For our under-21 readers, happy Ice Cream Sandwich Day! And for everyone else, happy International Beer Day! Assuming you are of age, check out Beer Advocate (and of course cross reference with our brethren over at Beer Graphs) to see the top rated international beers. You know what? It’s practically the weekend. Why not celebrate both holidays?
On today’s agenda:
1. The slow recovery process for Wandy Rodriguez
2. Albert Pujols won’t undergo surgery
3. Ryan Raburn keeps hitting
The slow recovery process for Wandy Rodriguez
Despite not pitching in almost two months, Wandy Rodriguez is yet to even throw a bullpen session while on the disabled list. Yesterday Rodriguez played catch on flat ground from a distance of 60 feet. It remains doubtful that he’ll be back in the bigs before September. For the 30% of people who still own him in Yahoo! leagues, the 13% in ESPN, and the 50% of CBS leagues, you should comfortable dropping Wandy if you’re playing in a standard 12-team mixed format. A mid-tier pitcher just doesn’t belong eating up a DL, let alone a bench, spot during the stretch run.
Albert Pujols won’t undergo surgery
Rather than go under the knife and assuredly end his season, Albert Pujols decided against surgery in the hopes of returning. It may be misplaced optimism, as the Los Angeles Angels — currently 10.5 games back in the Wild Card — don’t need to rush him back for a playoff push. It seems likely that Pujols won’t return this year, though you won’t find many fantasy owners complaining. Prior to his injury, Pujols was having the worst year of career. There is hope for him to rebound next year as apparently he was playing “at 45% this year” and was playing at a “7 or 8” on the pain scale. Seeing where Pujols goes in the early mock drafts next year will be fascinating.
Ryan Raburn keeps hitting
Yesterday Ryan Raburn popped two home runs en route to a 3-for-4 performance. He’s pushed his line to an impressive .283/.377/.584 and has 13 dingers in 199 plate appearances. His .321 BABIP isn’t exceptionally high when compared to his .314 career mark and his minor league walk rates have finally translated to the majors. Playing time in the outfield is at a premium in Cleveland and Raburn has found himself DHing more as of late. If he is able to gather regular playing time then he could be a nice add for the final weeks.
Historically Raburn has hit left-handed pitchers better, however this year — in a small sample size of course — he has shown improvements against righties. A triple slash of .258/.351/.515 against right-handed pitchers translates to a 144 wRC+. Combined with his 173 wRC+ against left handers and Raburn has sneakily been one of the best offensive performers this year. If he qualified for the batting title, Raburn’s 168 wRC+ would rate just behind Mike Trout and in front of David Ortiz.
The Cleveland Indians find themselves just two games behind the Detroit Tigers for the AL Central crown and will need to maintain their current hot streak (8-2 in their past 10 games) to help chase the Tigers down. Perhaps the club will finally give more PA’s to Raburn and take them away from an
aging aged Jason Giambi. Given that Raburn hit third in the lineup yesterday for the first time since April could mean that the club has faith in him. Raburn is available in 94% both ESPN and Yahoo! leagues and 89% of CBS formats.