Uh, dude, trade for Roy Oswalt right now.
Yeah, this is a regular notes column. It’s an update piece not the work of a tradeaholic, but Oswalt’s value should already be higher than it is and now he’s going to a team with a real lineup. If the Astros had provided anything resembling run support this season, Oswalt’s record would be more like 12-6 than 6-12. His ERA (3.42) is the best it’s been since 2007 and his only better WHIP (1.109 this season) was during his rookie season in 2001. He has 120 Ks in 129 innings.
In the last month, Oswalt has 23 Ks in 25 innings with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. But he only has one win to show for it. If he can keep pitching like he’s been pitching, he could get 10 more wins with the Phillies.
There’s lots of other stuff going on in fantasy baseball, let’s put a couple of the big things under the microscope:
Josh Bell — The former 2005 fourth-rounder was recalled by the Orioles. His initial MLB stint earlier this season is nothing to get excited about, but in the AAA International League this season he has shown the power promise that has made him a top Baltimore 3B prospect. He has 13 homers and 50 RBI in 316 ABs. He’s available in all Yahoo leagues and could be a nice prospective add in dynasty leagues if you have the roster flexibility.
Miguel Tejada — Read a rumor from the Baltimore Sun saying Tejada was traded to the Padres. The deal isn’t final, but ESPNnews verified that it is very close to being done. Big news for those of you in AL- and NL-only leagues. It also fits with the Josh Bell recall.
Brett Wallace — Blue Jays sent Wallace to Houston for outfielder Anthony Gose, one of the pieces in the Oswalt to Philadelphia deal. Wallace is a slugger and would appear to be the expected eventual replacement for Lance Berkman at 1B.
Jacoby Ellsbury — Finally taking part in rehab, Ellsbury went 1-for-2, walked and was hit by a pitch Thursday. A KFFL report says Ellsbury could be moved up to AAA Pawtucket this weekend.
Dexter Fowler — Now the leadoff hitter for the Rockies and responded with the best game he’s had since we touted him almost a month ago. He went 3-for-5 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base Thursday. Fowler is available in 95% of Yahoo leagues and could provide a nice speed boost to your team if this is the beginning of another tear.
Ike Davis — Hit a 3-run-homer Thursday, his 15th longball of the season. Davis’ average will hurt you, but his slugging potential is evident. Davis has a legitimate shot at matching or breaking Darryl Strawberry’s club rookie record 26 taters.
R.A. Dickey — Trying to figure out why Dickey is 70% available in Yahoo leagues. Is it the sterling 1.89 ERA in the last month? The scoreless streak (extended to 17 innings after 8.1 shutout IP Thursday)? The not-outstanding-but-helpful 12 Ks in his last 19.2 innings? I can’t figure it out.
Alexei Ramirez — Usually someone 70% owned doesn’t make this list for playing well, but this dude is killing the ball and should be 90% owned at this point. In the last two weeks, Ramirez has scored 12 runs, driven in eight, hit three homers and stolen two bases while hitting at a .396 clip. By all means, drop him if he starts hitting as terrible as he did in the beginning of the season, but it’s like winning the fantasy lottery if you find a player like that on waivers right now.
Ian Kinsler — Stop me if you’ve heard this one. Ian Kinsler is going on the DL. … Seriously, the leg injury doesn’t seem serious, but as we all know, Kinsler is good at injuries.
Travis Snider — Will be called up Friday by the Blue Jays. Snider has five homers, 17 RBI and a .283 average in 99 AAA at-bats. In 430 career major-league at-bats, Snider has 17 homers. If he can get his average (.251 in the majors) closer to his minor league .302, he’ll be a coveted fantasy player. He’s available in 95% of Yahoo leagues. Like Bell above, Snider is a good prospective add for dynasty league owners.
Scott Sizemore — Humble pie. It doesn’t taste good, but we’re not going to scrape it off our plates. Sizemore was one of the players we pushed in the preseason as a good late 2B option. He was sent down to AAA Toledo. As evidenced by his 31 strikeouts and .205 batting average, Sizemore is not quite ready. It’ll be interesting to see what happens after he builds confidence in AAA, though.
Stephen Strasburg — A flaw in the golden arm already? Yep. Time to be alarmed? Yep again, especially after one report on KFFL that quoted a Chicago coach comparing Strasburg to two players no pitcher ever wants to be compared to: Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. It’s easy to compare the hard throwers, but we’ll have to wait a season or two before we characterize Strasburg as injury prone. Currently, Strasburg is shut down for 10 days, but another report said he could end up on the 15-day DL. I’m not taking any chances if I’m the Nationals. Strasburg should not throw at anything less than 100% this early in his career.
Domonic Brown — Debuted in a big way Wednesday. Brown went 2-for-3 with a double, two runs, two RBI. He’s the top prospect in the Phillies system and this brief glimpse is enough to convince me that he should be owned in far more than 23% of Yahoo league right now. Brown should also be owned in every dynasty/keeper league.