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Fantasy Baseball Tonight 4/18

Ryan HallamAnalyst IApril 19, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 16:  Manny Ramirez #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates a 7-2 win with Russell Martin #55 and Will Ohman #43 over the San Francisco Giants during the ninth inning at Dodger Stadium on April 16, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Manny Ramirez finally connected on his first home run of 2009 for the Dodgers.  Two innings later, he connected on his second.  After spending the whole offseason holding Los Angeles hostage for every last penny, Manny was getting base hits, but the Dodgers didn’t give him $20 million to get singles and doubles.

Look for Manny to continue being Manny, and that means 35-40 long balls.

His teammate, Andre Ethier also left the yard twice, hitting his third and fourth of the season.  Ethier is an everyday outfielder this season, and he should be able to improve on his numbers last year. 

He has always hit for a pretty good average, but it is Ethier’s power numbers that have been on the rise.  He’s a good third outfielder, but if he is able to continue his progress, he could be better.

What in the world is up with Chien-Ming Wang?  Today was his third straight down right AWFUL start.  Really awful.  Wang failed to get through the second inning and allowed eight runs for the second consecutive start. 

His ERA is now a laughable 34.50 for the season, and if his last start didn’t cause you to drop him, was this one enough?

This is pure speculation, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if we hear about some sort on injury in the coming days.  This guy has to have something wrong with him to be pitching this badly.

Don’t look now Mets’ fans, but Luis Castillo is hitting .400 in this young season.  He isn’t running or hitting for any power, but he could be a decent middle infield option.  The guy Mets’ fans love to hate, is actually producing. 

I don’t think I expect this to continue, but he did have some good years before in his career.

Jordan Schafer now has one hit in the last six days, with 13 strikeouts to go with it.  As I have said many, many times since the offseason, when you have young players, chances are you are going to have periods like this. 

Schafer has a ton of talent, but he also had never been above AA ball before this year.  National League pitchers are making adjustments, now it is up to Schafer to make some of his own.

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Jeremy Hermida is off to the kind of start we have been expecting from him for a while.  He connected twice today, giving him three homers on the year, and he is hitting over .310.  He has been a guy with a ton of talent that has never been able to stay healthy. 

Perhaps with his relocation to Washington, Hermida can finally fulfill his potential.  Just be aware that he has been injured in each of his seasons in the majors.

On April 18 Brad Lidge did something that he didn’t do AT ALL last season, he blew a save.  Lidge served up a three run homer to Kevin Kouzmanoff to lose the lead for the Phils.

If you came into the season thinking that he could be perfect again, well you set yourself up for disappointment.  But he still should be among the top five to seven closers in baseball.

For the second consecutive start, Ian Snell has been very good.  On Saturday, he threw seven shutout innings and struck out three.  For the record, I am still NOT buying that Snell will be a viable fantasy pitcher this year. 

However, I suppose if you are desperate or have someone on the DL, he could be worth a look.

Tim Lincecum finally came through for those of you who spent a high draft pick on him.  Tiny Tim was DEALING, as he he threw eight shutout innings and tied a career high with 13 strikeouts.

Of course, the Giants were unable to score any runs for him, so he took a no decision.  They might not be quite this good, but there are going to be plenty of days just like this.

The Texas Rangers have recalled one of their top pitching prospects, Derek Holland, to pitch out of the bullpen at least at first.  According to Baseball America, Holland was the second best prospect in the Rangers’ organization, and the 31st overall. 

Holland is just 22 years old, and is a strikeout master.  He only has 41 career starts in the minors, but his ERA over that time is 2.69, with 245 strikeouts in just 221 innings.  If he is put into the rotation he could be worth grabbing, but as a reliever, he doesn’t hold a lot of fantasy value.

Wandy Rodriguez had one of his great games on Saturday, allowing just two hits over his seven shutout innings, while striking out 10.  He is generally pretty inconsistent, and also has had injury trouble in his career, but when Wandy is healthy, and is on, he can put together gems like this.  He is a great guy to have at the bottom of your rotation.

Pitching Matchups

Quite the duel between Yovani Gallardo and Johan Santana, their lines were incredibly similar.  Santana was again masterful through seven shutout innings, allowed five hits, and whiffed seven.  Gallardo bounced back from a tough last outing to throw six shutout innings, allowing five hits, striking out seven. 

Of course, Santana will be a fantasy ace, but I think Gallardo will make those of you who own him very, very happy this year.

Zack Greinke and Kevin Millwood were locked in a tremedous pitching duel, as they both went the distance.  Unfortunately for Millwood, Greinke was just a little bit better.  Greinke’s rise to superstardom is in full swing as he improved to 3-0.  Greinke scattered seven hits and struck out ten. 

He is still yet to allow an earned run this season.  Millwood continued his great start, allowing just two runs and struck out three.  He has allowed only three runs in his first three starts, and looks like a guy worth adding if you have...Chien-Ming Wang for example.  I doubt it lasts all year long, but play him while he’s hot.

Injury News

Jed Lowrie might have played his last game in the 2009 season.  Lowrie is determining which course of action he will follow to fix his fractured wrist.  He could go down the route or cortisone shots and try to play through the pain.  He could have a surgery that would reattach the bone, if he goes down that route he would be able to return this year.

His third option is to have surgery to remove the bone, and that would cost him the season.  He will most likely have to deal with Julio Lugo again when he returns, so he might not even have regular at bats if he can come back.

Jay Bruce was hit by a pitch yesterday in the hand, and was out of the lineup today.  There isn’t a fracture in the hand, and he isn’t expected to miss much time.  Keep him on your bench until you see that he is able to return.

Mike Pelfrey will not be making his scheduled start on Sunday due to the tendonitis in his forearm, but there are a number of reasons that this seems to not be a big deal.  First, he will not be placed on the Disabled List.

Second, it wasn’t decided until today that he wouldn’t be making his start. 

Third, he was actually sent to the bullpen on Friday night because the manager had used up all of his relievers.  Pelfrey didn’t come in, but apparently it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility.  It seems that he will be ready for his next turn.

Suspensions

Milton Bradley has been suspended two games for arguing balls and strikes and making contact with an umpire.  Two things.  One, he’s banged up anyway, so he should just take the suspension. 

And two, are you really surprised?  This guy just has a screw loose.  If you own Bradley, you should be prepared that this could happen any day you turn on the computer.

Speaking of not quite right, Elijah Dukes was taken out of the lineup today for being late to the field.  This is Dukes’ 47th chance, so you would think by now that he would be on his best behavior, but oh no. 

He did end up getting into the game before it was over because his replacement broke his ankle.  But this shows that his manager isn’t going to take any of his crap.  I predict this won’t be the last time this happens.

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.

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