Fantasy Baseball: Thursday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IMay 28, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 09:  Aaron Rowand #33 of the San Francisco Giants reacts after his strikeout during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium on May 9, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Watching the Red Sox game last night was like watching Major League.

The original one, that is.

With Daisuke Matsuzaka throwing four wild pitches and Manny Delcarmen adding a couple of his own, I couldn't help but think of Bob Uecker and Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn. 

There's that scene in the bar with Jake Taylor and Vaughn right after Vaughn sets the record for most wild pitches in an inning. The line?

"I saw your record on the news, you made their Hall of Shame."

The lesson, as always, is you don't have to do something good to be famous as long as you do it colorfully. 

I think we can all take something away from that. How often do you see that many wild pitches over the course of a game? I'll excuse Delcarmen, mainly because he has been outstanding so far this season.

Matsuzaka? Well, he and Lester, as well as a few other pitchers, obviously still have some work to do. 

On to the notes. 

Wednesday Rewind

  • With Luke Scott having been activated by the Orioles yesterday, thanks to Koji Uehara going on the DL, the Baltimore outfield is going to get slightly more crowded. With Adam Jones, Felix Pie, Scott, Nick Markakis, and Nolan Reimold, something will have to give. You basically have five guys for four spots on any given night. Reimold is making it hard to sit him. He now has four home runs in his first 13 big league games, and a hit in eight of his last 10. Deep leagues should pay attention to him. I think Pie is, obviously, the odd man out most often, with Scott seeing more time at DH.
  • It took Matsuzaka 102 pitches to get through five innings. The line wasn't awful, but it wasn't pretty either. Giving up only three runs is OK, but the nine hits and three walks is just painful. Add the wild pitches and it was worse. Still, he struck out six guys. I wish I understood how he did it. Offensively, he just got no help. Scoring two runs doesn't win many games.
  • The Yankees offense is simply clicking on all cylinders, and it's a good idea to always join the party if there's something available. You may not be able to grab one of the elite players on that team, but ride the train with players such as Brett Gardner. As long as he gets on base, he's likely to help you in the runs category. Given that Melky Cabrera could be sidelined briefly with a shoulder injury, Gardner isn't a bad option.
  • The Royals have scored a combined eight runs in Kyle Davies' last four starts. Davies pitched poorly last night, giving up five earned runs in five innings, and he's been consistently inconsistent. Without run support, coupled with these issues, he's not even a fringe starter in any format.
  • While Jake Peavy posted the win, he continued his struggles on the road against Arizona. Peavy allowed four runs in six-and-a-third innings, giving up eight hits and a walk. So, yes, he gave you help in the wins category, but largely could be viewed as hurting owners in others. I'm curious to understand why he has issues in that ballpark. Sometimes, though, it's just the surroundings.
  • Speaking of problems with surroundings, Ubaldo Jimenez fell to the Dodgers for the third time this season. Let's do a little math (I know, I know...). Backing out his numbers against the Dodgers, Jimenez has thrown 44.2 innings and allowed only 12 earned runs. That balances out to a 2.41 ERA in his eight other starts this season. His WHIP? 1.16. The solution: Stop starting him against the Dodgers.
  • Owners should expect to be without Carlos Zambrano for a start. Zambrano was ejected for arguing after a truly blown call at the plate. That's not the worst part of the offense. Unfortunately for Big Z, it looks from about every angle that he bumped the umpire. Not a good thing, and will certainly result in a suspension if it's deemed to be the case. Just a heads up.
  • Grady Sizemore's ailing elbow already caused the Indians to bring up Trevor Crowe to replace Matt LaPorta. Now, it may send him to the DL if it doesn't improve. With Travis Hafner ready to return next week (in theory), Sizemore won't be able to simply sit in the DH spot. He's been struggling enough this season with his .222 average and a stint on the DL may help him out. He's already been replaced at the top of the order by Asdrubal Cabrera. Of course, the injury does come just as he's hitting .308 in his last seven games.
  • Ben Zobrist has raised his average 20 points in his last 10 games, and he has seen his ownership jump to nearly 50 percent. Zobrist is shortstop eligible in most leagues, and given the rash of injuries at the position he should be considered an adequate short-term replacement at the least. With his recent power surge, expect him to get more at-bats even once Jason Bartlett returns.
  • Owners should take a look at a couple outfielders on the Giants. Aaron Rowand's recent move to the top of the lineup has resulted in his scoring more runs recently. He's raised his average 30 points in the last 10 games, all the way to .279. Randy Winn has been red-hot as well, raising his average 25 points in the same time, also to .279.
  • Jason Varitek sat yesterday, as George Kottaras caught Matsuzaka. Kottaras usually catches Wakefield, who will throw tomorrow, but early indications are that Varitek will be in the lineup this afternoon against Minnesota. With the turf, Terry Francona has been looking to give extra days off to his regulars. That makes checking today's lineup much more important.
  • Yesterday's Results: 2-0-2 (Season: 116-83-12)

Thursday Notes

  • I wish I had a ton to add, but only a couple additional notes from yesterday. The lack of games doesn't necessarily help when it comes to going through daily updates for rosters.
  • Dan Haren has pitched well, but did struggle his last time out against Oakland. I wouldn't put much stock in that outing. Even with it, his WHIP is still sitting at 0.90. Haren's record doesn't show how well he has pitched, as he's 3-4 with a 2.57 ERA to start the season. Keep Garrett Anderson active, as he is 11-for-30 with two home runs against Haren. He's the best bet if you're looking for some quick offense.
  • While Anthony Swarzak may be a reach play, even for AL-only owners, the Red Sox offense is not hitting well in the Dome. More than that, the team seems to fair poorly against young starters they haven't seen before. If you need a start today, he's not a bad option for those reasons alone.
  • Josh Beckett is slowly rounding into form. He's had four straight quality starts, and his best start was his most recent. His breaking pitches have been much sharper, as evidenced by double-digit groundballs in his last three starts. His ERA is skewed right now, but there should be no concerns in this one.
  • Arizona's Stephen Drew has seen a fair amount of Derek Lowe, and he likes what he sees. Drew is 14-for-27 against the Braves starter and is a solid play in this one. Keep most of your regular Diamondbacks in the lineup, as Mark Reynolds, Felipe Lopez, and Eric Byrnes are all hitting over .300 against him. No concerns on Lowe overall, as he has a decent record against Arizona.
  • Randy Wolf has been good overall against the Cubs. Derrek Lee's .270 is the best that you're going to see against the starter. I wouldn't look to actively avoid the Sorianos of the world, but certainly temper expectations accordingly. Wolf is 1-0 in five May starts, posting an ERA of 2.59. His road numbers aren't bad this season either, as he's 2-1 with a 2.87 ERA and .211 BAA.
  • Armando Galarraga is still winless in May, and his ERA is 9.96 for the month. As good as he was in April, he's been just as bad this month. Lefties are simply killing him, hitting over .300 for the season. Another bad outing may seal his fate as far as keeping a spot in the rotation once everyone is healthy in Detroit.
  • Spot Starts: Randy Wolf

Friday Notes

  • Apparently, Friday is some sort of big day for some sort of prospect for the Orioles. Matt Wieters is scheduled to make his debut for Baltimore against the Tigers and Dontrelle Willis. Not necessarily the easiest of motions to go against first time out. I know, we all want to start him, and if you're struggling at catcher you should. If he was a backup option for you, let's see what happens.
  • Andy Pettitte hasn't seen much of the Indians overall, but he does have decent numbers against most of the lineup in that limited action. Jhonny Peralta, though, seems to hit him well. Peralta is 5-for-11 with two home runs and eight RBI against the Yankees' starter. Peralta has been hitting over .375 in his last 15 games, continuing to push his average north and is now near .270 for the season.
  • Josh Outman has been nothing short of impressive for Oakland. The question is whether he can continue his streak in a ballpark that favors offense. Outman is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA on the road this season, and hasn't allowed more than three earned in any of his starts this season. As a spot option, he's worth a flyer here.
  • Kevin Millar and Marco Scutaro need to be active for you against Tim Wakefield tomorrow. Millar homered against Wakefield during their last meeting, and is a .433 hitter with four home runs overall against the Boston starter. Scutaro has hit .300 in 20 at-bats against Wakefield. Unfortunately, the rest of Toronto's lineup hasn't done as well.
  • Braden Looper is a nice start against the Reds. While Willy Taveras has hit him well, going 5-for-12 with a home run, he's hitting just .179 in his last seven games. Looper has held Jay Bruce to 2-for-14 and Joey Votto to 3-for-11. Brandon Philips is targeting a return on Friday, but he's just 1-for-14 against Looper.
  • Mike Pelfrey hasn't had much luck against the Marlins' lineup. Hanley Ramirez has struggled at times, but the team has hit Pelfrey to the tune of .300 in their combined at-bats. While he hasn't given up more than three earned in his last five starts, his wins are largely because of run support. Considering he's 1-5 in eight career starts against Florida with a 6.12 ERA, I don't like what I see.
  • Need some help on offense to close out the week? The Pirates have raked against Brian Moehler. Freddy Sanchez is 9-for-15, Adam LaRoche is 9-for-23 with two home runs, and Nate McLouth is 7-for-13. Even Jack Wilson is 6-for-16. Might not be the best time to be looking at Astros pitching for this one.
  • Spot Starts: Looper, Ross Ohlendorf, Josh Outman, and even Brian Bannister

Collin Hager writes The Elmhurst Pub fantasy blog. You can get your questions answered by sending an email to elmhurstpubroundtable@yahoo.com. He's also on Twitter @TheRoundtable.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.