July 2007 Fantasy Baseball News

News and views about fantasy baseball.

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July 27, 2007

It's been another eventful week in MLB, so let's take a look back at some of the most noteworthy happenings from a Fantasy Baseball perspective.

Yankees designated hitter Jason Giambi took 38 swings on Monday. It marked his first on-field batting practice since he tore tissue in his left foot two months ago. He is now set to begin a minor league rehab assignment with Class-A Tampa and then will be re-evaluated on Sunday. If things go well, Giambi hopes to rejoin the Yanks next week.

The Texas Rangers sent pitcher Robinson Tejeda back to the minors on Monday, a move that they hope will result in improved play over the long-term. Tejeda is 5-9 with a 6.61 ERA this season, but he has went 2-8 with a 7.93 over his last 14 starts.

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez continues to show why he makes the big bucks. He has now hit 499 homers for his career. A few years down the line, the Barry Bonds record will be a moot point.

Chase Utley has been on fire this season, batting .336 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs. Unfortunately, he broke his hand on Thursday after being hit by a pitch in the Phillies 7-6 loss to the Nationals. Utley will see a specialist on Friday to determine how long he will be sidelined. With any luck, he'll be back within a month.

Speaking of broken bones, Reds SS Pedro Lopez broke his cheekbone on Wednesday night after being hit by a pitch. He probably won't need surgery, but he has been placed on the 15-day DL and Juan Castro has been activated in his place.

The Brewers and Padres have completed a trade. The Brewers acquired RP Scott Linebrink for three minor league pitchers in order to strengthen their team for a playoff run. Linebrink is expected to be the setup man for closer Francisco Cordero. The Padres acquired Will Inman, Steve Garrison and Joe Thatcher.

After a 20-year career, Astros IF Craig Biggio has announced that he will retire at the end of the season. He has been an All-Star at multiple positions and is a member of the 3,000 hit club. We wish him the best of luck in the future.

July 20, 2007

Yankees SP Chien-Ming Wang gave up three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and a walk in a 3-2 loss to the Blue Jays. It was his first loss in his last 10 starts, dating all the way back to May 26.

MLB has reduced the suspension of Padres C Josh Bard from three games to two.

Braves P Anthony Lerew will likely be out for a year after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Thursday.

Yankees OF Johnny Damon is currently in a 0-for-17 slump in his last five games at Yankee Stadium.

The LA Angels have went without a homer in 12 straight game, which equals a span of 114 innings. The longest stretch in team history was 18 games in 1976.

A Milwaukee radio station has reported a possible trade between the Brewers and Reds. The Brewers would receive OF Adam Dunn, while the Reds would get OF Tony Gwynn Jr. and either cash or a player to be named later.

July 17, 2007

Both the Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians have shown an interest in acquiring Texas Rangers OF Kenny Lofton.

The Mets are trying to put together a deal to acquire Astros SP Roy Oswalt.

Barry Bonds is expected to play Tuesday after holding himself out of Monday's game.

Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. has now passed Frank Robinson for sixth on the all-time home run list. Junior hit his 587th homer on Monday against the Braves. Griffey is only 15 behind Sammy Sosa, who currently sits in fifth place.

Athletics 3B Eric Chavez (back) was a late scratch on Monday due to stiffness in his lower back.

Mariners Ichiro Suzuki was back for the team's Monday game. He had left Sunday's game early with a thigh contusion. It was a productive return, as he went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base in his role as the designated hitter.

2B Aaron Hill of the Blue Jays has hit .450 over the last five games. Hill is leading all AL second baseman with 26 doubles and 52 RBIs, and he's second in homers with 10.

The Athletics have acquired C Rob Bowen and minor league P Jerry Blevins from the Cubs in exchange for C Jason Kendall.

Blue Jays 3B Troy Glaus put up two homers on Monday against the Yankees. He now has 14 home runs on the year.

Cardinals SP Braden Looper won his first start since May 24th. The win came over the Florida Marlins as Looper allowed five hits and two runs in a 5-3 victory.

Yankees OF Hideki Matsui is on an 11-game hitting streak. He also has six homers in the last nine games.

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez hit his 496th career homer on Monday night to help lead his team to a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays. It was his 32nd home run of the season.

On Monday, Royals SP Brian Bannister allowed three home runs in just six innings of work. Prior to this, Bannister had allowed just four homers in 80 innings over his 13 previous starts. I guess that's what happens when you play the Red Sox.

Red Sox OF J.D. Drew was back in the game for Monday. He had missed two games after experiencing tightness in his right hamstring. On his return, he went 1-for-4 with a single.

Braves OF Jeff Francoeur was ejected on Monday after arguing with the home plate umpire about a called strike.

Reds SP Bobby Livingston had 4 hits in his team's 10-3 win over the Braves. The last Reds pitcher to go 4-for-4 was John Smiley in 1993.

July 16, 2007

Giants OF Barry Bonds was not in the starting lineup today.

The Brewers have placed SP Ben Sheets (finger) on their 15-day disabled list as of today.

Atlanta Braves SP Kyle Davies (4-7, 5.55 ERA) will get the start today against the Reds.

On Saturday, Padres SS Khalil Greene hit his 16th home run of the season. This is a new single-season record for Padres shortstops. The previous record was 15, also set by Greene.

Cardinals SP Braden Looper (6-7, 4.72 ERA) will get the start today against the Marlins.

Reds SP Bobby Livingston (1-0, 3.00 ERA) will start today against the Braves.

Brewers SP Dave Bush (7-7, 4.86 ERA) will start today against the Diamondbacks.

Cardinals 3B Scott Spiezio (finger) has been placed on the 15-day DL due to finger infection.

Dodgers SP Brad Penny (10-1, 2.39 ERA) will start today against the Phillies.

Phillies SP Jamie Moyer (7-7, 4.43 ERA) will start today against the Dodgers.

On Sunday, Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira homered in the 11th inning and had an RBI double in the 8th to help the Rangers get a 5-4 win over the LA Angels.

Royals SP John Thomson (back) may be heading to the 15-day DL as soon as today.

Mets 2B Ruben Gotay has racked up 6 hits in 13 at-bats since the All-Star break. His season batting average now stands at .353.

Padres CL Trevor Hoffman has saved 21 games in a row since April 28th. In his last 25 1/3 innings, he has allowed just one run to score.

Cubs CL Ryan Dempster (oblique muscle) threw a bullpen session on Sunday. If he feels good today, he's scheduled to make two minor league rehab appearances, with the first one scheduled to come on Tuesday.

Padres 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff has been on fire lately, getting a hit in five straight games (seven of his last eight). He also has 6 RBIs in that span of time.

Mariners OF Ichiro Suzuki's (thigh) status for the Monday game against the Orioles is uncertain. X-Rays of the muscle were negative, and Ichiro has received ice and treatment. Looks like the team is going to play it by ear, so be careful if you have him in a fantasy league.

July 13, 2007

Despite manager Tony La Russa not putting him into the All-Star game, Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols insists that the two still have a good relationship. "Of course I was disappointed I didn't get in the game, but it's not a big deal," said Pujols. "People are making a big deal about it, saying I don't respect Tony or that he disrespected me. Are you kidding?"

The Baltimore Orioles have activated RP Danys Baez (forearm) off of the 15-day disabled list.

It looks as though Alex Rodriguez will not be negotiating a new contract with the Yankees during the season, according to his agent, Scott Boras. Boras also went on to add that he believes that A-Rod will become baseball's first $30 million-a-year player.

Speaking of A-Rod, he hit his 31st homer of the season on Thursday night against the Devil Rays. That gives him 495 for his career.

Devil Rays pitcher James Shields lost for the fifth time in six decisions after Thursday's 7-3 drubbing by the Yankees. He gave up six runs on nine hits in six innings of work. The Devil Rays have now lost 14 of the last 15.

The Houston Astros have activated RP Brad Lidge (knee) off of the 15-day disabled list.

The Cincinnati Reds have placed OF Josh Hamilton (wrist) on the 15-day disabled list. He recently had his cast removed, but the wrist is still too sore to play. In the meantime, OF Ryan Freel will see most of the action in center field.

Reds SP Bronson Arroyo dropped to 3-10 after Thursday night's loss to the Mets. He allowed homers from the first two batters and then went on to give up a total of three earned runs on eight hits and a walk in seven innings of work.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz revealed that he's been playing with a torn meniscus in his right knee since June of last season. No surgery has been required yet, as it is free of inflammation.

Oakland A's OF Shannon Stewart extended his hitting streak to 15 games on Thursday. It's the longest such streak in the AL.

Baltimore Orioles SP Jeremy Guthrie gave up six runs and nine hits in 3 2/3 innings of work today against the White Sox. It was the shortest start of his career.

New York Mets OF Moises Alou (quad) could be rejoining the team next week. He has not played in two months due to a strained left quadricep.

July 12, 2007

The future of Cubs catcher Henry Blanco is uncertain due to a herniated disc in his neck.

Cubs relief pitcher Kerry Wood is still rehabbing his shoulder and coming along slowly.

Cubs closer Ryan Dempster is expected to be available after the All-Star break. He has been recovering from an oblique injury.

It is being reported that there's a chance that Yankees manager Joe Torre, closer Mariano Rivera and catcher Jorge Posada might all opt out of their contracts at the end of the 2007 season.

In other Yankees news, it appears that the Yanks are willing to break a team policy and work on negotiating a new contract with Alex Rodriguez during the season. A-Rod's contract doesn't expire until 2010, but he can choose to opt out of it at the end of this season.

Recovering from a quad injury, Rangers first baseman Mark Teixeira went 0-for-2 with 2 walks in Double-A Frisco on Wednesday. He will be back with the Rangers on Thursday and is expected to be activated for Friday's game against the Angels.

While outfielder Rondell White is out with a hamstring injury, the Minnesota Twins are expected to call up first baseman Garrett Jones from Triple-A Rochester to fill in. Jones has hit .295 with 11 homers and 53 RBIs for the Red Wings this season.

When it comes to the Indians pitching staff, Paul Byrd, C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona are a combined 29-11. The rest of the team's starters are 8-16.

Cincinnati Reds GM Wayne Krivsky has refused to comment on whether or not Ken Griffey Jr. is on a list of players to consider trading.

Red Sox DH David Ortiz is expected to get an MRI on his ailing knee following the All-Star break. Ortiz has stated that he may need minor surgery in the offseason to deal with the problem.

The Indians have come to terms with DH Travis Hafner. His salary for this year was increased, his club option for 2008 was picked up and increased, and the last four years of his deal were increased. Over that time, it is estimated that he will make $48 million dollars.

July 11, 2007

Monday night's Home Run Derby saw Vladimir Guerrero defeat Alex Rios in the finals to win the trophy for 2007, however television ratings for the event were down slightly from last year. They received a 5.1 rating on ESPN, which was down 6 percent from the 5.4 rating that they received last year. It was, however, an improvement over the 2005 derby which drew a 4.9 rating.

On Tuesday night, the NL and the AL clashed in the annual All-Star game. And as usual, the American League won the event and had members of the NL dugout scratching their heads in frustration. The AL has now won 10 straight, and the only longer streak was when the NL won 11 in a row from 1972-82. Ichiro Suzuki hit a two-run homer in the fifth (the first inside-the-park homer in All-Star history) to give the AL the lead.
Carl Crawford homered in the sixth to make it 3-1. Ken Giffey Jr. drove in the NL's second run in the bottom of the inning with a sacrifice fly. Victor Martinez also hit the 18th pinch homer in All-Star history, a two-run drive in the 8th off of Billy Wagner.

In the ninth, Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer to give the AL a 5-4 lead. This would ultimately prove to be the final score. Josh Beckett was awarded the win, while San Diego's Chris Young got stuck with the loss.

Despite being voted to the All-Star game, Albert Pujols didn't get to play, and the decision was made by his own manager, Cardinals' Tony La Russa. While Pujols was left on the bench, he was obviously upset and pouted in the dugout.

After the game, he said about La Russa's decision, "It's the All-Star game. He can do what he wants. He does whatever he wants. If I wasn't expecting to play, I wouldn't have come up here."

No doubt, La Russa's vote of confidence will go a long way towards helping Pujols snap his hitting slump in the regular season. Then again, all sarcasm aside, such a perceived slight might light a fire under Pujols and see him return to his old form. Perhaps this was all planned in advance by the Cardinals skipper.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig remains evasive about whether or not he'll attend the game where Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's home run record. According to the commish, "All of this will have to be played by ear. I do have a day job."

Man, that's about the lamest excuse that I've ever heard. You're the freakin' commissioner, for God's sake. Show a little leadership and make a decision one way or another. It's no wonder many view baseball as a big joke these days, and Selig is one of the chief reasons why.

July 9, 2007

The Yankees hammered the Angels on Sunday night, as Alex Rodriguez, Hideki Matsui and Robinson Cano each hit three-run homers. A-Rod currently leads the majors with 30 home runs and 86 RBIs. He will sit out Monday's Home Run Derby to rest his sore hamstring, but he will start in the All-Star Game. In the same game, Chien-Ming Wang improved to 9-4 by throwing 6 1/3 scoreless innings. The Yanks are currently sitting at 42-43.

Mark Buehrle has agreed to a new $56 million deal, silencing trade rumors which have swirled about the White Sox pitcher for weeks. Fans were given the good news as the Sox left the field following a 6-3 win over the Twins on Sunday.

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka had a tough night against the Tigers, as Gary Sheffield hit on of three homers off the Japanese sensation. Carlos Guillen and Marcus Thames also homered. Sheffield also added two doubles. This was the first time in the majors that Matsuzaka has given up three homers. The Tigers downed the Red Sox 6-5.

Albert Pujols will participate in the Home Run Derby despite being in the middle of a slump. His homerless streak now extends to 22 games and a career-worst 74 at-bats. On Sunday against the Giants (a game the Cardinals won 7-0), he went just 1-for-3 with an RBI single. His last homer was on June 14th.

A's pitcher Dan Haren has been selected to start for the American League at the All-Star game on Tuesday. He'll be pitching against a National League lineup which features Barry Bonds, Prince Fielder and Ken Griffey Jr. Haren is currently 10-3 with an AL-best 2.30 ERA. San Diego pitcher Jake Peavy will start on the mound for the NL.

July 7, 2007

The Diamondbacks have sent outfielder Carlos Quentin back down to Triple-A Tucson. The prospect struggled in the majors, hitting just .210 with 5 homers and 28 RBIs in 200 at-bats. Still, he should work out just fine in the long-term.

The Marlins won 6-5 over the Dodgers on Friday thanks to two home runs and a crucial bunt single in the bottom of the 10th by Hanley Ramirez.

Rockies' closer Brian Fuentes will skip the All-Star game due to a pulled muscle in his left side.

Fantasy Baseball NewsAlex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees' line-up on Friday and snapped a dry spell by hitting his 493rd career homer. This ties A-Rod with Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 22nd all-time. The Yankees downed the Angels 14-9.

The Atlanta Braves placed pitcher John Smoltz on the 15-day disabled list. Smoltz is suffering from an inflamed right shoulder, but an examination showed no structural damage.

The Twins wiped out the White Sox 12-0, and Justin Morneau hit three homers and drove in six runs. In their doubleheader, the Twins scored 32 runs. Morneau also had three hits and three RBIs in the first game.

July 5, 2007

Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended 25 games on Friday. He is the first player penalized for testing positive for a stimulant under MLB's drug program. In 64 at-bats this season, Perez is batting .172 with one home run and six RBIs. Sounds like the stimulants aren't doing him much good.

On Thursday night, Chipper Jones broke Dale Murphy's Atlanta Braves' record for most home runs. His pair of solo homers broke open a tie game and led the Braves to an 8-6 victory over the Dodgers.

Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett had a big night on Thursday against the struggling Devil Rays. He got his 12th win of the season and was assisted by a grand slam from Coco Crisp and a career-high five hits from Mike Lowell. The Red Sox cruised to a 15-4 win.

Alex Rodriguez will be back with the Yankees on Friday night after an MRI on his left hamstring found no damage. He'll be back in time to face the Angels, and he'll bat fourth and play third base. A-Rod is currently on an 0-for-19 skid and only has 6 hits in his last 34 at-bats.

Barry Bonds will opt to sit out of the Home Run Derby on Monday night in order to rest his tired 42-year-old body.

Troy Glaus will miss this weekend's game against Cleveland, but he should return after the All-Star break. X-rays on his injured ankle were negative.

Filling in for A-Rod, Hideki Matsui hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning to lift the Yankees to a 7-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

Relief pitcher Mike MacDougal has been placed on the White Sox's 15-day disabled list with an inflammation of the right shoulder. MacDougal is currently 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA in 31 appearances. Dewon Day has been activated for Friday's doubleheader against the Twins.

July 3, 2007

The Dodgers defeated the Braves 8-2 on Monday night to stay in the thick of the pennant race. Matt Kemp had three RBIs, including a two-run homer off of John Smoltz. Russell Martin also contributed four hits. Martin's hit streak has now been stretched to 12 games, and his average with runners in scoring position is .345.

The Padres downed the Marlins 3-1 on Monday night, and David Wells' curveball played a large role in the win. Wells' record improved to 4-5 on the season, and he didn't allow a run for the first time this season. He held Marlins' batters to just five hits while striking out six batters in 6 2/3 innings of work. Pitcher Sergio Mitre took the loss for the Marlins.

With their 10-2 win on Monday night, the Indians completed a four game sweep of the hapless Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Pitcher Fausto Carmona gave a fine performance, striking out a career-high eight batters and appearing to rebound from a recent losing streak. Grady Sizemore hit a grand slam in the eighth inning, and rookie outfielder Ben Francisco homered and drove in three runs. The Indians' home mark of 31-12 is the best in baseball, while the Devil Rays have lost eight straight.

The Cubs beat the Nationals 7-2, thanks in large part to Alfonso Soriano. Having hit 46 home runs and stole 41 bases for Washington last year, Soriano worked his magic for the Cubbies and got two hits, a run, an RBI and a stolen base. In his last 17 games, he is batting a superb .329.

Pitcher Roger Clemens got his landmark 350th win on Monday, as the Yankees downed the Twins 5-1. He became the first pitcher to reach the milestone since Warren Spahn in 1963 (Joe Torre was Spahn's catcher in that game). Clemens pitched eight innings and only allowed two hits. However, the team's excitment over the achievement may have been somewhat dulled by the strained left hamstring of Alex Rodriguez. Team officals have said that they will review the injury on a day-to-day basis, but a trip to the 15-day disabled list is not out of the question.

July 2, 2007

As expected, the Texas Rangers have placed 2nd Baseman Ian Kinsler on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his left foot.

Phillies' pitcher Matt Smith will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday and miss the rest of the season. Smith came over as part of the Bobby Abreu trade last season, but he hasn't contributed much since then. It's unlikely that he'll be ready for the start of 2008.

On Sunday, A's catcher Mike Piazza said his injured right shoulder is "still sore." If the injury continues to linger, the A's may scrap the notion of him returning to his catching duties.

Pitcher Oliver Perez is expected to be scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start with a sore lower-back. It's possible that he'll be put on the disabled list.

The Dodgers and White Sox are discussing a trade which could send Mark Buehrle to the Dodgers and Matt Kemp and a prospect to the White Sox.

The Phillies beat the Mets 5-3 on Sunday, avoiding a further slide in the NL East. Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run homer, Kyle Kendrick pitched well, and Shane Victorino had three hits (including a home run) and two stolen bases.

Manager Mike Hargrove unexpectedly resigned on Sunday, just hours before his Mariners beat the Blue Jays 2-1. The team's winning streak is now at 8 games. The Mariners got another strong effort from Jeff Weaver, and Guillen hit a tying home run in the 8th and a winning single in the 9th. Hargrove is the first major league manager since at least 1900 to leave while his team is on a winning streak of more than seven games.

Jack Cust hit a three-run homer for the A's on Sunday and finished with 4 RBIs in their 11-5 victory over the New York Yankees. Pitcher Dan Haren added 5 1/3 innings of work and improved his record to 10-2 (4-0 career against the Yankees). He did, however, allow five runs.

The Cincinnati Reds fired skipper Jerry Narron on Sunday night and replaced him with advance scout Pete Mackanin. The Reds are currently the worst team in baseball.

Barry Bonds will be headed to the All-Star Game for the first time since 2004. He overcame a 119,000-vote deficit in the final days of voting to edge out Alfonso Soriano of the Cubs by 123,000 votes for the final National League starting outfield spot. At 42, Bonds will be the oldest player to ever start in an All-Star game. This is his 14th appearance in the All-Stars and his 12th as a starter. He was the only player chosen from the Giants.

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