Fantasy Baseball Tonight, May 15: B.J. Upton, Closers, Starters, Prospect News

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IMay 16, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 26:  B.J. Upton #2 of the Tampa Bay Rays walks back to the dugout after striking out against the Philadelphia Phillies during game four of the 2008 MLB World Series on October 26, 2008 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

B.J. Upton is starting to look like he is turning it around. Tonight was his second multi-hit game in his last three contests. He has also stolen four bases in the last two games.

He also hit his first home run of the season, and it just so happens to have won the game. Upton is an elite talent, and although he got off to a really slow start, remain patient with him, there's no reason that he should be hitting under .200. Look for a prolonged hot streak in his near future.

Brad Hawpe is on freakin' fire! With two more hits he has 17 hits in his last ten games, with three homers and 13 RBI. There's no way this can last. He's hitting nearly 100 points over his career average, and is about a third of the way to his RBI total from ALL of last season. Sell high, or don't be surprised when this hot streak comes to a halt.

Jorge De La Rosa is quietly having a great year for the Rockies. He didn't get the win on Friday, but he allowed only one run over seven innings, didn't walk anyone, and struck out 10.

It was his second straight outing in which he struck out at least ten, and he has only allowed more than three runs once all season and that was his first outing. He has had similar strikeout numbers in the past, but his ERA has always been hovering around five, so I don't know how long we can expect it to stay at the 3.16 level that it currently is at.

Brett Anderson has really struggled in his rookie year, and Friday was no different. He is now 0-4 as he allowed nine runs (only three earned), over 3.1 innings, walked two, and struck out just one. His ERA is now at 6.03 for the season, and he has to start pitching better if he wants to remain in the majors. I would still give him another start or two before I would think about cutting him loose.

Francisco Liriano had a win blown for him by the bullpen, but it is encouraging that he was pretty good again. He had some trouble with control (six walks), but he still only allowed one earned run over six innings, with six strikeouts. It was a nice bounce back after allowing five earned runs his last time out.

Phil Hughes was better, but still not good. Hughes lasted just five innings, allowed three runs, walked four, and struck out two. The way he has pitched I would bet that the minute that Chien-Ming Wang is able to get back on the mound for the Yankees, Hughes will be back in the minors.

Brett Cecil was pretty good again for the Blue Jays, and he is now 2-0. Cecil allowed three runs over six innings, walked two, and struck out three. This is a guy that I like to keep this up for the season. Not quite at the level that he is out right now, but he should be a quality pitcher. Cecil has allowed just four runs in his first three starts.

Gerardo Parra followed up his MLB debut in which he homered, with an RBI triple in his second game. Parra was batting second again, and hasn't struck out in his two games. He is also being aggressive on the base paths, although he was caught stealing tonight. There have been some questions whether he was ready to be brought up to the majors, but so far he looks pretty good.

Scott Kazmir just hasn't been the same this year. Tonight was the fourth time this year he allowed six runs or more, and his ERA is now just under 7.00. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and his WHIP is 1.66. I think he will still be OK, and there should be a rebound coming in his near future. He has his issues (walks, inability to go deep into games), but Kazmir is a quality pitcher and should be just fine in the long run.

It won't count because the game was postponed, but Cards' rookie Colby Rasmus would have homered for the second straight game. With the injuries the Cardinals are dealing with, Rasmus is now getting much more playing time. The kid has a ton of talent in both the speed and power categories. Perhaps this is the start of Rasmus displaying that potential.

For those of you who get a chance to listen to the Tuesday edition of the Fantasy Baseball Tonight podcast, you know that my cohost Jeff Mans has been touting Atlanta's other hot pitching prospect, Kris Medlen, saying that he thought he had a chance to get the call before Tommy Hanson.

Well, today Jeff proved to be correct, as Medlen was called up to take the roster spot of Jo-Jo Reyes. Medlen is having a tremendous season at Triple-A, as he is 5-0 with a sparkling 0.96 ERA. He has allowed just 19 hits and struck out 44 batters in 37 innings.

This is a pretty big callup for the Braves, and you might want to think about adding him to your roster. I don't think that this is short term (unless he really struggles, of course). Remember, with all young pitchers there are usually bumps in the road, but Medlen is a good one and probably worth a risk. On a scouting report with categories ranked from 1-100, Medlen ranked: Control: 98; K-Rating: 99; Efficiency: 99. He will start Tuesday against Colorado.

I just noticed today for any of you who are in keeper leagues on CBS Sports that Stephen Strasburg has been added to your free agent pool. I don't even know if he's going to come up this year, but my guess he will at least get a short look.

Unless the Nationals are unable to sign him in time, which they should be able to. You have to know what his demands are going to be before they draft him. But I am assuming he will have some sort of clause in his contract that he has to be brought up to the majors in 2009. For those of you with large benches or just want to have the next big thing, Strasburg is now available.

Brad Lidge gave up two more runs and blew another save. I still think that the Phillies will give him a bit of a longer leash, but they can't just keep letting him go out there giving up runs. It was his second blown save of the season, but his ERA now sits at 9.19.

David Ortiz has been benched for the Red Sox. Terry Francona has said that Big Papi could be out a few days. Rocco Baldelli took over at DH. He is batting .208 and hasn't hit a home run since last September. I would say get him out of your lineup at least for tomorrow. After that, who knows when he will be back.

Brandon Morrow has been removed as Mariners closer. He blew two straight saves. The mariners will now go by a committee approach led by David Aardsma. I'm not sure how long this will last because I think Morrow has the most talent, but he has struggled badly. Tough situation to predict the future for, but for right now, Morrow won't be closing games.

New Feature

For those of you who are regular readers, I would like to offer a new service. I am starting a mailing list. Sometimes I see news during the day, but I wait until this nightly article to pass it along to you guys.

Prospects coming up, injury news, closer movement, etc. Just send me an email to with “Mailing List” in the subject line, and I will add you to the list. Then, whenever I find news that I feel is breaking and important, I will send it to you as soon as I find out about it. Hopefully this is something that you all will find valuable to make a possible move before your competition.

Also, you can now follow me on Twitter for more updates. Go to

Attention league commissioners! If you are looking to spice up your league some, go and visit Fantasy Sports Trophies. Tom Harkins has put together a great site with all kinds of different trophies to give the winner of your league something besides just bragging rights. There are trophies for fantasy baseball, football (check out the Beer League Fantasy Football Trophy), basketball, hockey, and auto racing. I invite you to take a look at the site and try them out.

I’m also going to start mentioning the Fantasy Windup with Steve Gardner over at USA Today again. His blog is updated many times each day, and is always covering the stories you are talking about when it comes to fantasy baseball. Go check out the blog and be sure to leave him some feedback.

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 The Fantasy Baseball Scouting Report is also back! Join me with Jeff Mans every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST for all the news, free agent pickups, minor leaguers, and injuries. A can’t miss if you plan on winning your league.