Fantasy Baseball Tonight: 4/14

Ryan HallamAnalyst IApril 15, 2009

SEATTLE - APRIL 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Seattle Mariners watches pre-game ceremonies prior to the Opening Day game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on April 14, 2009 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Josh Beckett was spanked for throwing over the head of Bobby Abreu the other day.  Major League Baseball suspended the Red Sox ace for six games and fined him an undisclosed amount of money.  Now as much as this suspension looks excessive, let’s remember that he is suspended for six TEAM games.  That basically means he will miss one start.  That has never made sense to me that pitchers miss one game while position players get suspended six actual starts for them.  All in all, the news here is Beckett will miss his next start.

Ichiro Suzuki says that he is ready to play tomorrow (Wednesday) for the Mariners.  The Mariners say they are looking for results of a final blood test before he will be activated.  Chances are all will be fine and he will be in the lineup tomorrow.  I own him in one league, and I’m not sure.  I might wait one day to be sure he is in there.

Elijah Dukes has been reinstated to the starting lineup after the Nationals sent Lastings Milledge back to AAA.  Dukes has a world of potential, but had a starting spot, and his own screwed up life to deal with.  He is the equivalent to the NFLs Pacman Jones.  Talented, but can’t stay out of trouble.  If healthy and in the lineup he could be a 25/25 guy, and right now is worth adding to your team.  Unless you have a stud-filled lineup, take a flier on Dukes.

Max Scherzer returned to the D’Backs tonight and pitched pretty well against the Cardinals and reached 98 mph on the gun.   Scherzer lasted just five innings, allowed three runs, and only struck out one.  It was about as good as you can expect for his first start coming off the DL, and I would probably feel safe about starting him the next time out, depending on the opponent.

I am not happy!  My Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter left tonight’s start after three innings with a strained left ribcage.  Apparently he suffered the injury batting the inning before but I am hoping it was just precautionary on the team’s part and he will be OK for his next turn.  Keep it tuned here, I will be on top of this.

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Mark Teixeira returned to the Yankee lineup tonight as the 1B after missing a few games with wrist tendinitis.  He was 0-for-3 but did drive in a run with a sacrifice fly.   It is safe to get him back into your lineup, I don’t expect this to be a lingering problem.

Chris Volstad had his second consecutive good start to begin the season, and I am believing more and more with each start.  You would like to see a few more strikeouts out of him, but other than that, he is looking like a great option in 2009.  Volstad lasted seven innings on Tuesday, allowing just one run and striking out four.  He was a very highly ranked prospect for the Marlins, so this is likely not a fluke.  He could win 15 games this year for a very competitive Florida team.

In that game, the sole run allowed by Volstad was on a solo home run by Kelly Johnson.  Long thought to be a decent option at second, Johnson is off to a fast start in 2009.   He now has three home runs, has driven in seven runs, and is hitting .333.  I don’t expect any of this early season surge to continue, and I urge you to try to sell high on Johnson for one of the top six or seven options at the position.

As always, your comments and questions are welcome at fightingchancefantasy@gmail.com. I guarantee a response within 18 hours. Also, don’t miss “The Fantasy Baseball Gurus Show” every Wednesday night at 10pm EST on Blog Talk Radio. The show 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.  The Fantasy Baseball Scouting Report is also back!  Join me with Jeff Mans every Tuesday night at 10pm EST for all the news, free agent pickups, minor leaguers, and injuries.  A can’t miss if you plan on winning your league.  I also just met the people over at Baseball Trade Rumors and I invite you to visit their site.   They have a page for rumors for every major league team, constant updates on the latest rumors, interactive polls, and overall some great content.