Fantasy Baseball Tonight, May 10: Happy Mother's Day!

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IMay 11, 2009

ST. LOUIS, MO - APRIL 23: Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits an RBI single against the New York Mets on April 23, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals beat the Mets 12-8.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Although it is my assumption that the majority of people who read this site are men, I have to start tonight by talking about the important people in our lives...the women. A Happy Mother's Day goes out to all of the moms out there.

A very special one goes out to Martha and Jennifer, who are regular readers, they are both great examples of what mothers should be.

To the rest of the women who have contacted me, sorry I don't know you well enough to know if you have children. And to all the guys, I hope you took good care of your moms and wives today because they deserve it putting up with us all the time.

But, of course, there is my mother. Sure she nags, still tells me to dress warm enough, and makes sure I'm eating right. But I could not love her anymore. My mom has been everything I could have ever asked for, and so much more.

She has always been there for me, regardless of the situation, and I could never thank her enough for all of the love and support she has given me throughout my life. Happy Mother's Day Mom, you are the best! And finally, to my wife, who is the force behind our two girls.

Sure, I'm here and I'm involved, but these kids would be a mess if I was in charge. She is the rock of the family, and carries the perfect balance of love and discipline that will one day make our girls the fantastic people that they will someday be. She always knows exactly what is needed, and exactly what to do.

Tigers' rookie Rick Porcello had his second straight solid outing, making it possible that he could make an impact at just age 20. After hurling seven shutout innings his last time out, Porcello allowed just one run over five innings, and struck out five.

You would like to see him get his strikeouts a little higher, but that's not who he is. He's not going to whiff 200 guys. But his walks are under control, and he should get his ERA down. In his first month in the majors, Porcello has been exactly what most young pitchers are, some good, some bad.

Brett Cecil had his second consecutive very impressive outing for the Blue Jays, and he has me very interested. He allowed just one earned run over six innings the first time out, and today he threw eight shutout innings. Cecil only walked two and struck out six, giving him twelve strikeouts in his first 14 professional innings.

The Jays keep hitting and keep winning, and I've picked him up in a couple leagues. Cecil did struggle at AAA in 2008 in his six starts there, but other than that his minor league career was pretty good.

Top prospect Luke Hochevar has been recalled by the Kansas City Royals to take the rotation spot of Sidney Ponson. In six starts in AAA this year, Hochevar was 5-0 with a 0.90 ERA and he had 30 strikeouts in 40 innings.

He isn't a huge strikeout pitcher but gets his share. He really struggled last season when he was with the major league team, so things aren't guaranteed to be good. In 22 starts in 2008, Hochevar was 6-12 with a 5.51 ERA. He has a ton of talent, but who knows what to expect.

Ryan Franklin finally allowed a run as the closer for the Cardinals, and it came with his first blown save. The bad part was how he blew it. First he gave up a homer to slugger Jerry Hairston Jr. whose career high in homers in a season is eight (in 2001). He then gave up the game-tying home run to Micah Owings, who is a PITCHER pinch hitting.

Granted, Owings is one of the better hitting pitchers, but he is still a pitcher. Way to go Franklin. Lucky for him, the Cards offense is hitting on all cylinders this year, and he was able to still pick up the win. Hopefully this isn't the start of a trend for Franklin, who wasn't exactly effective when given the closer's role last year.

If it is possible, Albert Pujols has taken his game to another level in 2009. Not only is he hitting .330, not only does he have 12 homers and 33 RBI, but Pujols now has five steals on the season. He is a very smart base runner.

If he sees the pitcher isn't paying attention, he will take off. He did steal 16 bases back in 2004, and if he can get back to that level again, he could be the number one player in fantasy this season.

Livan Hernandez has been a very effective fifth starter for the Mets, and is getting close to a decent option in deeper leagues. His ERA is over 5.00, but he hasn't allowed more than three runs in his last three times out.

He also struck out five over his six innings on Sunday. He's old and doesn't have dynamite stats, but this season he is at least worth a spot start against bad teams. He won't wow you, but he can help you out here and there.

Pudge Rodriguez is another member of the ranks of the geriatric who might be able to help you out. Pudge was 4-for-4 on Sunday with his fourth homer of the year. He is now batting .273 on the season, and has driven in 14 runs.

He has been inconsistent this season, and at this point would best be served to you as a injury replacement, or if you are someone who is just rotating hot catchers. I wouldn't want him to be my long term, everyday answer behind the dish.

Rickie Weeks continues to do two things he has struggled with his entire career, staying consistent and staying healthy. The healthy part is easy to see, but this is a guy whose lifetime batting average is just .247.

He has it up to .277 right now, and connected on his seventh homer of the year on Sunday. He was a very highly touted prospect, and if he can continue to stay on the field should surpass his career high of sixteen roundtrippers. I'm still not buying however, and I feel he is a perfect sell high candidate.

Eric Byrnes has been all or nothing this season, and unfortunately, most of the time it has been nothing. He is on a nice little tear this weekend though, with two hits in each game, a home run, and four RBI.

Even with this nice streak, Byrnes is still hitting just .190 and has only five steals. He seems light years away from that 50 stolen base season, but it was only in 2007. Can he come back? Not sure, but I'm not betting on it right now.

Rafael Soriano closed the game out for the Braves tonight, while Mike Gonzalez pitched the eighth inning. I have yet to find any solid information for why Manager Bobby Cox made this switch, but if you are a Gonzalez owner, I would be concerned.

He had been pitching well, so it isn't because of ineffectiveness. It isn't because of fatigue, or Gonzalez wouldn't have pitched the eighth inning. As soon as information becomes available, I will pass it along.

Cameron Maybin has been sent back to the minors, mercifully stopping this miserable season he is having. Maybin was hitting just .202 on the year, and had way more strikeouts (31) than hits (17). He should be a star someday, but it clearly isn't right now.

Injury News

Joakim Soria has been placed on the 15-day DL with lingering soreness in his shoulder. No idea was given for how long Soria would be out, but it will be at least the two weeks. Juan Cruz will be closing while Soria is out.

Joey Votto came in to pinch hit today against the Cardinals after missing three games with the flu. He was out of the starting lineup, but came in the game in the seventh inning and hit a pinch hit home run. I've read that he is due to be in the starting lineup on Monday, so get him back in there.

Dustin Pedroia left the game on Sunday with a strained right groin. It is too soon to know if he will miss any time, but the Red Sox are off on Monday, so he gets an extra day of rest. Hopefully, this was just a precaution.

Luke Scott left the game with some sort of shoulder injury. It was reported that he hurt it running the bases. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday to diagnose the extent of the injury. If he will miss any great length of time, you might as well let him go unless you are in a deeper league.


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 10pm EST on Blog Talk Radio.

The show is co-hosted by Todd Farino of, RC Rizza of and myself, Ryan Hallam at To hear the show go to

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They have a page for rumors for every major league team, constant updates on the latest rumors, interactive polls, and overall some great content.


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