Apologies if your Sunday breakfast was not complete without your daily fix of Rounding the Bases, but circumstances beyond my control kept me from delivering the daily fantasy baseball chatter you’ve grown to love this season. Somehow, some way, I know you’ll understand, so rather than dwell on it, let’s just get to the news and events from Sunday. With so much to talk about, we’re going to bounce all over the place here, so try to keep up…
Let’s start out with this Baltimore/Boston game that has everyone buzzing here. From a pure baseball standpoint, yes, a great game to watch. Seventeen innings of craziness that saw first baseman Chris Davis end up with the win and Darnell McDonald serving up a game-winning home run to Adam Jones to take the loss. However, we’re looking at the fantasy baseball aspect and, with the exception of a few players who found a way to pad their stats, the results just weren’t that great no matter how much entertainment factor the marathon game brought you. This isn’t fantasy football where you get credit for your running back throwing a touchdown pass, so Davis picking up the win with two scoreless innings means nothing. I’ve yet to see a system give a batter credit for his pitching stats or vice versa, so Davis’ 0-for-8 with five strikeouts is much more important…and detrimental.
Speaking of Adam Jones, can we take a moment here? Maybe start an Adam Jones appreciation thread on a message board somewhere? Right now, he’s batting .304 with eight home runs and five stolen bases and is looking every bit the beast that I thought he would be. Best of all, there’s no glaring stat out there that says that what he is doing is going to fade. You look at someone such as Bryan LaHair, whom I also like, but has a BABIP of .548 right now. You know that he isn’t sustaining that number, so you expect, at some point, for the universe to correct itself with him and his numbers starting to come back to Earth. Jones doesn’t have that. Sure, his ISO is sitting a hundred points higher than usual, but while that will level off, it doesn’t mean that Jones won’t reach career highs in power totals this season.
Well well well, look at Adam Dunn’s nine home runs so far. Let it stand for the record that I never lost faith and bragged to the world that I was stealing him in the 17th and 18th rounds of most drafts. Stealing him! Of course the batting average will be blah, but the power is back baby!!
The rollercoaster ride that is Mat Latos continues. Two of his last four starts have resulted in 13 shutout innings with 14 strikeouts while the other two have produced 13 earned runs in 12 innings with 10 Ks. Can’t even say it’s match-up or home/away related as one of the beatings he took was against Houston at home and his other home start was a gem against the Giants. I feel like he’ll level off at some point, and when he does, he’s going to hit his stride just like he did in the second half of last season.
Looks like reality is starting to settle in on some of that young pitching that looked so good just a week or so ago. Sure Tommy Milone had just one bad inning on Sunday, but it doesn’t really matter if you do it all at once or steadily over the outing – five earned runs in five innings is no good, even if you did end up with the win. But what about Matt Moore? Think people are still glad they took this guy as high as they did in drafts? Probably not. And let’s just finish off the trifecta by reiterating the fact that Corey Luebke is likely headed for Tommy John surgery very soon. From now on it’s draft and trade all within the first two weeks.
Even with Brandon Beachy I’m getting nervous. The guy has been absolutely fantastic this season, notching his third win on Sunday after holding down a very potent Rockies lineup. I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I truly believe in his skill set and his ability to thrive on the major league level, but I said the same thing about Luebke. This might be a good time to sell high and pull in some proven talent. I know you don’t want to give up such potential, but if he ends up with even an inkling of pain in his elbow or shoulder, the red flags are being raised and you’ll never get a quality value in return.
And if anyone tells you that Luke Hochevar has turned a corner, just laugh and move on. He’s starting to look like one of the worst first round draft picks to ever make it to the majors. Awful, just awful. Sure it was the Yankees this time, but after starting off the season pitching well in three of four outings, Hochevar has gotten killed in these last two starts. There is no reason to take this kind of chance with your ratios.
Cubs new closer Rafael Dolis didn’t get a save chance, but he did come in late during a tie game, right where your closer should come in, threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, and back-doored into the win. Can’t really say just how good a fantasy asset he’ll be moving forward, but he’s definitely getting off on the right foot.
By the way, this Javy Guerra/Kenley Jansen situation is really starting to bug me. You can’t own one without the other and, almost without fail, they simply can’t both perform well on the same day. What is that? Guerra blew the save on Sunday while Jansen threw a scoreless inning. And while we’ll now spend the next two days listening to the “Jansen is going to steal the job away” stuff, the roles will undoubtedly be reversed in a day or so. Jansen will cough up some runs to make it a save situation and Guerra will come in and quietly close the door. Then all the chatter will subside…atleast for another day or two.
Congratulations to Albert Pujols for hitting his first home run as a member of the Angels on Sunday. Now let’s see where you go from here…
Yes, that was LaTroy Hawkins notching the save for the Halos on Sunday. Scott Downs was in there but hurt his knee trying to avoid a line drive. We still don’t have a diagnosis yet on the condition of his knee, but you had to think it was interesting that Mike Scioscia turned to Hawkins rather than go back to Jordan Walden, right? However, all could be a moot point as Hawkins then had some sort of finger issue after the game and now both he and Downs are questionable for early on in the week. Maybe we see Walden sooner than we thought?
If Andrew Cashner is supposed to take over the closer’s job for the injured Huston Street, then what’s Bud Black doing bringing him into a tie game in the eighth inning? It might be nothing, or it might be that Luke Gregerson or Brad Brach is going to get a look. We’ll have to keep tracking this one.
Interesting start to the Phillies/Nationals game yesterday -- Cole Hamels hits Bryce Harper with the first pitch (totally intentional), Harper ends up coming around and steals home that innings, and then Jordan Zimmerman turns around an hits Hamels in return, two inning slater. All players took it like a champ and we move on fronm here. Good to see some old-time baseball still being played.
And finally, the big news of the day is actually not good news. Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was diagnosed with a broken left wrist and is out for atleast six weeks, after rolling it over while trying to make a diving catch. It’s the same wrist that had to be rebuilt back in 2005 and caused him to miss virtually all of the 2006 season. Not that Werth was producing like a madman here, but it’s a significant injury that gets added to a huge laundry list of major injuries we’ve already had to deal with this season.
As for the fantasy highs and lows form Sunday…
|Tyler Greene, 2B STL||3-3, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB, SB|
::cues the sunshine, brings out the dog::
|J.J. Hardy, SS BAL||5-8, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
|Ryan Doumit, C MIN||3-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Hunter Pence, OF PHI||2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI|
|Mat Latos, SP CIN||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 11 K|
|Cole Hamels, SP PHI||W, 1.13 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 8 K|
|Chris Davis, 1B BAL||0-8, 5 K|
|Jack Hannahan, 3B CLE||0-3, 3 K|
|Nelson Cruz, OF TEX||0-4, 3 K|
|Andrew Cashner, RP SD||L, 40.50 ERA, 7.50 WHIP, K|
|Luke Hochevar, SP KC||L, 27.00 ERA, 3.43 WHIP|
Josh Beckett (back) is questionable for his May 9 start.
There seems to be some sort of bug being passed through the Cubs clubhouse as both Ian Stewart and Jeff Baker are listed as questionable with an illness.
Dayan Viciedo is experiencing a problem with his elbow and is questionable for Monday’s doubleheader.
Miguel Cairo’s hamstring issue seems to have subsided. He’s on a rehab assignment right now and expects to rejoin the team here on Monday.
Matt Kemp and Jerry Hairston are both questionable with hamstring issues while Juan Uribe remains doubtful for the game with a bum wrist.
Both Carlos Gomez (hamstring) and Alex Gonzalez (knee) landed on the DL over the weekend which means we’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Nyjer Morgan, and extra splash of Norichika Aoki and more Cesar Izturis than anyone would like.
Surprise, surprise!! Justin Morneau is on the DL with a wrist problem. Don’t let the shock wear you down.
Jemile Weeks is considered day to day with a groin issue still, but word is that he’ll be back much sooner than later.
Cliff Lee is expected to be back for a May 9 start so you’ll want to get him active this week.
Andrew McCutchen is questionable with an illness, but it doesn’t seem serious, so daily leaguers will have to watch, but weekly leaguers should just leave him in for the week.
Carlos Quentin is on a Triple-A rehab assignment and should be back this week.
Lance Berkman is shooting for a Friday return from his calf injury.
Desmond Jennings tweaked his knee on Sunday and is questionable right now. Looks like a couple of days off might just do the trick, if that is even necessary.
Adrian Beltre is still questionable with his leg problems.
And finally, Ryan Zimmerman is expected back by Tuesday. Too bad they just lost Werth. Will that lineup ever be whole?
**The White Sox and Indians start the first game of their doubleheader at 1:05pm (ET) so make sure you get those lineups set!
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over ten years on a variety of web sites including his own, The Fantasy Baseball Buzz. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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