Fantasy Baseball Tonight, May 25: Happy Memorial Day!

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IMay 26, 2009

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 9:  Chris Carpenter #29 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches during the MLB game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 9, 2009 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Cardinals defeated the Pirates 2-1.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

While many of us take this day as an extra day off of work, and a reason for a barbeque and a great reason for a get together with friends and/or family, let's not forget what today is really about. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have given the ultimate sacrifice while serving their country.

The men and women who have given their life in the name of freedom and patriotism. I also think that we should take this day to thank those men and women who have not given their lives, but continue to give of themselves and their time to serve the United States.

Those who sacrifice their love and their lives to keep us safe and free. I might be wrong, but it seems like the military is filled with either kids in their early 20s, or with those who sacrifice time with their families to protect this great land.

On this Memorial Day, please take a second out for not only those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, but for those who currently serve our country, and their families who also make an incredible sacrifice as they miss their loved ones who are away at war.

Please continue to support President Obama's initiative to get our young men and women back home again so they can reconnect with their families. God Bless You All, you are much better people than I am.

I love Chris Carpenter. I'm sure that 90 percent of that has to do with me being a Cardinals fan, but even as his fantasy owner, he is damn good when he is healthy. I like him even more this year because I didn't have to spend a high draft pick on him to have him on my team.

And (again) when he is healthy, he is pitching like a guy I would have picked in the first three rounds. He threw eight shutout innings in his second start back from the Disabled List, and struck out ten, and he still hasn't allowed an earned run in his four starts in 2009.

Yovani Gallardo was almost as good as Carpenter on Monday. He also threw eight shutout innings, and allowed only two hits. The only difference between the two is Gallardo walked four guys, and he struck out six, while Carpenter fanned 10.

Gallardo has just a 3.32 ERA for the season, and is taking the next step to be a fantasy stud. He has had a couple of bad outings, but on the whole he has been great. Continue to start Gallardo with extreme confidence.

David Price made his 2009 debut for the Rays, and while it wasn't good, it wasn't absolutely terrible either. Price threw 100 pitches in just 3.1 innings, but it was wildness that killed him. He allowed only two earned runs, but he walked five guys.

He was able to strike out six hitters, which was great considering how long he pitched, but it was just his first start of the season. Price should have another start this week, feel free to start him again.

Can Phil Hughes please decide what he is going to be? He gives up three runs, he gives up eight runs, he gives up three runs again. Now on Sunday he pitched eight shutout innings, allowed just three runs, and struck out six.

His last two starts have been pretty darn good, and perhaps this is the start of all that hype that we have been hearing about for so long. I'm still not sure how long Chien-Ming Wang will be in the minors/bullpen, and how long that Hughes will be in the rotation.

The longer he pitches like this, the better his chances are of sticking around. Ride this hot streak as long as you can, but beware that Wang could be back in the rotation at sometime in the near future.

Francisco Liriano is really starting to worry me. With his latest horrible outing, Liriano is now 2-6 on the season. He allowed five runs over just four innings, and struck out seven. In a small part of good news, he didn't walk anyone, but his ERA is close to touching 6.50 for the year.

I don't think I would make a move to drop him now, but I am getting closer to thinking about the possibility. Give him a few more starts to straighten this out before doing anything too rash.

Justin Verlander continues his resurgence as an elite pitcher with another amazing outing on Monday. Verlander didn't allow an earned run today, and hasn't allowed a home run to an opponent since Apr. 22. What else can I say at this point?

Verlander is FAR outperforming his pre-draft expectations and should be in your weekly lineups no matter what. He definitely seems that he is back to an elite pitcher, and should be treated that way. You can try to trade for him, but I imagine his owner has a pretty good grip on him at this point.

Oakland rookie Brett Anderson had his second consecutive good outing. After allowing two runs over six innings, his last time out, Anderson was better allowing just one run over six innings, and striking out four.

He is a highly talented rookie pitcher who will have some bad starts along with some great ones. I would have some reservations about starting him every time out, maybe only pick him up when he faces one of the weaker teams in the league.

Chris Volstad has still yet to allow more than four runs in any start this season, and his consistency should be celebrated. On Monday, he allowed three runs over 6.2 innings, and struck out six. He is still someone that I have a LOT of faith in, and continue to start every week.

Volstad will have his share of ups and downs, but I would keep starting him every week, and in keeper leagues he has added value. Keep starting Volstad every time he takes the mound.

My short love affair with Jorge De La Rosa is over as soon as it began. We went out a couple of times, caught a movie, and even had a couple of drinks. But he said something a little off color that just turned me off.

Now, I'm not even returning his phone calls. After two straight starts with double digit strikeouts, De La Rosa followed that up with back to back starts allowing seven earned runs, and his record is now 0-5. His ERA is now 5.26 for the season, and should be jettisoned to free agency if ANYONE of any value is out there.

Jeremy Guthrie was very good for the Orioles today, as he allowed only one run over seven innings. Guthrie seems to be a popular guy to have at the bottom of your rotation, but he is certainly not anyone that I am interested in.

Even with his stellar outing on Monday, Guthrie is still just 4-4, and his ERA is way too close to five for my liking. He doesn't strike enough guys out (35 Ks in 60 innings) to have much value in fantasy in my opinion, and he pitches for a terrible team.

Even as the last pitcher on your team, I don't know if I would have him on my roster. I think I would rather have a young pitcher with a high ceiling.

Joe Mauer owners didn't expect much out of him since he had the day off. But Mauer still performed as he had a pinch hit appearance and had yet another home run. That is 11 from him this month after connecting off of Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning.

This power is CRAZY from Mauer, and I keep thinking he has to slow down eventually. He obviously can't keep this up, and if I owned him I would be trying to trade him for the mother load. If you couldn't get an incredible deal, I would be more than happy to hold on to him.

Gerardo Parra continues to hit well, and play well, and on Sunday the Diamondbacks had him in the leadoff spot, which only further shows how much confidence they have in their rookie outfielder. He singled in one run, and was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for his 10th RBI in 11 games since being called up.

I think Parra will be around for the long term now, or at least until he goes into a prolonged cold streak, so keep him in your lineup going forward. i still think that there should be a good number of stolen bases in his future as well.

New Feature

For those of you who are regular readers, or even new to the site, 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 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 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, RC Rizza of and myself, Ryan Hallam at

To hear the show go to 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.