Nine Inning Nails

Dustin Ackley tried biting the hand that feeds, he went 0-4 tonight
Photo Credit: JL Photog

Every one of the Mariners I know went away in the end. Seattle’s lineup is an empire of dirt. And Derek Holland made them hurt. The Rangers young Lefty (25% owned) hasn’t delivered on the promise of his minor league potential, but he sure f****d the Mariners like an animal on Thursday [9 IP, 5 H, BB, 0 ER, 8 K]. Nails. Holland was striking out over 10 per nine in the minors, but right now his upside is that of an average MLB Pitcher. His downside is, well, a 1.41 WHIP and 4.32 ERA. Holland hasn’t had much luck with Batted Balls while Pitching for the Rangers (18.8% LD% vs .311 BABIP). Hopefully this doesn’t haunt him for much longer, he deserves better. If we used a .292 BABIP with his 2011 stat line, his WHIP would still be 1.36. As Holland gains more experience he’ll become useful in standard leagues, but for now he’s more suited for streaming purposes.

Speaking of Nine Innings Nails, we have some Closer news after the jump.

Jon Rauch (30%) was John Farrell’s Closer on Thursday [@gregorMLB], but the Jays destroyed the Yankees (16-7) so he wasn’t needed. Frank Francisco ended up pitching the ninth inning [IP, H, K]. Franky Two Times has been a mess this year [5.18 BB/9, 27.4% LD%, .380 BABIP, 16% HR/FB%, 1.85 WHIP, 5.92 ERA]. Rauch isn’t blowing away batters with his 89.2 mph Fastball (6.03 K/9), but he’s been better than Franky (1.29 WHIP, 4.34 ERA). Rauch should be rostered in all leagues. I have the tall Righty on my Blog Wars team and what I’ve done is handcuff him with Octavio Dotel (3%). Dotel is pitching better than Rauch and has more experience in the ninth inning (106 Saves to Rauch’s 54). There is no telling what will happen with Toronto’s bullpen.

My dream has come true. Kevin Gregg is suspended forever four games after his brew-ha-ha with Big Papi. Gregg will appeal the decision, which will delay the suspension. Kevin just wants to tell his side of the story: “I threw at him a bunch of times and then started talking trash”. I’m sure that will go over well with MLB officials. When Gregg is punished it will be Koji time! Koji! Koji! Koji! Uncle Buck Showalter cannot delay the inevitable much longer. The ninth inning belongs to Koji Uehara and his 11.70 K/9 – 1.80 BB/9.

The Sun Sentinel says there is a good chance that Leo Nunez is dealt before the July 31st non-waiver deadline. The Marlins bullpen has been particularly strong this year and the team does have a history of anointing new Closers (at least from what I remember). Your two speculative adds are Mike Dunn (2%) and Steve Cishek (0%). Dunn has pitched in more high leverage situations, but Cishek is the better Pitcher and did record a Save while Nunez was hurt. I’ve added both in different leagues. I’m technically rooting for Cishek, but it would be pretty funny to see Mike Dunn closing games and having more value than Adam Dunn. I know Randy Choate‘s name was brought up when Nunez was temporarily sidelined, but he’s a Lefty specialist so it was reasonable for him to be mentioned. With Nunez out of town the Marlins will look for a long term solution.

Carlos Marmol walked Mike Stanton, Mike Cameron and John Buck before giving up a bases-loaded Double to the pinch-hitting Gregg Dobbs. Oh, he then walked Emilio Bonifacio. All this without recording an Out. This was Blown Save No. 7 for Carlos, he has three of those in his past ten appearances. He has officially taken the lead from Jordan Walden and Matt Capps. This event pushed his WHIP up to 1.40 and inspired many interesting tweets (this one is my favorite). Carlos has a 5.85 career BB/9 (7.91 BB/9 in ’09) so we’ve grown accustomed to this sort of behavior. Mike Quade says his job is safe, the leash is long.

Heath Bell blew a Save today (HR by Aubrey Huff). This was the first HR Allowed by Heath since April 19th, 2010. It was a pretty good run (a MLB record). For his efforts Bell will be traded within the next two weeks. Mike Adams (36%) is the add.

Also in the news: the Diamondbacks called up Brandon Allen (1%) to play First Base. We’ll do some forecasting tomorrow afternoon. That will be up before the D-Backs tilt against the Dodgers at 8:40 PM Centrals.

Til then, peace out – @andrewakamds