Peaks and Valleys – Biogenesis suspensions are the best birthday gift ever
August is the best month for birthdays: summer heat, music festivals, baseball playoff races really get spicy, and Biogenesis report suspensions.
The latter is a new edition to the August bests and it will leave a lasting impression on performance enhancers in Major League Baseball. The announcement is also scheduled on my birthday.
I have been honored to share a birthday with astronaut Neil Armstrong, former basketball star Patrick Ewing, Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys (RIP), and former baseball player John Olreud and his helmet fashion, but knowing these suspensions will happen on August 5 mean I get to remember the first disciplinary actions outside of MLB’s testing policies as a birthday president from Bud Selig.
So thank you, Bud. Your decision to attempt to scare players from shooting steroids and other illegal substances into their bodies is one heck of a birthday present. I do not want to be greedy or demanding, but I would imagine that a life time ban for players caught would be more effective, as well as an even tougher birthday gift to top.
There is always next year, right?
Alex Cobb, Starting Pitcher, Tampa Bay Rays: High fives all around for Cobb’s first rehab start since his scary line drive to the head incident in late June. Another start is scheduled before a return to the majors, where he should be inserted into the starting rotation immediately. I am a sucker for Tampa starters, and Cobb is no exception.
Wade Miley, Starting Pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks: I mentioned about a month ago that Miley was starting to get his act together after a dismal start to 2013. His July included four wins and a sparkling 1.59 ERA, dropping his season ERA to 3.68. Walks are still an issue, as witnessed by his 5 free pass performance against Tampa Bay last week. Miley gets another crack at Tampa Tuesday.
Brett Lawrie, Third Base, Toronto Blue Jays: Is a current seven game hitting streak a sign of a second half turnaround? I say yes, but not with 100% confidence. I really thought Lawrie could put it all together this year and was wrong. A little less pressure for the boys north of the border could mean a sense of relief for disappointments like Brett. A fresh outlook could lead to second half production.
Ryan Raburn has to be started every time Cleveland plays the Chicago White Sox. Hawk Harrelson loathes a White Sox killer, and Raburn is just that with a slash of .344/.400/.719.
In the Valley
Adam LaRoche, First Base, Washington Nationals: First base is too deep to continue holding out hope for the senior LaRoche. Much like the Nationals, LaRoche’s season has been a huge disappointment.
Todd Frazier, Third Base, First Base, Cincinnati Reds: Another player suffering from last season’s expectations is second year player Todd Frazier. Fingers crossed that 2013 is an aberration, but a 30 point drop in his BABIP could be a sign of luck. Before his rookie campaign in 2012, Frazier had only had a BABIP over .320 twice and managed to contribute just fine. Scrap his 2013 and take a flyer in 2014.
Biogenesis Report Players: Alex Rodriguez, Jhonny Peralta, Nelson Cruz, and big fat Bartolo Colon lead a list of players expected to be suspended for at least 50 games after being linked to the report. In non-keeper leagues, anyone suspended will miss the rest of 2013 and potentially some of 2014. Drop accordingly. In keeper leagues, players like Cruz will still hold value if their suspensions are minimal.
I got to see Jose Veras pitch against the White Sox over the weekend, and his transition to a set-up man has been seamless, but Joaquin Benoit will have to have an epic collapse to lose the closer role in Detroit.
Follow me on Twitter @jeffrotull44, and check out my work with The Sports Bank, where I cover the Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Blackhawks, and entertainment.