MLB In Full Bloom - Should Fantasy Owners Own Lincecum? - 6/26/2014

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Tim Lincecum's days of dominating opponents may be in the past. That doesn't mean he can't dial up flashes of the Freak he once was especially against the San Diego Padres. Lincecum pitched his second no-hitter against the Padres in less than a year, allowing only one runner Wednesday and leading the San Francisco Giants to a 4-0 win. Lincecum retired the final 23 batters after walking Chase Headley in the second inning. Though the Padres hit a few balls hard, Giants fielders didn't need to make any exceptional plays to preserve Lincecum's gem. Now let's get practical for fantasy purposes about whether or not fantasy owners should own Lincecum. He was facing a Padres club that has produced by far the fewest runs in the major leagues this season and he still owns a rough 4.42 ERA in 91 2/3 total innings this year. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him return to mediocrity in his next outing against the Cardinals. In his previous start before Wednesday’s no-hitter, Lincecum was knocked around by the Diamondbacks for four earned runs on seven hits and struck out just one batter across six rough innings. He was also blown up for eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings earlier this month by the Reds. Let's let Tim enjoy the moment, but fantasy owners should not expect this type of performance again this year.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Alex Wood threw seven scoreless innings giving up just three hits and one walk while striking out four as the Braves blanked the Astros in Houston on Tuesday night. Wood probably could have worked longer as he was pulled at 79 pitches, but it’s understandable that the Braves didn’t want to push it in his first major league start since May 4. Wood obviously needs to be owned in all standard mixed fantasy leagues and NL-Only league formats. He gets the Mets and Diamondbacks next week.
  • David Price impressed scouts Wednesday, striking out 11 batters while throwing 8 1/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 win over the Pirates. Price became the first pitcher since Johan Santana in 2004 to record five straight 10-strikeout games. Price walked just one and allowed only five hits on Tuesday night and had his shutout broken up with one out in the ninth inning when Andrew McCutchen hit a home run.
  • Nelson Cruz went 1-for-5 with an eighth-inning grand slam that tied the game in Wednesday's 12-inning victory over the White Sox. The Orioles weren't able to get anything going offensively until Cruz erased a 4-0 deficit with one swing. Cruz blasted a grand slam off of reliever Javy Guerra, which allowed the Orioles to eventually notch a walk-off win. Cruz's excellent season continues, as he is batting .293 with 24 home runs and 64 RBI.
  • Garrett Richards allowed two runs in 7 1/3 innings while striking out five to pick up a win against the Twins on Wednesday. Richards may not have had his best stuff Wednesday as he tied a season-high with five walks in the contest, but he kept the Twins off balance for most of the night en route to picking up his eighth win of the season. In the first two innings, Richard's fastball was clocked between 97-99 mph. He now has seven consecutive starts in which he has allowed just five hits or less in a game. He'll face the White Sox on Monday.
  • Jose Abreu blasted his 23rd home of the season Wednesday in a 2-for-5 effort against the Orioles. Abreu hit a solo laser off Ubaldo Jimenez in the fourth inning. The home run tied Abreu with Nelson Cruz for second in the league with 23. Cruz moved ahead later in the game when he hit a clutch grand slam. Abreu is now hitting .276 with 61 RBI in his rookie season.
  • Manny Ramirez will join the Triple-A Iowa Cubs on Thursday as a player/coach, the Cubs announced Wednesday. Ramirez, 42, was signed by the Cubs in late May and has been at the Cubs' spring training facility in Arizona working with minor league and rehabbing players while getting into game shape himself. He will be mostly a coach than a player as the Cubs have their top right-hander power hitting prospects in Kris Bryant and Javier Baez at Iowa. Ramirez was one of the best power hitter of his day and Theo Epstein hopes that Ramirez can provide a little bit of knowledge to the younger players.
  • A Native American group is planning to file a $9 billion federal lawsuit against the Cleveland Indians and their "offensive" Chief Wahoo logo. The suit is expected to be filed next month. Local supporters of the Chief Wahoo logo say it is only a small minority of people who are offended by the logo. The Indians have been gradually phasing out the Chief Wahoo logo over the last few years, replacing it with the red block letter "C" logo.
  • Happy 40th birthday to Derek Jeter!

MLB In Full Bloom - MLB Adjusts Home Plate Force Rule - 6/25/2014

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Major League Baseball took a formal step Tuesday to clarify a portion of the new rule governing unnecessary collisions between base runners and catchers at home plate. In a statement sent to the baseball operations departments for all 30 teams, MLB said umpires have been instructed not to apply Rule 7.13 to force plays at home plate. The directive came several days after Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president of baseball operations, said the rules were interpreted incorrectly to overturn an apparent force play in a game between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. An overturned call led to controversy in the third inning of Cincinnati's 11-4 victory over the Pirates on June 18. Umpires initially ruled that Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco was out on a force play at home plate, then changed the call to safe because officials at MLB's replay command center in New York determined that Pirates catcher Russell Martin had illegally blocked home plate with his foot. Rule 7.13 was adopted in order to prevent unnecessary collisions at home plate between a runner attempting to score and a catcher attempting to make a tag play on the runner. Rule 7.13 has no function for a force play. So, effectively immediately umpires will be instructed not to apply Rule 7.13 to force plays at home plate.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

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