AL West Headlines
The return of Prince. Prince Fielder has regained his perch among first round fantasy baseball contributors. After a one year sabbatical in 2014 that saw him set career lows in GP, R, HR, and RBI, Prince is vying to become King. Now, the career low in games played obviously led to the career lows in all counting stats, but he only slashed .247/.360/.360…all career lows too. He only hit 3 HR in 42 games, and without injury was on pace for career lows across the board. In 46 games this season he is slashing .371/.427./592 with 10 HR and 38 RBI. He is ranked in the top 10, or even top 5 depending on format, and considering his ADP of 58.48, there are some very happy fantasy owners out there. Congrats if you believed a rebound was in the cards.
Cano can’t. Can’t hit anymore? It’s hard to believe, but after hitting .300 or better in 8-of-10 season, including three in a row at .313 or better, he is of to a .257 start through 45 games. He is showing zero power with only 1 HR, and zero ability to drive in runners with 13 RBI. Even a .257 hitter should have more than 13 RBI through 45 games. Why is this? Is he hurt? Old? Unmotivated? His K% is at 15.9%, a career worst. His BABIP is .299 this season and .313 on his career. The BABIP show some bad luck that might correct itself, but the K rate suggests perhaps the BABIP ought to be lower. The most puzzling thing is his 23.5% line drive percentage, better than his 21.3 career average. All in all, Cano is a mystery this season. If you own him, it is probably too late to get a fair return. You are going to have to ride this one out. I still would bet that he will get insanely hot at some point, correcting the terrible stats.
Closer carousel. A’s…With Sean Doolittle being activated from the DL this week, it is only a matter of time before Tyler Clippard resumes setup duties. Clippard filled in nicely with a 2.25 ERA in 20 IP, but with only 4 SV for the 17-32 last place A’s, perhaps a return to setup duties will allow more leads to make it to the 9th inning and Doolittle. Doolittle was awesome in the closers role last season saving 22 games with 89 K in 62 IP. Most impressive was his .169 BAA. Rangers…After struggling to a 5.09 ERA and 1.75 WHIP in 17.2 IP, Neftali Feliz was lifted from the closer role before landing on the DL. Enter Shawn Tolleson. He has converted 5 SV in a row for the suddenly red hot Rangers. After struggling with control last season, he has walked just four batters in 22.1 IP this season. His 30 K and .226 BAA are the stuff closers are made of. He should ride out this job for the rest of the summer.
Waiver Wire Rescue
Shawn Tolleson, CL, TEX – CLOSER LOOSE ON THE WAIVER WIRE! If you play in a shallow league or a league where guys have not bought into Tolleson, go get him. As mentioned above, he is striking guys out and not issuing free bases.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX – Here I am mentioning Hamilton again, but he is still unowned in almost 50% of leagues. This guy is Roy Hobbs. Look at it this way…I would rather be the guy who picked him up for nothing and dropped him when he didn’t produce, than the guy wishing he picked him up for nothing because he is mashing.
Delino DeShields, JR., 2B/OF, TEX – He is playing every day, hitting in front of a red hot Prince Fielder and Shin-soo Choo, and stealing bases with INF/OF eligibility. Just in case what I said is not processing, he has a .378 OBP and stole 101, 51, and 54 bases the last three seasons in MiLB.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – He is borderline rosterable in most leagues and taking his second vacation this year to the DL. Who needs that?
Neftali Feliz, RP, TEX – As mentioned above…lost his job AND got hurt. Any questions?
“And Boggs Never Walked Again”
Jed Lowrie, SS, HOU – Thumb, expected return after the All-Star break.
Josh Hamilton, OF, TEX – Activated Monday.
Kyle Blanks, 1B/OF, TEX – Cyst, no timetable for return.
Neftali Feliz, RP, TEX – Abscess, no timetable for return.
Derek Holland, SP, TEX – Shoulder, expected return early July.
Yu Darvish, SP, TEX – Tommy John Surgery, out for the season.
Ross Detwiller, SP, TEX – Shoulder, no timetable for return.
Jurickson Profar, 2B, TEX – Shoulder surgery, out for the season.
Ike Davis, 1B/DH, OAK – Strained quad, no timetable for return.
Ben Zobrist, 2B/SS/OF, OAK – Activated Monday.
Sean Doolittle, RP, OAK – Activated Tuesday.
Coco Crisp, OF, OAK – Neck, no timetable for return.
Jarrod Parker, SP, OAK – Broken elbow, expected to miss entire season.
Drew Pomeranz, SP, OAK – Sore Shoulder, no timetable for return.
Eric O’flaherty, RP, OAK – Shoulder inflamation, nearing a return.
Hisashi Iwakuma, SP, SEA – Lat strain, expected return mid July.
Tom Wilhelmsen, RP, SEA – Hyperextended elbow, expected return mid May.
Austin Jackson, OF, SEA – Activated Tuesday.
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