I have to start this one with a very special "Happy Birthday" to my little girl Morgan. My younger daughter turns one year old today. She is perhaps the happiest baby you have ever seen—and of course since she's mine, the cutest. Nothing erases a bad day faster than looking into those little eyes.
For those of you keeping track, I have two daughters, Avery who is three and Morgan, which means in ten years you will find me with no hair and a bottle of Jack Daniels close by my side. Either that or some blunt instrument that I can introduce any fine young boy to before they think about taking my girls out.
I've been practicing my intimidation techniques and hopefully by the time I need them, I'll have them perfected.
Jason Varitek hit two home runs for the Red Sox and already has 10 on the season. Not bad for an old guy who only averaged 15 a year in the last two seasons. His average is still not helping you at .248, but you can't argue with the power.
I think he is an ideal candidate for those of you who are dealing with the injuries to Chris Iannetta or Ryan Doumit. I don't expect this production to last all season with Varitek, but you can ride this hot streak as long as it lasts. Hopefully that will be until your main guy comes back from injury.
For those of you who just have a stinky catcher, I would take Varitek for now, but just realize that you probably will have to cut him at some point when he cools down.
Kerry Wood collected his eighth save of the year, but it certainly hasn't been easy. His ERA is still over six, but it has been a little misleading. Eleven of his twelve earned runs allowed came in four outings, but his problem has been save opportunites. The Indians are seven games under .500, and the few games they do win aren't generating save chances.
Wood will always be a strikeout artist, but because his subpar team and long injury history, he can not be looked upon as a top-tier closer. He seems to have a very long leash in Cleveland, but when he has a bad outing, he really has a BAD outing.
Luke Scott is back from injury for the Orioles and he now has three home runs in his first two games back. Scott just came back from a shoulder strain, and looks like he is back to normal. I think he should definitely top the 20-homer plateau, but don't pick him up expect this recent power surge to continue. He is a nice fourth outfielder on your team, but he isn't all of a sudden going to carry your fantasy team.
I am starting to gain a nice sized soft spot in my heart for Nolan Reimold. I don't know if I can take on another man-crush at this time, but he's making it hard to ignore him. He homered for the the third straight game, and now has five in just fourteen games. I would like to see him get his batting average up a little more, as he sits at just .264, but I feel confident that he will at least surpass .280. The future is very bright for Mr. Reimold, and it looks like he will have a fantasy impact in 2009.
Randy Wells has been pitching well for the Cubs in filling in for Rich Harden, but I just don't think I would put too much stock in this. He might be 0-2,but he hasn't given up more than three earned runs in his five starts, and he has 23 strikeouts in 25 innings.
So, why am I not more excited about this? The strikeouts are legitimate, I can't take that away from him, but if you look at his minor league statistics, they aren't very impressive. Wells has been in AAA for the last three years, and his ERA ranged from 4.02 to 4.96, and he even made many appearances out of the bullpen.
Now, he has been impressive in the majors, but I need to see more before I buy in. When a guy is so average on the farm, it usually comes true that he doesn't turn into an All-Star at the next level.
Carlos Zambrano received a six-game suspension for his childish tirade the other day when he didn't get the call at home plate. However, because of the idiotic rules for suspensions for pitchers, he will miss just one start.
Why is it when a position player gets suspended five days he misses five games, while a pitcher is given the same number of days but only misses one start? How is that a punishment? All you are giving him is a little rest that he probably needs. He (and other pitchers) should be sat down for three starts.
Enough of my rambling, bottom line is take Zambrano out for his next start—he isn't appealing the suspension.
Jorge Posada is set to rejoin the Yankees again on Friday after his hamstring injury. Take a look at your league to see if he is available, as he was dropped in a couple that I play in. He was off to a strong start, and could help you if you are in need of a decent catcher. Not sure if I have confidence in his resurgence he enjoyed to start the season, but if you don't have a good catcher, he is worth the risk.
Grady Sizemore has been dealing with an elbow injury that could land him on the Disabled List. He has been only been able to DH for the last few days, and it has kept him in the lineup. But if he doesn't improve sometime in the next few days, it could be possible that he lands on the DL. It might not be the worst thing in the long term. Sizemore, who never has a great average, is really scuffling, as he is hitting in the .220s.
Brett Myers is the next one of the cool kids to have a hip injury. It seems like it is all the rage lately, and you ain't cool unless you have something up with the labrum in your hip. An MRI revealed either fraying or a tear in Myers' hip (how does a medical person not know the difference?) and he won't make his next start. We now know that if he needs surgery, he would miss eight to ten weeks.
Travis Hafner is supposed to finish his rehab assignment on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and could possibly rejoin the Indians on Monday. As long as he doesn't suffer any setbacks he should be back against the Yankees. Not sure what to expect from him in the long-term in 2009, but if you have him, get him back in there.
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 email@example.com 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%20Football%20Trophies/BeerBottleTrophy.html">Fantasy Football Trophy), basketball, hockey, and auto racing. I invite you to take a look at the site and try them out.
As always, your comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 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.