Around the Majors: April 18

Eric StashinSenior Writer IApril 19, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 03:  Zack Greinke #23 of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch against the Chicago White Sox on August 3, 2008 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)

Zack Greinke continued to dazzle.  Chien-Ming Wang continued to struggle.  Johan Santana out-dueled Yovani Gallardo.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Oakland vs. Toronto

  • Trevor Cahill continued to struggle with his control.  He gave up only two runs over 5.1 innings, but allowed five hits and five walks while striking out only one.  His ERA is a nice 2.60, but his WHIP is 1.46.  We’ve spoken about his potential upside in the past, but he is still a rookie so tread carefully.  His next start comes against the Rays, a very tough match-up.

Cleveland vs. New York (AL)

  • I think it is officially time to be concerned about Chien-Ming Wang.  He lasted just 1.1 innings giving up eight runs on eight hits and 0 walks, striking out 1.  He’s pitched just six innings over his first three starts, sporting a robust 34.50 ERA. 

    It’s off, considering the injury he’s returning from was not to his arm, but there clearly is something going on here.  With his next start scheduled to take place in Boston, there is just no way I could see actually using him in any format.
  • Where to begin with the Indians offense…There were six home runs hit, but the biggest day went to Mark DeRosa, going 4-7 with one HR, six RBI and two R. 

    In honesty, you could list the entire Indians starting lineup, with everyone but Ryan Garko scoring at least two runs (he scored one) and everyone but Ben Francisco driving in at least one run.  I guess that’s what happens when you rack up 22 runs.

Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay

  • Lights out is certainly not an appropriate way of describing Mark Buehrle’s performance, though he did improve to 2-0.  He allowed three runs on eight hits and three walks, striking out five, over 6.2 innings against a tough lineup.  He’s a solid option for deeper mixed formats.
  • Carlos Pena went 1-4 with two RBI, giving him at least one RBI in each of his past seven games.

Baltimore vs. Boston

  • Josh Beckett’s performance last night is the epitome of a true ace, getting the job done when you clearly don’t have your best stuff.  He went six innings giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and four walks, striking out five.  He’s struck out 20 batters over his first 19 innings, though he is still facing the potential six-game suspension.

Los Angeles (AL) vs. Minnesota

  • I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again.  With Vladimir Guerrero out, the team needs something in the No. 3 spot besides Maicer Izturis.  His 0-4 game, dropping him to a .150 average, just isn’t going to cut it.
  • Jason Kubel went 4-5 with two RBI and three R, putting him at 8-10 with one HR, seven RBI, and five R over his past two games.  That’s one heck of a couple days, don’t you think?  I wouldn’t expect it to continue, but cash in while you can.

Kansas City vs. Texas

  • The only real story of this game was Zack Greinke, and his continued tremendous start to the season.  He tossed a complete game shutout, giving up seven

    hits and 0 walks, striking out 10.  He’s thrown 20 innings thus far this season without giving up a runs (he’s up to 34 consecutive shutout innings dating back to last season) with 26 strikeouts and a dazzling 1.05 WHIP.  Prior to the season I had him ranked as the No. 20 starting pitcher, but he’s clearly outperforming even that ranking.

Detroit vs. Seattle

  • Erik Bedard took the loss despite continuing to pitch well.  He went six innings giving up two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks, striking out eight.  He’s sporting a tidy 1.86 ERA and has struck out 23 over his first 19.1 innings.  At this point all he needs to do is stay healthy and he’s a huge steal for owners who took the gamble.
  • Edwin Jackson has pitched well, tossing 7.2 shutout innings on five hits and one walk, striking out six.  Considering Matt Joyce is in the minor leagues while he has a 2.14 ERA, I’d say the Tigers have gotten the advantage thus far in this deal.

Atlanta vs. Pittsburgh

  • Just how long will the Braves go with Jo-Jo Reyes over Tommy Hanson?  Reyes struggled in his first start of the season, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out four, over 5.2 innings.  Meanwhile, Hanson is tearing it up at Triple-A.  It’s only a matter of time, so yearly league owners may want to consider stashing him now.
  • Craig Monroe got the start in RF, going 2-4 with two HR, six RBI and two R.  With Brandon Moss yet to pick up an RBI, could Monroe start to steal some AB?  If he gets regular playing time he will have value in formats that require five outfielders so keep an eye out.

Florida vs. Washington

  • Jeremy Hermida was the hero for the Marlins, going 3-6 with two HR, five RBI and three R.  His first home run came in the top of the ninth, with the second coming in the top of the eleventh.  He’s hitting .316 with three HR and eight RBI, so hopefully this game gets his production going.
  • After a gem against the Mets, Josh Johnson got bombed giving up six runs on six hits and two walks, striking out six.  It happens.

Milwaukee vs. New York (NL)

  • The story of the game was an excellent pitching matchup.  Yovani Gallardo deserved better then a no decision, throwing six shutout innings. 

    He gave up five hits and two walks, striking out seven.  He just didn’t last long enough to defeat Johan Santana, who now has a tidy 0.46 ERA.  He went seven shutout innings giving up five hits and 0 walks, striking out seven, to improve to 2-1.  Does anyone still believe that Santana is losing it?

St. Louis vs. Chicago (NL)

  • Rick Ankiel’s struggles continue, going 0-6, dropping his average to .179. 

    Generally you do not want to bench a slumping hitter like this because you don’t want to miss his breakout after enduring the struggles, but at this point I have to wonder if he is even going to retain a starting job for much longer.  Monitor his performance over the next few days.
  • Is Geovanny Soto ever going to hit?  He went 0-2 with three walks and one run, dropping his average to .105.  Unlike Ankiel, he’s not in jeopardy of losing his job and should remain in all lineups.

Colorado vs. Los Angeles (NL)

  • Chad Billingsley improved to 3-0, though this was not his most impressive start.  He allowed three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out six, over six innings.  It still wasn’t bad, however, and is quickly establishing himself among the leagues best.
  • Andre Ethier scored a run for the seventh consecutive game, going 2-5 with two HR, four RBI, and two R.  He is now up to four HR and 13 RBI on the season and certainly is worth using in all formats.

Arizona vs. San Francisco

  • Finally Tim Lincecum!  He tossed eight tremendous innings, giving up five hits and 0 walks, striking out 13.  He only threw 98 pitches, and lifting him from the game ultimately cost them as the bullpen lost it in the ninth.

Cincinnati vs. Houston

  • Aaron Harang’s renaissance season took a bit of a hit, giving up five runs on 10 hits and one walk, striking out six, over six innings of work.  It’s a small step backwards, but it certainly should not be a conversation stopped.
  • Wandy Rodriguez pitched at home, which means that he was in line for a great start.  He didn’t disappoint, throwing seven shutout innings giving up two hits and two walks, striking out 10. 

    To date he’s given up one run over 13 innings at home and three runs over six innings on the road.  It’s amazing that he just can’t completely buck that trend, isn’t it?

San Diego vs. Philadelphia

  • Kevin Kouzmanoff went 3-5 with one HR, three RBI, and one R. Solid game, but he’s just not a player that has really impressed anyone yet. It’s his first home run of the season and he has just five RBI.

    He’s a desperation option at best, at this point, but still could develop. If I owned him, I’d have him on my bench and hope.
  • Brett Myers went 6.2 innings giving up three runs on six hits and four walks, striking out six.  He certainly seems to have again taken a step backwards, sporting a 5.03 ERA this season.

So, what does everyone else think?  Anything to add?

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