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Fantasy Baseball Tonight, Cinco De Mayo Edition

Ryan HallamAnalyst IMay 6, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 30: Pitcher  Matt Garza  #22 of  the Tampa Bay Rays throws a one-hitter against the Boston Red Sox April 30, 2009 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Matt Garza continues to fly under the radar, but is following up his mastery in the playoffs last season with a solid start to 2009.  It was his longest outing of the season, as he went eight innings, allowed just two earned runs, walked two, and struck out two. 

I know you would like to see the strikeouts to be higher, but they had been better this year before tonight.  You likely drafted Garza fairly late, so this is a great beginning for a guy that is likely your fourth or fifth starter.

Adam Lind continues his hot start, and I am now buying in.  The guy was a pretty highly touted prospect, but had been passed over by Travis Snider to start the season.  But he has settled in to the everyday DH role, and he has thrived.  Lind was 3-4 with his sixth home run, and RBI numbers 25-29. 

He is hitting a robust .333, so can it continue?  Lind had some serious stats in the minors, so I could definitely see him having a 25+ homer season.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been able to return from his eye problems, and he connected on a grand slam on Tuesday.  He was hot before his troubles, so it is nice to see him back on track. 

The other good news for Salty is that his replacement, Taylor Teagarden, didn’t do much to take any at bats away from him now that he is healthy.  If you own Salty, get him back in the lineup.  If he is available, see if he has another good game or two to be sure he is back to normal.

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Elijah Dukes had a real solid game tonight in what could be the worst baseball game ever played.  The Astros and Nationals battled to a 10-10 tie into the eleventh inning before the game was suspended by rain. 

Since the Astros will play no more games in Washington, they will have to travel there just to finish this game up in July.  Will they get even 15 people in the stands for that white hot action?  But Dukes was 2-4 with his fourth homer and even stole his second base.   I think he will be a very streaky player this year, but when all is said and done he should be between 20-25 homers.

After two straight horrible starts, Josh Beckett bounced back just in time to face the Yankees.  He still wasn’t vintage Beckett, but he was better.  The Sox ace lasted six innings, allowed three runs, and struck out five.  Beckett has had his share of struggles since he joined the Sox, but he is still a top 15 pitcher, and should rebound from his tough start.

Rick Porcello had a nice bounceback outing after two straight stinkers.  Not only was it impressive that Porcello, at age 20, was able to get back on track, but he also keeps his walks under control. 

Like I say all the time, there are going to be rocky days for all pitchers, especially guys his age who are usually in AA ball.  But the way he showed some toughness today, it is obvious that this kid has a future.

Brett Cecil pitched very well in his major league debut for the Blue Jays, unfortunately the bullpen couldn’t hold it.  Through six innings, Cecil allowed just one run, didn’t walk a batter, but struck out six. 

Cecil had a great college career, and was pretty impressive in the minors too, so he could be worth a look on your team.  Don’t drop an established veteran, but take a look at your roster.

Is this the start of something for Brandon Phillips?  After struggling to start the year badly, Phillips broke out in a big way on Tuesday going 3-5 with his fourth homer and six RBI. 

Even with this big outing his batting average is just .226, so he has definitely tested your patience.  The 30/30 days are over, but Phillips is still a top five or six option at his position.  Stay patient, he will reward you eventually if you keep your expectations under control.

Alberto Callaspo continues to stay hot and he could be a stopgap if you need help in the middle of the diamond.  The Royals second baseman was 2-5 with his second homer of the season. 

He didn’t show much power or speed in the minors, but he did show the ability to drive in runs, shown by his 2006 season in AAA where he drove in 68 runs in just 118 games.  Not bad for a light hitting second baseman.


Finally, I will be appearing on my local ESPN Radio affiliate on the “Sound-Off with Sinkoff” show.  I will be answering listener phone calls for about a half hour.  If any of you just can’t seem to get enough of me (and who can?), you can listen online at www.wtmm.com.  I will be on at 5 p.m. EST.  I don’t have the phone number, but he says it plenty during the spot.

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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