Carlos Silva (SP—Cubs) Carlos Silva has been enjoying one of the finest seasons of his career despite dealing with a leg injury all season long. There is some speculation that he might miss his Sunday start so fantasy owners will have to hold their breath and wait and see. Unexpectedly, Silva has been the Cubs most consistent pitcher where in 16 starts, he has only allowed 4 or more runs in two of them. He’s also been giving fantasy owners a consistent 6 or 7 innings per start. Only three games this season have been less. Silva’s FIP of 3.58 is solid enough against his ERA of 2.96 to keep him active, but a BHIP of .278 is lower than his career norm, so we may see that ERA rise closer to his FIP down the road. Watch out for the leg injury too as that may become a nagging problem that could affect his performances down the road.
Dexter Fowler (OF—Rockies) When the Rockies sent Dexter Fowler down to Triple A in late May they were obviously sending a clear message to Fowler that improvement would be necessary to stick with the parent club. Not only did Fowler get the message by producing well in the minors, but he has carried that over since his return at the end of June. Since coming back, Fowler has produced a slash line of .389/.532/.778. He has scored 13 runs in just 9 games and perhaps the best part is that he has 11 walks to 10 strikeouts showing far more plate discipline. Although he still struggles batting lefty (.220 on the season), he is finally showing the consistency that made him a top prospect in the Rockie organization. If he continues to produce, he a good option for the outfield as he has plus speed and keeper leagues should know that once he fills out, he could be a 20+ home run guy.
Jonathan Herrera (2B—Rockies) Jonathan Herrera may not be a long term option once Troy Tulowitzki returns, but he has been hitting the ball really, really well for a while now. He has a modest 8-game hitting streak but more impressively has hit in 20 of his last 22 games batting .356 of that span. He is batting .317 on the season. However, don’t be fooled by this current hot streak. Despite the solid average, he has only 1 extra base hit on the season (a double) with an ISO of .010. And he’s been pretty lucky with a BHIP of .368 and a LD% of 19.8% so we can expect this hot hitting to slow down. Herrera might be able to provide a temporary boost in average, but don’t expect any long term productivity. The lack of slugging makes him a one-trick pony.
Andres Torres (OF—Giants) Andres Torres needs a little more attention. Torres has produced a slash line of .333/.421/.667 for July thus far with 4 home runs in his last 6 games. The speedy outfielder has a decent feel for the strike zone with an EYE of 0.67 and he has 17 stolen bases on the season. Batting in the lead off position with an overall OBP of .377 should help to increase that total as he has a chance for a 40+ stolen base season. He’s put up some productive numbers that have made him a good fantasy option and a worthwhile start in mixed leagues. The unfortunate news is that as well as Torres has been going, he left with a groin strain on Friday, so how serious this injury is remains to be seen.
Omar Infante (3B—Braves) Well guess what? Chipper Jones was a late scratch on Friday with back spasms. Shocking. In his place Omar Infante got the start and delivered in a big way helping to defeat the Mets on a 4-for-5 effort that included a home run. The Braves could have asked for more and Infante boosted his average to .321 with Friday’s efforts. Infante has been getting a fair amount of starts with Jason Heyward out and Jones taking days off. He’s become a legitimate option in deeper mixed leagues and his versatility to play the outfield as well as the infield may be attractive to some fantasy owners who need some movable parts. Keep in mind that Infante may lose playing time when Jones and/or Heyward is healthy, but while they out, he’s a decent option that could be a nice source for average.
You can also follow Richard on Twitter all season long at @rsgross