Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A trip to the doctor's office.....

With the MLB trading deadline behind us and only a couple of big moves being made, it is time to reassess your squad in the weeks leading up to the home stretch. Owners who are on the brink of a championship team should be doing whatever it takes to make sure they have the best available players in their lineups, whether it is done via trade or a key free agent pick up. The X-man is here to drop the recommended dosage to help your team recover in time to bring home the hardware.

Pitchers: For those of you who were riding the Johan Jr. Train over the past 2 months, I feel your pain as I was right there with you. You couldn't have seen the injury coming but you had to expect some sort of drop off from his unbelievable stats as a rookie. That being said here are a few arms to consider picking up to replace him or some other stiff in your rotation that you have been hanging onto for way too long (Vazquez, Garcia, etc.):

1. Cole Hamels (Phi) - I should have included this guy in my top 5 rookies for the 2nd half but did not want to seem like a homer....well it's time to get on board because he is mowing batters down faster than your John Deere (52 Ks in last 39 IP with a 0.97 WHIP...can u say future Cy Young??). His outing last night against the Mets was simply awesome (8IP, 4H, 9Ks, 0ER) and is a sign of more to come from this young phenom. Go get him now!

2. Scott Olsen (Fla) - Another young buck who has been above average over the past month or so (was beat up his last time out but won 7 of 9 before that). Is great for strikeouts and Ws while posting a respectable ERA & WHIP. Could do a lot worse....you know I'm on this horse.

3. Ricky Nolasco (Fla) - Yet another Marlin who has been en fuego over the last month (5Ws, 2,41 ERA and 1.02 WHIP) and provides solid all around stats against teams other than the Mets (3 GS, 0-3, 21.13 ERA, 3.78 WHIP). Pick him up but just make sure to bench him if he's due to take the hill against the orange and blue.

4. Ian Snell (Pitt) - I know...you're saying what the heck am I doing recommending a pitcher from the Pirates who has less than pedestrian season totals....but have you seen his numbers over the last 30 days??? 35Ks in 33 IP with a 1.21 WHIP and not so horrible 4.09 ERA....only 2 Ws but other numbers are legit.

Hitters: I know I botched the touting of Derek Lee's return and have since traded him in a keeper league for a younger, healthy, Prince Fielder to aid in my championship run, so the least I can do is make up for it by offering advice on a few players who may still be floating around your free agent pool by chance.

1. Eric Byrnes (OF, Ari) - A guy who always seems to go on a hot streak a couple of times a year is currently riding a stretch where he put up 17 R, 7HR, 15 RBI and 6 SBs...albeit with a .234 BA but I'll take those other numbers if I'm struggling for a boost in my OF (much better than Ken Griffey's overall numbers in the last month).

2. Maicer Izturis (SS, LAA) - I'm not going to lie and say I've picked this guy up in any of my leagues yet, but I have been watching him over the last few weeks and I like what I see. With 23 R, 4 SBs and a .346 BA, he could surely help out someone's team at the MIF position at the very least. If I didn't already have Furcal and Lopez, he'd be pushing for PT on my squad.

3. Nick Punto (2B/SS, Minn) - Another speedy MIF who has posted 21 R, 6 SBs and a .323 BA over the last month could also give Izturis a run for his money.

That is all I have for now, but make sure to check back every so often as you make your move for the top...good luck and keep ballin'