Texas Rangers- TEX- Trade- The fire sale has begun in the Metroplex. The Rangers received minor league catcher Max Ramirez from the Indians in exchange for Kenny Lofton. Ramirez has potential with the bat, as shown by his .303 average with 20 doubles and 12 homers in 277 at bats with Kinston of the Carolina League. He also has walked 53 times and has a .418 OBP to go along with a Batting EYE of .84. The problem with Ramirez' future has been that his best defensive position appears to be DH. Texas thinks that they have the catching instructors needed to improve Ramirez behind the plate. It will take a while to see if they are correct, so Ramirez is not even a blip on the fantasy radar at this point.
Marlon Byrd- TEX- Rise value- Byrd has taken over in CF for the traded Kenny Lofton and the plan is for him to be there the rest of the season to prove he should be in the Rangers' 2008 plans. He will get more playing time, but will almost assuredly perform at a lower level than he did earlier this season. Byrd's BHIP is still an insanely high .375, but it is down from the .308 it was at on July 5th. As his luck has waned, so has his batting average which has dropped 45 points from the .388 it was then. He has become a fan favorite in Texas. If you've seen the movie "Angels in the Outfield"(the Disney remake with Rev. Jim Ignatowski as an Angel, not the 1951 version) you'll remember the crowd starting to flap their arms like wings when they started to believe. Rangers' fans are doing the same when Byrd gets up to the plate. It's cute, but his .33 Batting EYE is going to factor in to his performance more than home fans turning themselves into birds.
Mariano Rivera- NYY- Stats- If you are in a head-to-head league, Rivera's performance yesterday, picking up his 10th save by pitching 1-2/3 innings and giving up a run on 3 hits, will likely be invisible. That's because it came in the completion of the suspended June 28th game and so is officially credited to that date. In most head-to-head leagues, it's just not feasible to either do a retroactive correction to the old week or split out the stats from the completion part of the suspended game to add to this week's totals. For those of you in non-head-to-head leagues, the effort now makes Rivera's July 18th save, which had been his 15th of the season, his 16th and that's his total now. Got it?
Chad Bradford- BAL- FYI- Bradford earned his first save of the season yesterday, allowing one hit in a scoreless 9th inning. Jamie Walker had earned a save in the first two opportunities the Orioles had after Chris Ray went down with an injury. Walker appeared last night, but picked up a hold. Maybe Baltimore was showcasing Bradford as a possible closer to potential trading partners.
Chicago White Sox- CHW- Rookie- Danny Richar gets the chance to prove whether he is the team's long-term solution at 2B. Richar has certainly been hot at AAA Charlotte, but the odd thing about his numbers is that his home/road splits are extreme. Richar has batted .462 at Charlotte and hit 4 of his 5 International League homers in his 52 home at bats, while batting .275 with 1 homer in 69 road at bats. The park, however, is not that skewed, as both the Knights and their opponents are performing roughly equally whether their or at Charlotte's opponents' parks. Richar showed a similar tendency at Tucson this year, when he was still in the Arizona system. Also, although Richar's batting average went from .285 at Tucson to .346 at Charlotte, his Batting EYE dropped from .57 to .42. Also his double rate fell dramatically. Richar had hit 20 in 267 PCL at bats, while only notching 5 doubles in 133 with Charlotte. His increase in batting average is driven almost entirely by singles. That may be an indication that there is a high BHIP at work, although I don't have the numbers to back that up. The White Sox seem not entirely sold that Richar is ready for the majors yet and their caution seems warranted. They are evaluating him and perhaps you should see what their results are before considering Richar for your team.
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