Francisco Liriano wowed the home crowd and the Boston Red Sox as he recaptured some of his past magic as he threw seven shutout innings, walked just two, and struck out eight. It was a marked improvement from his first start, and I am sure Liriano owners everywhere are DREAMING of the possibilities of him regaining that 2007 form. Now, you all know that I love Liriano but you have to slow down. I was asked earlier tonight in an email what Liriano we could expect for the rest of the season. I know it sounds like a horrible answer, but I think it would be somewhere in between that first start and this one. I think that he will be slightly above average, with some flashes of brilliance like on Thursday.
David Huff threw a pretty impressive complete game for the Indians on Thursday as he allowed just two runs and struck out four. Huff was a pretty good prospect for the Indians and collects a decent number of strikeouts. However, he still is a Cleveland pitcher so be careful what you get into with him. I would think that he would be available in most leagues, but if you are thinking of picking him up, just don't give up anything too good to take the chance on Huff. I like him, but his chance of great success is limited.
Is it finally time to start throwing the dirt on Carlos Lee? With his latest 0-4 Lee is now hitting just .086, and he is yet to record an extra base hit or an RBI. I would definitely say it is too soon for that as the entire Astros team has been unable to hit the ball or put any sort of offense together. I definitely think that Lee will fall short of his stats from 2009, and while I would likely put him on my bench until you see him start to do a little something, a multi hit game would be nice. Well, he has one hit in the last ten games, so maybe that is asking a little much.
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Casey McGehee is off to a strong start this season as he was on base three times today, including his third homer of the year. I would think since he hit 16 homers in 128 games last year, that he is due for a little slow down in the power department, but he should have second and third base eligibility and his value is increased by that. He isn't going to win or lose you a league, but McGehee offers some reliability from two positions that aren't exactly incredibly deep.
Shane Victorino homered for the second straight game and now has five hits and six RBI over that span. Don't get excited about this little surge though. Victorino is not a power hitter and if he gets to 12 homers that will be a lot. I don't really like that he is hitting just .244 and only has one stolen base so far. Hopefully that means that a hot streak is in the not too distant future.
Jayson Werth was back in the lineup for the Phillies on Thursday, and was 0-3 with two walks. If you have been holding him out due to injury it seems safe to get him back in your lineup for Friday.
Mike Pelfrey is actually off to a pretty good start for the pitching starved New York Mets. After a pretty strong first appearance, Big Pelf stymied the Rockies over seven shutout innings and struck out six while giving up just five hits and more importantly didn't walk a batter. To me Pelfrey is a .500 pitcher whose ERA will be in the low 4.00s so if that is better than what you have, he could be worth picking up. However, also know that the strikeouts are a mirage as he has just 217 Ks in nearly 400 innings over the past two seasons.
I have to admit that I am not a fan of Martin Prado, however, I do have to give credit where credit is due. Prado connected on his first homer of the season and is now batting .459! He has at least one hit in every game that he has played this season, and his multi-position eligibility makes him a sought after player in fantasy baseball. He is just 26 years old so he has room to improve, but I just don't see him doing enough of one thing to warrant consideration. If you are in a 12-16 team league with a middle infield spot, I can definitely see using him there, but I need more power. He will likely hit .295-.310 which is nice, but he is not a guy that tends to end up on my teams.
Robinson Cano is off to a great start and seems to be right at home in the 5th hole in the Yankees lineup. Cano pounded out two homers today to bring his season total to four with nine RBI. Cano has long been an underrated fantasy second baseman as he brings you reasonable power for his position and generally has a batting average in the .310-.320 range. He won't bring you any speed, but he is one of the better values in fantasy drafts and is showing you why to start the year. Keep playing him every day.
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Phil Hughes made his first start of the season for the Yanks and he was good, but not great. His downfall was the five walks that he issued in his five innings, but he gave up just two runs and struck out six. I think that Hughes will be a more than effective starter in the majors this season, my main concern is the fact that he didn't pitch many innings last season and I wonder how long the Yankees will let him go before the "Hughes Rules" come into play. Enjoy it as long as it lasts, and in keeper/dynasty leagues I think this is a guy you want.
Scott Kazmir came off the DL on Thursday and immediately got rocked by the New York Yankees powerful lineup. Kazmir gave up six runs in just four innings, walked three and struck out just two. You can chalk this one up to his first start back from being injured, but I have my worries about Kazmir. He still gives up way to many walks and fails to go deep into games. I believe that he has become an end of the rotation kind of starter with some decent potential.
About a week ago I was giving Cameron Maybin trouble about getting off to a slow start, but all of a sudden it looks like he is figuring it out. He has now gotten one hit or more in four straight games after a 3-4 game on Thursday, which was highlighted by his first home run of the season. I still expect there to be a good deal of hot and cold for the Marlins' rookie this season, but perhaps this is a sign that he will succeed sooner than I expected.....perhaps.
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