Fear not, my beloved RotoGraphs readers, for I am alive and well. And with internet! Many thanks to the handsome Zach Sanders for filling in for me!
• Norichika Aoki stole another base last night (although he was also caught once) and that gives him 17 on the year, four of which have come in the past two weeks. Over the same 14 day time span, Aoki is hitting a solid .292. Power still isn’t his game, but with a seasonal line now at .280/.349/.404, he is most certainly own-able in deeper leagues. He is owned in just 8% of Yahoo! leagues and 9% of ESPN formats. If you’re in the market for cheap average and the occasional steal, grab Aoki. His ZiPS rest-of-season is a very attractive .288 and four more stolen bases.
• Well, Ryan Ludwick hit another home run last night. That brings him up to 24 on the year and five in the past two weeks. He has 10 RBI’s, eight runs scored and a .333 average for the past 14 days too. He has basically been as hot as humanly possible. His ESPN ownership rate of 92% makes me feel like he probably isn’t available there, but his Yahoo! rate is a mere 51%. As long as he keeps hitting like this, go ahead and grab him. His ISO is now up to an absurd .304 mark and is up to .577. I didn’t think he could do it again, but he now has an excellent shot at that (totally arbitrary) mark of 30 homers in a single season. He is actually striking out at a lower frequency this year too, a rate of 20.6% this year versus a 22.3% career mark. Although his O-swing% is still awfully high, he has apparently rediscovered his power stroke. Grab him and play him while you can, he could make for a very nice and cheap keeper for next season.
• Hanley Ramirez hit another pair of home runs last night. He now has four homers in 25 games as a Dodger. His line so far as a member of the Dodgers was .322/.388/.483 before his big night yesterday. If you happened to believe him the way that Ned Colletti did, then kudos to you. I wish I would have traded for him too. It is still far too early to grade Hanley with a change in his approach via his numbers, but for now his GB/FB ratio is completely different. Since being traded, his GB/FB is 2.65; his career average is 1.20. He is hitting the ball in the air at an astonishingly low rate of 23%. I can’t draw conclusions from that just yet, but perhaps some Dodgers fans can weigh in down in the comment section. If the trade deadline in your league hasn’t passed yet, or if you play in a keeper format, making a move for Hanley could be worth it.
For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here are a couple matchups you may be able to exploit.
A Pitcher for Today: Jarrod Parker vs CLE
Parker has a near double digit SwStr% and although the Indians have the fifth lowest team strikeout rate, I still like Parker. Of course, I’m an A’s fan, so maybe I’m bias.
A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Tim Hudson at WAS
Ground ball pitcher. You should know how I feel about them. Grounders, man. They’re so democratic!