Last Night Rewind
- If last night does not convince you to drop Daisuke Matsuzaka, not much else will. Look, I will take some blame here. I honestly thought that being healthy this season without a WBC would help him out and keep him on target. That just has not been the case. The injuries are one thing. The inconsistency is another. Matsuzaka escaped without a loss but gave up five earned runs after being spotted a four run advantage. Time to let go.
- Sticking in Boston for this second note, Clay Buchholz has been placed on the DL by the team with a hamstring injury. Boston recalled Felix Doubront to take Buchholz's place in the rotation and the young pitcher will get the start tonight. He is an intriguing option and could produce a quality start for an owner willing to take a chance.
- Two White Sox players continued on their hot pace last night. Gavin Floyd led the charge on the mound for Chicago in picking up the win. Floyd has now given up two earned runs or less in every start going back to June 8th, going 2-1 in that stretch. Carlos Quentin's average may still be hovering around .234, but he has seven home runs in his last 13 games and has recorded back-to-back multi-hit games.
- Chase Utley is out to beat the timetable set for him on his rehab from a torn thumb ligament. Utley believes he can be back in closer to six weeks than the eight that he has been given. The key to much of it will be how quickly he can get back in to baseball shape with his swing more than it will the healing process.
- In another thumb-related injury, Shin-Soo Choo will have his digit examined on Tuesday as well. Choo injured the thumb while diving for a ball on Friday night. He was placed on the DL over the weekend. This is another injury that is likely to take several weeks to heal and could potentially require surgery to heal.
- Jeff Niemann is 1-0 against Boston this season and has been strong at home. Though he sports just a 2-2 record in eight starts, batters are hitting only .211 against him at home. The Red Sox have not seen much of Niemann overall, but look to avoid Marco Scutaro. He is only 2-for-14 lifetime against Niemann.
- Tough to view the numbers of Cole Hamels against the Braves this year because they are skewed thanks to a rain shortened start. Better to look at the overall picture. Look to avoid the 1-for-16 of Yunel Escobar, but otherwise, the Braves have hit Hamels well. Even with Escobar's at-bats, Atlanta has posted a .308 average in 182 at-bats against the lefty. Start all your regulars in this one.
- The Giants have had their share of at-bats against Randy Wolf. Aaron Rowand has had problems, going just 4-for-20 and Freddy Sanchez is only 3-for-13. No numbers necessarily stand out, and these would be the only major detractions. Wolf has pitched well against San Francisco, going 4-1 in his last eight starts with a 2.47 ERA.
- Was looking at Livan Hernandez and the first thing that struck me is that he is listed at 35 years old. Really? Is that serious? Be that as it may, he has had mixed success against the Padres. Adrian Gonzalez is only 8-for-30 for a .267 mark, but he does have four home runs against Hernandez. Tony Gwynn is 5-for-14 and Matt Stairs is 4-for-12.
- C.C. Sabathia has owned Rajai Davis, keeping the Oakland outfielder down to a 1-for-15 mark. Kevin Kouzmanoff is 3-for-14 and Coco Crisp is just 2-for-10. Kurt Suzuki has put up a .278 average and has added three home runs in 18 at-bats.
- Jimmy Rollins is only 4-for-24 against Jair Jurrjens, and many of his teammates have not hit much better. Shane Victorino is 5-for-22 and Raul Ibanez is only 1-for-9. The best numbers belong to Ryan Howard and he has just one home run in 22 at-bats to go with a .273 average.
- Wandy Rodriguez has recorded one win already this season against Pittsburgh, and his numbers over his last two starts are showing signs of improvement. Rodriguez has allowed only one earned run on 11 hits in his last 13 innings and his won his last two starts after losing six of his previous seven outings.
- Jered Weaver's road numbers make his start against the White Sox another promising one. Weaver is 5-2 away from home with a 3.88 ERA and BAA of .238. In his last three starts he has allowed a total of two earned runs over 21 innings pitched. Look to avoid the 1-for-11 of Paul Konerko in this one and neither Alex Rios nor A.J. Pierzynski are hitting better than .235.
- Carlos Silva is 4-0 on the road this season and opponents are hitting just .215 against him over those six starts. Silva has lost his last two decisions but is still 6-2 over his last ten starts. He may not be dominating in the same way he was earlier this season but he continues to pitch well enough to be started in all formats.
- Spot Starts: Doubront, Richard, Volstad
- Carl Crawford is a .306 hitter against Tim Wakefield with two home runs in over 80 at-bats. Carlos Pena is just 6-for-32 and B.J. Upton is only 5-for-24 against the knuckler. Wakefield continues to give up a fair number of hits, but he has managed to largely pitch effectively against the Rays. Not a bad spot start option in this one.
- All-Star Omar Infante (read that again) is just 3-for-17 against Jamie Moyer, and only he and Yunel Escobar check in below .250 overall. The Braves have good numbers against the lefty. Troy Glaus should be back in the lineup and he has 12 home runs in 60 at-bats while both Brian McCann and Martin Prado are better than .360. You cannot miss with your Braves in this one.
- Be careful with Kevin Slowey in this one. Slowey had his start pushed back to Wednesday because of an ankle injury suffered when he was hit by a ball in his last start. He was having one of his better outings of the season when this happened, having given up just one run over six innings. Still, batters are hitting .340 against him on the road this season.
- Ryan Dempster continues to pitch solid baseball and should be able to continue to generate strikeouts against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Dempster has 114 strikeouts in 117 innings and Arizona is one of the easiest teams in baseball when it comes to going down by way of the K.
- Joe Saunders has allowed three earned runs in his last 15 innings covering two starts. Saunders is 4-2 on the road this season and has already managed to beat the White Sox once this season. He is now 4-1 against the White Sox in his last six starts against them overall. Even better, he is 3-0 in his last four starts at U.S. Cellular Field with a sub-1.70 ERA.
- Spot Starts: Saunders, Wakefield, Fister