Chris Carpenter returned to the Cardinals rotation tonight, and it looked like he never left. Carpenter was very sharp over five innings. He allowed just three hits, walked two, and struck out four.
He only threw 68 pitches, but I think that can be attributed to the Cardinals not wanting him to overdo himself his first time out. They are still well in the race for the playoffs, and need Carpenter to stay healthy.
If he was dropped during his injury, grab him up right away. He could always get hurt again, but he should be able to give you great stats while he is in there.
David Ortiz finally hit his first home run of the year. After 149 at-bats dating back to last September, Ortiz finally handed out a souvenir. It is an interesting question what to expect from him going forward, but I think the next week or so will tell the tale.
If he continues to hit with some power, I think he could get into the high 20s for home runs. If he goes into another little funk, you might be looking at 18-21 homers for Big Papi.
Ervin Santana returned to the Angels' rotation tonight, and got pretty good results. Santana allowed just one run over 6.2 innings, walked two, and struck out three. He was a hot commodity going into drafts this season, and his owners' patience have finally been rewarded.
I'm not sure if you should expect similar numbers to last year, but he still should be an effective pitcher.
Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup for the Red Sox tonight, and he looked like he never left. He had three hits, all singles, and his average is .404. Get Youk back into your lineup ASAP and reap the rewards.
Brad Ziegler saved the game tonight for the Oakland Athletics after weeks of battling the flu and being used in a setup role. In three of his four appearances as a middle reliever Ziegler allowed runs (five total), and his ERA was near 4.00.
You can either put him back into your lineup, or he also could be available in your league. Pick him back up as he appears to be back as the A's closer at least for the short-term. I still like Andrew Bailey to be the closer before too long.
Rick Ankiel was not activated from the Disabled List today, but he should be brought back sometime over the next couple of days. He definitely won't be back on Thursday either, and Tony LaRussa said that when he comes back he will be in right field instead of center.
But it looks like it is just a couple of days from him returning after that horrible collision with the wall.
Adam Jones hit his first homer since returning from injury, but this should come as no surprise. Jones is one of my favorite players coming into the season, and has produced like a guy you drafted in the first five rounds.
Do yourself a favor and get him back into your lineups tomorrow if you haven't already.
Phil Hughes might have kept himself in the majors for a little while longer. With Chien-Ming Wang still unsure of his return, if Hughes can do what he did tonight, he might stay with the Yankees. Hughes allowed three runs over five innings, walked just one, and struck out nine.
Of course, he was horrendous the last two times out, so I wouldn't go celebrating a win over the Orioles, but at least he didn't get rocked again. At worst, perhaps New York will be a little more patient with bringing back Wang.
Aaron Harang continues his resurgence, as he allowed only one run over seven innings and whiffed nine. In nine starts he has given up five runs in three of them, but the other six he has allowed two runs or less.
Most of the time when he pitches well, his strikeout numbers are good too. But when he isn't, the Ks suffer as well. Continue to start Harang with confidence going forward.
Scott Kazmir was incredibly bad again, and it is time to start to worry about him. Kazmir lasted only 4.1 innings, allowed seven runs, walked four, and struck out three. His ERA now sits at 7.69 and he is 4-4 on the year.
This is not what his owners were expecting when they drafted him. I am worried, but it isn't time to go selling him off for pennies on the dollar just yet.
Stay patient with Kazmir until about June 10th. If he is still pitching poorly, it is time to see what you can get for him.
Mark Reynolds had himself quite the doubleheader on Wednesday. In game one, Reynolds was two for three and stole four bases. In the second game, Reynolds was just 1-5, but he connected on his tenth homer of the year.
He is still incredibly inconsistent, as he is only hitting .252 but he is certainly capable of having a big game from time to time. He is a good guy to have in your utility spot, or on your bench as injury insurance.
Nolan Reimold connected on his first major league home run for the Orioles on Wednesday, and not only was it his first, but it came off of Mariano Rivera. Not too shabby for a kid's first bomb, huh?
Reimold has a bright future ahead of him, and he should continue to get regular playing time. I like his prospects to contribute right away.
As soon as I got some confidence in Jorge De La Rosa, he goes out and gets hammered. De La Rosa allowed seven runs over just 3.2 innings, walked five, and struck out only one.
This comes after back to back games where he struck out at least ten. If you own him, give him one more start to turn this around, but if he stinks again, then it is time to cut him loose.
After three straight good starts to open his career, Brett Cecil finally had his first bad outing for the Jays. Cecil gave up eight runs over just 4.2 innings, walked two, and struck out three. I still have high hopes for Cecil this year, so I wouldn't go jettisoning him off to free agency after this one bad start.
The Red Sox are one of the most potent offensive teams in all of baseball, so it isn't a great surprise that he struggled tonight. Give him two or three more starts to see how he bounces back from this bomb.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.twitter.com/fightingchance.
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 the 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.
Yesterday he had a great post about the five most frustrating players to own in fantasy baseball. Go vent your frustrations on the message board.
As always, your comments and questions are welcome at email@example.com. I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Also, don’t miss the “Fantasy Baseball Tonight” podcast four nights a week from Monday-Thursday.
The Big Show on Wednesday is co-hosted by Todd Farino of fantasybaseballsearch.com, RC Rizza of junkyardjake.com and myself, Ryan Hallam at fightingchancefantasy.com. To hear the show go to www.blogtalkradio.com/the_true_guru.
You can also hear me weekly on the Tuesday Night show. Join me with Jeff Mans every Tuesday night at 10pm EST for all the news, free agent pickups, minor leaguers, and injuries. A can’t miss if you plan on winning your league.