Well, when no one is jacking three home runs in a game and you’re not quite ready to announce who the newest Fantasy Beast of the Day is just yet, it’s tough to focus on just one thing from Tuesday’s games. Do I talk about the possibility that Albert Pujols is this year’s Adam Dunn? The wild finish between the Rangers and the Blue Jays? News of Cory Luebke’s sore elbow and the perpetual concerns one should have with the health of young pitchers? Really, the options are almost limitless. So rather than just pick and choose, I’m just going to run through each game and toss out some fantasy nuggets that you may find useful as our season moves along. In no particular order, here’s what I noticed on Tuesday…
Orioles starter Brian Matusz put an end to a nasty streak of 12 consecutive losing decisions when he pitched his finest game of the season against the Yankees. Not only did he grab his first win in…well, a really, really long time… but he’s now strung together back-to-back quality starts against two incredibly strong offenses. While I’m certainly not ready to endorse him as a starter for your fantasy team, I would be doing you a disservice by not at least telling you to keep an eye on him. Matusz was always a highly touted prospect until he started getting hurt, having command problems, and began to get shelled on a regular basis. If he truly has turned a corner, then he could prove valuable, so if you have a spare bench spot, you might think about holding him and seeing what he does in his next few starts.
Luke Hochevar, on the other hand, is not someone you want and if he’s sitting on your roster, you better not be starting him. In fact, I think the Royals might want to re-think starting him.
When Trevor Cahill moved to Arizona, I was a big fan of the move. He hit a few bumps in the road in Oakland, but he was now switching to the National League and pitching in a fairly weak division. As a ground ball specialist, I even shrugged off the concerns of moving from a pitcher-friendly park to hitter-friendly Chase Field. Well, I’m still a fan, but in looking at his home/road splits right now, I might be getting a little nervous about his starts at home. So far, on the road, Cahill owns a 1.35 ERA with 11 strikeouts in just over 13 innings. At home, we’re looking at a 6.55 ERA with just 5 Ks in 11 innings. Next up is a road game against the Mets, so he stays in my lineup, but I might have to re-think where he goes from there.
So during the offseason, I traded for Brett Lawrie in my primary keeper league and I couldn’t be happier. While it’s always nice to own a guy that is being tweeted all over the place online because he is now the very first player born in the 90’s to hit a walk-off home run, I’m loving the fact that he looks every bit the part I expected and he looks like he’s only getting more and more comfortable with each game he plays. Now if we can just stop him from doing that stupid high jump onto home plate so he doesn’t pull a Kendrys Morales…
Jarrod Parker is looking every bit the future ace he was touted as during the offseason. What might be best about him is that he’s already gotten the Tommy John surgery out of the way…
May 2nd -- Albert Pujols -- 0 HR -- 'nuff said.
And speaking of Tommy John, anyone else nervous about Cory Luebke’s elbow stiffness? Let’s just hope it’s something that simple rest can help, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t freaking out internally here. Like most people that play in multiple leagues, an injury like this can do some serious damage. Think I own him in four. Ugh! Contingency plan…ACTIVATE!!
Jesus Montero, 4-for-4, hitting .294 and on pace for 25 home runs…..you are who we thought you were. Even in Seattle.
I certainly don’t want to split hairs or nitpick, but if Brandon Beachy could just push that K/9 up just a little bit, he’d be perfect.
Am I exaggerating or did Chris Snyder, in one game, triple the production of all Houston catchers combined for the last two years?
Mired in a 5-for-31 slump over the last nine games, Shelley Duncan finally gets his ass in gear and goes yard for the first time since April 15. Might be too little too late, as the pitter-patter you hear are the footsteps of Johnny Damon getting ready to push you out of a job, Shelley. Really hoping the Tribe finds him a place to play, even semi-regularly. It’s not like Aaron Cunningham or Casey Kotchman are doing anything special and neither has Duncan’s power potential.
Allen Craig is likely the hottest pick-up on the waiver wire right now as he was hyped all offseason long. But what kind of playing time is he going to get once Lance Berkman makes his way back? It would be one thing if Jon Jay was stinking it up, but he’s not and save for the few game she missed when he hurt his shoulder, he’s been a solid fourth or fifth outfielder in fantasy leagues. At best, Craig will work himself into a lefty/righty platoon situation that will see Carlos Beltran move over to center every so often, but that’s best case scenario. I’m thinking there might be better ways to use up your waiver priority.
Javy Guerra is the best closer that no one believes in....except for me.
And to double-dip on the Dodgers, congrats to Dee Gordon for his first, and probably only, home run of the season. Can someone please get this kid a sandwich? He’s starting to look like the anorexic son of Otis Nixon, not Tom Gordon.
Um, yeah….that’s a five-game hit streak for Carlos Gonzalez with three multi-hit games and three home runs in that span. I’d say the cold start is officially over.
Obviously my favorite cliché about the sun shining on a dog’s ass atleast once will make an appearance here with the Jerome Williams complete game shutout, but I ask you….was it really him or just the sheer ineptitude of a fractured Minnesota lineup? Joe Mauer was hurt, Justin Morneau wasn’t in the lineup, The Hammer’s big lineup protection was Danny Valencia and did you see the bottom of that order? It’s still early, but you might want to think about streaming pitchers going up against Minnesota here…
Just a heads up, Cameron Maybin, I’m starting to lose my patience with you. So much potential yet such poor plate discipline. Come on, man. I stuck my neck out for you this offseason. If you’re not going to develop your power, then atleast steal me some damn bases!!
For those reeling from the Evan Longoria injury, it looks like we’ll have to patch things up from elsewhere. Like I said yesterday, the Rays will fix the problem in-house with Sean Rodriguez, Elliot Johnson and Reid Brignac, but I forgot to add Jeff Keppinger into the fray and now we can also throw Will Rhymes into the mix. With Joe Maddon at the helm the daily lineup will certainly be an adventure every day.
And finally, I don’t care what his record is at the end of the day…wins are an arbitrary category anyway…Matt Cain is a stud and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in contention for the Cy Young award this year. He’s thrown 38.1 innings with a 2.35 ERA and a ridiculously tasty 0.68 WHIP. When someone pointed out to me that his FIP was at 3.54, I said “who cares?” Cain’s ERA has outperformed his FIP every year except for 2006. The guy is a beast. Just a beast. But since he was on the losing end of Tuesday’s decision, he loses out on my top honor…
|Jerome Williams, LAA||9.0||3||0||0||1||6||0||0.00||0.44|
Well of course it’s Jerome Williams. Who else would it be? Not only did he toss a complete game shutout victory but he allowed me to use the most repetitive cliché on this blog. All together now! The sun shines on a…..ok, well you get the point. The whole reason for that anyway is to keep you from blowing your waiver priority on a pitcher who you shouldn’t expect these types of results from. What do you think the ratios look like for all those Philip Humber owners? You know they didn’t have him active for that perfect game, right?
|Matt Holliday, OF STL||3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB|
|Chris Davis, 1B BAL||3-4, 3 R, HR, RBI|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B TOR||2-3, R, HR, 4 RBI, BB|
|Trevor Cahill, SP ARI||W, 1.23 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 6 K|
|Fernando Rodney, RP TB||S, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP, 3 K|
|Jonny Gomes, OF OAK||0-4, 3 K|
|Alex Presley, OF PIT||0-5, 3 K|
|Rick Ankiel, OF WAS||0-4, 2 K|
|Luke Hochevar, SP KC||L, 20.25 ERA, 3.75 WHIP, 2 K|
|Jonathon Niese, SP NYM||L, 15.00 ERA, 2.67 WHIP, K|
Jason Heyward, OF ATL – oblique (doubtful)
Chipper Jones, 3B ATL – knee (questionable)
Nolan Reimold, OF BAL – neck, back….my neck and my back (out)
Kevin Youkilis, 3B BOS – back (questionable)
Shin-Soo Choo, OF CLE – hamstring (questionable)
Juan Rivera, OF LAD – hamstring (questionable)
Justin Morneau, 1B MIN – wrist (questionable)
Nick Swisher, OF NYY – hamstring (doubtful)
Coco Crisp, OF OAK – illness (questionable)
Corey Luebke, SP SD – elbow (out)
Adrian Beltre, 3B TEX – leg (out)
Josh Hamilton, OF TEX – back (out)
Games starting early on Wednesday, so get your daily lineups in quick!!
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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