Though the events from Monday remain unresolved and our thoughts linger with those affected in both the city of Boston and around the world, the show must go on. Major League Baseball is not pausing the season and your fantasy leagues aren’t shutting down. Obviously it’s okay to be distracted but you still have to pay attention to what’s going on. There are job battles still being fought over, players coming on and off the DL, hot starts to consider and cold starts to shake off. You need to make sure you’re still dialed in and up to date on all the latest happenings.
So with that, we’re going to change up the format for today. I’ll still highlight the top (and bottom) performers from Tuesday’s games, but let’s look a little closer at some situations that seem as though they should be foremost in your mind. I’ll go game by game and team by team here and if it’s noteworthy, I’ll discuss it…
Rockies vs Mets x 2
I like seeing Eric Young get the start in both games of the double-header here. I know Dexter Fowler is off to a great start but EY needs some extensive full-time at-bats to prove whether he can cut it as more than just a fourth outfielder. I’d like to see the Rockies move Michael Cuddyer over to first more and give Young some added work in the outfield so that when they do eventually trade Cuddyer, the Rox have someone ready for full -time duty immediately. His 4-for-11 with three runs scored, a triple, two RBI and a stolen base were a great display of what could be.
Keep a watchful eye on Troy Tulowitzki for Wednesday’s game. He was held out of the second game for precautionary reasons after getting plunked on the elbow and with the cold weather, he could be feeling it in the morning. He’s not exactly a pillar of health, so pay attention to the lineups.
Nice to see David Wright getting his power stroke back but the hitter I’m still watching is John Buck. The guy continues to hit and is now batting .326 over his first 49 plate appearances. I certainly don’t expect it to last, but I’m waiting for the three-game 0-for12 stretch before I drop him. We just haven’t gotten to that point yet.
We have gotten to the point where Dillon Gee should be worm food on your waiver wire right now. Yes, starts have been pushed back on him, but come on…13 runs over 14 innings? You’re killin’ me, Smalls!
Red Sox vs Indians
Daniel Nava may have been 0-for-4 with four strikeouts on Tuesday, but he’s still batting .310 and will be the last man standing in left field once David Ortiz returns. Jackie Bradley will likely head down to Triple-A and since Jonny Gomes can’t hit righties, Nava should have at least a part-time home for now with the possibility of full-time work should Gomes either struggle or find himself on another team come the second half.
Remember those fleeting thoughts about ditching a struggling Mike Napoli? Well hopefully cooler heads prevailed and you’re part of this five-game hit streak where he’s batting .333 with seven RBI.
Closer Joel Hanrahan hits the DL which means Andrew Bailey should see some save chances. Personally though, I think Koji Uehara deserves the job.
Ubaldo Jimenez? Ugh. How long before the Indians realize that this chump needs to come out of the rotation? Trevor Bauer looked awfully good in his last Triple-A start…maybe a return of Carlos Carrasco?
Rays vs Orioles
Just a good ol’ battle between new division rivals here. Nice to see Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings contribute together which should be a recurring theme this season.
Yankees vs Diamondbacks
While it has no fantasy relevance, I did like the mention of some MLB numerology during the game as Mariano Rivera, the last player who will ever wear number 42 as his regular uniform number, closed out a 4-2 ballgame celebrating Jackie Robinson Day. Now if some tea leaves could just tell me when Derek Jeter is coming back…
Big blow for the D-Backs and fantasy owners as Aaron Hill landed on the DL after days of speculation that maybe his hand wasn’t really broken. The silver lining is that Didi Gregorius is up which means that a strong performance this week could keep him around even after Hill gets back. Of course he already hurt his elbow, so Cliff Pennington owners can stop sweating for a few.
Blue Jays vs White Sox
Considering what reports said just a day or two ago, it was very surprising to see the Jays activate Brett Lawrie from the disabled list. He went 0-for-3 with an RBI and a strikeout in his return, but I’m more than happy to watch him shake a bit of rust off. The Jays are going to need him to shine what with Jose Reyes lost for an extensive period of time.
Yup. Paul Konerko…just doing his thing.
Marlins vs Nationals
You know your offense is piss-poor when Adeiny Hechavarria is the guy who ends a nine-game home run drought for your team and also hits your team’s first homer at the home ballpark for the season. Justin Ruggiano also helped with the team’s first real offensive breakout but they are far from being trusted just yet.
Danny Espinosa continues to be sidelined with a hand injury, but maybe a couple of days off will help keep the shoulder rested and prolong his fantasy life a little longer. With the way everyone was talking about it during the spring, you’d think his whole arm was ready to fall off.
Braves vs Royals
Who would have thought that it would be hard-throwing Kelvin Herrera who finally kick-started Jason Heyward’s season? Well, we’re hoping, that is. Herrera was summoned in the eighth of a 2-2 game to shut down the top of the Braves order and after getting B.J. Upton to ground out, Herrera threw a first-pitch, 96-mph fastball to Heyward and watched helplessly as it sailed into the left field stands. Hererra then promptly gave up another pair of solo homers to two of the next three batters. He’ll be fine moving forward as he probably won’t serve up another three homers the rest of the season, but fantasy owners are hoping that Heyward and Dan Uggla, two slow starters this year will catch fire now that they’ve tasted the good life again. Lost in all the late-game heroics were two outstanding starts from Jeremy Guthrie and Kris Medlen.
Reds vs Cardinals
Kudos to Kyle Kendrick and Homer Bailey, two of my least favorite starters actually, for a rain-soaked pitcher's duel that will unfortuantely have to be decided Wednesday -- 0-0 going into the ninth.
Cubs vs Rangers
Though he took the loss Tuesday, Travis Wood has now thrown three quality starts this season and looks to be a nice start for a few games as he takes on the Brewers, Marlins and Padres for his next three starts. He held the Brewers to two runs over six innings during the start before this one and well….the Marlins and the Padres? Come on.
Lance Berkman – held out for stupid remarks about Wrigley and the Cubs or because he’s so frail these days that even the thought of him playing first base during interleague games puts the trainers on high alert? Either way, it’s pine city for him when the Rangers are in NL parks.
Twins vs Angels
Looks like Aaron Hicks gets a stay of execution as Darin Mastroianni ended up a late scratch with a sore ankle. He still went hitless, but unless Mastroianni can relied upon, it looks like the Twins are willing to keep him around. Careful though as his exit could be a hasty one.
Don’t look now but Mike Trout has a four-game hit streak running, all multi-hit performances, and has four runs, one home run, four RBI with two walks in that span.
Giants vs Brewers
Seriously…did fantasy owners really think Barry Zito was to be counted on? I’d say if you started him then you’re out of your mind, but I accidentally left Dillon Gee in one of my lineups this week, so what do I know? But what I really want to know is what makes Barry feel worse – getting pounded for nine runs in just 2.2 innings or the fact that he allowed a grand slam to Yuniesky Betancourt, one of the worst hitters in the game today?
A’s vs Astros
It looks like Coco Crisp’s groin is all healed up as he looked crazy fast whipping around the bases for that triple in the fifth inning. It appears as if he is a safe play once again.
Carlos Pena smacked his first homer of the season, finally. I grabbed him in the last round of a few drafts hoping that calling a hitters park home while staying in the American League would help boost his power a little, but I guess I should have just trusted the declining trend in his numbers these past few seasons.
Tigers vs Mariners
I literally have nothing to say about this game. No, seriously What am I going to say? Miguel Cabrera is a good hitter? Dustin Ackley isn’t? I think that’s all pretty obvious stuff.
Padres vs Dodgers
So Chris Capuano is the replacement for Zack Greinke? Uh oh. He certainly didn’t look like a solution in this one and now he’s got a calf issue. He should get another chance if healthy, but should he not perform, Ted Lilly could be summoned soon.
Cameron Maybin was a late scratch from the lineup Tuesday. Physical injury or just a mental one from batting .091 through the first 33 at-bats? I just might have to cut bait here as my fantasy Achilles heel is again doing his part to screw me over for having this stupid, unwavering faith.
So now here’s a look at your top performers of the day…
|Carlos Gonzalez, OF COL||5-8, 5 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, SB (two games)|
|David Wright, OF NYM||3-8, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, SB (two games)|
|Juan Francisco, 3B ATL||2-3, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Derek Holland, SP TEX||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.29 WHIP, 6 K|
|Jason Marquis, SP SD||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.25 WHIP, 5 K|
No one gets the beast label today. There were some great performances, but no one that really has me over the moon here…
And your bottom feeders....
|Prince Fielder, 1B DET||0-5, 4 K|
|Ryan Braun, OF MIL||0-5, 4 K|
|Kelvin Herrera, RP KC||L, 54.00 ERA, 6.00 WHIP (3 HR allowed)|
|Ubaldo Jimenez, SP CLE||L, 37.80 ERA, 4.20 WHIP, 1 K|
|Barry Zito, SP SF||L, 30.38 ERA, 3.75 WHIP, 5 K|
Didi Gregorius, SS ARI – elbow (day to day)
Aaron Hill, 2B ARI – wrist/hand (15-day DL)
Luis Avilan, RP ATL – hamstring (day to day)
Joel Hanrahan, RP BOS – hamstring (15-day DL)
Jason Kipnis, 2B CLE – elbow (day to day)
Michael Bourn, OF CLE – hand (expected to hit the 15-day DL)
Dexter Fowler, OF COL – foot (day to day)
Chris Capuano, SP LAD – calf (day to day)
Giancarlo Stanton, OF MIA – shoulder (day to day)
Josh Willingham, OF MIN – illness (day to day)
Jose Bautista, OF TOR – back (day to day)
Sergio Santos, RP TOR – triceps (15-day DL)
And in honor of Tuesday’s show of baseball solidarity….
Sweet Caroline (ba! ba! ba!), good times never seemed so good (so good! so good! so good!)……
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a vaiety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at email@example.com.
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