"My wife, Baubi, it's her birthday," Aubrey Huff said. "She wanted me to hit her a home run. I hit her three. That's brownie points." It was Mrs. Huff who first convinced him to purchase the Rally Thong last year, and everyone knows how that played out. Huff had 12 multihomer games in his career, but that third one always proved elusive. "It's on your mind, but you don't expect it," said Huff, who also matched his career high with six RBIs. "I got a pretty good pitch, a slider, and I barreled it. I thought man, that's got a chance." "With our pitching, if we can hit at all, we'll be right there," Huff said. "It all revolved around me having a good start, and I haven't. So hopefully this gets me going." "I saw today in the paper where I had the third-most opportunities to drive in runs in the NL and I was hitting .180-something with runners in scoring position," Huff said. "I hadn't done anything the first two months. "I woke up June 1, and it was opening day for me," Huff said. "Just breathe, relax and have some fun again. It's hard to have fun when you're crappy for two months. I just let it go."
Brian Sabean could learn a thing or two from you Aubrey. I hope he gets fined.
Henry Schulman: Giants general manager Brian Sabean on Thursday tore into Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins for his devastating hit on Buster Posey, saying the Giants will have a "long memory" of the play and everyone in the organization will be happy if Cousins is through as a major-league player. The GM's harshest statements in the lengthy interview came when co-host Ralph Barbieri noted that Posey had no desire to hear from Cousins. "I don't blame the kid," Sabean said of Posey. "Why not be hard-nosed? If I never hear from Cousins again, or he doesn't play another day in the big leagues, I think we'll all be happy." Sabean did not back down when asked shortly thereafter if his comment was a bit harsh. "No," Sabean said. "He chose to be a hero, in my mind. If that's his flash of fame, that's as good as it's going to get, pal. We'll have a long memory. We talked to (former Giants catcher) Mike Matheny about how this game works. You can't be that out-and-out overly aggressive. "There's no love lost and there shouldn't be."
The Marlins did not play Thursday, but Cousins' agent said that while he respects Sabean, he believes the GM is 100 percent wrong. "What Cousins did was not malicious," Sosnick said. "A statement that anyone makes implying that he did something on purpose to be hurtful or malicious to Posey is untrue. Those people are misinformed. You can't determine on a replay if there was a sliding lane for him to get into. It's impossible." Sosnick said no player ever tried harder than Cousins to reach out to a player he injured.
The agent, who also represents Freddy Sanchez, said the hit was not illegal and the right thing to do in a close game. If the same situation arose, Sosnick said, "I would hope he'd make the same play, and he would hope that nothing would happen to Posey at all. "I'd say Brian's opinion is in the vast minority in baseball. I can understand the disappointment that Posey is out. I'm disappointed. My family is disappointed and I don't even represent him. I can just tell you that if you know Scott Cousins, you know it was certainly not intentional."
Need help at three?
RJ White: Mark Trumbo, LAA (26%). First and foremost, all owners needing a first baseman should check to make sure Morse has been rostered in their leagues. Failing a Morse pickup, we’ll bring up another guy we’ve featured in the past. Trumbo has managed multiple hits in his last three games and three homers over the past week. Now hitting .256 with 10 HRs to his credit, Trumbo also has a surprising amount of speed, notching his fifth steal on Tuesday. While he’s a poor bet to post a 30/15 line, something along the lines of 25/10 looks entirely manageable right now, especially if he can stay in the lineup now that Russell Branyan is in the fold. I chose to keep Brett Wallace over Trumbo in one league week mainly because of Branyan’s presence, but now I’m not so sure that was the right move.
More on three.
Mike Axisa: We’ve been rolling out our updated position rankings this week, and now it’s time to hit the first baseman. Here are our preseason and May rankings for reference. There hasn’t been a ton of movement, especially not higher up on the list, but every little bit counts.
Is it me, or do these first two sentences contradict each other?
Jason Catania: It’s not often a prospect reaches the majors before he can legally drink. Sure, there are a handful every year, and even this season, we’ve already seen the Braves’ Julio Teheran make it to the bigs at 20. This sort of thing gets fans, and fantasy owners in particular, especially excited because there’s nothing quite like a younger-than-usual ‘spect making his debut to put the hype machine into overdrive. Well, in Jordan Lyles’ case, there’s plenty of reasons for optimism — and just as many to keep owners’ hopes and dreams in check. The right-hander got the call Monday to take Wandy Rodriguez‘s (elbow) rotation spot. And his debut the very next day against the Cubs was a rather auspicious one: 7 innings, only 5 hits allowed, 2 runs and a 4:0 K:BB ratio. Given that, as well as Lyles pedigree as the No. 38 pick in 2008, it’s time to jump in with both feet, right? Not so fast.
Fantasy Joke of the South?
Brad Evans: Tension over the despondent infielder's struggles is palpable. Owners are fed up, tired of the popular early round pick's string of miserable performances. Their disdain is completely appropriate. Roughly a third of the way to the checkered flag, Dan Uggla has blown several tires. Amassing a .175-7-16-20-1 line over 212 at-bats, he's a shell of his former position-commanding self. In Yahoo! leagues he's the 50th-most valuable player at his position and 856th overall. If his current pace continues, he will finish 34 runs, 11 homers and a whopping 48 RBIs shy of his three-year career average. That's a dramatic one-year decline only Jason Bay could appreciate. Fredi Gonzalez, too, is starting to lose patience. On Tuesday, the Braves skipper benched Uggla for the second consecutive day, a move the two-time All-star wasn't exactly fond of.
Jack Moore: Matt Joyce is not Barry Bonds. Matt Joyce is not Barry Bonds. No matter how many times I tell myself that, it doesn't change his ridiculous .361/.421/.621 triple-slash line entering Thursday's play. Joyce's performance so far has even earned himself a 192 wRC+, only a single point lower than Bonds posted in his first year as a San Francisco Giant. Joyce hasn't just excelled in the saber-stats. His .361 average merely complements his nine homers, 34 runs, 30 RBIs, and three steals. Seems like a bit much for a guy whose average hadn't eclipsed .260 in his career prior to this year, much less .360. As is typical for a player running a Bonds imitation through 190 plate appearances, Joyce has been the beneficiary of an inflated BABIP, a .409 mark sure to come down to earth. Despite some impending regression, his peripheral stats suggest a productive player even after some regression
Just a little late to the party.
Roto Hardball: Mike Adams has emerged as the best arm in that bullpen while Gregerson has slid backwards. Gregerson’s ERA remains strong at 2.81, a career-best, but the support skills are out of whack. His control is a career-best 1.8 BB/9, but the strikeouts have evaporated to a laughably small 4.9 K/9 in 26 innings. Meanwhile with Adams, it has never been about skill, just health. He has yet to have two healthy seasons in a row since coming up in 2004 with the Milwaukee Brewers, but he’s well on his way this year after an excellent 2010 campaign. Since joining the Padres in 2008, Adams has struck out 9.9 or more batters per game in each season totaling 10.2 K/9 in 194 innings. His control has improved to a career-best 1.5 BB/9 this year and he’s become nearly unhittable at 5.1 H/9. He has allowed fewer hits (14 to 15) and walks (4 to 7) than Bell in more innings (25 to 23). As it stands right now, I would speculate on Adams getting the job post-trade thanks to a dominant track record since arriving in San Diego as well as the fact that he is in the midst of his best season yet. Depending on your roster construction and league size, you should always speculate sooner than later. If you have a marginal starting pitcher eating innings and offering little in return, slot Adams in immediately and enjoy the strikeout rate (especially in innings cap leagues) and miniscule rates while you wait on a potential Bell trade. He will cost you next to nothing now while a trade of Bell would send Adams’ FAAB value through the roof immediately.
Brad Johnson: In a standard roto format without keeper considerations, the game is a simple win-at-all-costs endeavor. At this point in the season, rosters can be classified in three types—runaways, the pack, and laggards. In a standard roto format without keeper considerations, the game is a simple win-at-all-costs endeavor. At this point in the season, rosters can be classified in three types—runaways, the pack, and laggards. Runaways are those owners who have seen success on both the hitting and pitching sides of the ledger. They have tallied at least 50 percent more points than average (i.e. 90 points in a 12-team 5x5). Such owners need to step back and honestly assess how they got to this point. Typically, this type of roster has two things going for it—a core of reliable top-end talent and a group of over-performers. Runaway owners have two main options. They can stick by their roster, or they can consolidate their risk through trade. Consolidation means turning risky players into more stable assets. An example might look something like Josh Beckett and Matt Joyce for Tim Lincecum. The goal is to trade one or more players who face likely regression in the future for someone who is more of a known quantity.