Roto Roundup: June 29th

Nick Swisher gets back in the home run groove and don’t look now, but Ian Kinsler might be finding a power stroke of his own. That and more in the Roto Roundup from Tuesday’s action.

Cliff Lee might be the hottest name on the hot stove, but Nick Swisher did his best to put out the flames Tuesday night. Swish went 2-for-4 on the night with a pair of home runs off of Lee.

This season has been quite the adjustment for Swisher, who is still hitting for some power, but has dramatically increased his contact rate and line drive rate. Those improvements have led to a .292 AVG at this point and should lead to a career best in the AVG department this season.
Even with the two home run surrendered, Cliff Lee was still very good. He went the distance and only allowed one other earned run. If he is traded to a contender with any kind of offense, his value goes through the roof.
Coco Crisp went 3-for-4 last night and is now hitting .435 since his return to the Oakland lineup. He is only 7.3 percent owned in ESPN leagues, so there is a good chance that he is available in your league. This current pace won’t hold, but there is good stolen base potential here if you need it.
Brad Lidge blew another save last night and has now allowed six earned runs in his last four innings of work. It’ll be a good idea to keep an eye on Jose Contreras and J.C. Romero going forward.
Matt LaPorta hit his first home run since May 15th, but was only 1-for-4 in the process. This is one of the players I was dead wrong about heading into the season. As far as power goes, he has as much potential as any prospect not names Stanton. Hopefully, with a clear starting role and already having been demoted to the minors once this year, LaPorta can just relax and play his game. He’s a watch list guy going forward.
Brandon Morrow, who allowed the LaPorta homer, continues to look very impressive of late. Since allowing three earned runs on May 26th, he hadn’t allowed more than two runs in a game over a five game stretch until his three earned runs allowed last night. Over his last two games Morrow has a 16:3 K:BB ratio and his slider has looked about as good as it has all season.
After missing a few games with shoulder discomfort, Carl Crawford rejoined the Rays lineup as if he has never left going 4-for-5 with a stolen base. You can continue to start him with out worry.
After a rough outing against the Angels on June 19th, Ted Lilly has pitched extremely well in his last two outings. He has a 11:2 K:BB ratio over that short stretch, but keep in mind that his opponents were the offensively challenged Mariners and Pirates. His velocity is still down after returning from arm surgery, so buyer beware.

Gavin Floyd has not allowed more than two earned runs in his last five starts and holds a 33:7 K:BB ratio over that stretch. He was a big draft day target of mine this season, but got off to a horrible start. He may be primed to have a very good second half.

Two more home runs last night now gives Prince Fielder 17 on the season and ten in the month of June. He is one of the few players in baseball with the potential to have multiple double digit home run months in a single season.
Ian Kinsler, hitting third for Texas, slugged his second home run in three days. No matter what has happened so far this season, Kinsler has about as much upside in the second half as any second baseman. The chance to buy low may be passing fast.
Is Pat back with the bat? Rays castoff Pat Burrell is doing something very few hitters have done in San Francisco this season…HIT! In June, Burrell is hitting .344 with five home runs. However, before we get crazy with this let’s take a step back an realize that his HR/FB rate this month is an extremely high 25 percent and his AVG has been aided by a .372 BABIP. Good for you if you added Burrell and enjoyed this production, but it may regress a big going forward.
In the voice of Jimmy Fallon: Thank you, Manny Ramirez. For pulling a hamstring and forcing Joe Blow Torre to put his most talented player back in the lineup.
Matt Kemp went 2-for-4 after pinch running for Manny Ramirez.