Summary Judgment: Fantasy Baseball Recap for June 1, 2013

The calendar has turned to June which means a significant chunk of the 2013 MLB season has already been played.  June 1 also marks the one year anniversary of Johan Santana’s historic no-hitter which was the first and only in Mets’ history.  While Santana is out for the year with another shoulder injury, other former Cy Young award winners made a big impact during the day’s games.  So without further adieu, here is the next edition of Summary Judgment.

1. A double Triple Crown would be the single most impressive feat imaginable.  In 2012, Miguel Cabrera became the first player to win the Triple Crown in 45 years.  In 2013, he has a very good chance of doing it again.  On Saturday, he launched a grand slam and ended the day with a .369 batting average, 17 home runs, and 65 RBI.  He only trails fellow Triple Crown candidate Chris Davis by two home runs for the league lead in all categories.  While Davis is likely going to regress somewhat, Cabrera is as close to a sure thing of maintaining consistency and productivity all year.  I understand the debate that has ensued over the past year about Cabrera or Mike Trout being the consensus best fantasy baseball player.  Trout can have all the WAR and sabermetrics data on his side…Cabrera is hands down the best fantasy player in the league.

2. Cain is not able.  Giants pitcher Matt Cain got shelled on Saturday in the first game of a double-header against the Cardinals.  While he didn’t give up any home runs or walk a single batter, he did surrender seven runs on nine hits and saw his ERA soar to 5.45.  The NL’s starting pitcher in the 2012 All Star game has taken a beating all season and doesn’t seem to be the same pitcher he was over the past several years.  He did strikeout nine Cardinals which is encouraging, so don’t jump ship on him just yet.  The Giants have been an incredible second half team over the past few years, so be patient with Cain and hopefully reap the rewards for such patience down the stretch.

3. Closing time in the NL West.  The closer’s carousel is a crap-shoot every year.  This season has been no different and we can now add two more names of closers who are on the shelf.  Both the Padres’ Huston Street and Rockies’ Rafael Betancourt were placed on the disabled list which means that Luke Gregerson and Rex Brothers, respectively, will step into ninth innings duties and have some fantasy baseball value.  Neither has much experience closing games, but they could both be decent short-term options for saves if you are chasing that category.

4. Dodgers black and blue.  Both real and fantasy baseball bust Carl Crawford left Saturday’s game with a hamstring injury after legging out a double.  Crawford has been one of the biggest disappointments in the entire sport since signing a ridiculous contract with the Red Sox a couple years ago.  Now he becomes another name added to the injury-riddled Dodgers roster.  Once Crawford was removed, Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig was pulled from his AA game which could mean he is getting called up to replace Crawford.  Puig is loaded with talent and is someone you should pick up if possibl because he is likely to get a good amount of playing time with Crawford and Kemp on the shelf and Ethier not playing very well.

5. A teenage timeout.  Nationals phenom Bryce Harper was officially placed on the disabled list with a knee injury.  He had missed games all week so this does not come as a surprise.  Washington will want to be very careful and cautious with their franchise player, so they will give Harper all the time he needs to heal and be 100% again.  From a fantasy perspective, this comes at a bad time for owners who have come to rely on Harper for great value and production across the board. 

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