Fantasy Baseball: Monday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IMay 11, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 04:  Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox deals a pitch against the New York Yankees on May 4, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 6-4.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
So, don't look at me for DL advice, or who to pick up. Why? I'm slowly killing my fantasy teams. 
It happens to everyone, but I'm taking it to another level in two different leagues. Right now, one one team, I've lost Rick Ankiel, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Doumit, Chris Carpenter, and Daisuke Matsuzaka. It's never a fun feeling.
It's honestly to the point that if I hear about an injury, I just assume I own the guy. 
In any case, good day here in Boston yesterday. The last-second win put together by the Celtics, the shutout by the Bruins, and the Sox beating the Rays made the moms in this area all happy.
Good times. Even if two out of three were classic heart attack fashion. 
Let's get to the notes. 

Weekend Rewind
  • While Jonathan Papelbon was able to nail down his eighth save of the season last night, it wasn't exactly done easily. In fact, most of the saves he's had haven't come in any sort of simple fashion. Papelbon seems to be exerting more effort each time out. He rarely works more than an inning, yet has been repeatedly close to 20 pitches to get the job done. In his last seven outings, he's walked six and given up eight hits.
  • Dustin Pedroia left the game last night after straining a groin during a swing. The injury put Julio Lugo into the game at short and moved Nick Green to second. Should be short-lived, as the Red Sox expect Pedroia back for Wednesday.
  • Koji Uehara and Nick Blackburn were both done in by poor bullpen performances. Blackburn gave up just five hits and a walk while striking out six over seven innings. Uehara gave up just one run over six innings, and has now pitched well against the Yankees in both starts this season. Neither are every-start pitchers, but matchup plays work in this one.
  • More than happy to admit I was wrong on Cole Hamels this weekend. Still, let's not get over-the-top excited. He's been filthy against the Braves for the last several years, and Atlanta's bats continued that struggle against him. I liked what I saw, but the velocity still makes me nervous.
  • I don't get James Shields. As Jason Collette put it to me, he folds like a cheap tent at Fenway. Still, the stats are odd. His BABIP is over .400 at the park, and that just doesn't happen most anywhere. The numbers simply HAVE to normalize. Do I know when? Nope. Will I be starting him at Fenway when they do? Likely not. Keep him down at that park.
  • Rough weekend for Aramis Ramirez with the shoulder separation. The injury is likely going to keep him out somewhere around six weeks. Who do you look to for fill in options? You can still find Mike Lowell in a few leagues, and Scott Rolen is swinging a hot bat in Toronto. Rolen isn't a long-term answer, but won't kill you in the short run. Mark Reynolds is around for some as well.
  • Tremendous pitching duel on Saturday night between Zack Greinke and Joe Saunders. Greinke gives up just one run but comes out on the short end of the stick. Saunders was just slightly better. I keep harping on it, and will do so until his ownership reaches a satisfactory level. I don't care if it's smoke and mirrors, the guy is winning games.
  • Who is this guy and what has he done with Doug Davis? Davis is pitching respectably well, and needs to be owned in deeper leagues or NL-only formats. He gave up just one run over six innings against the Nationals. Say what you will about it being Washington, but he's had success against the Cubs, Giants, and Cardinals as well.
  • With talk about Saunders and Davis, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Edwin Jackson. The three combined to give up just one run on Saturday between them. Not one is owned in more than 47 percent of leagues. Check out Jackson's stats as well. He uses a lot of pitches to get the job done, but he's been very effective.
  • Joey Votto returned to the lineup this weekend after a rough bout with the flu. Votto came through big time for the Reds, and needs to immediately be returned to your lineups for this week. Derrek Lee, on the other hand, should be declared legally dead at this point. Micah Hoffpauir is looking better by the day.
  • Jose Contreras has accepted an assignment to the minors. Clayton Richard will take his place in the rotation. Deep league owners and AL-only teams should take note. Richard has the stuff, just needs to put it together.
  • Weekend Results: Wins-Saunders, Davis, Millwood, Marshall, Blackburn, Myers, Rodriguez; Losses-Snell, Maholm, Richmond, Pineiro (Total: 82-60-2).


Notes for Monday

  • As busy as last week was, Monday is just as light in terms of games being played. With just four games on the docket we could run through nearly every conceivable matchup here and still have space for more information. How does this schedule work out again?
  • With the Indians expecting Travis Hafner to be back at the end of his DL stint, the time could be running short on Matt LaPorta to make an impression. LaPorta is simply the easiest option to send back down. More just sayin'.
  • Gavin Floyd may be 2-1 in his last three starts against the Indians, but the ERA is 4.42 in that time. Given that he's allowed 42 hits and 18 walks in 34 innings, I'd want to hold back a little more on the Chicago starter. Batters are hitting close to .300 against him on the season, and his K/BB rate has dropped by 0.50 since last season.
  • I'd expect to see Gary Sheffield tonight for the Mets against Derek Lowe. Sheffield has eight hits in 17 at-bats against the Braves starter. While Carlos Beltran's stats are bad against Lowe, there shouldn't be something to keep him out right now. Yes, 3-for-23 is bad, but he's too hot to sit.
  • Lowe has been on a mini-tear, and is pitching well despite the last outing. He has three quality starts in his last four, and hasn't pitched poorly against the Mets as individuals. No concern in this one.
  • It's rare to recommend anyone against Johan Santana, but Kelly Johnson (6-for-14) and Matt Diaz (8-for-15) aren't going to be bad plays tonight. I'd look away from Jeff Francoeur, who checks in with one hit in 13 at-bats. Santana has obviously been lights out, but that doesn't mean he won't have trouble with two hitters like this.
  • So, I recommended Bronson Arroyo last time, and I'm still getting some hate mail about it. He laid an egg like this last season in Toronto, and now he did it against the Brewers this season. What if I told you that Arroyo has a 1.69 ERA on the road this season, and has pitched well in his 21 road innings? Or the fact he's 3-0 away from home? It's a risk, but there aren't many better options today.
  • Don't know what to make of Jon Garland. He's not exactly pitching well at home, even when you back out the beating the Cardinals gave him earlier this season. The Reds aren't exactly swinging great bats, but Garland is feast or famine. At home, he's given up 28 hits and 12 walks in just 24 innings.
  • Spot Starts: Arroyo
  • Leave on the Bench: Floyd


Notes for Tuesday

  • When you figure that Dustin Pedroia is likely out on Tuesday, the numbers Boston has put up against Jered Weaver get better. The team has hit .317 against them, and that number is pulled down by Pedroia's .231 mark. Julio Lugo, who likely starts, is 6-for-10.
  • Johnny Damon has been red-hot, and his .338 average against Roy Halladay mean he should have some more in him. Most of the Yankees have struggled, and I wouldn't reach for anyone beyond your regulars here. Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano, and potentially even Derek Jeter could be benched for better options.
  • Jack Wilson has had good success against Todd Wellemeyer, but he's about it as far as your Pirates. Adam LaRoche is 4-for-23, and you likely have better options for him in this one. Nate McLouth hasn't been better, as he's 3-for-17. Wellemeyer is 3-1 against the Pirates in his last six starts.
  • The Twins are starting to see enough of Armando Galarraga to develop a history. You'll only want to stick with your regulars against him at this point. He's pitching well, and has held the peripheral Twins down well enough to warrant benching them. Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau are fine plays as per usual.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez at home is a much better play than on the road. With Houston's offense struggling, and Lance Berkman hurting, the matchup turns even better. Jimenez's worst two outings have come against the Dodgers. He's given up 13 runs on 15 hits in just eight innings. In his other 24.2 innings, he's given up just 7 runs, good for an ERA of 2.55. His WHIP sits at just 1.21 in those other starts.
  • Spot Starts: Ubaldo Jimenez, Jordan Zimmerman, Todd Wellemeyer


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