Brandon Backe- HOU- Hot- Talk about bouncing back. Backe did a 180 degree turn from his last start, when he was charged with 11 runs on 9 hits and 6 walks in 3-1/3 IP. Last night he gave up just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks in IP. Considering that if you take out the August 6th debacle Backe posted a 3.24 ERA and 1.34 WHIP since July 1st, count that previous start as an aberration.
Manny Ramirez- LAN- Hot- In off the field news, manager Joe Torre said that a resolution would come this week about Manny’s hairstyle. In on the field news, Manny went 2-for-3 with 2 walks, a run, 2 RBI and a double. He is now hitting .475 as a Doger with a .543 OBP and .850 SLG. In off the field, then on the field news, Manny thought he had been given the rest of the night off by Torre after the 8th inning and had to be found in the Dodgers clubhouse and told to get dressed and get back to the outfield for the top of the 9th. With Ramirez in Tinseltown, it’s just a matter of time before “Manny Being Manny” becomes the latest reality TV show.
Anibel Sanchez- FLA- Hot- It wasn’t Sanchez’s fault that the Marlins lost last night. He tossed a quality start, going 7 IP and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8. It was Sanchez’s best of his 3 starts since coming back from injury. Overall he has been decent, with a 4.08 ERA and 1.36 WHIP and 14 strikeouts in 17-2/3 IP, and he seems to be improving. Sanchez could provide a boost to your rotation in the last few weeks of the season.
Josh Anderson- ATL- Rookie- It’s the middle of August and time to start looking at who might be called up on the first of September and provide a fantasy bonus in the last month of the season. Anderson is one such player. He is almost a lock to get a taste of the major leagues and time in an audition for a spot with the big club in 2009. Anderson’s main assets are speed (37 SBs for AAA Richmond this season) and an ability to hit for average (.311). He will definitely be worth a pickup if you need SB help, as the opportunities will be there for him.
Adam Dunn- ARI- Trade- Will Dunn’s move from Cincinnati to Arizona affect his odds of maintaining the NL home run lead? Both parks are advantageous for hitters and the D-Backs have 3 more home games than the Reds the rest of the way, so that is a slight edge for Dunn. On the road, where Dunn has posted a batting average 9 points and OBP 29 points higher than at home and in 29 fewer at bats hit the same number of homers, collected 6 more runs, knocked in 2 more and walked only 2 times fewer, there is a slight disadvantage. With the exception of a season-ending series in St. Louis, all of the Reds’ road games left are in parks with an average or higher homer index for lefthanded hitters last season. Arizona, in addition to a series at Busch Stadium (where fly balls go to die for lefties) that is a game longer than Cincinnati’s, also will be travelling to San Diego and San Francisco. Dunn basically trades a net one road series in Houston for one in Colorado, which is almost a wash with the humidor. Surprisingly, Dodger Stadium has been a good power park for lefty hitter recently, so that is a plus. The bottom line is that Dunn probably has a slight disadvantage with the trade, but will still put up some big homer numbers in the next month and a half. Expect his home/road splits to get closer together by the end of the season.