Fantasy Baseball: Thursday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IJuly 2, 2009

LAKE ELSINORE, CA - JUNE 27:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Inland Empire 66ers waits on deck against the Lake Elsinore Storm on June 27, 2009 at the Lake Elsinore Diamond in Lake Elsinore, California. Ramirez is preparing for hsi return to the Los Angeles Dodgers after a 50 game suspension.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Wait...a camel just floated by the window.
If June were a fantasy month, it would have been Jimmy Rollins—no power, no average, and completely disappointing. The only reason June would have been in the lineup is because no one better was available.
To say the weather in the Northeast has been awful is an understatement. The sun has largely been hiding for the better part of a month. The games being played in Boston have been spotty at best, and the fact the Red Sox have been on the road for the better part of the last two weeks is probably a good thing.
The last week has been particularly bad except for a few hours on Monday afternoon. Sure, this is complaining, but you have to live here to understand how cold and wet it has been. If this is what Seattle has been like, the people there deserve medals.
On to the notes.
Wednesday Rewind
  • A day after being removed from the game with what looked like a sprained knee, Adrian Gonzalez was back in the lineup for the Padres. Gonzalez did not record a hit, but his at-bats signal that he is certainly healthy enough to remain in lineups.
  • Mark DeRosa is likely to miss through the weekend. The Cardinals' player has a strained tendon in his wrist, suffered during a swing on Tuesday night. DeRosa sounded optimistic regarding his wrist after initially being concerned that a trip to the DL was going to be needed. Keep him reserved this weekend, but look to him to start next week.
  • For those remaining owners of Brandon Webb, it is likely time to cut the cord. While it was announced that Webb will not need surgery, he is not slated to throw again for another two to four weeks. Conservatively, his timeline is likely September. It is possible that he could help in fantasy playoffs, but equally as likely that he could burn a team that starts him. Color me pessimistic.
  • Jimmy Rollins is now hitless in his last 27 at-bats, spanning seven games. As pointed out above, the Phillies simply have no other long-term options right now. To say that he is probably the biggest bust of the early rounds is an understatement. All owners can do is keep him reserved, as he cannot be dropped in most formats that employ a "no-cut list."
  • If it is possible to buy low on a superstar, Jason Bay is that example. Bay went down by way of the K five times yesterday (we really need a good nickname for this). Owners looking to grab him need to harp on his .250 average in June, the 2-for-30 in his last seven games, and his slumping numbers in general. He is a solid guy to buy now and enjoy the run the rest of the way. June has been his worst month the last three season, as shown by the .230 average.
  • Yovani Gallardo was stellar yesterday, striking out 12 and allowing just one earned run. Oddly enough, he was just out-pitched by Mike Pelfrey. Stranger things have happened. The Mets offense scratched together the one run, and continued to show ineptitude at the plate. The Brewers just happened to have an off day. Pelfrey's win was just his second in his last ten starts.
  • Ricky Romero carried his June success to the beginning of July yesterday. Romero went eight shutout innings, giving up only four hits. Some of it was luck, as he did need to work out of trouble and was helped by the double-play ball a few times. Still, he has not allowed more than three runs in a start since May 31. At home, he is dominant, allowing batters to hit just .209 against him.
  • Brad Bergesen was robbed yesterday. His bullpen completely blew the game for him, costing the young starter a win. Bergesen was dominant for eight innings yesterday, and the Orioles had a 5-1 lead heading into the ninth inning. They had a two run lead with two outs. When a young pitcher is throwing well, and the Red Sox have not seen him, this is what they do. Leverage it.
  • Two returns to anticipate. Obviously, the biggest one is Manny Ramirez. Ramirez has finished serving his 42-game suspension (since he got the luxury of playing in the minors) and will rejoin the Dodgers tonight. Josh Hamilton is still on track to join the Rangers this weekend as well. Finally, Aramis Ramirez will put together a three-game rehab stint this weekend and join the Cubs on Monday.

Thursday Notes

  • The Mariners have not done too poorly against CC Sabathia. Start your normal Mariners in this one, as there are only a few borderline concerns. Look to avoid Ken Griffey is he is on your roster. Griffey is only 4-for-17 against Sabathia. Yuniesky Betancourt is 0-for-8.
  • As strong as Mark Buehrle has been against the Royals, there are some good numbers against him. Billy Butler has hit .308 and Mark Teahan has gone 20-for-47. Even Willie Bloomquist is 11-for-22. Look to avoid David DeJesus, as he is just a .153 hitter in 59 at-bats, and John Buck is no better, 6-for-33.
  • Doug Davis has been a nice boost for fantasy owners this season, but the Reds have put up decent numbers here. Brandon Phillips is 8-for-17, and Ramon Hernandez is 7-for-23. Willy Taveras checks in at 8-for-24 as well. While Davis has decent road numbers, he is more of a flyball pitcher, and this is a hitter-friendly ballpark.
  • You have to appreciate the love being given to Chad Gaudin, but do not sleep on Kevin Correia. He has two bad starts in his last ten outings, but has been solid for his last five in a row, going 4-1. In that time, he has struck out 29 batters in 33.2 innings and given up only nine earned runs. In deeper leagues, he is a solid play.
  • While Wandy Rodriguez has been a tough start on the road, San Diego is a different animal. This is a team that is one of the worst scoring teams in baseball. Scott Hairston is 4-for-9 with two home runs, and you always start Adrian Gonzalez, but that should be as far as you look to go in this one.
  • Avoid J.J. Hardy at all costs, as he is only 2-for-23 against Ryan Dempster. The surprise? Jason Kendall is a .419 hitter against the Cubs' starter. Corey Hart has struggles as well, coming in with a .100 average in 20 at-bats. Reaching for Brewers in this game is not likely going to help your offensive numbers.
  • Always nice to have stats to back up a point. Rollins has been awful against Javier Vazquez, so the struggle likely continues tonight. He is only 8-for-50 against the Braves starter. Also look to sub out Jayson Werth and Pedro Feliz if you have other options available to you.
  • When evaluating Paul Maholm, do not believe the numbers in most cases. Maholm has been awful on the road, and it seems nearly every start he had in both May and June was away from Pittsburgh. At home, he has been lights out. Even against the Mets, his home stats (3-1, 1.96 ERA) make him a good spot start.
  • Aubrey Huff and Melvin Mora are not fond of facing John Lackey. The two have combined to go 6-for-47 against Lackey. Otherwise, keep starting your Orioles as normal. Lackey has struggled, but did pitch better his last time out against the Diamondbacks. He has yet to show enough consistency to be a reliable start, and Baltimore has hit well in the last two games against Boston pitching.
  • Spot Starts: Spot Starts: Correia, Maholm, and Barry Zito

Friday Notes

  • Just because the Phillies think it might be funny to pitch Rodrigo Lopez, that does not mean you have to follow suit. Not that you would, just wanted to point out that Lopez is back pitching.
  • The Mariners have had some struggles against Tim Wakefield. Only Betancourt and Jose Lopez have averages better than .300 against the Boston starter, and that includes Ichiro. Wakefield has been very good at home (and rumor has it he can pitch in floods), going 6-0 with a 3.55 ERA.
  • Always funny to see how some pitchers can own hitters. Livan Hernandez has held Jimmy Rollins down to 9-for-51 against him. The Phillies as a team have not hit well against him, but Rollins is the worst offender. Hernandez will give up runs, but he is 3-1 on the road this season in nine starts.
  • Zack Greinke is always going to be in your lineup, and he is 2-0 against Chicago this season. Still, take note of how well the White Sox have hit him. Scott Podsednik is 13-for-27, A.J. Pierzynski is 14-for-34, and Jermaine Dye has gone 15-for-39 with three home runs. You will likely want to avoid the 5-for-45 of Paul Konerko and the 3-for-17 of Alexei Ramirez.
  • Derrek Lee and Ryan Theriot are your friends against Jeff Suppan. The two have raked against the Brewers starter, posting .447 and .421 marks against him respectively. Alfonso Soriano has struggled to the tune of .209, but does have a couple home runs against Suppan. The Brewers starter has been better on the road than at home, but has been roughed up twice by the Cubs already this season.
  • The idea of starting Scott Kazmir on the road at Texas gives me the chills. Kazmir did pitch well by the stat line in his return to the rotation, but continues to need a lot of pitches to get through a few innings. Avoid him in this one, it could be rough in that ballpark. He has pitched well there in the past, going 2-0 in the last three seasons, but something does not sit right. Gut feel here.
  • Spot Starts: Gaudin, Pineiro, Wakefield

Collin Hager writes The Elmhurst Pub fantasy blog. You can get your questions answered by sending an email to He's also on Twitter @TheRoundtable.