Fantasy Notes: Pedro Hurting Again
We had been bullish on Pedro Martinez’s chances of helping his owners down the stretch, and in fact, he capped a pretty solid August with a fine outing his last time out. But now reports suggest that he may not be able to make his scheduled start this weekend as he’s had difficulties getting his shoulder loose. He’s back in New York now, working on his flexibility, so it may be wise to think about slotting in someone else to start for you this weekend. I’m not recommending dumping him yet, pending an update, but proceed with caution here.
Aaron Boone has flashed a bit of pop since coming off the DL, with a homer and two doubles in 22 at bats, but he’s not playing enough nor hitting at a high enough clip to be worthy of attention. Given his lack of PT and lack of productivity, once again I’m left to wonder what future opportunities Boone will have as a major leaguer.
Tim Wakefield was in a bit of a nice groove early last month, but he was not overly impressive in either of his last two starts, so I can’t recommend him right now, either. Once among the most durable pitchers in the game (hey, it’s kind of hard to hurt your arm when you are barely throwing 65 mph), Father Time may be finally catching up to recently-turned-42-year-old, as he’s endured a couple of DL stints in the past few years. Still, here’s one I bet will surprise you: Wakefield ranks eighth in the AL in WHIP.
When we lasted checked in on Jon Lester, he was still available in some leagues. Given his brilliant July, that changed quickly enough. Some long ball troubles skewed his otherwise good August, and in his first start of September on Tuesday, Lester earned his 13th win with another solid outing, albeit with more control issues than normal. I’m just so impressed with how this young man has come into his own this season, especially given everything he’s had to endure in the last couple of years. Where would the BoSox be without Lester? Or conversely, where would the Yankees be even if one of Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy or Kei Igawa had delivered in a remotely similar manner?
Although he was touched up more than normal, Mike Mussina impressed the hell out of me once again on Tuesday, limiting the Rays to a pair of runs in six innings, walking just one and fanning eight to earn win number 17 on the season, second in the AL behind only Cliff Lee. We’ve discussed Moose’s renaissance quite a bit lately, but here’s another reason for his success: one home run allowed in his last seven starts. With an assumed four starts remaining, Mussina has an outside chance of racking up the first 20-win season of his impressive career.
Have you noticed that Jason Giambi has driven in at least one run in eight straight games? I can’t see him ever regaining his pre-‘roid era power, but he’s made a nice recovery this year and probably deserves some consideration as a possible AL Comeback Player of the Year candidate. Hey, if for nothing else, how about some kudos for having the balls to regrow his porn ‘stache?
While it’s pretty tough to top what Mariano Rivera and Francisco Rodriguez have managed this season, we weren’t too far off base in ranking Jonathan Papelbon as the top fantasy reliever heading into 2008, were we? Thanks to his mind-blowing command, Papelbon has turned in another brilliant season, reaching 35 saves for the third straight year and likely headed for his first ever 40-save campaign. Toss in a career-high five wins and the fact he has not surrendered an earned run since July 13, and you’re looking at someone who has definitely justified his mid fourth-round selection in most drafts this year.