Friday News and Notes For Fantasy Baseball

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Friday News and Notes For Fantasy Baseball
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Even when you think you understand baseball, something happens that makes you question if you have any idea what you're talking about. Watching Dave Bush take a no-hitter into the seventh inning yesterday was one of those times. 
Last season, Bush couldn't get anyone out on the road. This season, he ices the defending World Series champs. Weird things can happen in this game.  
Beyond the play of Bush, there were some decent games, as well as some that just blew up. Let's get to the notes. 

Thursday Rewind
  • Rough day for Blue Jays pitchers. Ricky Romero was placed on the DL with a strained right side while B.J. Ryan will sit with a shoulder injury. The Ryan issue shouldn't come as a surprise to many. His velocity has been down all of April, and this hopefully yields some additional recovery time. Scott Downs could get the saves in the short-term.
  • Cole Hamels left yesterday's game after being hit by a line drive. No immediate word on his condition, but it was to the throwing shoulder. Given his struggles this season, you can assume that it's not going to help the situation for certain. He was getting hit decently yesterday even prior to that, holding him back one more time wouldn't be a bad idea.
  • The Mariners are attempting to patch up a series of holes in the infield. Ronny Cedeno was scratched from last night's game with a hamstring injury. With Russell Branyan injured, Cedeno now hurt, and Mike Sweeney having back issues, the Mariners turned to their backup catcher to play first. The same catcher who was just called up to replace an injured Kenji Johjima.
  • Time to put Jimmy Rollins on a milk carton. Look, I'm not one to abandon players I draft early. At some point, he's going to come around. I still feel it's a matter of time. That said, there are plenty of hot bats on waivers that you should look at to fill in. Even Jason Bartlett is still around in a few leagues. Grab a fill-in, bench Rollins, and wait for him to come around.
  • I'm still amazed at how Mike Jacobs is being overlooked in nearly every format. Yes, first base is a deep position, but wouldn't you want a guy on your bench, at the corner spot, or at a utility position that can hit 25-30 home runs? Right now he's even hitting for average. Jacobs is available in about 70 percent of all leagues. Grab him.
  • My brother asked me about Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop, and I'll admit I hadn't paid much attention to him. Yes, his recent 0-for-5 in two games against Kansas City brought him below .300, but he had hits in his seven of eight games prior to that. The Indians, without Travis Hafner and Victor Martinez, were one of the best offenses in the second half last season. Cabrera is going to score runs, and he's hitting right now. You know those guys I talked about filling in for Rollins? Here you go.
  • Ryan Doumit's injury is likely going to cost him three months, and that brings you at or near August. Even then, is there any indication the wrist will be healthy? Not really. We've seen players suffer through this before. If you have better options, I'm not opposed to dropping the guy.
  • Looks like Chien-Ming Wang won't only be skipped, but he could be put on the DL. Phil Hughes is likely to get the call to replace him. Hughes has been pitching well in the minors, and warrants a look in deeper leagues. This time around should certainly be better for the young pitcher.
  • Nothing major has been found wrong in Jorge Cantu's wrist. This is something that could simply linger. For the Marlins, there are options. They have Dallas McPherson in AAA who roped the ball last season. For fantasy owners, look at Mike Lowell.
  • Rick Ankiel has had two solid games in a row hitting around Albert Pujols. He's a guy you just need to be patient with. Remember that last season he struggled for a month in the middle of the season and still ended up with nearly 30 home runs. He has that kind of pop. Stick with him.
  • Yesterday's Results: Wins-Richmond, Rodriguez; Losses-Lohse (borderline, but I'll take it), Edwin Jackson (Season: 42-27-2)

Notes for Friday

  • With Russell Martin's recent struggles, it might be best to keep him out of the lineup tonight against Aaron Cook. Martin is just 1-for-18 against the Rockies starter. Rafael Furcal hasn't had much better luck, at just 5-for-27. The rest of your Dodgers should all be in the lineup, led by Orlando Hudson and his .400 mark.
  • The way Jeremy Hermida has been hitting makes it hard to bench him, but he's had just one hit in 13 at-bats against Brett Myers. His hitting streak has been impressive, but I wouldn't reach for him tonight. There are better options available.
  • Derrek Lee is only 3-for-16 against Adam Wainwright, but I would start all your other Cubs. Ryan Theriot and Aramis Ramirez just rake against the Cardinals pitcher. Wainwright is 2-3 against the Cubs since 2006, with an ERA north of 6.00. Earlier this season he gave up four earned in six innings against them. No concerns on your Cardinals against Ryan Dempster.
  • You likely are starting them anyway, but it's still good to know that Ryan Howard and Chase Utley have raked against Josh Johnson. Johnson has been solid this season, and has been forcing more groundballs than in earlier seasons. His ratio is nearly 2:1 in April. Keep him active even with the struggles against the stars.
  • I'm not a big fan of Nick Blackburn on the road. He was just 3-8 last season away from home, but one of those wins was in a solid outing in Cleveland. The Indians haven't seen much of him, and this could be one to sneak him into. AL-only owners should use the matchup, while mixed leagues can do better.
  • I wouldn't be afraid of Brandon Inge or Placido Polanco against Zack Greinke. While the Royals ace has been beyond tough to start the season, but of these Tigers hitters have had decent success against him. Curtis Granderson and Magglio Ordonez are bordering on worthless. If you have better options for these two, I'd use them.
  • Jon Lester looked much better in his last outing, and pitched well against the Yankees last season. Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter have hit Lester hard, but that's about it. Jeter is swinging the bat well early on, so keep him around your lineup for the time being.
  • Not all your Nationals need to be kept on the bench for this one. Ryan Zimmerman is usually a good play, and he's 4-for-13 against Johan Santana. With Christian Guzman on the DL, Zimmerman is the only player with a decent track record and enough at-bats to recommend in this one based on stats. Keep Nick Johnson and Adam Dunn around as normal.
  • Keep Conor Jackson in your lineup even against Tim Lincecum, as he's 7-for-21. He's about the only Arizona starter you'll want to look at though. The team, even with Jackson's numbers, is hitting only .203 against him.
  • Rick Ankiel could be the odd-man out tonight against Ryan Dempster. Ryan Ludwick and Chris Duncan have better numbers, with Ludwick just mashing Dempster to the tune of .538. Skip Schumaker remains a decent play here as well. Still, Dempster was 2-0 in three starts against the Cardinals last season and recorded a no-decision earlier this season at home.
  • Spot Starts: Shane Loux, Rick Porcello, and Koji Uehara
  • Keep on the Bench: Adam Wainwright, Brett Myers

Weekend Notes

  • Because of the Red Sox being able to get in both games against the Twins, Josh Beckett will be able to start for Boston against A.J. Burnett. I'd keep most Yankees in the lineup, though. Beckett has been strong, but Jeter, Cano, Cabrera, and Posada are all above .300 and all have more than 23 at-bats against him.
  • As far as your Red Sox are concerned, only Jason Bay and J.D. Drew have decent numbers against Burnett. David Ortiz has struck out ten times in 22 at-bats, while Kevin Youkilis and Dustin Pedroia are a combined 4-for-38.
  • The Braves have simply beaten Bronson Arroyo around over the last three seasons. Arroyo has an ERA over 7.50 in five starts. The Braves have hit .335 against him in that time. Get all of them active and keep Arroyo reserved for this one.
  • Seems I'm getting to say this about Jeff Suppan a fair amount recently. He's on the road against the Astros. While Carlos Lee is just a .234 hitter in over 60 at-bats, the Astros as a team hit .305 against him. Want a surprise play? Geoff Blum has hit .542 in 24 at-bats with two home runs and nine RBI.
  • Kyle Davies has been pitching well dating back to last season, but the Tigers have hit him well up and down the lineup. Only Brandon Inge (1-for-7) has any red flags associated with getting a start in your lineup. Keep all others in play.
  • I know that Ubaldo Jimenez has burned a few of us, but his numbers against the Dodgers warrant consideration. While Matt Kemp and Martin haves performed well, most other Dodgers haven't had much success. He's 4-0 against the Dodgers dating back to 2006. Just sayin'.
  • When Dustin Pedroia is the only Red Sox hitter that struggles against Andy Pettitte, that's not a good sign. Especially when struggling is still hitting .260. Pettitte has been roughed up by the Boston lineup, especially at Fenway. The team hits .341 against him in 261 at-bats. Start them all, including Jason Varitek (a .340 hitter).
  • I'd keep most Marlins not named Hanley Ramirez down against Jamie Moyer. Moyer has owned the Florida lineup, and he's 11-1 against them since 2006. I like those numbers, especially when they go with an ERA under 3.00 in 11 starts. It gets better, as he hasn't lost in Florida in that time.
  • With the way Russ Ohlendorf has pitched, going to Petco should give him even more of a boost. I'm not one to think that he's going to keep this up all season long, but this is a nice matchup for him, especially where we continue to see Jake Peavy struggle on the hill.
  • Felipe Lopez and Conor Jackson are both solid hitters against Matt Cain, but the Diamondbacks lineup stops there in terms of production. When we back out these two hitters, Arizona checks in just above the Mendoza line. Don't reach for anyone here.
  • With the struggles of Adrian Beltre, seeing Jered Weaver isn't going to make him better. Beltre is just 6-for-30 against Weaver for his career. The only Angels player you'll likely want in your lineup is Robb Quinlan. Quinlan is a .375 hitter against Jarrod Washburn. The rest of the team is bad against the pitcher. Bobby Abreu, Howie Kendrick, and Chone Figgins are a combined 7-for-69 against Washburn.
  • Just because the White Sox are giving Jose Contreras another chance doesn't mean that you should.
  • Spot Starts: Mike Hampton, Jimenez, Zach Miner, Jarrod Washburn, Ohlendorf, Jamie Moyer.
  • Keep on the Bench: Arroyo, Carlos Silva, Andy Pettitte, Clayton Kershaw

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

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