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Around the Majors, April 24: Zack Greinke, Erik Bedard Continue Strong Starts

Eric StashinSenior Writer IApril 25, 2009

SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 03:  Pitcher Zack Greinke #23 of the Kansas City Royals warms up before the start of a spring training game against the Cleveland Indians at the Surprise Stadium on March 3, 2009 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Zack Greinke continues to impress.  Erik Bedard continues to look like his old self.  Edinson Volquez and Joba Chamberlain both had some struggles.  Let’s take a look at these performances and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Minnesota vs. Cleveland

  • Fausto Carmona gave up 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7, over 6 innings to fall to 1-3 with a 7.36 ERA on the season.  At this point he is stuck on my bench, at best, until he proves usable.

Texas vs. Baltimore

  • Michael Young went 2-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, his fifth home run of the season.  Considering his high over the past three seasons was 14 in 2006, this type of power has to be considered a bonus.  Obviously I’d be skeptical that it can continue, but enjoy it while it lasts.  If there’s someone in your league willing to buy high, you certainly may want to consider it depending on the offer.
  • Koji Uehara is an interesting pitcher, in the sense that you just don’t know what you are going to get when he takes the mound.  He gave up 2 runs on 4 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6, over 6.2 innings.  This was against the same team that shelled him just a few weeks ago.  He’s now sported good starts against the Yankees, Red Sox and Rangers.  The Angels are next on the schedule and I still just don’t trust him enough to use.

New York (AL) vs. Boston

  • Joba Chamberlain gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on 9 hits and 4 walks, striking out 2, over 5.1 innings.  He has now walked 9 batters over his last 10 innings.  If Chien-Ming Wang can return to form, even somewhat, in a few weeks, be ready for the murmurs of Chamberlain to the bullpen quickly picking of steam if he cannot right the ship.
  • Kevin Youkilis went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R.  He is now hitting .433 with 5 HR, 13 RBI and 16 R, and that’s without the protection of a hot David Ortiz.  Does anyone still believe he is not worth an early round draft pick?

Detroit vs. Kansas City

  • Zack Greinke finally gave up a run…of course, it was unearned.  He went the distance giving up 1 unearned on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 10, to improve to 4-0.  His 0.00 ERA over his first 29 innings is extremely impressive.  The guy is a stud on the mound, there’s no other way to say it.
  • The Tigers sent Rick Porcello to the mound, who fell to 1-2 after giving up 5 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings.  It was the long ball that did him in, as two of the hits were home runs.  He’s showing his tremendous potential, making him someone to watch for all owners.

Toronto vs. Chicago (AL)

  • The only Blue Jays starter without a hit was Lyle Overbay (0-4, 1 R), so there are a lot of options to chose from in who to discuss.  Let’s go with Rod Barajas, who went 3-5 with 2 R and 2 RBI.  Over his last three games he’s now 5-14 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 4 R.  I’m not going to call him a good option, but you may want to consider using him while he’s hot in two-catcher formats if you are one who lost Ryan Doumit.  Obviously, be ready to move on quickly, however.
  • So, just who is the real Gavin Floyd?  Yesterday he gave up 6 runs (5 earned) on 9 hits and 5 walks, striking out 5, over 4.1 innings. He’s traded good and bad starts so far this season and with the Mariners next on the schedule the trend easily could continue.  I know he’s likely frustrating you, but at this point I’d leave him in there.

Tampa Bay vs. Oakland

  • Unoftunately this is one of the risks of using rookie pitchers.  Trevor Cahill got torched for 7 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2, over just 2.1 innings.  A pair of home runs really burned him.  He has struck out just 7 over 20 innings despite three strong starts to kick off his season.  Of course, his WHIP is now 1.75 and the Rangers are next on the schedule.  I’d refrain from using him.
  • Carlos Pena went 2-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R putting him at .254 with 8 HR.  Granted, the average is not great, but then again what exactly did you expect? 

Seattle vs. Los Angeles (AL)

  • Erik Bedard has certainly looked like he has turned back the clock this season, improving to 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA.  He went 6.2 innings giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6.  He appears to be a must-use at this point, so leave him in there with the White Sox next on the schedule.
  • Jose Lopez posted his first multi-hit game since April 8, going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s much better then he’s shown thus far this season, so just sit tight for now.

Washington vs. New York (NL)

  • Is a Johan Santana start really the Mets' only chance to win?  He was impressive again, giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 10, over 6 innings to improve to 3-1.  Had it not been for an error and a tremendous start from Josh Johnson, he would be sporting a 4-0 record.  Is anyone still doubting that he’s the best pitcher in baseball?
  • Jesus Flores went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  He’s hitting .289 with 1 HR and 7 RBI and has tremendous upside.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: in two-catcher formats, he’s a must-own.

Philadelphia vs. Florida

  • Josh Johnson pitched 7 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 8, before handing the ball to the bullpen.  All Matt Lindstrom did was pitch 0.2 innings, giving up 7 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 1, including a grand slam off the bat of Shane Victorino.  Strikeout potential or not, the Marlins won’t be able to tolerate many performances like this if they want to stay competitive in this division.  I’m not suggesting his on shaky ground, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he was in the not too distant future.

Atlanta vs. Cincinnati

  • This time it was Mike Gonzalez’ turn to get the save, pitching a perfect ninth to earn save #2.  Owners desperate for saves should hold onto both Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano.  Right now it seems like they may just take turns.
  • Edinson Volquez gave up 3 runs on 1 hit, striking out 7, over 5 innings.  Wait, I forgot something, right?  How does someone give up 3 runs on just 1 hit?  When you walk 7 batters, that’s how.  He’s now walked 20 batters in 20.1 innings this season, an obviously terrible number.  Owners have got to be concerned.

Milwaukee vs. Houston

  • Rickie Weeks went 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, putting him at a .270 average.  I know it’s still early but did anyone see this coming?
  • Felipe Paulino was certainly not as impressive as in his first start.  He went 6 innings giving up 4 runs on 10 hits and 0 walks, striking out 4.  At least the control was there, right?  He’s really only an option in deeper formats at this point, and that’s with a favorable match-up.  He has the talent and is worth watching, but just tread carefully.

Chicago (NL) vs. St. Louis

  • At this point Ryan Franklin may never relinquish the closer’s role.  He walked 1 and struck out 2 in the ninth inning to record his fifth save of the season and still has not allowed an earned run.  Jason Motte?  Chris Perez?  They may get a chance at some point down the line, but Franklin needs to give them the opportunity to take his job first.  Right now, there just aren’t any signs of that.

Los Angeles (NL) vs. Colorado

  • The Dodgers moved Matt Kemp up to the No. 6 spot, where he went 0-5, striking out three times.  Yeah, one bad game, but I still don’t understand why Joe Torre insists on hitting him in the lower part of the order.
  • The Rockies continue to find spots to start Ian Stewart, yesterday at 2B.  If he’s playing he’ll be worth using in deeper formats, especially if he has 2B eligibility.  He’s had four games there thus far, so it is coming awfully soon.  If you are weak there, you may want to stash him if you have the room.

San Francisco vs. Arizona

  • Is anyone still worried about Tim Lincecum?  His slow start seems to be a thing of the past, after giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 12, over 8 innings.  In his last 16 innings, he’s given up 1 run while striking out 25.  Yeah, this is a prime example as to why we don’t panic over a player getting off to a slow start.
  • Eric Byrnes went 2-4 and now has a modest three-game hitting streak.  While that doesn’t sound like much, considering how badly he was struggling it certainly has a bit of merit.  That’s not to say that I would run out and grab him, but if he can right the ship he has value in all formats.  He has 20/20 potential, so just keep an eye on him.

Pittsburgh vs. San Diego

  • Adrian Gonzalez went 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s hitting .310 with 6 HR and 12 RBI.  I know he is stuck in the middle of one of the worst line-ups and plays in a terrible hitters ballpark, but fantasy owners need to stop underestimating his ability.  The guy is one of the best hitters in the game.

What does everyone think?  Anything you want to add?

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