<
>
Insider

Box Score Bits: Mike Minor solid in debut

8/10/2010

Atlanta Braves left-hander Mike Minor allowed three earned runs in his big league debut Monday, getting a no-decision. The fourth pitcher from the 2009 draft to start a game (Mike Leake, Andrew Oliver, Stephen Strasburg), Minor has a bright future, but he might be headed back to the minors. Kenshin Kawakami could replace him in the Kris Medlen rotation spot. Those in dynasty leagues should wait for 2011.

As for Leake, he was hammered Monday for seven runs (six earned) for the second consecutive outing. His season ERA rose to 4.16, his WHIP inflated to 1.43 and his last quality start remains July 4. Owned in 33.2 percent of leagues and dropping, it's tough to make a case to keep the rookie on a roster.

The Oakland Athletics called up Chris Carter and installed him in left field, where he debuted with an 0-for-3 performance with a pair of strikeouts in Seattle. Carter hit 27 home runs for Triple-A Sacramento. Like the Marlins' Mike Stanton, the power is undeniable but the strikeouts will be numerous and the batting average could suffer.

Chicago Cubs right-hander Carlos Zambrano made his first start Monday since an ugly dugout incident June 25 and had control issues, walking seven in five innings. Otherwise he pitched capably, allowing only two runs. Zambrano can still help the Cubs and deeper league fantasy owners.

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts hit his first home run of the season Monday, a walk-off shot to beat the Chicago White Sox. Roberts has stolen four bases in 18 games, which is a fine rate, and he did register two multihit games in the White Sox series. He's still available in 13.2 percent of mixed leagues.

Both Milwaukee Brewers closers -- that's right, there are two -- struggled Monday. John Axford was given the ninth-inning save chance and blew it, allowing a run without a hit. Trevor Hoffman entered a tie game in the 10th inning and was pelted for three runs, earning the loss. Manager Ken Macha says Hoffman "has earned his way back to saving games," but that opinion could be tested soon.