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Around the Majors, April 26: Shane Victorino, Jordan Zimmermann Break Out

Eric StashinSenior Writer IApril 27, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 10:  Shane Victorino #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies takes an at bat against the Colorado Rockies during MLB action on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 10, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Phillies 10-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Let's take a look at some of the big stories from yesterday's games, like Andy Sonnanstine's struggles, Shane Victorino's recent breakout, and Jordan Zimmermann's impressive start to his career.

Minnesota vs. Cleveland

  • Shin-Soo Choo now has a 5-game hitting streak after going 1-2 with 1 RBI.  Over the streak, he’s gone 6-17 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  I’ve never been extremely high on him and certainly would like to see him have a little bit more production then this.  He has just 9 RBI and 10 R on the season  In 5 OFer formats he has value, but I wouldn’t want to be depending on him in shallower formats.
  • Carlos Gomez went 0-2 and is now hitting .195 on the season.  He continues to show that he is overmatched in the majors and, despite his speed, I’d prefer to see him get a chance to develop a bit more.

Texas vs. Baltimore

  • Chris Davis went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, and 1 R.  At least he’s hitting for power (five HR), because he has yet to offer the run production (nine RBI) and average (.213) that owners were hoping for.  I still believe that he’s going to come around, as he showed too much upside potential last season.  Keep holding out hope.
  • Adam Jones went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, and 1 SB.  He’s now hitting .348 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 1 SB.  He may be finally realizing that potential we’ve all heard about for so long.  He’s worth owning in all formats at this point, just in case.

Toronto vs. Chicago (AL)

  • Paul Konerko went 1-4 with 2 RBI, putting him at .328 with 3 HR and 15 RBI.  Last April, he hit just .222.  In April ‘07, he hit .198.  It certainly is a nice renaissance, isn’t it?
  • Roy Halladay just continues to prove how great of a pitcher he is.  He is now 4-1, after giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6 over 7 innings.  You have to love a pitcher who takes the ball as often as Halladay and does what he does. 

Detroit vs. Kansas City

  • Armando Galarraga improved to 3-0 after giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 5 walks, striking out 7 over 6 innings.  I could do without the control issues, which have been getting worse with each start.  It certainly is worth monitoring, but it’s impossible to argue with a 1.85 ERA.
  • Billy Butler got the day off, allowing Jose Guillen to be used as a DH.  As a Butler owner, I really hope that this does not become a routine, as Butler needs to play in order to get out of his little funk (hopefully).

Seattle vs. Los Angeles (AL)

  • Howie Kendrick hit fifth for the first time this season and maybe it was just the pressure he needed to wake up his bat.  He went 3-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 1 R.  He had just 4 RBI in his previous nine games.  He has the potential to be among the best 2B in the game and post days like this on a routine basis.
  • Jered Weaver was impressive, tossing 7 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 walks, and striking out 5.  He’s now 2-1 and an option worth owning in all formats.

Tampa Bay vs. Oakland

  • How long are the Rays going to stick with Andy Sonnanstine?  In the very competitive AL East, you just can’t afford to be giving away games.  Sonnanstine fell to 0-3 with a 7.74 ERA after giving up 7 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3 over 4 innings.  Granted, he had given up 5 runs over his previous 11 innings, but the team can’t afford blow-ups like this against teams that they certainly can beat.  His next start is scheduled against Boston, one for which I would absolutely not use him.

New York (AL) vs. Boston

  • Justin Masterson won his second consecutive start, giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk, and striking out 4 over 5.1 innings.  He’s not going to stick in the rotation indefinitely, but, if you need a pitcher for the short-term, then there certainly are worse options available to you.  Pitching for the Red Sox should allow him the ability to get some victories, especially if he continues to pitch as he is.  He currently has an ERA of 2.70 and WHIP of 1.26.
  • Michael Bowden made his season debut in a relief role, pitching two perfect innings, and striking out 2.  He’ll have value for those who like middle relievers if he sticks for the long-term.
  • Robinson Cano has at least one hit in all but one game this season and currently is on a 13-game hitting streak.  He’s currently hitting .373 on the season, after hitting .151 last April.  Talk about a turnaround.

Philadelphia vs. Florida

  • Shane Victorino entered this 3-game set with 5 RBI, but leaves it with 13.  He picked up 4 yesterday, going 2-5 (and also scored a run), leading the way in the romp of the slumping Marlins.  He’s a great option and deserves to be in the line-up, even when he’s not at his best.  He’s one of those players whose breakouts are worth waiting for.
  • Graham Taylor?  The Marlins couldn’t find someone better to take the ball for this one?  He was terrible, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 6 walks, striking out 2, over 3.2 innings.  He even hit Jamie Moyer.  All I can say is, "Ugh!"

Washington vs. New York (NL)

  • Jordan Zimmerman made his second career start, continuing to impress.  He went 5.1 innings giving up 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5.  He did allow a few too many base runners, but the results were there.  He is now 2-0 with a 2.58 and has the potential to be a solid option in all formats despite being a rookie.  Obviously, there is some risk involved, so he is not a pitcher to use non-stop.  In NL-only and deeper formats, he’s worth owning, however.
  • I still do not understand why the Mets threw so much money at OIiver Perez.  His ERA is currently a stellar 9.31 after giving up 7 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, and striking out 3 over 4.1 innings.  He simply has not had it this season and is making Omar Minaya look exceptionally bad for this decision.  The scary thing is that his next start comes in Philadelphia, a team against which he generally pitches well.  Still, does anyone trust him right now?

Atlanta vs. Cincinnati

  • Kenshin Kawakami got rocked for 8 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 1 over 4.2 innings, inflating his ERA to 7.06 on the season.  He has pitched better then that, though he is now 1-3 on the season.  I wouldn’t cut bait and give up on him based solely on the numbers.
  • Jay Bruce extended his hitting streak to 6 games, going 3-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 2 R.  Over the streak he’s gone 10-22 with 4 HR, 8 RBI, and 6 R.

Milwaukee vs. Houston

  • Manny Parra had his second decent start of the season, though he fell to 0-4 with a 6.52 ERA.  He went 5 innings, giving up 3 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits and 3 walks, and striking out 4.  Over 19.1 innings this season, he’s got 15 Ks vs. 12 BBs.  That certainly is far from an encouraging ratio and not close to what owners are looking for.  He’s not a pitcher I’d be using right now, though I wouldn’t drop him yet.  Just stash him away and hope things start to turn.

Chicago (NL) vs. St. Louis

  • Kosuke Fukudome continues to impress, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, and 2 R.  He hadn’t driven in a run in five games or scored a run in four games, but this is the way to break out of a mini-drought.  He’s now hitting .371 with 4 HR and 15 RBI, performing as the player people had hoped to be getting in 2008.
  • Rick Ankiel is starting to get going.  He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, and 1 R, giving him home runs in two of his last three starts.  That’s the reason why owners have Ankiel on their rosters, so hopefully this continues.

Los Angeles (NL) vs. Colorado

  • Do not panic about Clayton Kershaw, but that hot start seems like a distant memory.  He got shelled for 9 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4 over 4.2 innings.  His next start is against the Padres, so I certainly would continue to run him out there for at least one more week.
  • Dexter Fowler went 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R and appears to be making a strong case to play every day.  In 5 OFer formats, he certainly should be owned already as a source of potential speed and runs scored.  If he’s still available, I’d stash him immediately if you have the room.

Pittsburgh vs. San Diego

  • What slow start?  Adam LaRoche went 2-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, and 3 R, putting him at .288 with 5 HR and 14 RBI.  Last season he had 5 RBI in all of April.  With his MO of being a big second half player, this could be the season in which he finally puts up some huge numbers.
  • Jake Peavy currently has an ERA of 5.74 after giving up 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, striking out 6 over 5 innings.  He is supposed to be one of the elite, isn’t he?  Obviously, you have to continue to run him out there, though he hasn’t given up less then 3 runs in any of his five starts this season.  I know 3 runs isn’t bad, but, from an ace, it’s not exactly what you want to see on a regular basis.

San Francisco vs. Arizona

  • Welcome to the dance Pablo Sandoval.  He had just 1 RBI entering the day, but he went 4-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, and 2 R scored.  I know that most fantasy owners are hoping that this is the sign of things to come.
  • Brian Wilson blew the save, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits over an inning.  It happens, and given the way that he’s been pitching this season, I certainly wouldn’t worry about it.  He’s a No. 2 relief pitcher in all formats.

What does everyone think?  Anything you want to add?

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