Tag:game notes
Posted on: April 21, 2009 6:40 pm
Edited on: April 22, 2009 11:49 am

Notes for Games Played 04/20/09

A light Monday to begin Week 3.  I guess the rain didn't help much either.  Here's hoping things look up for the rest of the week.

"Braves C Brian McCann was out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game because of blurred vision. He is to meet with an eye doctor Tuesday." Lasik surgery isn't everything its cracked up to be.  Sometimes it doesn't work well for folks.  The good news for McCann and his owners is that the meeting with the doctor went well.  He was given a contact lens for the eye.  He expects to be in the Braves lineup for Tuesday's game.

In other catcher news, "Pirates C Ryan Doumit (sore right wrist) may miss the series" against the Marlins. DOH!  A CT scan showed a fracture in Doumit's wrist.  Doctors will perform surgery on Thursday to insert pins to accelerate healing.  Doumit will miss 8 to 10 weeks.  Jason Jaramillo is expected to assume catching duties for the Bucs.

"Red OF Jay Bruce missed his third consecutive game with a bruise on his right hand, although he did pinch run in Sunday's game."  Rotowire reports thate Bruce will return on Tuesday.  I am beginning to wonder how the hurt hand will affect his hitting.  For now, I would keep the kid in reserve.




Category: Fantasy Baseball
Tags: game notes
Posted on: April 21, 2009 9:36 am

Notes for Games Played 04/19/09

As Week 2 draws to a close, you should be getting an idea of your team’s strengths and weaknesses.  Before you trade Jimmy Rollins or Tim Lincecum, remember there is a reason you took these guys early.  Keep your studs.  Play them.

“Detroit had 12 hits Sunday and has at least eight hits in all 12 games this season.”   The Tigers are swinging the bat like analysts had expected them to do last year.  When role players like Ramon Santiago are hitting .500, you know you’re going good.

“Dr. Lewis Yocum will review the results of the tests on RF Xavier Nady's injured right elbow Monday before deciding what to do. Yocum performed reconstructive surgery on Nady's elbow in September 2001.”  Nady has had two MRIs on this elbow since the injury.  Now he’s seeing his equivalent of Dr. James Andrews. This doesn’t look good for Nady.  If providence should shine upon Nady’s elbow, his hitting will likely be affected.  Time to look for another alternative.

Statistical Porn: “Red Sox SP Jon Lester is 7-0 lifetime against Baltimore.”

“Texas slugger Josh Hamilton struck out seven times in the three-game series.”  Changes made to CBS’s fantasy scoring made me pass on Hamilton.  Hamilton lost a full third of his value in the week due to the Ks.

Streakers! “Tampa Bay 1B Carlos Pena singled in the seventh and has a 12-game hitting streak.”


Category: Fantasy Baseball
Tags: game notes
Posted on: April 19, 2009 3:40 pm

Notes for Games Played the Week of April 19

I thought this unemployment thing would allow me more time to blog.  Actually, I find myself busier with things that need to be done than I did when I had a job.  None of this makes any sense to me either. I do the game notes for me more than anyone else (as is evident by the staggering number of hits this blog gets. Wink ).  Here's what I found most important from the last week.

April 12
"Tigers RHP Joel Zumaya (shoulder) threw one inning in a rehab appearance for Class A Lakeland. He walked the first two batters he faced and allowed two runs -- one earned -- but Leyland said he was happy with the reports of Zumaya's velocity." 16% of owners have this clown on their team.  As someone who watches the Tigers closely, I can tell you that Zoom Zoom won't be back.  At best, he will be set up man.

"Indians SP David Purcey became the first Toronto pitcher to strike out 10 in a game since Cory Lidle did it on Sept. 26, 2003."   So this guy had as many runs and walks as Ks, but if you need Ks in your deep roto league.  Purcey might be an option...that is if you can stomach the blown up ERA.

"Rays SP James Shields is 5-1 with a 2.77 ERA lifetime against Baltimore."   Shields may not be the sexiest of picthers.  He is a part of a very solid rotation who will get you innings.

"Tampa Bay optioned outfielder Matt Joyce to Triple-A Durham to make room for CF B.J. Upton, who will come off the disabled list Monday." That sleeper Joyce that everyone was coveting?  He's not in the majors anymore.  The only way I think you can have him on your roster is if your rules allow for keeping a minor leaguer.

"Pittsburgh 3B Andy LaRoche is hitless in his first 14 at-bats of the season. He and his brother, Adam, are a combined 3-for-36." 13% of owners have a 3B on their team who can't even get his BA HALF WAY to the Mendoza line.

"Twins 3B Crede will get a rest or serve as DH soon, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. Crede missed most of the second half last season with back problems."   I get the benefit of writing this nearly a week after the note.  I still would have said the same thing:  Avoid Crede. Hurt backs are chronic conditions.  Crede will show flashes, but any consistency in his performance ended in 2007.

"Cardinals starters have a 14-inning scoreless streak."   This didn't last long.  It does speak, however, to the hot start the Cardinals are off to.

"A's DH Jack Cust is the only A's player to reach base safely in the first six games." Cust is a K machine.  If your league does not penalize for Ks, he would make a good addition.  He's hitting .333 with an OBP of .488.

April 13
"Former Detroit pitcher Mark "the Bird" Fidrych was found dead Monday in an apparent accident at his Northborough, Mass., farm. He was 54. The colorful right-hander was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1976 when he went 19-9 with a 2.34 ERA. He spent all five of his major league seasons with the Tigers, compiling a 29-19 record and a 3.10 ERA."   As a kid in the 70s, I idolized the Bird.  He was goofy and fun for baseball.  One of my favorite memories from childhood is watching Fidrych pitch on an old black and white TV set with my great-grandfather.  RIP

"Houston's 1B Lance Berkman is off to a 4-for-24 start (.167)." At the time, Berkman was in a horrific slump.  Since then, he's put together a couple good games.  A jittery owner would likely be happy to get Berkman off his hands for the right price.

"Nats SS Cristian Guzman went 5-for-5 -- all singles -- with two RBI and a steal. But he departed for a pinch runner in the ninth because he felt "a little pop" in his left hamstring coming out of the batter's box and again as he reached first base. Asked how much time he'd miss, Guzman said: "Maybe not a lot, because it's not too bad."   Actually Cris, it is.  Guzman is now on the 15 day DL.  Too bad.  He was one of the few good things about this HORRIBLE Nationals team.

"A's 3B Eric Chavez missed the game with a sore shoulder and will likely sit out Tuesday, too."   I nominate Chavez for King of the DL.

"Red Sox INF Jed Lowrie was placed on the 15-day DL with a sore left wrist. INF Gil Velazquez was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket to take his place."   I love the believers of Red Sox Nation.  Sorry folks, Lowrie is done.  This is the second injury to the wrist.  Without it, he has no power at the plate.  Drop him and move on.

"Macha said he'll speak Tuesday with Brewers SP Jeff Suppan, who is 0-2 with a 12.91 ERA to start this season while making a team-high $12.5 million this season. "I'm happy for him. He's making $12.5 million," Macha said. "Instead of looking at how much money he's making, we've got to look at how we're going to get this guy pitching like he has in the past."

April 14
"Reds OF Willy Taveras stole a pair of bases for Cincinnati."  Taveras won't provide you much power.  His speed is amazing.  For a roto owner, he can almost single-handedly win you the steals category.

"Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols has four homers in St. Louis' first nine games. A year ago, he homered four times in the first seven games on his way to a club-record 14 homers in April."
  Pujols is a monster.  He tops among 1B is RBI and BB too.

"Jays 2B Aaron Hill went hitless for the first time this season."   There's positive information in that.  Hill has been mashing this year.  He's healthy.  He's 27.  And the Jays are playing well.  4 HR, 14 RBI, and .389 BA!  Owners are catching on.  In the last week, his ownership has increased from 50% to 71%.

April 15
"Everyone on both teams wore No. 42 to mark the 62nd anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and former teammate Don Newcombe threw out the first pitch."   Nice touch by MLB to honor Robinson - confusing as can be for the casual fan, but a nice touch.

"Cubs C Geovany Soto made his first start since the second game of the season. He had been out with shoulder soreness."   I included this tid bit because I had written so much about him earlier.

Filed under the heading:  If You Own Him, You Get What You Deserve "Farnsworth's ERA in 3 1/3 innings is 16.20. Both of the bullpen's losses belong to him..." and more from the LaRouche brothers "Pittsburgh 3B Andy LaRoche went 0-for-2 and now is hitless in 16 at-bats this season."

"Pirates OF Nate McLouth had two hits and reached base three times for the Pirates."   Great news for McLouth owners.  Mac is beginning to come out of his early slump.  Keep him active!

"Braves 3B Chipper Jones was held out after aggravating his bruised left thumb in his last at-bat on Tuesday night.  He said he doesn't expect to play on Thursday." ...and so the annual Chipper Jones DL watch began.  As of Sunday morning, Jones had not played since Tuesday.  I understand that he is a greatr player when he's in the lineup.  What drives me nuts - and the reason I won't have him on my team - is you KNOW this guy will get injured and miss appreciable time.  I'd rather have SOME points from a Emilio Bonifacio than none from a Chipper Jones.

"Brewers SS J.J. Hardy was a late scratch from Milwaukee's lineup because of mid-back stiffness but said he expected to be OK for a game Friday in New York."   Another back issue for the Brew Crew.  Hardy is having a brutal start to the '09 season hitting .125.  If you have another option at SS, I'd take it.

"Mariners C Kenji Johjima left the game with a tight right hamstring. He will be evaluated by doctors Thursday." Johjima was placed on the 15 day DL.  Since signing that contract last season with the M's, Johjima hasn't done much at the plate.  Catcher is a pretty deep position this year.  Look for other options.

April 16
"An MRI Thursday confirmed that Cardinals RHP Chris Carpenter has a tear of the left oblique muscle. He received an injection and his condition will be re-evaluated next week. The Cardinals still expect him to miss four to eight weeks." There goes another sleeper to the DL.

"Indians OF Grady Sizemore hit his third career slam."   Grady's slam was a portent of things to come.  I think there's a jet stream heading over the right field fence at the new Yankee Stadium. 

"Rookie CF Jordan Schafer was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, leaving him 1-for-11 in the series."   So you blew that waiver wire position on the rookie after Opening Night's performance.  How do you feel about that decision now?  As a rule, rookies - even the most highly touted rookies - are best left for others.  I would much rather have a journeyman who's playing every day.

"Rays 1B Carlos Pena has four homers and nine RBIs in his last five games."   Pena is an all or nothing slugger prone to Ks.  With 6 RBI, 15 RBI, and a .283 BA, you have to keep him active while he's hot.

"Pirates LF Nyjer Morgan was 3-for-5 and reached base four times."   Calling all roto owners in deep leagues!  Morgan screams for a pick up.  He's not going to hit for power, but his OPS and steal potential might warrant a spot on your roster. (Hey YC!  Thanks for getting him before I could.  You're a peach.)

"Minnesota's crowded outfield conundrum has become a timeshare between Carlos Gomez and Delmon Young, with Denard Span playing CF while Young's in the lineup and playing LF next to Gomez."   I'm one of those owners who caught up in this platoon.  For Gomez, I think its affected his fielding and his hitting.  For now, I'm avoiding Twins OFs.

"Jay SS Marco Scutaro, batting .310 with 13 runs, nine RBI and three home runs, has reached base in all 11 games. The Jays lead the majors with a .317 average." Not only a great baseball chant (MARCO!  SCUTARO!), he's having a great spring.  Maybe the Canadian air is good for him.  He's hitting for average and power.  He's eligible at SS and 2B.  What's not to like?

"Dodgers OF Matt Kemp has at least one hit in each of the Dodgers' first 10 games."   Nice start and a great compliment to Manny.

April 17
"Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera had three more hits and is batting .513. "There's just no telling what he can do," manager Jim Leyland said."   Leading the bigs, he is.  Some have predicted Triple Crown for Miggy this year.  So far, he's proving them right.

"For a second consecutive day, Milton Bradley refused to talk about the third-strike argument that resulted in his ejection from Thursday's game. Piniella backed his player, saying: "It didn't look like a good pitch to me." Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's take: "I don't know how the Cubs get away with making the comments they make about umpires." Aside from that lone pinch-hitting appearance, Bradley hasn't played since Sunday due to a groin injury."   I'm sick of Bradley.  IMHO, his '08 performance was a fluke.  He's an often-injured whining clubhouse distraction.  I would not want him on my fantasy team much less my big league team.  I think Pinella and the Cubs reached too far when going after Bradley.

"New York's previous five-homer game was Aug. 1, 2007, against the Chicago White Sox." Two words:  Jet stream.

"The jerseys worn in the first three innings by OF Adam Dunn and 3B Ryan Zimmerman had the team's name misspelled as "Natinals." They later donned tops with the team name spelled correctly."   The Nats really can't do anything right.

"Blue Jays OF Alex Rios finished 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 14 at-bats."   This is the Rios I owned last year.  I understand he has good numbers at times, but I've never been a Rios fan.  My advice:  Trade him.

"Boston 1B Kevin Youkilis and OF Jason Bay have both reached safely in all 10 of Boston's games."   Boston might be losing games, but Youk and Bay have been solid fantasy starts.

"Braves OF Jeff Francoeur had three hits for Atlanta and is batting .526 (10-for-19) over his past five games." Frenchy's new swing is paying off for owners who took a chance on him.  He's not hitting for power, but a .326 BA cannot be denied.  He's available in 20% of leagues.

"Mets OF Gary Sheffield's first pinch-hit homer came on July 20, 1994, for Florida."   The homer just happened to be the 500th of his career.  I'm still convinced that Sheff is not worth owning.  With enough trips to the plate, he would have hit this 500th.  I've argued before that the only reason he is playing this season is to hit number 500.  Let some other chump in your league let this has been occupy a space on their roster.

April 18
"Oakland's Nomar Garciaparra was held out of the lineup with a tight right calf, the same injury that forced him out of Tuesday's win over Boston. Garciaparra did not play Wednesday."   Is this guy still playing baseball? 7% of owners seem to think so.

"Pirates OF Craig Monroe's six RBI are the most by a Pirates player since Jose Castillo had six against Milwaukee on May 30, 2006."  I've always been a Monroe fan.  He left Detroit and went to Minnesota where he struggled in limited time.  He's stuck in a Catch 22 where he needs more appearances to bat better and needs to bat better to get more playing time.  When C-Mo is hot, he can carry a team.  Unfortunately, he's not hot frequently enough to warrant a roster spot on your fantasy team.

"Tampa Bay 3B Evan Longoria extended his career-high hitting streak to 10 games with a first-inning single."  Evan's back and still mashing.  Owners are certainly happy to see him back.  I bet his teammates are too.

"Red Sox INF Jed Lowrie, on the 15-day DL with a sprained left wrist, may need surgery and is heading to Arizona for a second opinion."  I was right when I said he was done.  Put a fork in him.

"The Dodgers have scored 59 runs over their last eight games." The Dodgers are playing against their competition in the NL West.  Obviously, they are head and shoulders better than them.  To me, this bodes very well for your Dodger players.  Get 'em in your lineup.

"Giants SP Tim Lincecum has now struck out at least 10 batters 12 times during his career."  Don't give up on Lincecum.  As long as he's striking out the opposition, the wins and a lower ERA will come.

"Reds OF Laynce Nix was a late replacement for OF Jay Bruce, who sat out with a sore right hand. Bruce, who hurt the hand Monday at Milwaukee when he was hit by a pitch, is day-to-day. X rays and MRIs on Bruce's hands were negative."  Its been nearly a week since Bruce was hit.  He should be good to go for Week 3. Double check his status on Monday morning before setting your lineup. 


Category: Fantasy Baseball
Posted on: April 12, 2009 1:32 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/11/09

A Happy Easter to all those who celebrate.  A happy Sunday of baseball to everyone else.  On to the game notes!

"Tigers SP Justin Verlander has thrown 177 pitches in 8 2/3 innings over his first two starts, allowing 11 runs -- nine earned -- on 10 hits and six walks."   Verlander is picking up where he left off last year.  He stinks. On the Tigers staff, the only reliable pitcher since 2008 has been Armando Galarraga.  Galarraga's ERA by comparison is only 1.29.

"Curtis Granderson is the only Tigers player to have a hit in all six games this season."   Granderson was a point of contention for many fantasy analysts.  Some thought his power and average would wane.  (I have no idea why.) Regardless, Granderson is proving the detractors wrong with his early season performance. 

An interesting development on the Geovany Soto injury. "Cubs Manager Lou Piniella said C Geovany Soto's sore right shoulder is improving. But with the Cubs carrying only one catcher -- Hill, who is playing with a sore toe -- Soto could go to the disabled list if he isn't ready for backup duty by Monday."  Tough news for fantasy owners in that Geo might be lost for Week 2.  As a Soto owner, I'm looking for a temporary back up.

"Indians DH Travis Hafner got the day off after hitting a homer in his previous two games." It's great to see Hafner get off to a good start.  Some have him targeted as the comeback player of the year.  So far, he's a great late round addition to your lineup.  He's still available in 21% of leagues.

"Coming into the game, Pirates OF Nate McLouth was only 1-for-14 with a homer."   McLouth broke out of his early season slump going 2 for 3 with a HR and RBI single.  I'm not worried about McLouth. I don't see last season's success at the plate as a abberation.

"Cardinals LF Skip Schumaker, who hit .168 against lefties last season (20-for-119), is 4-for-6 against southpaws thus far."   Schumaker was projected to have a good season.  His availability at 2B as wel as OF makes him a valuable fantasy commodity.

'Washington RF Elijah Dukes missed the game with a mild right groin strain. He injured throwing home Friday night when Atlanta's Jordan Schafer scored the winning run." Dukes has played well when he's had the playing time.  Unfortunately, he hasn't seen the field often and when he did, he was injured.  There's no reason to keep Dukes active in Week 2 with his limited play and injury.

"Padres C Henry Blanco has homered twice in a game three times, the last coming on April 10, 2004, at Detroit."   With consistent playing time, Blanco is a servicable option at C for most fantasy teams.  Blanco still has some pop in his bat and has consistently hit for average.  Maybe I'll pick him up as my replacement for Soto...

Filed under the Statistics for Baseball Geeks category: "A's SS Orlando Cabrera was 1-for-2 against Hernandez and is 16-for-32 (.500) lifetime, the best of any hitter with significant at-bats against the right-hander...Nolasco fell to 2-6 with an ERA of 6.36 in 12 games against the Mets."

Injury Update: "Twins C Joe Mauer is scheduled to begin a running program early next week, Gardenhire said. Gardenhire added that Mauer is attempting to speed up his recovery schedule but team doctors are holding him back. "Everything has gone really good. Catching, bullpens and hitting on the field," Gardenhire said. "He feels great. He wants to push the envelope. He wants to go." The team has declined to give a timetable for the two-time All-Star's return... "

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/10/09

By now you should have an idea of the makeup of your team.  Now is the time of the season where you begin to look to make changes to your lineup.  The difficulty for the fantasy owner is deciding whether to keep the faith in those you drafted or cut them loose.  Perhaps the game notes have some advice...

"Detroit closer Brandon Lyon, who blew a save in Toronto, was booed when he was introduced before the game." Detroit has its own brand of suck when it comes to relievers.  There was little need for the GM to take Lyon off their hands.  Don't expect much from Lyon this year.

"Texas' OF Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer -- his third of the year -- in the ninth."   Cruz is certainly performing better than his draft position would indicate.  Fantasy owners are taking notice as well.  Perhaps you drafted him on his potential.  Get him in your lineup while he's hot.

"Cubs Manager Lou Piniella said C Geovany Soto was not likely to play in the three-game series because of tendinitis in his right shoulder, but should be available in a few days."  Good news for Cubs fans and Soto owners.  The MRI showed only inflammation in the shoulder.  Soto should be back in action in Week 2.

"The Indians will skip No. 5 starter Anthony Reyes on Saturday so Cliff Lee can face Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners. "Too bad it didn't happen for opening day," Toronto manager Cito Gaston said." Chances are you don't own Reyes anyway.  The skipped start is a reason why you should avoid 5th starters in your lineup. 

"Marlins RF Cody Ross went 0-for-3 and is batting .067 (1-for-15)."  Get my gun, Martha!  It's time to thin the herd. 22% of fantasy owners have Ross on their rosters.  Chances are there are better options available to you.

"One visitor who likes the new Busch (Stadium in St. Louis) is Roy Oswalt, who starts Saturday for Houston. He's 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA in five career starts, his lowest ERA at any ballpark where he has made at least five starts."  If you are one of those owners who pays great attention to player tendencies, this is one of those neat statistical findings for baseball geeks.

"Boston 1B Kevin Youkilis went 2-for-4, becoming the first Boston player to have multiple hits in the club's first four games since Jose Offerman and Mike Stanley did it to start the 1999 season."   I avoided Youkilis this season.  I didn't think he would play well.  Boston fans are glad he proved me wrong.  Youk has been his typical productive self early in the season.

"San Diego's three new starters -- Walter Silva, Kevin Correia and Hill -- have a combined 3.93 ERA through their first starts."   Petco Park has been labeled as a pitcher's park since it's opening.  This lil stat only proves the point.

Injury Update: "Outfielder Jose Guillen, who led the Royals with 93 RBI last year, was placed on the 15-day DL with a partially torn hip flexor. He also led the Royals with 20 homers last year after signing a $36 million, three-year free agent contract...Braves 3B Chipper Jones was back in the lineup after missing Wednesday's start with a bruised left thumb...Twins RHP Scott Baker (stiff right shoulder) proclaimed himself ready to rejoin Minnesota's rotation after earning a win for Class-A Fort Myers on Friday night. Baker, on the 15-day DL because of soreness in his right shoulder, gave up one run and five hits in seven innings. He threw 70 pitches, 51 for strikes. "If he's feeling good, he needs to stretch out and make sure he continues to feel good," Gardenhire said before the game...OF Ichiro Suzuki was 5-for-10 in controlled games played at the Mariners' spring training complex in Arizona and is expected to join the team in Seattle on Monday."

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 10, 2009 5:20 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/09/09

Thursday saw baseball mourning the death of potential. "A moment of silence was held before the game in memory of Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, who was killed Thursday in a traffic accident."  My condolences go to Adenhart's family.  They also go to the 37 other families who where had fatalities in crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver yesterday, and today, and tomorrow, and the day after that...

"Jays 1B Lyle Overbay snapped an 0-for-11 streak with a second-inning single."   Overbay was not expected to be an elite fantasy player, but his .200 BA has to have Bay owners worried.  Most leagues have better options available to owners on the waiver wire.

"Twins C Mike Redmond returned after missing the previous two with a groin injury. He went 1-for-2 with a walk, but hobbled on the bases." Redmond is merely marking time until Joe Mauer returns from injury.  Given Redmond's own pains, owners are best looking elsewhere for a replacement while Mauer rehabs.

"Bucs 2B Freddy Sanchez was 0-for-4, ending a string of three multihit games to start the season for Pittsburgh, which had 17 hits in a 7-4 victory on Wednesday." Sanchez is starting the season on a hot streak and has the ability to provide value for a fantasy team.  His downside is that he can go cold just as easily.  At 60% ownership in leagues, there's a possibility that he is available in your league.  Considering how weak the position is this year, Sanchez might represent an improvement to your roster.

"Orioles reliever Chris Ray gave up two runs in the ninth, lifting his ERA to 27.00 compared to 0.00 in spring training."  Meanwhile, his opposite number "Mariano Rivera worked a perfect ninth for the Yankees." Coming into the season, there was talk that Rivera was finished...yet again.  Ray on the other hand had the potential to be the latest lights out closer.  So much for that talk.

"It's the third time in Boston SP Daisuke Matsuzaka's career he has allowed three home runs in a game."  Dice-K does not stay frequently past the 5th inning so any runs he gives up will inflate his ERA.  Thursday's game had to be a disappointment to his owners.  5.1 INN, 9 H, 4 ER, 3BB, and 3 HR for an ERA of 6.75.  The good news was that he struck out 5.

"Indians OF Grady Sizemore had his seventh career multihomer game. He struck out his other three at-bats."  I'm hoping that this feast or famine approach at the plate is not Sizemore's new MO. The two homers came with 7 Ks so far.  Keep Sizemore in for now unless his hitting continues to tank.  The Indians can't play the Texans every game.

Streakers! "Ryan Ludwick singled in the seventh and has hit in a career-best 14 straight games dating to last season."


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 9, 2009 6:18 pm

Notes for Games Played 04/08/09

Baseball can be such a nice distraction.  I think somedays we need to forget about our worries.  Let's check the game notes.

"The series finale Thursday will mark the first time since baseball's draft began in 1965 that two first-round picks will face each other in their respective major league debuts. Toronto will start left-hander Ricky Romero, the sixth-overall pick in 2005, while Detroit counters with right-hander Rick Porcello, taken 27th in 2007."   Romero is Toronto's number 4 pitcher.  He didn't do a whole lot in Double A last year.  I don't think he has much fantasy value yet.  Porcello is a different story.  His strong pitching in the spring earned him a spot in the Tigers' rotation. Detroit has a history of pushing its young arms into the bigs.  Considering the dearth of talent in the Tigers' lineup, only a total collapse will send him to the minors.

"Piniella said C Geovany Soto was going to Chicago on Thursday for what Piniella termed a 'precautionary' evaluation of his sore right shoulder. Soto left Tuesday's game early and didn't play Wednesday. Piniella said Soto could be ready for Friday's game in Milwaukee. "He should be OK in a few days," Piniella said. "We'll see how he is on Friday."   There's some conflicting information surrounding Soto's injury.  Soto said this was a tweak of a spring injury.  The Cubs say this is something new and now are sending him to Chicago for evaluation.  It looks like Soto is out for the rest of the week.  Keep an eye on him before putting him in your Week 2 lineup.

"Yankees starters in two games have yet to record a strikeout." Dump your Yankees!  So I can pick them up...  This really means nothing.  Its a statistical anomoly.

"Marlins 1B Jorge Cantu left shortly after getting hit in the left hand by a Cabrera offering in the fifth. X-rays were negative." Cantu was off to a sizzling start to the season batting over 400 with 2 jacks and 5 RBI.  Keep an eye on Cantu.  Hopefully, the rest from today's day off and treatment will have him back in the lineup.

Through 5 innings, Boston SP Jon Lester allowed 8 H, 5 ER for a 9.00 ERA. "Lester allowed five runs or more in only five of his 33 regular-season starts last year."  This is likely an outlier for Lester.  He remains a solid fantasy pitcher.

"Phillies SP Cole Hamels, the World Series and NLCS MVP, is expected to start for the Phillies at Colorado on Friday. Hamels was supposed to pitch the opener, but was pushed back because of minor elbow problems."  Good news for Hamels owners.

Twins OF Denard Span continues to impress. "Span has reached base in seven of 13 plate appearances." Batting leadoff, he is leading the Twins in BA and has 2 RBI.  Span is owned in 49% of leagues.  Chances are you can pick him up.

"Mets OF Gary Sheffield worked in the outfield before the game, getting ready to play eventually. Sheffield, who was Detroit's DH, was released last week and signed a one-year deal with the Mets. Manager Jerry Manuel said he could play as soon as this weekend. "We're just trying to get him into outfield shape more than anything else," Manuel said."   If you start and play Sheffield, you get what you deserve.  The Tigers who traded a decent prospect for a ROOKIE to play OF in place of Sheffield had no use for him.  That should be telling.

"Reds CF Willy Taveras was out of the lineup for the second game because of an illness. He pinch hit and tripled off Putz in the eighth." Taveras will never be mistaken for a hitting machine, but his speed does warrant a position in roto leagues.

I love the circus that is the Chicago White Sox. "Guillen said he will drop Dewayne Wise from the leadoff spot if he continues to struggle, but wouldn't set a specific timetable before the game. Fans booed him loudly in the opener and let him hear it again Wednesday, when fouled out to the catcher on a bunt with a runner on first in the third inning. He's 0-for-8 overall. On Tuesday, he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and failed twice to put down a sacrifice bunt in the eighth. "To be honest with you, I don't like a couple of at-bats he took [at the end]," Guillen said afterward. "I think he didn't want to strike out. I want him to be aggressive." But wait!  There's more!  "Opening day starter Mark Buehrle seemed a bit taken aback by Guillen's recent assertion that he needs to report to spring training in better shape. "I look at the offseason as resting for the season," Buehrle said. "[I] throw 200 innings during the season. I don't want to play catch all offseason. I think it's a time to rest."

"Cardinals OF Ryan Ludwick singled in the fourth and has hit in 13 straight games dating to last season."  I avoided Ludwick in drafts because of his K rate and the penalties that some leagues assess.  In hindsight, I wish I hadn't.  Ludwick is still mashing and does not look to be slowing down.

"Rookie shortstop Everth Cabrera made his major league debut for the Padres. He got his first hit with a two-out double in the seventh. He also scored his first run in the fifth after walking."    Good for the kid.  It's great to see a rookie do something good with the bat.  Cabrera is not the everyday SS in San Diego yet.  For deep NL-only leagues he might be worth a flier.

On a personal note, baseball has always meant a lot to me,  I am one of those believers that see a lot of parallels between life and the national pasttime.  Yesterday, I lost my job; another casualty of the recession and Detroit's troubles.  I was naturally down and had a decent case of self-pity going.  

Angels SP Nick Adenhart died in a car accident on Wednesday night.  Adenhart was full of promise and had a full life and career ahead of him.  When put in that perspective, the idea of a spring at home with my family while I look for a job is not a reason for to be down, but a reason to celebrate.

My thoughts are with the Adenhart family.

Category: MLB
Posted on: April 8, 2009 11:05 am

Notes for Games Played 04/07/09

I'm glad to see the Tigers returning to thier old form - blown saves and making the home team look good. *sigh* On to the game notes!

"Tigers RHP Joel Zumaya (sore right shoulder) threw 43 pitches in an extended spring training game." Zumaya is a shell of the exciting player he was in 2006. He is far too injury-prone to warrant a closer spot no matter how badly Detroit needs him in the bullpen.

"Royals OF Coco Crisp led off the game with a single and was 1-for-5 in his debut with the Royals" Crisp's move to KC changes his fantasy value dramatically. He's not competing for playing time as he was with the Sox and he's leading off. The sheer number of increased at bats should increase his fantasy value. Crisp is only owned in 70% of leagues.

Giants SP Tim Lincecum lasted only three innings yesterday. "None of Lincecum's starts last season was shorter than four innings" I bring this up because buried in Lincecum's line for the day (3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER,and a 9.00 ERA) are 5 Ks. Lincecum had an off day and his team still won. You might be able to steal Lincecum from a jittery owner by playing up the poor performance.

"Braves SP Jair Jurrjens went 13-10 with a 3.68 ERA as a rookie last year." I expect even better things from Jurrjens this year. His outing yesterday was solid - 4 hits over 5.2 inning with 3 BB and 2 K. Jurrjens got the win and didn't give up a run.

"Mariners Manager Don Wakamatsu was relieved when pitcher Felix Hernandez entered the clubhouse before the game and appeared to be healthy. Hernandez turned his right ankle twice Monday during a victory against the Twins. Wakamatsu said there was slight swelling but Hernandez should be fine." Good news for Hernandez owners. The Mariners and fantasy owners are expecting big things from him this year.

"Pirates 3B Andy LaRoche committed his third error in two games when he dropped Pujols' popup with two out in the third." LaRoche is targeted as a sleeper by a number of fantasy analysts this year. They expect him to fulfill the potential that the Dodgers organization saw. LaRoche, however, would have killed me in one of my leagues as it penalizes for errors. Know you rules before picking up players who K or are prone to fielding errors.

Diamondback SS Stephen Drew rewarded all of you fantasy owners who overpaid for him this year. "Drew went 2-for-3 with a walk." Count me as an unbeliever, but I am willing to convert.

"Padres RHP Walter Silva is scheduled to make his big league debut on Wednesday night against the Dodgers." Not even the Dodgers have much on Silva. A career-long Mexican league picther, Silva secured a spot in the Padres rotation with Cha Seung Baek on the DL. Considering the venue where Silva will do most of his work, owners in deep NL-only leagues could do a lot worse.

In a totally non-fantasy related bit of errata..."The attendance-challenged Marlins had an announced crowd of 11,124 in the second game of the season." You have to wonder how long baseball will remain in south Florida. To give you an idea of how paltry that attendance number is, the St. Louis Cardinals had their lowest attendance figure since the move to their new stadium yesterday as well. "The crowd of 35,206 was the smallest ever at the new Busch Stadium, which opened in 2006."


Category: MLB
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