May 13, 2009
So I've gone through three sets of batteries in my television remote over the last week. Why? They keep putting the Celtics, Bruins, and Red Sox on the same night. The only decent part about last night is the start times were staggered much better.
Still, the productivity in the Boston area today is going to be way down. Between the dramatic Celtics comeback (a game they had no business winning), the Bruins forcing a game seven, and the Red Sox playing out west, there is no way much gets done before 10 AM today.
Just isn't going to happen.
Plenty of news coming out of baseball yesterday, so let's get to the notes.
- Ryan Ludwick left yesterday's game with an apparent hamstring injury. The injury is likely to send him to the disabled list. Need a fill-in and want to stay in St. Louis? Chris Duncan is going to see some extended time, and it's possible that we see Skip Schumaker play some outfield with Brendan Ryan getting the time at second. Away from the great Midwest, keep your eyes on Mark Teahan, who is swinging a good bat and is OF eligible in many leagues.
- Kevin Youkilis was officially placed on the DL yesterday with his oblique injury. What's more interesting about this is that yesterday Rocco Baldelli took grounders at third base. With Mike Lowell's hip injury and David Ortiz struggling, there may be something to using Lowell as a DH to let him rest, putting Baldelli at third, and keeping Bailey at first (short-term). Keep an eye on this one. The Red Sox can't let Ortiz keep struggling like this and stay in the three-spot.
- According to John Halpin, the Angels will get both Ervin Santana and John Lackey back over the next couple days. I'm more bullish on Lackey than Santana when it comes to using them in their first start back. Santana was something special last year, but much like I viewed Joe Saunders early this season, Santana will have to prove it a bit to me again.
- Derek Jeter is listed as day-to-day with an oblique injury. The problem has been a hindrance over the last week or so and simply hasn't improved. Ramiro Pena and Angel Berroa are both likely to see time at shortstop if Jeter misses an extended period.
- Ubaldo Jimenez continues to dominate at home. As pointed out yesterday, his problems have strictly come against the Dodgers. At home specifically, he has been nearly unhittable. Jimenez gave up just one run over seven innings last night on seven hits and a walk. He's going to generate some buzz on your waivers sooner rather than later.
- Knox Bardeen pointed this out yesterday, but I'll throw it out here as well. Chris Davis continues to strike out at a record Rob Deer-like pace, yet still has raised his average nearly 30 points. He's had at least one strikeout in each of his last 10 games, and is among the league leaders in swings and misses. Still, his power numbers are coming and he's the future in Texas. They won't give up on him.
- Jayson Werth is proving to the Phillies that they made the right decision in leaving Pat Burrell to his lonesome. Werth's numbers as a full-time player are extensions of what the Phillies were getting during platoon duty last season. The speed burst last night, though, isn't something that owners should expect every night or overreact to. The three steals in one inning doubled his total for the entire season.
- Brad Hawpe is hitting in the cleanup spot in Colorado, as Garrett Atkins continues to struggle. Atkins blames faulty mechanics for his slow start. Bad mechanics seem to be a recurring theme in Colorado (Jimenez's early season excuse as well). Hawpe owners should rejoice, and Atkins owners should worry more. His value takes a bigger hit if he stays out of the cleanup spot.
- Fernando Tatis could be in line for some work if Carlos Delgado's hip injury forces him to the DL. Tatis isn't the answer for Delgado owners that may suffer. Look to Todd Helton first, as he's hitting .347 and has the same number of home runs Delgado has in four. Need power? Adam LaRoche is moderately available and has six home runs. Might kill your average early though. He's just six for his last 38, dropping his average nearly 50 points.
- Were you wondering which Luke Hochevar was going to show up? Well, we got the 2008 version last night. He was simply lit up by Oakland's offense. Hochevar struggled last season, and Oakland doesn't have a major offense. Keep this in mind if you go reach for him next time out.
- Stealing this stat from "The Hearbeat of the Bronx": As of May 11, Nick Swisher was just 3-for-20 to start the month of May. Not a good way to build on April, but Swisher is only a .246 career hitter.
- Yesterday's Results: Sonnanstine, Jimenez, Jurrjens (only two runs over nearly eight, just no win); Loss-Wellemeyer; Push-Cain (Season: 87-62-3)
- Yesterday, I looked at Tim Wakefield as a potential spot start, and he's pitching well enough to warrant that. Torii Hunter and Bobby Abreu both still need to be in your lineups. Hunter hits .368 with three home runs in 38 at-bats, while Abreu is at .367 in 30. Wakefield has had rough luck in Anaheim, as he's 0-3 in his last three with an ERA over 7.00.
- Had a question on Brian Bannister yesterday. He and Wakefield certainly are the two I would look at as the number three option in my spot start list. I went with Wake because of Bannister's track record on the road. Dating back to last season, his ERA is over eight away from home. He's had a good outing away from home against Cleveland and an average one at Minnesota (tempered by a two-out error that saved him from three additional earned runs). Deep leagues, you can do worse, but I think it really is dancing with fire based on what we saw them due to Hochevar last night.
- Michael Young has had 57 at-bats against Jarrod Washburn, and is hitting .351 over that span. The Rangers have had decent numbers against Washburn, but this seems to be a different pitcher this year. AL-only leagues should look to use him as a start. He's the hot hand, and there is no major drawback. Keep in mind that lefties are hitting just .146 against Washburn this season. I'm talking to you, Chris Davis.
- Jim Thome and Jermaine Dye are a combined 11-for-48 against Cliff Lee, with neither player producing much in the power categories, either. I like Scott Podsednik tonight, as he's 7-for-20 against Lee. No concerns on Paul Konerko either. Don't read into Lee's 0-3 home record. He's been given no run support at all.
- 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.
- I told you not to trust Adam LaRoche against Todd Wellemeyer based on history, but that didn't go according to plan. We're going to try it again tonight against Joel Pineiro. LaRoche is 2-for-11 against the Cardinals starter. Still, Pineiro has struggled on the road in his last three outings, and the Pirates are swinging pretty well. Start most as you normally would.
- Both Dan Uggla and Hanley Ramirez are sitting at just 2-for-13 against Braden Looper. It's likely you don't have better options, though, so take heart in the fact that Looper has given up nine runs in his last ten innings. Keep away from Looper as a starter in this one.
- Have to love the Minnesota pitchers at home. Glen Perkins pitches well in the Dome and he becomes a start based on the Tigers throwing Dontrelle Willis. Odds are, Willis is going to be rusty, and the Minnesota bats have the chance to take advantage.
- 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. With how hot Toronto has been at this point in the season, 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: Perkins, Wakefield, Scott Richmond
- Keep on the Bench: Andy Pettitte, Jamie Moyer
- Ervin Santana will get the ball for the Angels against Boston. As stated above, he's more of a concern to me than John Lackey. I'd keep him down for a start and make sure that health isn't going to be an issue here. Keep Bobby Abreu around against Brad Penny. Abreu is hitting .326 in 46 at-bats against the Boston starter.
- Justin Verlander has been on a solid three outing streak. He's allowed just one earned run in his last 23 innings of work. He's also struck out 31 hitters in that time. While your normal Twins should be in the lineup against him, I wouldn't reach much. Joe Crede is 8-for-24, but that's as deep as you should look with how hot Verlander is right now.
- Gil Meche hasn't had a great deal of early-season success, and most of the Baltimore lineup has some pop against him. Beware Aubrey Huff, as he's just 5-for-24 against Meche, but your other Orioles are going to serve you well.
- There's reason to be concerned over Felix Hernandez more than just the early season ERA. Hernandez is 2-4 in his last seven starts on the road against the Rangers. In those trips to Arlington, his WHIP is nearly 1.50, and he's given up 42 hits in 42 innings. There could be a David Murphy sighting in this one. He's 7-for-19 against Hernandez.
- After Cole Hamels performance during his last time out, I'd be much more confidence starting him against the Dodgers tomorrow. He looked sharp and his velocity was much better than when he opened the season. No concerns here, keep him active.
- Spot Starts: Wandy Rodriguez, Brad Penny, Mitchell Boggs. I'm also not opposed to Matt Harrison based on the numbers of Felix Hernandez, but that's more AL-only.
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