Well guess we can say, with little surprise, that the rapture didn't start today, and it doesn't appear that the end of the world is upon us. Isn't the world supposed to end in 2012? When was the end pushed up? I guess I missed that meeting. However, since the end is not upon us, it is time to put the focus back on your fantasy team. We have a fantasy ace going to the Disabled List, while one in Philly shuts down the Rangers and another shuts out the Athletics. One of my preseason favorites at third base is heating up, while one I didn't believe in earlier has completely made me change my mind. There is more news on hitters and pitchers, closers and starters and so much more in this edition of Rounding The Bases.
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Josh Johnson went on the 15 day DL with inflammation in his pitching shoulder, a condition he has been dealing with for some time now. The back of his shoulder has been bothering him for most of the season, but he has stayed quiet about it. The team is hopeful that Johnson will be able to return to the Marlins' rotation after this 15 day rest period, but I am not so sure about it. Johnson doesn't sound as confident as the team, which makes me even less confident. There's nothing to do but stash him on your DL and hope that this is just a minor injury.
Matt Garza was already scratched from his Sunday start due to stiffness in his right elbow. The team is saying that they don't view this as something serious and they think he will just miss the one start, but he is going to see the team's orthopedic surgeon, and that doesn't sound good to me. You have to believe that the team will be very careful with him and I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be a longer term injury. Keep it at Fantasy Alarm to hear what the doctor's report tells us about the condition of Garza's elbow.
Pedro Alvarez is finally on the Disabled List with the quad injury that has kept him out of the lineup for the past few days. I really don't think this is a long term thing and the two week rest should be just what the doctor ordered. Alvarez got off to a slow start and isn't looking like the guy we were hoping for coming into the season, but I am hoping that this injury is a good explanation of why he has been struggling and when he comes back he will be realizing his potential. I am not dropping Alvarez, merely stashing him on my bench.
While Tim Lincecum's win-loss record might only be .500, the guy has pitched better than that, and on Saturday he showed what he is capable of on any given start. Lincecum threw a shutout against the Athletics without walking a batter and struck out six. Perhaps the 4-4 record might still be scaring an owner away, but his ERA is just 2.06 and he is still getting a good number of strikeouts. Lincecum might not win the Cy Young, but he will be one of the top two or three pitchers in fantasy baseball in 2011.
After walking a career high number of batters against the St. Louis Cardinals, Cliff Lee bounced back in a big way against his former team in Texas as he threw eight shutout innings and struck out ten. Lee upped his record to 3-5 on the year, but he has pitched better than that. There is no reason to ever sit Lee, no matter who the competition is. Ryan Madson has also been great as the fill in closer while Brad Lidge and Jose Contreras have been injured. At some point both of those guys will be healthy, but for now ride the hot hand with Madson until his time is out. It looks like for once, Madson will thrive in this role.
Jose Bautista continues to tear the cover off the ball as he connected on two more home runs and now has 18 shots on the season. He also stole his third base of the season, and as long as this guy can stay healthy, there is nothing that will get in his way of another 45+ homer season. He is absolutely the best option at third base, and he is even one of the top few in the outfield. There is no way if you own Bautista that you should even consider trading him unless you get absolutely blown away by the offer, as Bautista is one of fantasy's best.
I have been a fan of Houston's Chris Johnson all season long and for most of the year he has made me look horrible. However, at a time when National League third basemen have been falling to injury left and right, Johnson is starting to get hot. Johnson has back to back two hit games, and has driven in five runs over that time. If you have lost your third baseman or just have someone on your roster bringing you down, give Johnson a look and I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
Nolan Reimold homered in his first game back in the majors for the Baltimore Orioles, but I just don't know if he will get enough playing time to warrant a place on your fantasy rotation. Reimold has to deal with Luke Scott and Felix Pie for time in left field, and without an injury, I don't think he will get enough at bats. Reimold has 20-25 home run power in the Major Leagues and if he starts playing every day he is definitely worth a pickup, but for now just keep his name on your radar and check up on his production on a daily basis.
Jeremy Guthrie threw a great game for the Orioles on Saturday, giving up only two unearned runs and striking out four. You know what they say, even the sun shines on a dog's ass every now and then, and Guthrie is that dog's ass. He is not a good major league pitcher and an even worse fantasy pitcher and there is no reason to ever have him on your fantasy roster, I don't even think he is a good option to have as a pitching streamer.
If you needed one more sign that the rapture was about to befall us, Javier Vasquez actually pitched really well and if that doesn't signal the end of the world, I don't know what does. Vasquez threw seven shutout innings, allowed only three hits and struck out seven. Please do me a favor and don't fall into the trap think that Vasquez can continue this. Best you can do is hope someone else grabs him and drops someone that might actually have a good season, because Vasquez certainly won't.
Fernando Salas continues to be successful at closer for the St. Louis Cardinals as he attempts to be the guy who actually sticks in the ninth inning for St. Louis. Salas has incredible stuff and he should have no trouble keeping the job if the Cards give him a long enough leash. They pulled Eduardo Sanchez after one blown save so it is really hard to say what is going to happen. He is filthy though and is good enough to hold the job, I just think before too long someone else will be manning the back end of the bullpen.
Homer Bailey took the loss, but he pitched very well in defeat, and actually has been very good in every start so far. Bailey gave up just two earned runs over seven innings, didn't walk a batter and struck out four. Bailey has given up just seven earned runs in those four starts, and struck out 20 over that span. I have seen a hot streak from Bailey of this length before, so I am still not believing in him, but he has gained my attention. I need three more good starts from Bailey before I am willing to give him a chance on my roster, and chances are by then someone else will have picked him up but I have been burned too many times before by him.
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