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Tuesday night was so loaded with action that it’s tough to know where to start here. Do I appeal to your traditional baseball side and talk about the hot, young starting pitching that we saw or do I go lowest common denominator and appeal to your inner thug? Decisions , decisions. Well, why don’t I do both and we can cover it all? And since that Dodgers/Diamondbacks game got pretty crazy and had some fairly big names involved, let’s just lead with that, shall we?
Just a quick look and acknowledgement of the highlights from Thursday as I just don’t have it in me to perpetuate the hype-machine and feed into the Yasiel Puig lovefest that’s going on. He had a phenomenal spring and three of his first four games have been absolutely fantastic. But while I may own him on a few of my fantasy teams and have been lucky enough to benefit from his white-hot start, I’m not quite ready to ship his cleats off to Cooperstown and start engraving the plaque just yet. We’ve seen a number of ballplayers come and go over the years, many who have gotten off to hot starts such as this. Some have lasted. Some haven’t. So for those who are freaking out over Puig’s start, tread lightly. It’s four games in right now. Let’s see where we’re at after say, 40 or 50 more. The Cuban hype is on such overdrive that I've stopped drinking mojitos in protest.
You know those fantasy days where it all just hits you at the same time? You open up your live scoring page and all your hitters have 0-for’s next to their names and your pitchers have ERA and WHIP totals so high that you’re wondering if anyone actually completed a single inning? You look your roster up and down and the only things you have in abundance are red crosses and injury note tags? You know those days? Absolutely frustrating. Mind-numbing, really.
In 1983 Rickey Henderson ran his way to 130 steals for the Athletics, a modern day baseball record (Hugh Nicol actually stole 138 bases in 1887 for the Cincinnati Red Stockings). Others of the modern era have hit triple-digits – Lou Brock, Vince Coleman Maury Wills – but those just aren't numbers we see anymore. Nowadays we're lucky to find guys who steal half as many bags. So why is it that you hear so many people in the fantasy game say 'I don't worry about steals early, I can find them late.' Is that an accurate statement? How should you look at steals for the coming season, and which players should you consider targeting?
Adam Jones has been an outright star over the first third of the 2012 season. What are the odds that he continues his assault on opposing pitchers? This is also a big week to ten days for some pretty important outfield pieces who are trying to work their way back from injury. You want power? We've got Yoenis Cespedes closing in on a return, and Michael Morse isn't likely to be too far behind. Need some speed? Cameron Maybin hopes to return this week. What about a combo player who helps with his bat and wheels? For those of you interested in that Desmond Jennings has been cleared to ramp up his activity. Today, in Round the Bases, it's a smorgasbord of outfielders for your perusal.
After throwing his 122nd pitch of the night and watching Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton weakly ground out to shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, Brandon Beachy stepped off the mound and celebrated with his teammates, leaving no doubt as to whom the ace of the Braves staff was this season. It was his fifth win of the season, first complete game, seventh quality start in eight games started, and the fourth time he pitched a minimum of seven innings. With a 1.33 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP, Beachy has established himself as one of the best in the game right now and is giving fantasy owners plenty to smile about.
So it was Opening Day on Thursday….again. And while some people will mock the fact that MLB pretty much has four different Opening Days, I’m going to relish in it. For me, the offseason drags on for far too long. Sure, football is a nice distraction, but I’ll take a heated pitcher’s duel for nine innings any day. And that’s exactly what we saw on Thursday – outstanding pitcher’s duels. Roy Halladay squaring off against Erik Bedard, John Lester versus Justin Verlander, Johan Santana against Tommy Hanson, and Stephen Strasburg taking on Ryan Dempster. Some of the other matchups were good, but the show that these eight pitchers put on the other day was top notch. Maybe some of the offenses each guy faced were a tad anemic (yes, Pittsburgh, I’m looking in your direction), but overall, you have to love watching a guy standing on the hill pulling strings on pitches left and right, making hitters look just plain silly in the batter’s box.
It is another scorching Saturday here in Upstate New York as the thermometer pushed past 95 degrees again today. Hopefully we are supposed to get a reprive from this madness tomorrow, but the madness of fantasy baseball is still in full swing. Tonight we will celebrate the callup of one of the last great prospects we were watching before the season started, a former top prospect who suddenly has found his way, and another uber prospect who isn't doing what we hoped in 2011. There is always pitching news, and one of fantasy's finest third sackers hits the Disabled List. There is just over two months to go in the fantasy season as we continue to go Rounding The Bases.
We are approaching another weekend in the fantasy baseball season as the calendar gets ready to turn to August and the dog days of the season. Even though you feel lik you have a pretty good grasp on most everyone on your team, there are some guys who are either going to going to soar or swoon in the next two months. We have a rough injury in Colorado, and a guy breaking out in San Diego. We have two pitchers and a hitter who have scorched it in the first half and I will tell you what to expect the rest of the way. There is that news and more in tonight's version of Rounding The Bases.
It was a huge schedule on Wednesday as there were 17 games in total with doubleheaders included, and there is a ton to talk about. We have a elite player who takes a leave, one of the best back on the field, and a couple of younger hitters who won't be on it for a little while. We have one of the hotter prospects in baseball headed back to the farm, and a disappointing closer who seems to have found his groove. There is all of that news and so much more as we take you around the box scores and give you every piece of fantasy relevant happenings and how it should affect your team.