April 22, 2009
When you look at the fact that the weather up and down the east coast was awful, it leads to very few games to talk about and review. That's close to what we had happen yesterday.
Because of rain that engulfed nearly all of the northeast, some games were delayed and others were outright cancelled.
Early in the season, we see many games in the northern areas all across the country. Double-headers will become a regularity as we move later in the season, and many teams will look to get them out of the way earlier.
To me, I don't understand why the requirement for new stadiums doesn't include a dome, or at least a retractable roof. The fact that new parks are being built that will still be subject to the weather makes little sense.
Minnesota, I believe, is building an outdoor ballpark.They still have snow on the ground, but an outdoor stadium makes sense.
Enough of a rant, let's hit the notes.
- Jed Lowrie did have surgery yesterday on his wrist, and that likely will keep him out another six weeks. There are some reliable options on waivers in most leagues. Aaron Hill and Marco Scutaro are both swinging hot bats in Toronto, and the team is leading the league in runs. Freddy Sanchez is available in about 35 percent of ESPN leagues, and has already scored ten runs this season and is hitting .367.
- AL-only leagues should note that Rocco Baldelli was also put on the disabled list by Boston. Jeff Bailey will be called up to take his place on the roster for the short term. On top of that, Julio Lugo is scheduled to start his rehab assignment in AAA this week.
- At least if he was going to have surgery, owners would know if they should cut their losses. Instead, Xavier Nady will abide by a program of rest and strengthening excercises to help a partially torn ligament in his elbow heal. There is no timetable for his return, but if Nick Swisher keeps swinging well, there will be no need to rush him back.
- Ryan Doumit will need surgery on a fracture in his wrist. The injury likely will keep him out of action for two to three months. Doumit was a solid addition to many squads last year. Those looking to fill the void should examine Jeff Baker in Florida.
- Maybe it's time for me to ease up on Jarrod Washburn. He put together another decent outing last night, throwing seven innings and striking out nine against Tampa. He's 3-0 early on, but this latest start is likely a product of the fact he's now 12-3 in his career against the Rays. Must be something about the uniform.
- Don't be deceived by Kenshin Kawakami's loss and four runs. Only two of those were earned. He's still struggling with command, and walked three more last night. The 17 strikeouts in 17 innings still is solid if you're looking to own a category.
- If you read yesterday's notes and stuck Edgar Renteria in your lineup, you got some rewards. Renteria had three hits including a home run, as Jake Peavy struggled again. After two high-strikeout early outings, Peavy hasn't fared well in his most recent two starts. He's also given up at least three runs each time out.
- You didn't get a bad outing from Anibal Sanchez, you just saw a better one from Jeff Karstens. Sanchez went seven innings, and we saw signs that his command was getting better. He struck out six, but did still walk two hitters. His velocity is there, it's just re-learning the strike zone.
- Luke Scott continues to swing a hot bat for Baltimore. Scott has multiple hits in four of his last seven games, including three last night against Chicago. He only hit .215 against lefties last season, so it's still likely he's going to be platooned as much as possible. Against righties, keep him in your lineup.
- Yesterday's Results: Wins-None; Losses-Kawakami, Parra; Push-Sanchez (Season: 36-24-2)
Notes for Wednesday
- I wouldn't be shocked to see Bobby Crosby get the start against the Yankees. He's one of only two A's that have an average over .300 against C.C. Sabathia. The other? Jack Cust. I'd start them both, but Orlando Cabrera and Mark Ellis have had a lot of problems.
- Jeremy Guthrie has decent numbers against the White Sox, and it would make sense for owners to keep Jim Thome out of the lineup. Need a couple hits? Look to A.J. Pierzynski, who is 4-for-10 against Guthrie.
- Juan Pierre really enjoys hitting 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.
- Expect some damage to be done by the Braves against John Lannan today. Lannan has been roughed up by nearly all Braves regulars. Kelly Johnson is your best play, but don't sleep on Jeff Francoeur, who is 4-for-9 with a home run against Lannan.
- As a result of Lannan's struggles, Jair Jurrjens is an even better play. Jurrjens is off to a solid start, and has pitched well against nearly all the Nationals. Add to that, he's posted a 2.77 ERA in Washington. Solid spot play against a weak-hitting Nats team.
- 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.
- Jimmy Rollins has had nothing but problems early in the season, and he doesn't exactly set the world on fire against Braden Looper. He's 8-for-30, but has no real power numbers of which to speak against the Brewers starter. I'm slightly concerned, and if you have another option you should evaluate and use them in the short-term.
- Big one to watch today, as Brandon Philips is just 1-for-19 against Ted Lilly in his career. Most of your Reds have decent numbers, but Philips just seems to struggle for the most part. Look for another option today.
- On the other side of that matchup, the Cubs hammered Johnny Cueto last season. Ryan Theriot leads the charge, as he has seven hits in 13 at-bats. All your regular Cubs, and even a reach or two, should be active based on these stats.
- Spot Starts: Jair Jurrjens, Paul Maholm, and Joe Saunders
- Keep on the Bench: Scott Baker, Justin Verlander
Notes for Thursday
- Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Garko have posted very good numbers against Gil Meche, while Grady Sizemore has struggled. Meche has no real hold ups as a start, especially given how he continues to pitch and improve from last season.
- While the Cubs have hit .292 against Aaron Harang, Alfonso Soriano is just 4-for-22 against the Reds starter. Start all other Cubs, but if you have other options for Soriano, it's worth a shot here. He's normally a starter every night, but this does have a track record to be concerned with.
- Cole Hamels still is having problems finding the plate and working his pitch count up. I'm not overall thrilled with the speed issues we're seeing at this point either. Still, the Brewers have rough numbers, especially Corey Hart (1-for-13). This matchup is a decent one to get him going. Sit him if you can, but if you need the start at this point in the week, go for it.
- While James Shields is just 1-1 in four starts against the Mariners, they haven't hit him well or scored many runs. It's been mainly rough luck as much as anything. With a WHIP just over 1.00, and a 2.12 ERA, Shields is a solid start, and all unnecessary Mariners should be held out of lineups.
- While Kyle Lohse is solid at home, the Mets have posted a .433 average against him in a total of 127 at-bats. When the only bad number you see is a .286 average from Jose Reyes, that's a good thing for an offense. Keep Lohse down.
- It's a limited slate of games, so the starts aren't plentiful. Still, the early spot starts are Edwin Jackson, Wandy Rodriguez, and Scott Richmond.
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