MLB In Full Bloom - Doug Fister Continues Hot Streak - 8/7/2014

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Doug Fister was acquired by the Washington Nationals in the offseason from the Detroit Tigers and the Nats fan base was excited to add the right-hander to their starting rotation. The excitement quickly diminished after the Fister landed on the disabled list at the end of spring training with a lat strain and then he struggled in his 2014 debut on May 9th in Oakland.  Fister was brilliant over 7 1/3 innings Wednesday night in Nationals Park against the New York Mets. He allowed just one (unearned) run on six hits while striking out seven batters. All six of those hits were singles and Fister did not issue a walk. Since that rough early-May debut, Fister owns a 2.15 ERA in 100 1/3 innings. He doesn’t have the high strikeout rate like most fantasy aces, but the ERA should remain low and the wins should keep coming as the Nationals hit their stride.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

MLB In Full Bloom - Rangers Break Out For 16 Runs - 8/6/2014

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Most days, an individual player is highlighted as the lead story here, but the entire Texas Rangers deserve to be highlighted after they defeated the Chicago White Sox 16-0 on Tuesday night and racked up a season-high 18 hits in the process. For the third straight game, the Rangers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and they never looked back as they hit five home runs as a team. Robinson Chirinos blasted two home runs while Adrian Beltre, J.P. Arencibia, and Shin-Soo Choo each added home runs of their own. Lost in the offensive explosion was the complete game shutout thrown by Colby Lewis. Lewis earned his second shutout of his career and the league-leading 15th by the Rangers this season. Lewis' other shutout was May 16, 2011, also against the White Sox in Chicago. Lewis held the White Sox to six hits and a walk while striking out seven and is now 2-2 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Billy Butler hit a three-run home run and collected three RBI in Tuesday's 12-2 win over the Diamondbacks. Butler finished 4-for-5 and now has back-to-back three hit performances. Prior to Sunday's game against the A's, he had just one hit in his last seventeen at-bats. Butler's underperformed this season, posting a .269 batting average, which is the worst of his career, but it's not completely improbable that he might have a hot streak left in him before the season ends.
  • Javier Baez hit the game-winning home run in the 12th inning to give the Cubs a 6-5 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday. Baez' strengths and weaknesses were on full display in his major league debut, as he struck out in three of his first five at-bats before sending a Boone Logan pitch to the opposite field for his first career home run in the 12th inning. There will likely be plenty of strikeouts in the next two months, but it will be great watching Baez put his power on display.
  • Drew Smyly gave up three runs in five and a third innings on Tuesday, picking up his first loss with the Rays. Smyly was one of the major pieces the Rays received in the David Price trade at the deadline. He gave up seven hits and three runs while striking out six and walking two. He gave up an RBI single to Coco Crisp RBI in the fifth and RBI hits by Nate Freiman and Josh Reddick in the sixth inning. He should provide decent production in the Rays rotation, but he's obviously not Price.
  • Carl Crawford is batting just .155 in 58 at-bats since coming off the disabled list July 11, but he still has the support of manager Don Mattingly. Crawford has cleared waivers and can be traded to any team this month, but more than likely given his contract, he's not going anywhere. Fantasy owners can expect him to be in the line-up against most right-handers.
  • Troy Tulowitzki (thigh) continues to work out on his own but has yet to take part in baseball-related activities. Tulowitzki is eligible to return from the disabled list this week, but the cautious approach to his recovery will likely keep him on the DL until mid-August. On a positive note, the Rockies have been encouraged by how he's progressed since visiting the doctor in Philadelphia on July 26, making it possible that he could start light hitting drills before the week is out.
  • Bud Selig's successor as commissioner of baseball is expected to be decided next week when MLB owners meet in Baltimore to vote on three finalists for the job. The three final candidates are MLB's chief operating officer, Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president for business Tim Brosnan and Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. If no candidate is elected on the first ballot, owners would have to hold a second vote and possibly more until a candidate is finally elected.
  • It got so bad for the Chicago White Sox Tuesday night that 1B/DH slugger Adam Dunn pitched the 9th inning for the Sox. The White Sox were losing 15-0 in the 9th to the Rangers, when they called Dunn to pitch the final inning. The 6-foot-6, 285-pound first baseman gave up an earned run on two hits and he walked a batter.

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