Cutch Heating Up
Andrew McCutchen is a no-doubt fantasy stud. Coming off a career year in 2012. he was highly regarded on draft day, and rightfully so. His .327 batting average with 31 homers, 96 RBI and 20 stolen bases were every fantasy owner’s dream last year. This season for Cutch has been a bit more of a struggle as he hit .247 through April with just three homers. His average has climbed since, with a .324 clip in May driving in four homers and .303 in June with only two long balls. July has seen McCutchen become more of a force at the plate. Cutch has gotten even hotter of late, as he’s blasted four homers in four games since returning from the All-Star break, and has tallied six RBI. Get this: His last two homers were his first non-solo jobs since his first of the year. He has the ability to go bonkers in all five offensive categories and an extended hot streak could push him back into the top ten overall. He currently comes in at 12th in the CBS rankings, but I predict a top-five finish for McCutchen. Hopefully you pounced on McCutchen and were able to pry him from his owner during his recent power outage. It’s time to sit back and enjoy watching one of the game’s best talents now.
Fresh Fish: Now I want sushi for lunch
The Miami Marlins made some waves on Monday evening as they sent slumping outfielder Marcell Ozuna and second baseman Derek Dietrich to Double-A in exchange for their two best outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick. Both Yelich and Marisnick have been dealing with nagging injuries through most of the 2013 season, but both are now healthy and have heated up offensively in the minors. Yelich, the team’s No. 1 prospect, leaves behind a Double-A stat line of .280 BA, 7 HR, 29 RBI and 5 SB. Marisnick, a center fielder by trade, will bring an upgrade to the defense as well as some power and speed, as displayed by his .294 average with 12 homers, 46 RBI and 11 stolen bases in Jacksonville. Both players are deep-league ready and should be owned. The Marlins need to bolster the lineup around Giancarlo Stanton as teams have given him absolutely nothing to hit. These young studs could provide him with some much needed protection. Imagine that, Houston Astros...free George Springer! Now, can someone just move those ridiculous fences in at Marlins Park??
You say you don’t want guys to do steroids or cheat the game? Then don’t build the fences 13 feet high and 420 feet away from home plate!!!
You down with PEDs? Yeah, you know me!
What? You thought I would lead off with Ryan Braun PED talk like all the other guppies? Hell, no. I’d rather talk about players who don’t tell baldfaced lies to their organization, fans and teammates. Cheaters don’t deserve the limelight, unless its a Bud Light Limelight (that cannot be a good beer). Plus, was this really a surprise? What is surprising is the lame slap on the wrist that Braun got. Basically, he chose to accept the penalty because he loses less money this way. You want cheating out of the game, then you should hand out lifetime bans and nullify contracts. Braun was ranked No. 166 in 5x5 Roto scoring, so it’s not as tough of a fantasy blow as you would think. With Braun done for 2013, go grab Oakland’s Chris Young or one of the newly called-up Marlins (Marisnick or Yelich). Braun hasn't done much for you lately anyhow; you’ll be alright. However, the other twenty-or-so names such as Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Bartolo Colon may not be so easy to lose.
AL Hot Shots:
- Matt Garza now belongs in this section as he moves from the Cubs to the Rangers in an interleague deal which sent Justin Grimm, Mike Olt, C.J. Edwards and a PTNL (possibly Neil Ramirez). Wow. The Cubs robbed the house and wiped the toilet bowl with the toothbrushes. They got a great load of talent for their rebuilding team. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein knows how to build a winner and the Cubs could finally be one in the near future.
- Alfonso Soriano’s name is being rumored to be connected with Yankees and trade talks but nothing is imminent. Soriano would be a welcomed right-handed bat for the bombers.
- Grant Balfour converted his 44th straight save on Monday.
- Miguel Cabrera is listed as day-to-day after leaving Monday’s game with a sore hip flexor. Hopefully the best hitter in baseball won’t miss any significant time.
- Chris Sale set sail on an eleven strikeout voyage versus the Tigers on Monday only to be sunk by errors which allowed two unearned runs to score. Max Scherzer notched his 14th win on the year.
- Matt Moore was magnificent on Monday as he tossed a two-hit shutty against the Red Sox.
NL Hot Shots:
- Dillon Gee continues to defy logic as he flirted with a no-no on Monday tossing seven scoreless. In perfect Mets fashion, he was tabbed with a no-decision.
- Paul Maholm was placed on the DL with a wrist contusion (aka they wanted him out of the rotation) and Alex Wood will start in his place on Thursday. Wood has electric stuff and could steal the rotation spot.
- Jayson Werth had his second consecutive two-homer game on Monday. He took Clayton Kershaw deep twice on Sunday.
- Brad Ziegler is the official closer in Arizona as confirmed by Kirk Gibson on Monday.
- Tim Lincecum threw a 148 pitch no-hitter his last time on the mound. Monday, he was lit up for eight runs over 3.2 IP. Didn’t see that coming? Smack yo-self!
- Neil Walker could be activated on Tuesday from his oblique induced DL stint.
- Brian Wilson drew rave reviews from Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti saying the rehabbing reliever looked “impressive” and “game ready.” I personally would love to see “the Beard” back in action. I would also love to see Brian Wilson star in a film with Zack Galifinakis, that would be some funny stuff.
- BREAKING: The Dodgers have reportedly signed Cuban Alexander Guerrero to a $32M, seven-year contract and he is scheduled to be sent to either Double or Triple-A to play 2B. He could make an impact in 2013 if he shows that he is ready. At least they wont be forced to pay $200M for Cano if Guerrero pans out. He wont be available in any leagues quite yet but keep an eye out for him.
- Yoenis Cespedes took dry swings on Monday and will take live BP on Tuesday. If all goes well during the BP session the fragile slugger could be in the lineup Tuesday night but Wednesday looks like a safer bet.
- Josh Hamilton missed Monday’s game due to a stiff ankle. Maybe he was stashing Viagra in his sock?
- Curtis Granderson participated in a simulated game on Monday, he’s coming back from a finger injury.
- Clay Buchholz got a second opinion and was deemed to have only inflammation. He’ll continue throwing and continue to be a sissy.
If you want this article and other high-end fantasy baseball analysis delivered to you on a daily basis, sign up for our daily newsletter. And be sure to check out our 2013 Waiver Wire Watch List (updated daily) for in-depth analysis on gems that you may be able to find sitting on your waiver wire. It’s one of the best fantasy baseball features currently on web!
Follow Shawn Caswell on Twitter, or don’t: @CasKnowsRoto