Fantasy Baseball Tonight June 2: Younger Guys, Older Guys

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IJune 2, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 21: Joba Chamberlain #62 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles on May 21, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Younger Guys

Joba Chamberlain had the longest outing of his career, and eased some of the concerns about his ability to stay in the rotation. Not that he was being moved out of the rotation, but he just has been more of an average pitcher as a starter while he was dominant out of the pen.

The Yankees want to keep him to about 150 innings this year, so keep that in mind as the season progresses.

Fernando Martinez is improving day by day, and today he stole two bases. He doesn't have a pedigree that says he will steal a lot of bases, but he is also getting more base hits.

Another factor that gives me some encouragement is that he walked twice and didn't strike out, meaning he is getting more comfortable in the batter's box.

If I owned Martinez, I still would have him on my bench, but the way he is playing lately, I wouldn't cut him unless it was necessary.

Andy LaRoche has finally started to get some hits, now he just needs to start to inject some power into that stroke. He did hit for power in the minors, as evidenced by his 17 homers in just 73 games in 2007 at AAA-Las Vegas.

It is good to see him hitting around .300, but I would wait on him until I see some pop in the bat. Given his track record, that could be the next step soon in his progression.

Some prospects just take longer to pan out, perhaps LaRoche is one of those guys.

After allowing just two earned runs in three straight starts, Andrew Miller had another tough outing on Monday. Control continues to be his biggest downfall, as he struck out four, but walked four as well.

Long term, I think Miller will have a good baseball career. But for 2009 purposes, he will drive you crazy just as much, if not more, as he will make you cheer.

A couple weeks ago Gavin Floyd found himself as a topic in our Keep/Cut segment on the Tuesday edition of the Fantasy Baseball Tonight podcast with me and Jeff Mans, and now he looks like the guy we saw in 2008.

Floyd pitched seven strong innings, allowed two runs, and struck out eight. If he was dropped in your league, I would pick him up unless your staff is already great, but don't expect this kind of production every time out.

He will have his ups and downs, but I think those UGLY outings will be fewer and farther between.

A's prospect Vince Mazzaro was held out of his start on Monday, and it has been confirmed that he will be called up for the start on Tuesday. Mazzaro is a pretty good prospect for the A's and is 2-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.04 WHIP.

He has 44 Ks in 56 innnings. He was also spectacular at AA last year going 12-3 with a 1.90 ERA. Not a dominant strikeout pitcher, but gets his share.

Ranked as the No. 8 prospect in the A's farm system by Baseball America. I'm not sure that this is a long term call up, but it could be if he pitches well.


Older Guys

Todd Helton continues his hot season, but I am telling you he is going to fade.

Between bad health and just bad baseball, Helton has been a shell of what he once was over the past few years.

I can't believe that all of a sudden he's figured it out.

He has hit seven home runs so far this year, but I don't believe he will get to twenty. If you own Helton, shop him all around the league until you find some sucker...I mean another owner, who remembers the good old days.

Roy Oswalt has been a popular subject of many of my emailers lately, and whether they should try to get anything they can for him.

Mostly I have been telling people to definitely shop him around, but also to remember that he was 10-2 with a 2.24 ERA in the second half last season. I don't really like that this is the second straight bad start he has gotten off to, but perhaps he can turn it around again.

The Astros stink pretty bad (sorry Lon and Martha), so that explains why he has just two wins. But he was great tonight with a one run, seven inning, and eight strikeout effort.

He has also been rumored to be a part of some trades, but Roy has a full no-trade, so don't expect him to get out of Houston.

Matt Holliday hit his seventh homer of the year, and is now batting .275.

In one month, Holliday raised his batting average 25 points, hit six homers, and drove in eighteen runs. Holliday also has stolen three bases in the last week, but don't expect him to get close to the 28 he stole last season.

For those of you who were patient, continue doing so, I think Holliday will be okay. Not great, but better than we thought.

Rich Hill bounced back nicely after his first poor outing of the season. Granted the Mariners aren't exactly Murderer's Row, but Hill threw seven shutout innings and struck out seven.

I got a chance to watch a few innings of this game, and Hill looked good. He was trying to finish guys off, and looked very confident. I still have reservations about his future success, but I am slowly getting a little more confident in him.

Given the right situation, I could see adding him to a roster.

Jarrod Washburn didn't factor in the decision, but there is still no way that I am buying into this good season. Washburn allowed just one run over his seven innings, but he only struck out three.

Like I said under Hill, Seattle isn't a strong offensive team. If you are considering Washburn, please take a look at his career numbers before you do. He has been average at best for most of his career, and by the end of the year, I expect him to have a similar line.


Injury News

If the next two weeks of rest don't ease the pain in the elbow of Grady Sizemore, it is possible that he would require surgery and that could keep him out perhaps two months.

Definitely keep an eye on this situation.

There is no structural damage, but he still might need arthroscopic surgery.

Victor Martinez was able to return to the Indians' lineup today after fouling a ball of his leg somewhere a few days ago.

I've seen reports of his knee and shin, and since I didn't see where it hit him, I will call it his leg. But anyway, Victor did hit his eighth homer of the season and should be back in your lineups immediately.

Edinson Volquez left his first start off the Disabled List after just one inning after complaining of numbness in two of his fingers. Volquez was sent back to Cincinnati to be evaluated by team doctors.

This doesn't sound good, so wait and see the results of this visit to see how much time he might miss.

Hideki Kuroda returned to the Dodgers' rotation tonight, and after a shaky second inning, he settled in nicely. Kuroda was able to pitch five innings, allowed two runs, and struck out six.

That is pretty good for his first start in a while, just don't think those strikeout numbers will continue. Last season, Kuroda whiffed just 116 guys in 183 innings.


Major Announcement

I would like to let you all know that in the near future you won't be getting your daily fantasy update from Fighting Chance Fantasy any longer. I have agreed to team up with my podcast mates over at Fantasy Baseball Search.

Todd Farino, Jeff Mans, RC Rizza, myself, and the guys are forming a formidable team. I am not abandoning you, however, but making the coverage better. Over the next couple of weeks I will be transitioning the site over to its new home at

I have already started to post on that page, so feel free to start heading there whenever you want. We are still in the process of doing some work, but your nightly fix will be there.

You will see improved features, more professional emails, and better coverage. You can find a plethora of information at Fantasy Baseball Search as well from me and the guys, but Fantasy Baseball Tonight will just be me and links to the podcast.

The email address will also be changing slightly to, but I will continue to check both for quite a while. I am very excited about this change, and I believe that it will be great for both of and you.


Mailing List

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

Got another mention on Steve Gardner’s Fantasy Windup blog on the USA Today site. You can check out the post here. It is a great blog, and they also have some good contests for you to check out. I know some of you have already started to participate in some of them and are enjoying it.

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.

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 the info and craziness we can pack into one hour. A can’t miss if you plan on winning your league.