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You think I’d know better.
After his last start Thursday against the New York Mets , his sixth straight of a less-than-stellar variety, I advised Adam Wainwright owners listening to the Fantasy Baseball Today podcast to forget about their big-ticket pitcher and perhaps even drop him if the need presented itself. His ERA stood at 4.67, his 12-start stretch when he seemingly righted the ship with a 2.58 ERA now a distant memory.
You think I’d know better than to count out a 35-year-old with an ace track record and a chip on his shoulder — one who has rebounded from two major surgeries already and who takes the words of Internet trolls as a personal challenge.
“The guy just dogged me on Twitter, just dogged me, some chump from Iowa,” Wainwright told ESPN after Tuesday’s return to form. “I said, ‘I can’t wait to shut you up,’ and it didn’t go through to him because he’s not one of my followers. I’m still going to do it, though.”
No, that’s a pitcher who doesn’t rest on his laurels. He goes to work, logging enough hours in the video room to determine the fix: a more aggressive delivery, whatever that means. The upshot is a couple extra miles per hour on his fastball, resulting in seven strikeouts over seven three-hit innings against the Milwaukee Brewers .
And egg on my face.
What would be even grosser, though, is if Wainwright took the loss for that performance, and he nearly did because of the pitcher opposing him. Wily Peralta struck out 10 over seven three-hit innings to give him a nice little five-start stretch in which he has compiled a 3.00 ERA. He still has a 5.53 ERA for the season, so I don’t know that I’m any more likely to add him than to drop Wainwright. But you’re just waiting for this sort of start from anyone who throws 98 mph. Peralta has averaged 10.6 swinging strikes during this five-start stretch compared to 4.8 in his previous eight, so he may be on to something.
Keep an eye out.
|IP: 5 1/3||H: 3||ER: 0||BB: 3||K: 7|
We might have bailed a little too early on Joe Musgrove as well, who followed through on his plan to throw fewer strikes by doubling his season walk total over 5 1/3 one-run innings last time out. You get the sense the guy knows what he’s doing. He has already proven he can throw a strike whenever he wants, so whatever helps with the deception.
|BA: .300||HR: 4||SB: 6||AB: 140||K: 25|
Jose Reyes averaged the sixth-most Fantasy points per game among shortstops last year, but because he didn’t have a big steals total, most of us didn’t appreciate it. Averaging the second-most so far this year is even more impressive, given the improved depth at the position, and he’s doing it in the same way: good plate discipline, extra-base hits and, yes, a few steals.
|ERA: 6.65||WHIP: 1.80||IP: 21 2/3||BB: 8||K: 15|
Though his rehab assignment left much to be desired, Alex Cobb convinced the Tampa Bay Rays he’s ready to get back on a big-league mound Friday after missing the last 16 months because of Tommy John surgery, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. In his last 49 starts before the procedure, he compiled a 2.82 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings and was widely considered a top-25 starting pitcher in Fantasy.
|BA: .351||HR: 9||OPS: 1.066||AB: 114||K: 15|
Even with a six-week interruption because of a broken hand, C.J. Cron ‘s numbers over his last 30 games speak of a breakthrough, and he looked plenty healthy in homering twice Tuesday. Thanks in part to his low strikeout rate, he has averaged as more Fantasy points per game during this stretch than Paul Goldschmidt has for the season.
|ERA: 2.87||WHIP: 0.99||IP: 31 1/3||BB: 1||K: 22|
Now that we know he won’t miss Saturday’s start with the hamstring issue that forced an early exit last time out, we can have a greater appreciation or what Ivan Nova has done since joining the Pittsburgh Pirates . Pitching maestro Ray Searage helped Nova make some mechanical adjustments to improve his command, and if you buy that guy’s track record, you can expect more quality innings — and possibly some wins — down the stretch.
|BA: .325||SB: 13||AB: 126||BB: 2||K: 16|
With Zack Cozart at less than 100 percent because of knee and heel injuries, the Cincinnati Reds are looking to the future in Jose Peraza , who has become their go-to bench guy and went 4 for 4 with a double and a stolen base Tuesday. He now has 13 of the latter in only 126 at-bats this year, so he doesn’t necessarily need to play every day to factor in Rotisserie leagues at any of the three positions he’s eligible.
Source: CBS Sports / Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Jose Reyes still matters