Fantasy Baseball Tonight (April 17)

Ryan HallamAnalyst IApril 18, 2009

CHICAGO - APRIL 17: Ryan Ludwick #47 of the St. Louis Cardinals runs the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the third inning against the Chicago Cubs on April 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

It was Carlos Marmol closing the game for the Cubs again, which begs the question “Who is closing games for the Cubbies?”  Kevin Gregg didn’t pitch last night, so we can’t go by the excuse that Gregg wasn’t available.  What’s the deal?

I think we all figured it was just a matter of time before Sweet Lou decided to go with Marmol.  Is this move official?  I would say no, but I would consider this a committee situation.

If Marmol is available in your league, I think it is time to grab him, he could be in line for saves at any time it seems.

Cards reliever Chris Perez gave up the eventual game-winning two run homer to Alfonso Soriano.  Now, this wasn’t a save situation, I think Franklin will have the job until he shows he is unable to do it, but setbacks like this hurt Perez' chance to be next in line for the job.

P.J. Walters took the rotation spot of Chris Carpenter, and could have earned himself another chance.  Walter only lasted four innings, gave up three runs, but struck out seven.

Carpenter’s injury was confirmed today, and he will miss four to eight weeks.  Will Walters be his fill-in the whole time?  That remains to be seen, but in deep leagues he might be worth the flier.

Filling in for the injured Milton Bradley, Micah Hoffpauir continued to hit like he did this spring.  He had two hits, including a double and drove in a run.  It is unknown exactly how many games Bradley will miss, but it shouldn’t be too many.

Hoffpauir is a good replacement, but it is unlikely that he will be getting in too many games.  But remember his name in case of injury, he is able to play first base or corner outfield.

Is this whole post going to be about the Cubs and Cardinals?  Nah, but one more.  Ryan Ludwick connected not once, but twice for homers off of Carlos Zambrano.  There were many questions about whether Ludwick could repeat his breakout season in 2009. 

Even Cardinals’ fans, like me, were very skeptical about his ability to not only match his power output, but his great batting average as well. 

So far, Ludwick is hitting over .400 and now has five home runs.  There is a long way to go in the season, but so far he looks legit.

Is Joba Chamberlain better off as a starter or a reliever?  That is a debate that has been raging here in New York since he arrived in the majors.  After an impressive first start, Chamberlain was far more inconsistent this time around in Yankee Stadium. 

He kept the Yankees in the game, as he gave up five runs in just 4.2 innings, but he walked five guys and was unable to hang around long enough to keep his manager from taxing his bullpen. 

There will be some ups and downs, but I believe that he will be a fairly effective starter in 2009.  Beyond that, the sky is the limit.

Cole Hamels returned to the mound today to mixed results.   He got through the first two innings unscathed, but gave up a solo shot in the third, and a two run blast in the fifth and sixth innings, and he was out of the game. 

Overall, you can say it was a positive outing for Hamels.  He was able to strike out four guys in his six innings, and he only walked one.  He made a few mistakes on the home run balls, but all in all he did ok.

Who the hell does Marco Scutaro think he is?  A guy who has never hit more than nine homers in a season, connected on his fourth long ball of the season on April 17.

I URGE YOU, if you have picked up Scutaro, try to trade him at his highest value right now.  He WILL NOT keep this pace up. 

He may not even get to double digit home runs, so if he already has four, what is left for the other five and a half months of the season.

Big Papi is looking more like Big Ploppy in 2009, as he took another Ofer on Friday, dropping his average to .158.  He was hitting .141 at this point last year, but I think the people who drafted him were hoping he would do better than in 2008. 

He has just one extra base hit thus far, and it looks as though Ortiz has fallen down a step as far as talent is concerned.

Injury News

The tests have come back for Vladimir Guerrero, and it is not a strain, but a tear.  The Angels will be out for a minimum of a month, but it will likely be longer. 

The doctor said that it was almost certain that he would not need surgery, which is good for his recovery time.

Hideki Matsui is having trouble with his balky left knee, and it has reportedly filled with fluid.  This appears to be more of an injury that will keep him out days rather than weeks, as it doesn’t appear the Yankees are concerned.

Matsui has been the DH this year, so there is less of a concern in his mobility upon his return.

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 10 p.m. 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.


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