<
>
Insider

Bits: Brandon Morrow silences Rays

8/9/2010

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow came within one out of a no-hitter Sunday. Evan Longoria's infield hit denied history, but Morrow finished off the 1-0 win with his MLB season-high 17th strikeout of the day. Morrow, still available in 77.8 percent of ESPN leagues, has been on a 200-strikeout pace for months, but has scared owners with his ERA/WHIP. He should be one of ESPN's most-added players this week.

Minnesota Twins left-hander Brian Duensing tossed a season-high 7 1/3 innings at Cleveland Sunday, allowing three earned runs to win for the fifth time. Duensing hasn't lost since joining the rotation, and he's induced double-digit ground ball outs each time. He's become viable in deep mixed leagues.

Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Ted Lilly beat the Washington Nationals Sunday with six innings of three-run ball. Lilly has won both his outings as a Dodger, fanning 11 in 13 innings without issuing a walk. In 18 outings for the Chicago Cubs, Lilly won three times. This is a fantasy difference-maker now.

Cleveland Indians first baseman Matt LaPorta homered Sunday for the second time in three games, and the power is legitimate. LaPorta has shown better plate discipline of late, with four walks and only two strikeouts in eight games. That's a good sign.

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez smacked a three-run home run Sunday, his lone hit of the day, but it extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Ibanez has 11 home runs this season, but four have come in this span, and he's raised his batting average 26 points to .274. It hasn't been pretty, but fantasy owners can start trusting Ibanez again.

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain had a Sunday of firsts, with his maiden stolen base and first three RBIs. After six games in the big leagues he's hitting .500. Cain is a 24-year-old rookie who can get on base and run, and certainly Carlos Gomez, who hasn't done enough of that and is on the DL (concussion), has a clouded future. Those in NL-only formats desperate for steals should see if Cain keeps this up.