Closer update: Smith takes over in Anaheim
Joe Smith pitched the ninth inning for the Angels on Tuesday, closing out an 8-6 win over the Twins. After the game, manager Mike Scioscia said, "There is no doubt we wanted to try to get Joe into the ninth. We're going to keep Joe in the back end for right now until Ernie (Frieri) gets his feet on the ground and his game comes back."
So, while Scioscia allowed that Frieri could get the job back at some point, Smith has been so good (3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 36 K vs. 8 BB on 32 1/3 IP) that he might keep the job for the long term. Smith is owned in just 5.8 percent of FOXSports.com leagues, and should be picked up in all formats. We'll revisit this situation if Frieri pitches well, or Cam Bedrosian comes back from the minors and starts striking out people.
Tuesday's studs & duds
Stud: There were some solid pitching performances last night, but Clayton Kershaw tossed eight more shutout innings, whiffing eight Royals and allowing just six hits. Maybe we should disqualify Kershaw from this space because he's too good.
Dud: The previously dominant Scott Kazmir took the mound in CitiField against the terrible Mets' lineup, and allowed seven earned runs in three innings. That's no way to show up the team that traded you. On the bright side, Kazmir's ERA is still just 2.66.
News & notes
Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez missed Tuesday's game with a recurrence of his right shoulder injury. Manager Don Mattingly said he's not concerned, and that we should consider Ramirez day to day. I'm a bit concerned, though.
Reds C Devin Mesoraco has homered in five straight games, and is up to 14 (with a .320 BA) for the season. Did you know he's still available in 29.2 percent of FOXSports.com leagues?
Jake Arrieta had another strong outing on Tuesday, starting with six perfect innings and getting the win; we're up to 48-35 for the season. Today's pick is Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton (9.5 percent owned) in a 12:10 p.m. ET start at Tampa, while Thursday's choice is Houston's Jarred Cosart (3.7 percent owned) versus the Braves. Thursday's pickings are slim, and the Cosart recommendation isn't a strong one.
See you back here tomorrow morning.