in September.

A key for them is of course, Jiminez, but Joulys Chacin needs to throw the ball well in his last two starts to keep the bullpen rested and to add another ace to the staff. The Rockies bullpen is throwing more than three innings per game in September with a 4.47 ERA over this span.

The 23-year-old Venezualan rookie is 4-1, 1.88 ERA in his last seven appearances, but has only averaged six innings in those starts. He must be allowed to go longer in his starts like his last outing of eight innings.  

10) Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson

In September, the Braves starting pitchers are 7-10 with a 4.88 ERA but the relievers are much better with a 2-1 record and 2.27 ERA.

Much of that starting pitcher nastiness is centered on two guys, youngsters Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens. They are a combined 1-4, 7.87 ERA and 1.781 WHIP in 32 IP over seven starts!

And Jurrjens was removed from his last start with what is diagnosed as a small horizontal tear in his meniscus. This injury is to his right knee, his posting leg when on the hill. I would not let him pitch again this season.

With all these injuries and subpar performances, the Braves big three starting pitchers need to produce like they have most of the season. If Derek Lowe (3-0, 1.35 ERA in September), Tommy Hanson (2-1, 2.77 ERA) and Tim Hudson (1-3, 5.33 ERA, but a good last start) can perform well, they can balance out the pitching and a recently shaky offense.


Much of these issues revolve around pitching, mostly starting pitching. Great pitching is paramount in September and in the postseason.

In regards to injuries, with the minor league seasons over, this eliminates game situations for injured starts for Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Josh Hamilton before they get into a meaningful game. Even if they play, and Mauer and Hamilton are locks to play in the postseason, how will their layoffs affect their performances?  

That is what pressure players do. They perform when the odds are against them. The stars who do play well, and the rotations which perform the best, will get those last two coveted spots in the National League and will decide who advances to the World Series.









Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Cincinnati Reds: Is Francisco Cordero the Best Reliever You Have?

By the grace of God, the Reds won the series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, instead of losing it 2-1.

Out of 16 pitchers on the roster, is Coco Cordero the only one who can be entrusted to close a game?

 If so, we should just hand the Central Division trophy over to the Cardinals right now.

I had been griping about his performances until recently, as it appeared he had straightened himself out. He just blew two save opportunities over the weekend series with the Pirates. He was rescued from the first one thanks to Chris Heisey and Joey Votto, but not the second.

The scene Sunday was as familiar as a recurring nightmare. Cordero has loaded the bases, by walking the first batter and then sandwiching three singles between two outs.

That set the classic stage for calamity. One of their better hitters, Andrew McCutchen steps in with the opportunity to be a hero or a goat. He doubled to deep left field and cleared the bases, essentially winning the game.

If Dusty Baker is going to keep trotting Cordero out to the mound in the ninth inning to protect a lead, he should have him on a one-batter leash. In other words he should be hooked after he allows the first base-runner.

Cordero is streaky. By that I mean when he is not on, he gives up hit after walk after hit, ad nauseum.

With 19 games left, the Reds can ill afford a tailspin. With as many relievers as Baker has available, he should always have a fresh arm ready that can get one or two outs without catastrophe.

I have cringed all year long when he enters the game in a “save” situation. He trails only National’s reliever Tyler Clippard in blown saves this season.

Whenever you see a won-loss record for a closer, it is not good. In a perfect world a closer would have a 0-0 record with a decent ERA. Cordero is now 6-5 meaning that in 11 games he did not do what he was called upon to do.

Friday night Homer Bailey was pitching a spectacular game, giving the team seven strong innings, allowing just five hits and one run. He also struck out nine while not issuing any base on balls. He deserved a win, leaving the game with a 3-1 lead, but was saddled with a no-decision.

Sunday afternoon Johnny Cueto left the game with a three-hit shutout intact and a one run lead. I am sure by now that he had already kissed his win goodbye when he saw the Dominican head toward the mound.

How can a starting pitcher feel good about a guy who continually blows up and dismantles everything they had worked five to seven innings to accomplish?

Baker has the old philosophy that a person needs to get right back on the horse after he has been thrown off. Dusty please know this: a man cannot get back on the horse if he is dead. Stick a fork in Coco now. He is done!

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Fantasy Baseball Three Hot, Three Not For 9/12 (Lincecum, Lee & More)

Let’s take a look at who had a big day and who didn’t yesterday:

Three Hot:

  1. Mike Stanton – Florida Marlins
    He had a big day, going 3-4 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R. He’s now on a seven game hitting streak, going 13-29 with 5 HR, 8 RBI and 6 R.  He’s proven to be an extremely streaky player but when he’s on, he has as much power as anyone. The average isn’t great (.251), but if you are in need of some power, you just need to leave him in there through thick and thin so you don’t miss out on days like this.
  2. Tim Lincecum – San Francisco Giants
    We all know that he has not been the same pitcher that he’s been in previous years, but he has turned back the clock over his last three starts. He beat the Padres yesterday, giving up one run on seven hits and one walk, striking out nine, over seven innings. In these last three starts he is 3-0, allowing five earned runs over 21.2 innings, striking out 29 in the process. He’s been frustrating, but a strong finish will go a long way towards once again solidifying his status among the elite pitchers in the game.
  3. Cliff Lee – Texas Rangers
    Between the back issues and his struggles on the mound, there were huge concerns surrounding Lee. A lot of those concerns are eased when you toe the rubber and stymie a Yankees offense that is among the elite in the league. Lee went eight innings, allowing one run on two hits and three walks, striking out five. It’s the first time since August 6 that he has allowed less then four earned runs in a start (a span of five starts). His next start comes against the Mariners, so hopefully he can continue to roll and get back into form.

Three Not: by Will Overton

  1. Carlos Quentin – Chicago White Sox
    The Chicago White Sox Outfielder found himself on the bench for the second game in a row and with no reported injury, one has to believe this is performance-related, as Manny Ramirez has made the White Sox outfield a bit crowded. Currently, Quentin is hitless in his last four games going a combined 0 for 13 and bringing his overall average in September to .227, coming off an August where he hit .239. I’m sure the average would have been more tolerable were Quentin doing his part in hitting homeruns, but he hasn’t hit one of those since August 11th. A decrease in playing time for Quentin means a likely increase for Mark Teahan, Mark Kotsay, and Andruw Jones, but none of that bunch is overly enticing for fantasy purposes. Chances are Quentin remains the everyday right fielder, but his value doesn’t justify his current owner percentage of 95% on ESPN. If you need the space, I wouldn’t be afraid to drop him.
  2. Francisco Cordero – Cincinnati Reds
    Cordero notched his second blown save in this three game series, and the worst part is that this series has been against the Pirates. After two solid years in Cincinnati, including a 2.16 ERA last year, it looked like Cordero may have been becoming one of the more reliable closers in the game, but this was his 8th blown save and it sent his ERA up over 4 on the year. His job is probably not in jeopardy, at least not for the remainder of this season. But if you own him, you have to be questioning how much you can count on him as you head down the stretch. You ultimately have to take your chances and ride it out hoping for the best.
  3. Dallas Braden – Oakland Athletics
    He has had an overall good year. We all know about the controversy with A-Rod and the perfect game that put him on the map. But much more quietly, he had a very dominant couple of months in July and August posting a 2.37 ERA in those two months combined. However he has fallen off the tracks a bit here in September. Yesterday’s performance wasn’t awful at a glance (4 runs in 5.2 IP) it was far from where he was or should be. He managed only 10 first pitch strikes to 25 batters and that led to 4 walks and only 2 K’s, as this was his season high for walks. He has topped his high for innings pitched and these struggles could be a sign of wearing down. I don’t think this is a warning sign for next year, but I wouldn’t count on to much more productivity from him going forward this year as all signs point to him being a bit to stretched.

What are your thoughts on these players?

Make sure to check out our Fantasy Baseball Minor League Player of the Year Awards:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Copyright © 1996-2010 Kuzul. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress