If the temperature had been about 65 degrees instead of about 45, yesterday would have been a perfect day in my hometown of Boston. Patriots Day is always a good time, and the city's festivities made it a clean sweep.
Not that many of you care, but I started my day by witnessing the marathon runners gathering for the start, hit the Red Sox game, went over to the marathon finish to check in on a couple colleagues and friends, then got myself over to the Celtics game. It doesn't get better in this city than what goes on here for our made up holiday.
Congrats to any and all of you that took part in the marathon. I get tired just watching it. Crazy stuff, and more powerful than you can imagine. The causes and people that get run for just astounds me.
Still, there is much baseball to discuss. Let's get to the notes.
- Mark Hendrickson was effective for the Marlins last season when he didn't have to throw more than 45 pitches. I can't find the source, but his ERA after pitch 45 jumped over two runs. Usually, that means you shouldn't start. The 85-mph fastball he threw for Jason Varitek's homerun confirms it. Look to him to pad stats for your offense.
- Sticking with this game, the Orioles don't seem to know how to coach Radhames Liz. Here's a guy (channeling Hubie Brown) that throws a fastball between 91 and 93, with a solid drop off in his changeup down to the low-80's. That's something that most coaches should be able to work with. Keep an eye on him. He got rocked by Boston, but he certainly has the stuff.
- Raise your hand if you expected the Yankees to throw Chien-Ming Wang on Friday against the Red Sox. That makes no one. Wang will be skipped this start and then put back into the rotation the following week. Probably makes the most sense, but adjust lineups accordingly.
- Highly-touted prospect Jordan Zimmerman made his major league debut for the Nationals last night and recorded a win. He lasted six innings, giving up six hits and a walk to go with two earned runs. His pitch count was phenomenal, as he threw just 72 pitches to work through the six innings.
- Worth nothing that Brian McCann missed his second consecutive game with blurred vision. He's set to meet with an eye specialist on Tuesday. Keep an eye on this one, as there is no indication as to what the problem or issue is.
- Rocco Baldelli left yesterday's game with a tweaked hamstring. What was the over/under of games before Rocco was on the DL? 15? 20? Chris Carter will see some at-bats in the meantime, but that likely means more J.D. Drew, even against lefties. The Red Sox don't have a right-handed outfield bat off the bench to spell him effectively because of injuries.
- Russ Ohlendorf had his second effective outing of the season, and continues to pitch well following a solid spring. He's not going to overpower hitters, but he's pitching smart, and getting outs. Deeper leagues and NL-only formats could do worse than taking a shot in the dark at Ohlendorf.
- It's likely that Ryan Doumit could miss the three game series with the Marlins due to a sprained right wrist. It was painful enough to keep him out of the lineup on Monday, and the indications for Tuesday aren't positive.
- Bronson Arroyo's numbers on Monday were decent overall, and he improved to 3-0. The concern would be the final two homeruns he gave up in the last inning of work. Arroyo has an issue with the long ball, and these happened to be solo shots. He's still mainly a matchup pitcher in more shallow leagues, but he certainly helps teams that need help in strikeouts.
- Results Update: Season-36-22-1. Wellemeyer was rained out, so we can't count that one!
Notes for Tuesday
- Dana Eveland has major problems on the road, and going to a ballpark that has given up home runs like they're going out of style, this likely isn't the best matchup. In fact, he's already given up 16 hits this season in not even 11 innings of work. You can definitely do better here.
- The Brewers numbers against Jamie Moyer are relatively solid with the exception of Mike Cameron. Moyer had problems all last season pitching at home, and based on the over-.300 averages of most Brewers regulars, this doesn't seem like the best situation to put him in either. Keep Cameron down, but all others active.
- Bengie Molina and Rich Aurilia struggle against Jake Peavy, but if you're starting Randy Winn, Aaron Rowand, or even Edgar Renteria, you should be in decent position to keep them active. All are hitting above .280 in a reasonable number of at-bats against the Padres ace.
- I'd avoid as many Padres as you can in your lineup. Matt Cain has pitched very well, even against sluggers like Adrian Gonzalez. Kevin Kouzmanoff, Scott Hairston, and Brian Giles should be after-thoughts today, as all struggle with Cain.
- The Diamondbacks offense seemed to hit a little bit yesterday, but they still represent a decent matchup for most pitchers. The team gets on base only at a .280 clip, and that's last in the majors. Franklin Morales is certainly a reach, but NL-only owners may look to him for a decent start based on early returns.
- Manny Parra represents a decent opportunity in the right situations. Problem is that he continues to struggle with his command. Parra is falling behind hitters, and is throwing a lot of pitches to get himself to the sixth inning of his starts. The Phillies are struggling, and haven't been patient, though. I like the matchup more than I thought I would.
- Kenchin Kawakami has been the victim of some bad luck in scoring and outings. He's struck out 15 batters in 12 innings of work, despite having walked seven. While he doesn't have the consistency, his strikeout numbers against a young lineup in Washington could add up tonight.
- Jarrod Washburn has put together overall solid numbers against some of the Rays better hitters, but they all seem to have demonstrated some power against him. At home, the matchup is decent for AL-only owners, but I wouldn't recommend using him in mixed leagues unless you really needed the start. This early in the week, hard to justify.
- The Mets have very limited numbers against Todd Wellemeyer, but Carlos Delgado and David Wright are 4-for-7 and 5-for-7 respectively. Even limited, those numbers don't bode well for the Cardinals starter.
- You're likely to see Mark Loretta in the lineup against Russ Ortiz. Loretta is a .389 hitter in 18 at-bats against Ortiz. Rafael Furcal is the only other regular with enough at-bats to mention, and he has hit .350 against the Astros starter.
- Spot Starts: Kenchin Kawakami, Manny Parra, Anibal Sanchez
- Leave on the Bench: Nothing detracting from pitchers you would normally start
Notes for Wednesday
- You're going to start your normal Marlins, but don't let that force you to ignore Paul Maholm. Maholm is pitching well, and he should be owned much more widely than he is. At home, his numbers in 2008 were solid, and this is a decent matchup.
- Ricky Nolasco has struggled, and this is a situation where I would likely sit him to see if he can get on track. That said, the Pirates should help him do just that. If he can't do it here, there is just cause to skip him in your fantasy rotation next time out.
- Ryan Spilborghs is worth the start, and Chris Ianetta could use the matchup to get on track, but other Rockies need to be on the bench. Dan Haren has run into some tough luck, but he's pitching as well as anyone in baseball. Don't let the record discourage you. Sometimes these things happen.
- Good matchup for Juan Pierre against Roy Oswalt. Pierre has hit .353 in 34 at-bats against Oswalt, and could see himself in the lineup to keep the Dodgers going. Could be a stretch, but we haven't seen Joe Torre give many players time off. Might be a good day for Manny's hamstrings to act up.
- Given that Miguel Olivo is 2-for-19 while John Buck is 12-for-34 with three homeruns against Cliff Lee, Buck is likely to get the start behind the plate. Mark Teahan should also be a decent play against the Indians starter.
- Look to Randy Winn against the Padres, as he has a .323 average against Chris Young. Aaron Rowand, though, is 0-for-10 in his time against the Padres starter. I'd look to avoid Molina and Aurilia in this one as well, as the numbers just aren't solid in total.
- Early Spot Starts: Joe Saunders, Paul Maholm, and David Purcey