Welcome to the start of Week 5 of the fantasy baseball season, and I can't believe we are this deep into the season already. We have the news on two returns from injury of some of the games best young players, one hitter and one pitcher. One will be right away, while the other will be in time for the weekend.
Other than that we have news of a young slugger starting to go on a tear, a young catcher giving us a daily double and a young pitcher who is starting to turn the corner. I tell you which two old Yankees are bound to fall apart, and which player with diarrhea ruined his fantasy owners weekends. If that isn't enough for you, I don't know what is so enjoy today's version of Rounding The Bases.
As we are all celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden in the United States today, I would like to take the time to recognize two groups of people. The first are the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, especially those that carried out this operation. There is nothing more than I can say than thank you.
You are incredibly special people and we all greatly appreciate the sacrifices that you and your families make. You have nothing but our utmost respect and admiration and thank you for keeping this country safe and for working hard every day to keep people like Osama Bin Laden from doing their worst. You are all truly heroes and this country and its people all owe you a debt of gratitude that can never properly be paid back.
The second group are those who were either at Ground Zero in New York City, at the Pentagon or those aboard Flight 93 in Pennsylvania and their families. I know that nothing can take back either the loss of a loved one or the utter terror that those who were there witnessed. Obviously your lives will never be the same again and you will all unfortunately have this empty feeling for the rest of your lives.
My only hope is that the events resulting in the death of Bin Laden give you some sort of closure and perhaps a bit of healing. Nothing can ever be the same, but hopefully the demise of the tyrant who planned these attacks offers you a bit of satisfaction.
And of course, much love to the police and fire departments of New York City for rushing into the towers to risk their own lives, and for the thousands of volunteers who risked their lives to help others at such a tragic time.
If you are a punk rock fan at all, check out Goldfinger's song called The Innocent. I think it captures the feeling surrounding the events of September 11. I think i speak for us all when I say "F You Bin Laden, may you go to hell and rot there! You deserve it! USA, USA USA!"
Neftali Feliz is headed to the Rangers' AA affiliate for an inning of rehab work on Wednesday and if that goes well he will be activated by Texas in time for their game on Friday. The Rangers' bullpen and Feliz fantasy owners have been really struggling in his absence so this is great news. All has gone well in his time with this injury, so I would activate him right away for the weekend.
Evan Longoria is due to come off the Disabled List Tuesday, so please remember to make that move now to get him activated and into your lineup. You have to get your No. 1 pick back into your lineup right away, and hopefully this guy rakes right from the start.
I told you a big hot streak was coming for the Marlins' Mike Stanton and I really think that this is it. After a home run on Sunday, Stanton was a double short of the cycle as he belted his fourth homer of the year in his effort.
Stanton has way too much talent and power to go through the season struggling the way he was. It might already be too late, but if you can make some sort of effort to acquire Stanton, now would be the time to try before he really starts busting out the whupping stick on baseballs.
Alex Avila is starting to prove that he is in fact for real. He was a decent prospect for the Tigers and was ranked as their sixth-best prospect according to Baseball America going into 2010, and in his one season on the minors he had 12 homers in just 91 games.
On Monday, his great start to the season continued as he belted his fourth and fifth home runs of the season, and now has 21 RBI on the year. He is someone that I would feel comfortable with having as my starting catcher for 2011 as I believe that while his batting average won't stay at .309, but I do think it can be around .280.
I would also like to announce that there are two Yankees that I do not believe in, even though they have been doing well.
The first is Bartolo Colon. This tubby veteran has been pitching great and although he didn't get the win today, he still threw seven very good innings, allowing just three runs and whiffing seven. His ERA is just over 3.00 and he continues to have a solid record. I just can't see a guy who was out of basically out of baseball coming back and mowing hitters down. This can't last.
Second is Jorge Posada. Now, obviously his batting average is atrocious at just .150, but he does have six home runs and has driven in 14 runs. I do think the batting average will rise to about .230 but I think he probably is going to top out at about 15 to 18 homers, so the six he already has doesn't bode well for the rest of his season.
You might not notice because he fell to 0-5 tonight, but Madison Bumgarner is starting to pitch much better. He allowed just two unearned runs over seven innings and great for him he struck out seven. Unfortunately for young Mr. Bumgarner, the Giants have offered him just one run of support in his last three starts, which explains his awful win-loss record.
However, be the smarter fantasy player and realize that he has turned around his bad start and is pitching better. He might not even be owned in your league, which means he should immediately be picked up, and if he is owned I would throw the owner a little low ball offer to see if you can steal him.
Another pitcher who looked a little better on Monday was Clay Buchholz. The struggling Red Sox starter was able to survive 6.2 innings, allowing just two earned runs. Unfortunately he only struck out two, but considering some of his outings in 2011 this was a great sign. Buchholz was in the Cy Young discussion last season and he absolutely is better than he has shown to this point. Hopefully this is a start of a nice hot streak for Clay.
Jered Weaver crapped out on his fantasy owners on Sunday when he failed to make the start for the Angels, costing many fantasy players their matchups for the weekend, and he followed that up by crapping the bed on Monday when he took his first loss of the season.
He didn't pitch poorly by any means, but it wasn't the Weaver of April. In my own opinion I don't see him repeating that April run again this season, and while he will be one of the top 10 to 12 pitchers in fantasy, I definitely see a rough stretch in Weaver's future.
After a great start to the season, Yovani Gallardo has absolutely gone in the toilet, and tonight marked the fifth straight trip to the mound that he allowed four earned runs or more as he gave up five to the Braves just five innings with nine hits and four walks. It is positive that he struck out seven, but Gallardo is a shell of the guy we knew him to be.
However, take this as an alert to go and try to buy low on Gallardo as this guy is a very talented pitcher and is going to turn it around in a big way! Go right to the Gallardo owner to find out how pissed off they are and then offer a bag of balls for a guy who can be an elite pitcher. A big hot streak is in his future and you should try to get him on your team.
Jair Jurrjens continues to shine since he came off of the Disabled List as he ran his record to 3-0 as he allowed two runs or less for the fourth straight start, or every once since he came back from injury.
Jurrjens isn't a big strikeout guy, but he is on a team that will get him enough run support to win a good number of games, and was among the league leaders in ERA back in 2009, so this hot streak is not unprecedented. He might slow up a little, but this guy is a nice end of the rotation option and should be picked up in most formats.