Fantasy Baseball: Thursday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IApril 16, 2009

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 15:  Ian Kinsler smiles after hitting a cycle while wearing jersey #42 to commemorate Jackie Robinson day during a game against the Baltimore Orioles on April 15, 2009 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
It's amazing how the hits just seem to keep on coming for some fantasy owners. You get one guy back, and then another one is going to hit the shelf. The good news is that we could start to see some prospects coming into the picture. 
I'm also curious how many times we've seen two players hit for the cycle over the course of a week.
Let's get to the notes. 
Wednesday Rewind
  • Oh my God! That's Jeff Clement's music!! Kenji Johjima left yesterday's game with an apparent hamstring injury. These are not injuries that go away quickly, and the severity of it could lead to Clement being recalled. Keep an eye on this one today, and be ready to jump on Clement if you could use some help at catcher.
  • Chris Carpenter will likely miss between six and eight weeks as a result of the strained muscle that forced him to leave his start the other night. Chris Perez got the call to fill in with the bullpen for the time being. He had two good innings yesterday, and it likely won't be long before he's at least seeing some save opportunities. Vultures, look to grab him.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka will be hitting the DL with what is being termed as "shoulder fatigue." It can also be called WBC-itis. Don't rush to jump on Clay Buchholz. Jason Collette notes, and my source confirms, that Buchholz has some sort of hamstring issue. Justin Masterson will likely be the one looked at in the short-term, at least until John Smoltz is deemed healthy.
  • Ichiro stepped back into the lineup yesterday and made the most of it. He recorded two hits, including a home run, and managed to steal a base for the Mariners last night. No reason to hold him back or wait for him to be healthy.
  • Tim Wakefield pitched well, and got his first win in Oakland since 1999. Still, solely AL-only owners should be excited about his performance. The problem with a knuckleball is the fact it is beyond unpredictable. There are players he will own, who just can't hit the pitch. That's how we should use the data. Let it be a guide as to who not to start for the time being, not when to start Wake.
  • With middle-infield being as thin as it is, those struggling at second base right now have jumped all over Emilio Bonifacio. The guy being missed, though, is Aaron Hill. Hill had four hits last night and has raised his average to .356 early on. Toronto is red-hot right now, and Hill hits second in the lineup. Ride the streak.
  • If Armando Galarraga was available in your league yesterday, chances are he won't be today. Galarraga put up another solid outing, shutting down the White Sox bats entirely. He keeps the ball down, and his slider has been outstanding early on. Keep him in the lineups.
  • Don't read much into J.J. Hardy missing yesterday's game with a bad back. Rotowire notes that Hardy has had back issues for a while, and this is strictly to monitor his health, and give him two off days. The Brewers won't be playing Thursday, and Hardy should be back in the lineup on Friday.
  • Curious how long the Rockies will go with Huston Street. They need him to perform well so that he has any sort of value, but Street struggled in getting anyone out against the Cubs yesterday. Manny Corpas has the stuff, and this is a situation that should be watched closely.
  • Clayton Kershaw dominated the Giants last night. In seven innings, he struck out 13 batters and gave up just one run on one hit. Still, he didn't get the win. Say it with me, class: "You can't predict wins." Very good, well done. This stuff just happens, and the category itself is largely a result of a good bullpen as much as anything else.
  • Yesterday's results: Wins-Andy Sonnanstine, Armando Galarraga, Jered Weaver; Losses-Andy Pettitte, Joel Pineiro (Season: 25-17-1). Don't care that Pineiro got the win. He gave up five earned in five innings with a WHIP over 2.00. Ugly.


Notes for Thursday

  • John Danks pitched well at Tropicana last season, going 2-0 with an ERA under 1.00 in 13 innings of work. You likely were starting him anyway, but it's good to see that the numbers certainly hold water.
  • I wouldn't be shocked to see Ramon Vazquez get a start today in place of Andy LaRoche. Vazquez is 5-for-16 against Russ Ortiz, and could provide a quick boost for the Pirates. Jack Wilson should be in all lineups today, as he's over .400 against Ortiz in 17 at-bats.
  • AL-only owners should note that Ryan Rowland-Smith was placed on the DL and will not be getting the start today for the Mariners. Adjust your lineups accordingly.
  • While the Dodgers don't have great numbers against Barry Zito overall, Matt Kemp and Rafael Furcal own the lefty. Others, though, aren't so lucky. Orlando Hudson is at .233, Casey Blake at .192, and Russell Martin is just at .150. Poor James Loney is 1-for-17. Don't look to start Zito, but play your Dodgers accordingly. 
  • Watch lineups carefully early on today, as Aramis Ramirez is still having back issues. He has great numbers against Adam Wainwright, and should be started if he can go. Keep Ryan Theriot in the lineup for the same reason. Wainwright is 1-3 in his six starts against the Cubs over the last three seasons. He's thrown 41 innings, and the Cubs have hit nearly .300 against him, averaging better than a hit an inning (before walks).
  • Keep Joe Crede down today. He's just 3-for-21 against Roy Halladay, and Halladay has owned the Twins. Doc is 3-0 against Minnesota in his last three starts, including 2-0 at the Metrodome. One surprise? Delmon Young is 5-for-11 and could get the start for Minnesota today.
  • Cliff Lee doesn't have strong numbers against some of the better Yankee hitters, as both Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are over .400 against him lifetime. Lee has struggled in two starts, and holding him down may not be the worst idea. There's a lot of emotion involved for the Yankees in winning the opener at the new stadium.
  • Joe Saunders has good numbers against the Mariners and at Safeco. He's gone 2-0 in two starts there, and has a 2.19 ERA in the ballpark. He's available in 50 percent of leagues, and should be looked to as a spot start tonight.
  • Spot Starts: Anibal Sanchez, Kenchin Kawakami, and Joe Saunders
  • Leave on the Bench: Cliff Lee, Adam Wainwright


Notes for Friday

  • Keep Dustin Pedroia in your lineup against Jeremy Guthrie, but the Red Sox haven't hit against the Baltimore pitcher well. No regular beyond Pedroia and David Ortiz is better than 3-for-11 against him, and that number belongs to Jason Varitek.
  • Skip Schumaker makes a good play against Carlos Zambrano, as he's put up a 7-for-19 number. Find another option for the 1-for-18 Khalil Greene. Zambrano didn't have good luck against the Cardinals last season, but at home he's better than on the road.
  • Roy Oswalt has never lost in his career to the Reds. Never. Not once. Sure, this is a slightly different Reds team, but don't look for the results to change now. Start the guys you normally would for Cincinnati. Individually, they still have the stats.
  • Conor Jackson is 9-for-12 against Jonathan Sanchez, and the Diamondbacks as a team are hitting .412 against the Giants pitcher. Sanchez was 1-2 in four starts last season against Arizona, and posted an ERA over 8.00 in that time.
  • Be careful with Ricky Nolasco. He's struggled early this season, and the Braves have hit him well in the past. Yunel Escobar, Chipper Jones, Jeff Francoeur, and Brian McCann all have double-digit at-bats, and all are hitting above .333 against Nolasco.
  • I'm not sure I'm quite sold on starting Cole Hamels yet, but he does get a struggling San Diego team. It should be a good litmus test for him, and Hamels pitches well at home. Adrian Gonzalez does hit the ball well against him and the Phillies in general, but no one else has much of a record. With the injury still a concern, I'm leaning to hold off.
  • Spot Starts: David Purcey, Nick Blackburn, and Paul Maholm

Collin Hager writes The Elmhurst Pub fantasy blog. You can get your questions answered by sending an email to He's also on Twitter @TheRoundtable.