Rarely does the present author wade into the waters of fan subjectivity, however tomorrow his beloved Oakland A’s are being showcased to a national audience. They’ll be taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates on ESPN at 7:00 pm eastern in a clash of two division leading teams. For some clubs a national spotlight is nothing new, however for A’s fans and (assuming as much on behalf of) Pirates fans, a national broadcast is a rare and special thing.
On today’s agenda:
1. The Milwaukee Brewers swap sluggers
2. Ryan Howard to have surgery
3. Lonnie Chisenhall is all right
The Milwaukee Brewers swap sluggers
Yesterday the Brewers welcomed back Ryan Braun from the 15-day disabled list, though they lost Aramis Ramirez to the DL with a knee sprain. Braun was brought back a few days early and did not start yesterday, however he should be in the lineup today. The move to place Ramirez on the DL was made retroactive July 7 and thus he’ll be eligible to return after missing just one post All-Star Break series.
This the second time this year that Ramirez has missed time due to soreness in his knees. Given that he is now 35-years-old and this is a recurring injury, there is a bit of doubt on the authors behalf on Ramirez missing the minimum amount of time. For now stash him and hope that Ramirez returns as soon as eligible.
Ryan Howard to have surgery
The Philadelphia Phillies have elected to go the surgery route on Ryan Howard‘s knee. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks and thus the best case scenario is that he will come back with six weeks of the season remaining. General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said that Darin Ruf will get the bulk of the playing time at first base in Howard’s absence.
As stated on Sunday’s Roto Riteup, Ruf has plenty of power to offer and given that his playing time is now somewhat guaranteed, he makes for a solid pick up. Ruf is available in over 90% of CBS, ESPN, and Yahoo! leagues. He is outfield eligible and should gain first base shortly. With power, playing time, a friendly home park, and multi-position eligibility, Ruf could be a savvy second half pick up.
Lonnie Chisenhall is all right
No, a seal didn’t bite off his hand, but he will be all right if he’s only going to be facing right-handed pitchers for the rest of the season. He has a career .274/.314/.426 line against right-handed pitchers but struggles to the tune of .193/.220/.395 against fellow lefties. When properly managed Chisenhall is worthy of ownership in deep leagues for anyone looking for help at third base. We are still in the realm of small sample size — especially when it comes to properly regressing his splits — however given his 32 strikeouts and two walks against left-handed pitchers, Chisenhall may find himself on the bigger end of a real life platoon situation.
He has shown an overall improvement since returning from the minors back in June — a .293 batting average with two home runs in 58 plate appearances. Recent trends aside, Chisenhall’s minor league numbers corroborate worries about his ability to hit same handed pitching. Chisenhall is owned in 20% of CBS leagues and less than 3% of ESPN and Yahoo! formats. Standard 12-team mixed redraft leagues can leave him alone for now. Add him to your watch list and keep track of him, however there is no need to drop any full time third basemen for him just yet.
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