Fantasy Baseball: Tuesday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IMay 12, 2009
I started writing these posts exactly a year ago. The whole endeavor started simply because I wanted a place to put my thoughts down. I never thought people would want to read them. 
You see, there are millions of blogs in the world, and mine is barely a dot in the grand spectrum.
Still, each day I get up and put down 10 things that happened the night before, 10 things that you should expect in the day ahead, and, for those of you that get screwed by Yahoo!'s desire to pick players up a day in advance, a quick look at the following day. 
I look forward to it simply because it delays the reality that is my day job just a little bit longer. It lets me stay closer to a game that I've grown up loving and playing (and still play). 
This whole thing wouldn't be worth it if it weren't for the comments and questions I receive from readers. Please keep them coming, as I look forward to it.
I make sure to respond to every email I receive within 24 hours, and it's usually about a quarter of that thanks to my iPhone. 
The last 12 months have been fun, and in the coming days I'll have an announcement that you will see posted here. Stay tuned. 
Let's get to the notes...

Monday Rewind

It's amazing to me how little support Johan Santana is getting from his offense. He worked into the seventh inning last night, giving up only two unearned runs in the process.

The Mets' middle relief continues to be a problem.  While K-Rod and J.J. Putz are a solid two-inning combo, those that pitch the sixth and seventh are losing games for the team.

In not one of Santana's outings have the Mets scored more than four runs, and three times they've scored only one.

Matt Diaz continues to rake against Santana. He entered the game hitting over .500 in 15 at-bats, and added two more hits in three plate appearances yesterday.

Diaz is nothing more than an NL-only player, but it is the ability of fantasy owners to exploit these matchups that can make a difference. Now, if you can explain why we didn't see Gary Sheffield against Derek Lowe, I have a cookie for you.

The comeback from injury of Ryan Zimmerman has been impressive. We know the kind of tear he is on, but it simply continues to get better. The Nationals' third basemen had four more hits last night, including two home runs, against San Francisco.

Zimmerman is not going to do this all year. Just won't happen. But enjoy it now.

Jon Garland's performance last night is specifically why you can't own him in standard mixed leagues. Garland couldn't get through the fourth inning last night, and made sure to give up seven runs in the process. He's going to be hit or miss. Let someone else take his 14 wins and deal with the ERA and WHIP that result from it.

Now, I'm not saying Bronson Arroyo was much better. He gave up five over seven innings, but did manage a win in the process. Arroyo, oddly enough, has usually had success at home but is finding it on the road this year. Keep him as a matchup play. The WHIP is a disaster, but the strikeouts can be nice when you need one-category help.

Congratulations to Carl Pavano. He now has as many wins this year as he did for his entire contract with the Yankees (it's certainly close!).

Look, this win was as much a result of poor pitching from Gavin Floyd as good pitching from Pavano. He was working with runners on base all night long. There was a decent amount of luck involved here. His control was good, as he didn't walk a batter, but it was too good, since he gave up 10 hits.

On May 4, Jhonny Peralta was hitting .198. Since then, he's 10 for his last 23 and has raised his average to .246. Early in the season, runs like this can do wonders for a player.

Ride the hot streak here. Those that stuck it out should reap the rewards.

Lastings Milledge broke a finger while in the minors, suffering another setback. Milledge was a hot commodity heading in to drafts, but has fallen back. To me, he's still an option as we move into the second half of the year, so don't completely take him off your radar just yet.

Josh Hamilton reported no problems with his rib cage muscle following his rehab stint. He will be returning to Arlington today for an evaluation, and is eligible to come off the disabled list. Get ready to activate him this week. (News via ESPN)

Yesterday's Results: Wins-Arroyo, Floyd (Season: 84-60-2)

Notes for Tuesday

Andy Sonnanstine is coming off a solid performance against the Yankees, but has struggled with the better bats in the Baltimore lineup (I love alliteration).

Greg Zaun, Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff, and Brian Roberts are all good options here. I tend to avoid Sonnanstine on the road, and that would be my recommendation.

Luke Hochevar will get the start for Kansas City as opposed to Sidney Ponson. Hochevar had a lot of command issues last season, but has performed well in the minors so far this season. In a deep league, I'm grabbing him.

In 14-team leagues, specifically, where pitching is a problem, he can help short-term. A pitcher's park like Oakland is a good spot for him.

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 seven runs, good for an ERA of 2.55. His WHIP sits at just 1.21 in those other starts.

Zach Duke is just 3-5 in his last 10 starts against the Cardinals, and the Cardinals big bats have hit him well. With an ERA of over 4.50 in those starts against St. Louis, even with Duke pitching well you have some better options. Using Todd Wellemeyer, his opponent, is one of them.

So why Wellemeyer? While Jack Wilson has had good success against him, 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.

Clayton Richard is taking the spot in the rotation vacated by Jose Contreras. Richard has been pitching out of the bullpen, and likely is in for a short outing in this one regardless. Jimmy Gobble was called up from AAA as well, and would be second in line. I'm not sold on using Richard here at all.

While still early, lefties are hitting just .211 against Matt Cain. Cain has had one rough outing, at home against Colorado. For the most part, his record has been a product of his pitching, not his run support. Still, he's working a lot with runners on base, giving up at least four walks in four of his six outings. He throws a lot of pitches, and the Nats are swinging good bats. Hold off here.

Johnny Damon has been red-hot, and his .338 average against Roy Halladay means 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.

Spot Starts: Wellemeyer, Jimenez, Jurrjens

Leave on the Bench: Matt Cain, Sonnanstine

Notes for Wednesday

Moving Buehrle's start back a day allows him to pitch on full rest, and should give him some momentum heading into Cleveland.

There aren't many red flags for the Indians, but Grady Sizemore has really struggled against him, to the tune of .213. Ryan Garko, Jhonny Peralta, and Victor Martinez all make good starts.

Dontrelle Willis is slated to get the start for Detroit tomorrow night. The fact is, if you're reaching for Willis now, you have bigger problems. Let him prove that he's back and ready to go before even AL-only leagues jump on the bandwagon.

Ricky Nolasco recorded a win against Colorado in a tough environment on Friday. I feel encouraged by the performance to the point I won't out and out say to bench him here. Milwaukee has been swinging their bats well, but Nolasco could be ready to turn a corner in this one.

When you take Manny Ramirez out of the equation, you see that the Dodgers haven't had much success against Jamie Moyer. Orlando Hudson is just 3-for-19 and Casey Blake only 2-for-17. Moyer, though, continues to struggle at home, giving up 13 runs in his last 16.2 innings. I'll trust the Dodgers to swing more than Moyer at home.

While Lyle Overbay is just 2-for-24 against Andy Pettitte, Scott Rolen, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, and Jose Bautista are all well over .300 against the Yankees starter. Given how hot Toronto has been, I'm going to keep riding them here. Wells is your best bet, at .429 in 35 at-bats. For his part, Pettitte is 2-4 in his last eight against the Jays.

Spot Starts: Glen Perkins, Tim Wakefield, Scott Richmond

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.


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