Fantasy Baseball Tonight 4/26; Bruce, Davis, Up and Down Pitchers

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IApril 27, 2009

It was the second consecutive rough start for Clayton Kershaw. After allowing six runs in under five innings last time out, Kershaw allowed nine earned runs in just 4.2 innings.

In two starts, his ERA has gone from 1.50 all the way up to 7.29. The future is still very bright for Mr. Kershaw, but I am thinking that 2009 will be an inconsistent year for him. Even if he is only able to win 10-12 games, Kershaw should at least be able to help you in the strikeout category.

Another young pitcher, Jordan Zimmerman, has been great through his first two starts at the major league level. Zimmerman was able to help the Nats avoid the sweep at the hands of the Mets, as he allowed only one run over 5.1 innings, walked just two, and struck out five.

Being on the Nationals will limit his win total, but he is 2-0 so far, and he looks like he belongs here. You have to figure that he will have some nights like Kershaw did today, but he appears to be a guy you want in keeper leagues, and could be a nice option as your fourth or fifth starter in yearly leagues.

Shane Victorino had quite a weekend. Victorino collected five hits over the three games, with a homer, a triple, and EIGHT runs batted in. He is off to a terribly slow start, but hopefully this will get him back on track.

Oliver Perez was awful again for the Mets, and I have gone from advising dropping him to URGING you to cut ties with him. He's not lasting deep into games, he is giving up ridiculous numbers of runs, and walking a ton of batters.

He is on a team that can give him some run support, but it is to the point where you can't count on Perez even against a weak opponent. It seems that Perez is only good in pressure packed situations. There has to be a better option in your league.

The unraveling of the great start by Jarrod Washburn started on Sunday. He allowed six runs over 5.1 innings, walked three, and struck out nobody. We have been telling you not to put any stock in Washburn, and this is why. Expect many more of his outings to be like this, as opposed to his first three starts of the year. If it is still possible, sell high on him right away. Perhaps there is someone in your league who still believes in him.

Pablo Sandoval finally connected on his first homer of the season, finally snapping his power outage. Sandoval was a hugely popular sleeper heading into the season, especially in those leagues where he it catcher eligible.

He has been still hitting pretty good (hitting .292 after today with four doubles), but his owners were counting on a bit more power than this. It is still far too early to lose hope on Sandoval, you have to hope that this is the start of something big.

Another popular sleeper, Ryan Spilborghs has finally started to hit. He has nine hits over his last four games, and has raised his average from .229 to .295. He had two hits on Sunday, including his first home run of the season and he drove in three runs.

He never showed any real power or speed while in the minors, but he could at least give you a solid average. A fourth outfielder or a good bench option is the best you can hope for from Spilborghs.

Jay Bruce looks like he is over his previous injury, as he has caught fire. Bruce was 3-3 on Sunday with a pair of two run homers. Bruce has ten hits over his last six games, including four home runs. There will still be some cold streaks along the way, but Bruce has a world of potential and could be a star as early as now.

Aaron Laffey had his third straight solid start, although I would not be making a move on him right now. Laffey allowed two runs over 6.1 innings, walked four, and struck out only one. Laffey has yet to prove that he can be a consistent major league pitcher, and his strikeout numbers are borderline on embarrassing. As of right now, he isn't helping you out in any pitching category, and I would need to see him put together a long string of quality starts before I would put him on my roster.

I have to say that I like Micah Owings, but so far he hasn't shown an ability to be a consistent major league pitcher. He always has the ability to throw a great game like he did today (7 IP, 1 ER, 6 Ks), but the rest of the time he is usually unable to get through five innings, and ends up walking too many hitters.

If he would ever be able to put together a string of good starts I would want to add him, but right now he is nothing more than someone to monitor.

The homers keep coming for Chris Davis. He hit his fifth of the season, including his third in four games. For those of you who remained patient, I hope you have had him in your lineup. Davis has a ton of power in his swing, but he will most likely have hot and cold streaks throughout the season. He could easily hit 30 homers, but he could also easily hit .245.

Hank Blalock continued his good power to begin the year, as he connected on his fifth home run of the season on Sunday, but I urge you not to put too much stock in him. Blalock has been unable to stay on the field due to injuries over the past few seasons, and when he has been in there, he hasn't been that impressive.

He is hitting .242 on the year, and you can expect him to hover around that average. IF he is able to stay healthy he would probably top out at around 21 homers, and his batting average shouldn't get over .253.

Jered Weaver continued his hot start to the year with seven shutout innings against the Mariners. In three of his four starts he allowed three runs or less, and his strikeouts are at a higher level than they had been in recent years.

Weaver did have that tremendous rookie year, so the talent is there. It is just a matter of him keeping focus and staying consistent. The Angels should offer him a good deal of run support, and if he continues this play he could win 15 games.

Armando Galarraga ran his record to 3-0 with another six solid innings. He allowed only one run and struck out seven. Galarraga did walk five guys, which is a bit of a concern, but he is off to an incredible start. I still think that you should be trying to trade Galarraga for a more talented pitcher, but he is looking pretty good right now.

Kosuke Fukudome can't stop hitting the ball. He had another three hits today, including his fourth home run of the season. Fukudome is still hitting .375 on the year and has driven in 15 runs.

Considering last year he only hit ten homers and drove in 58 runs, I would say that this is the time to sell on him. Fukudome doesn't have the power to support the numbers he is putting up right now. Offer him all over your league until you find someone who will give you an established player for him.

Justin Upton homered for the second consecutive day, and this one was a game tying two run homer off of Giants' closer Brian Wilson. We've talked a lot about Upton on this site and what to expect. I will stick by what I have been saying.

I still expect this year to be a disappointment for Upton, but if he was to break out this year, I don't think anyone would be shocked. He can be no more than a fourth or fifth outfielder for you, but I would be more comfortable with him being on your bench at this point.

Injury News

Derrek Lee left the game after an RBI double with neck spasms. I have to admit that I think this is a new injury for Lee, and he has had most of them. Initial reports are that Lee will most likely not have to go on the DL, but given his history I would not be shocked if he did.

The good news out of this is that rookie Micah Hoffpauir should be getting playing time in his absence. He has been effective when he has gotten in the game, including Sunday when he connected on his second homer of the year. If you are able to play him while Lee is out, you can do worse than Hoffpauir.

Nate McLouth will miss a few games as he continues to suffer from an oblique injury. He likely won't play at all in the upcoming Brewers series, but he has just been deemed "day-to-day." These kinds of injuries are very tough to gauge on how long they will linger, but it seems that the Pirates are not concerned at all about their star outfielder.

Joe Mauer experienced some soreness after catching back to back games, and now it appears his return to the Twins might be pushed back a few days. It is now looking like he will return on Friday, but keep a watch here and I will report on any update that I find. But it looks like you will have your catcher back sometime next week.

Stephen Drew was placed on the DL with his hamstring strain, and the D'Backs are hoping that this two week rest will have him ready to come back 100 percent when it is over. They are hoping that he will be able to swing and stay in baseball shape while he is out, and that he will be able to come back better than ever when this DL stint is over.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome at I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Also, don’t miss “The Fantasy Baseball Gurus Show” every Wednesday night at 10 p.m. EST on Blog Talk Radio. The show is co-hosted by Todd Farino of, RC Rizza of and myself, Ryan Hallam at

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