Baseball’s summer break is officially over. The shakes of withdrawal is wearing off just in time for the second half to begin.
Which prospects will have an impact in the second half?
Jonathan Singleton will eventually get the call by the Houston Astros. After serving his 50 game weed suspension, he is quickly shooting up the charts. Nick Castellanos will help shore up the weak link known as the Detroit Tigers’ left field. Both Singleton and Castellanos can provide power for your teams. Boston’s Xander Bogaerts could be this year’s Manny Machado as a shortstop that comes up to play third base for a playoff team. Up in Seattle, Taijuan Walker is my choice for this year’s Stephen Strasburg.
Can Chris Davis keep up his record home run pace?
As of right now, the Orioles’ Davis is on pace to break Roger Maris’ clean home run record with 63. Wait a minute and he’ll hit another. He is this year’s Dickey or Trout… those teams that were smart/lucky to pick them up are the teams that are winning their leagues. He has a lot of things working against him in his pursuit. Pitchers will stop throwing him as many strikes, he’s due for a BABIP regression, and there is always the random injury. It is hard to hit 61 homers… just ask the guys who have used PEDs.
Who will be closing for the Milwaukee Brewers?
The real question is who should you pick up for saves down the stretch? The Brew Crew have John Axford (I’m serious, he’s back to being good), Francisco Rodriguez (…serious, he’s back to being good) and Jim Henderson (…serious, he’s healthy again). Milwaukee has done a good job of showing Rodriguez’s value so they can trade him. Chances are they will keep Henderson for their own closing duties. Axford is the wild card. He’s worth a flier pick-up with a good chance that he ends up with a team in need — fingers crossed it is Detroit.
Are there any other set-up men that could become closers?
Call it gut feeling, but if Tampa Bay wants to shake something up, figure on Joel Peralta finding a new home. Oliver Perez and Tom Wilhelmsen are both trade bait but there is a reason both are bouncing back and forth into the closer role. If Justin De Fratus of Philly will take over the closer role if (big IF) the Phillies trade away Jonathan Papelbon…That was a long winded way of saying that you might be screwed if you’re asking about closers.
Are we seeing the real Justin Smoak, Brandon Belt and Eric Hosmer?
Maybe, but don’t use them if you have another option.
What should you do with those young stud pitchers?
Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez and Gerrit Cole have done an excellent job to those of us smart enough to draft them. It would seem crazy to think of trading them away. Which is why I say trade them. Trade them now. Each will have innings limitations placed on them and starts skipped. Trade them at high values and ensure you’ll have a full staff in the playoffs.
Which perma-injured player can help the most down the stretch?
There are so many guys to choose from: ARod, Jeter, Pineda, Halladay, and Granderson. One by one will start to come back to their rosters. My pick to have the biggest impact is Chris Carpenter. He’s rehabbing this week and will start for the Cards soon.
How will BioGenesis impact fantasy baseball?
Fantasy baseball is a matter of calculated risk and probability. Chances are MLB will come down on some players. Most of those players will be impacted heavily. All will fight, but only some will get a hearing this year. And, a small number (if any) will go through the process before the end of this year. There is a bigger risk Braun or Cruz will get hurt before they miss any games due to suspension.
Is there any chance of a rebound for Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton and David Price?
Yes. No. Yes.
Okay, you probably want a better answer. Hamilton won’t be worth the cost that you drafted him at four months ago, but he still has good value. It just comes with an upside of possible total turnaround. BJ Upton has a chance… but I’m not holding my breath. Price will be okay, so forget about how he hurt you and remember why you drafted him.
Can you still win your league?
Yes. The season is only half over. And, if you’re in a head to head league all you need to do is sneak into the playoffs; then it’s a crapshoot.
Brian Reddoch is a CraveOnline reporter and rabid fan of all teams Seattle. You can follow him on Twitter @ReddReddoch and at www.facebookcom/craveonlinesports.com.
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