Soxman Fantasy Baseball Weekly

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Soxman’s fantasy baseball team continues to soar after a horrible start; from the basement to third place in my division after another 6-0 week. 

My winning streak now stands at 12 games.

With an 18-12 record overall, I’m a mere two games back from the division leaders.
 
Sizzlers
 

-Joe Nathan
 

Nathan still has a perfect 0.00 ERA with runners in scoring position in 2008. He is, in my opinion, the premier closer in the majors, working himself out of jams where most closers would have a melt down.
 
-Ryan Braun
 
Last week’s fizzler, Ryan Braun is FINALLY starting to heat up at the plate after a slow start.  He has six multi-hit games out of the last 10.  He also went deep on Thursday and Friday giving him five homers on the season.  He’s starting out strong in May. You might want to activate him if you benched him during his chilly April.
 
-Mark Buehrle
 
Buehrle is finally starting to work late into games, which is a huge plus in leagues offering bonus points for quality starts.  In his last three starts, he lowered his ERA from 5.56 to 4.30. His start Wednesday at home versus the Twins wa sout of character. Buehrle was 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts against Minnesota last season.

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Fizzlers
 
-J.R Towles
 
Towles has gone without a home run in 11 games after popping four in his first 14. He appears to be going through a rookie slump.  Despite this, the Astros remain dedicated to leaving him in the starters slot.  You might be better off reserving him until he can get things going.
 
-A.J. Pierzynski
 
A.J is suffering right along with the rest of his teammates batting a mere .180 over the last 21 days.  His average has dropped from .325 to .273 in that span. This is what we call a HUGE slump. Pierzynski was generating all-star buzz early in the season and now owners who have started him are getting a hangover.

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-Eric Gagne
 
Gagne blew another save on Sunday and now has blown five saves out of 14 chances.  His ERA is a horrid 6.14 and his WHIP is 1.70.  Before Sunday’s crash-and-burn he hadn’t allowed a run in five appearances and had recorded saves in his previous three chances. If the Brewers had other options…they would be trying them.  Former closer Derek Turnbow was DFA’d last week and back-up closer Dave Riske has a 5.51 ERA which doesn’t exactly motivate the Brewers to try him.
 
Rookie Watch
 
-Brandon Wood
 
The top-hitting prospect in the Angles farm system was called up to the show last week as a reserve player.  Wood is a solid power prospect who got a few starts due to a string of injuries, but with Howie Kendrick set to come off the disabled list, he might be back in AAA before challenging for a starting job later in the season.  In 10 Abs on the season, Wood is hitting .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI with an .833 OPS.  Stash him in deeper fantasy leagues if he has not been drafted yet.
 
-Manny Parra
 
Parra is getting real-time training for being a major league pitcher due to the injuries of his fellow teammates.  Parra is a great talent, who is often overshadowed by super stud rookie Yovanni Gallardo.  Parra had allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his first five starts, but he had yet to last beyond 5 1/3 innings. He has much Fantasy appeal in dynasty leagues.
 
-Wladimir Balentien
 
Wladimir Balentien hit his second home run in his first six games raising his average to .238.  He has not shown any plate discipline yet, with ZERO walks in 21 Abs, but he does appear to have pop.  He will be starting for the Mariners and is worth taking a flier on if he’s still available.

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DL Watch
 
-Joe Borowski
 
Rafael Betancourt owners take notice.  When activated from the DL, Joe Borowski will immediately return to the closer’s role for the Indians.   He’s still a week or two away from returning.
 
-Andy LaRoche
 
Was activated from the DL and sent to the minors.  It appears as though Blake Dewitt is now the Dodgers starting third baseman.  LaRoche is an immense talent with monster on-base skills and should be back to the majors by July.

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Eric Gagne had a lot of “juice” once, now he’s losing it.

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