MLB In Full Bloom - Samardzija Soon To Be Traded? - 6/16/2014

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It's no secret that the Chicago Cubs will trade Jeff Samardzija before the trade deadline that is now six weeks away. However, it appears the Cubs are ready to pull the trigger now to capitalize on Samardzija's hot start while also expanding the field of teams that could have interest since there are many teams still in the playoff hunt. On Sunday, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported that the San Francisco Giants are showing "strong interest" in Samardzija and that the Yankees, Orioles, Angels, Red Sox and Blue Jays are also "in the picture".  An addition of Samardzija by the Giants might mean a move to the bullpen for Tim Lincecum. In return for Samardzija, the Cubs are looking to add at least two top pitching prospects by doing this trade. The Cubs have their "Core Four" which consists of four position players in Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Jorge Soler, and Albert Almora. The Cubs must add some top pitching prospects by dealing Samardzija.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Matt Adams hit his third home run in three days and the Cardinals held on to beat the Nationals 5-2 on Sunday. Adams gave the Cardinals an early lead with a two-run shot off Doug Fister in the second inning, and the Cardinals never looked back in this one. Adams has been on a home run binge since coming off the disabled list on Friday, hitting one in each of his three games after hitting three in his first 52 games. Adams is batting .327 with those six homers on the season.
  • Todd Frazier went 2-for-6 with a home run and four RBI in the Reds' 13-4 blowout victory over the Brewers on Sunday. Frazier delivered a two-run home run in the fifth inning before belting a two-run double in the ninth to cap the scoring. The home run was the 15th of the year for the third baseman, which is the third-most in the National League. Frazier is also among the league leaders in runs scored and slugging percentage in what's been a breakout year.
  • Josh Donaldson snapped his 33 at-bat hitless streak with an RBI single on Sunday afternoon.  Donaldson's hit was a weak single to the right side on a defensive swing and he continues to look lost at the plate and has expressed some frustration. Donaldson had an incredible first two months of the season that started up for MVP discussion, but has been brutal in June on both sides of the ball.
  • Derek Norris was 3-for-5 with a three-run homer on Sunday afternoon as the Athletics blew out the Yankees. On Mother's Day, Norris hit two three-run homers and now on Father's Day he adds a third three-run bomb. He now has 7 homers and 29 RBI.
  • Carlos Santana went 3-for-5 with a double and two singles in Sunday's win over the Red Sox. Santana has become comfortable hitting out of the No. 8 spot in the Indians order and he should return to the middle of the lineup as he steadily makes his climb back to the Mendoza Line. Now batting .190 on the season, Santana finally appears to be starting to look like the player who was one of the better hitters at his position over his previous four seasons in the big leagues.
  • The Kansas City Royals have won seven straight games after completing a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox. The Royals have hit 14 home runs in their last 16 games. The Royals improved to 12-4 in its last 16 games, in which they have averaged 5.1 runs per game. This is the type of team the Royals envisioned after making an impressive second-half run at a Wild Card berth last season.
  • Mega prospect Gregory Polanco became the first Pittsburgh Pirates player to get a hit in each of his first six games since Roberto Clemente did it in 1955. Polanco went 2-for-5 with a run scored in Sunday's loss to the Marlins and is now the owner of a  .387 batting line.

MLB In Full Bloom - Johnny Cueto Fans 12 Dodgers In Victory - 6/12/2014

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Johnny Cueto matched his career high with 12 strikeouts in six innings leading the Reds to a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. Cueto also allowed only three hits without issuing a walk. Cueto has looked more human in recent weeks, but it's tough to argue with what he against the Dodgers. He is now the proud owner of a 1.85 ERA through 102 innings, which he'll take into next week's road start against the Padres. Cueto faced the minimum 15 batters through five innings after Dee Gordon singled but was picked off. He also fanned 10 Dodgers during that span, including five in a row while getting up to 90 pitches. His 109 strikeouts on the season are the best in the National League as of Wednesday night, as Cueto continues to be one of the fantasy surprises of 2014.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Masahiro Tanaka struck out 11 while giving up just two runs in his second complete game of the year to beat the Mariners 4-2 on Wednesday. Tanaka pitched on an extra day's rest after Monday's game against the Royals was postponed, which pushed his scheduled Tuesday outing back a day. He required 110 pitches to finish off the Mariners. Tanaka improved to 10-1 with a 2.02 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. Tanaka will face the Blue Jays next Tuesday in the Bronx.
  • Yu Darvish improved to 7-2 in Wednesday's complete game shutout against the Miami Marlins. It was the first complete game of Darvish's career. He held the Marlins to six hits and three walks while striking out 10. Just another Cy Young-caliber season for Darvish, who has a 2.11 ERA in 85 1/3 innings. He'll face the Athletics in his next start in Oakland.
  • Jose Abreu went 3-for-4 and hit his 19th homer off Justin Verlander on Wednesday. Abreu has four homers and four doubles in eight games against the Tigers. He also has four homers in eight games since coming off the disabled list last week. He's now two homers behind Nelson Cruz for the major league lead and one back of Edwin Encarnacion in second place.
  • Francisco Liriano (oblique) was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with an oblique strain. The Pirates have yet to disclose the results of Wednesday's MRI, but the team evidently determined that Liriano would have to miss more than one start on account of the injury to place him on the disabled list. It might make sense for most fantasy owners to cut bait with the left-hander in smaller formats.
  • Tyler Matzek held the Atlanta Braves to two runs over seven-plus innings Wednesday and he earned a win in his MLB debut. It was an impressive outing from Matzek, who hadn't exactly been lighting it up this season at the Triple-A level. He struck out seven Braves batters and did not issue a walk as he kept the shutout going into the eighth inning. He was once considered a top pitching prospect, but fantasy owners need to proceed with caution as he is considered risky fantasy play moving forward this season.
  • Jesus Montero is being called up by the Seattle Mariners today. He has provided reason for some optimism this season at Triple-A Tacoma, batting .270 with eight home runs and 40 RBI in 59 games. He could see a decent amount of playing time between DH and first base while Justin Smoak (quad) is sidelined and may be worth a flier in some deeper mixed fantasy formats.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays finally scored a run and got a victory on the same day! Desmond Jennings had a two-run single during a four-run fourth inning and the Rays snapped a club-record 31-inning scoring drought en route to beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 Wednesday night.
  • A Jayson Werth bobblehead that will be given away to the first 1,000 fans at the Washington Nationals High-A affiliate - Potomac Nationals - game this Saturday night has a real(ish) beard. Kind of cool - kind of weird....

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