|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
I am writing this just a few hours after I saw Jon Lester throw a no-hitter against the Royals. I’d like to step away from fantasy sports for a minute and just take in what an amazing moment we saw in Boston. An inspirational story like Lester’s makes you just forget for a moment about how bad your team may have done this week and wonder when your DL players will get healthy. If we can find the downside in all this it would have to be that in one of my leagues, I faced Lester tonight and he helped defeat my pitching. In time, I will get over it. One thing is for certain, the sale of Jon Lester shirts just went through the roof tonight. So, who else went through the roof this past week? Don’t you love the transition?
Jayson Werth (LF, CF, RF), Philadelphia Phillies: Werthless? Werth while? Werthy? The puns stop here, I promise. Werth had 3 home runs and 11 RBI last week. The impressive part? The 3 home runs and 8 of those RBI came in one game. It’s not that the power is not legit, it’s just that Werth is very streaky this season, so gamble if you want to and ride him while he is hot.
Jose Guillen (LF, RF), Kansas City Royals: Guillen had a 10-game hit streak dating back to May 7th. During last week he had 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and 13 RBI. His season average is .245 which is leagues above what he was hitting entering last week (.207). Guillen has been good in the past so it is not as if this talent is coming from nowhere. Pick him up and see if he has regained his stroke.
Alfonso Soriano (LF, CF), Chicago Cubs: Speaking of regaining stroke, look who decided to join the 2008 season. To say Soriano is locked in is an understatement. If by locked in you mean 16 hits, 7 home runs, 14 RBI, and 10 runs, then yes, he is quite locked in. One of the game’s best has found himself and looks to lead the Cubs from here on out.
Ryan Braun (3B, LF), Milwaukee Brewers: Another player who was left for dead at the start of the season. Braun joined the party with 10 hits, 6 home runs, and 10 RBI. Braun was supposed to lead this offense to the promised land from the start. Personally, I think this will now jump-start the rest of the offense. So if you own Prince Fielder, Corey Hart, or any other Brewer, then you are in good shape. If you don’t, then look to acquire them.
Lance Berkman (1B, RF), Houston Astros: “There’s no way he can keep this up”. OK, that excuse didn’t work last month, and it still is not valid today, it’s time to get some new material. Berkman is hitting .399 in mid-may. That’s impressive no matter what you think. Last week, he added to his amazing season by slapping 13 hits, blasting 4 home runs, driving in 8, and crossing the plate 8 times. With over 4 months to go, any logical person can see that Berkman won’t keep this up, but don’t let that stop you from shopping him around and seeing if you can rob somebody blind.
Jered Weaver (SP), Los Angeles Angels: Weaver is back on track after some rough outings. He tossed 12.1 innings and gave up only 2 runs while striking out 13 batters. Here are some fun numbers: his ERA on the road is 7.76 and at home it is 2.23. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know when you should start Weaver.
B.J. Ryan (RP), Toronto Blue Jays: I told you not to be afraid of drafting him. Ryan had 4 saves last week and fanned 5 batters. The only bad part is that he gave up his first run of the season and his ERA rocketed to 0.64. Oh well, can’t win them all I guess.
Randy Johnson (SP), Arizona Diamondbacks: Hey, look who refuses to roll over and die. The Big Unit, won both of his starts to bring his record to 4-1. He gave up 4 ER in 12 innings while striking out 9. Johnson is old and his time is up. He may string together a few good starts here and there but he is no longer reliable enough to start every week for your team. Don’t waste your time.
A.J. Burnett (SP), Toronto Blue Jays: Not a terrible week for the free agent to be. Burnett won a game and lost a game last week. He struck out 15 in 14 innings and brought his ERA down to 4.71. With a big payday after the season, expect better numbers for the rest of the year.
J.J. Putz (RP), Seattle Mariners: You thought I would put another Blue Jay here didn’t you? Putz showed us that he is no putz. Don’t you love the jokes around here? What did he do last week? Not much, he just won a game and saved 2 more while striking out 4 batters in 4 innings. See, we even have sarcasm here at Sports of Boston.
Why Should I Give A Crap About These Guys?
Jerry Hairston Jr. (2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF), Cincinnati Reds: Aside from the fact he is eligible at every position besides C, 1B and RF, Hairston plays everyday at SS while Jeff Keppinger is on the DL. Since Keppinger was injured on May 13th, Hairston has 7 hits, 4 doubles, and 2 SB.
Blake DeWitt (3B), Los Angeles Dodgers: Who the hell is this guy? Well, since Nomar Garciaparra went to the DL, DeWitt has been making his case for NL Rookie of the Year. To date, he is hitting .318 with 4 home runs, and 21 RBI in 36 games. He is a good source for average and RBI and I don’t see his job in jeopardy even when Nomar comes back.
Mark Grudzielanek (2B), Kansas City Royals: He’s been hitting pretty well all year, you just don’t notice because he is on the Royals. As of Monday, he is hitting .331. He has no power as evident by his ZERO home runs, but hey, the average alone if good enough to consider him, especially at a position as shallow as 2B.
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