Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes

Collin HagerSenior Writer IMay 29, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 05:  Josh Beckett #19 of the Boston Red Sox delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees on May 5, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 7-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Wait. I think someone else got thrown out of the Red Sox-Twins game. 

While there was some decent viewership last night for the Cleveland-Orlando game, the result was almost predictable. It's one of the things about basketball that can drive people nuts.

Sure, Cleveland tried to choke away a 22-point lead, but there was no way that this thing wasn't being pushed to a Game 6. 

Not when there is advertising revenue to be had. Not when those stupid puppets keep showing up in the Nike commercials. 

You don't get this in baseball. The closest fix that it's possible to recall is Chan Ho Park grooving a fastball to Cal Ripken during Ripken's final All-Star game. At least that is an exhibition. 

On to the notes. 

Thursday Rewind

  • Bad day for Brett Myers owners. Looks like the Phillies pitcher will be sidelined four to six months with a hip injury. Myers will require surgery that should happen sooner, rather than later. When his agent was questioned, he felt that an October return was likely optimistic. Plenty of pitching out there on waivers, especially if you can manipulate your rosters daily. Myers had just started to pitch well, but this shouldn't hurt owners too badly.
  • Carlos Zambrano was issued a six game suspension for arguing with an umpire, throwing a ball towards the bleachers, and taking out a Gatorade machine. Zambrano is not expected to appeal the suspension, so owners will need to prepare to be without him until late next week. The Cubs will likely be able to shuffle their rotation so he won't really "miss" a start.
  • Kyle Lohse is still experiencing a myriad of problems, and the elbow is what will keep him off the mound tonight. Lohse has been more of a home start than anything, but it seems that recently we didn't know if he would take the mound until he actually did. It was like dealing with football injuries. Keep him reserved today, as the Cardinals will likely push him out until next week.
  • It's always nice when calls work out, and that's what Randy Wolf did for me yesterday. Wolf worked into the eighth inning against the Cubs. He allowed just one run on six hits yesterday, improving to 4-7 all-time against Chicago. Wolf even added seven strikeouts to the effort, while walking just one. He's not going to do this every time out, but he's riding a good streak and needs to be considered in deeper formats as a decent spot option.
  • The Baltimore outfield continues to produce. Luke Scott went deep twice last night, as did Nolan Reimold. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis weren't as solid last night, but with Markakis at .297 and Jones above .350, the numbers keep piling up. Jump on the bandwagon here. Scott's power started to show last season despite a .257 average and we're seeing it continue here. Will he hit over .300 all season? Not likely, but he will hit 25 home runs if healthy.
  • Tough to find something not to like about the Josh Beckett performance yesterday. Beckett worked seven innings, giving up just one run on three hits. While strikeouts have been a problem earlier this season, he fanned the first four of the game and eight total on the afternoon. He was just better than Anthony Swarzak. This makes four solid starts in a row for Beckett, and it's time to leave the panic button alone.
  • Daily league owners can look to get Jorge Posada back in their lineups tonight. Posada will be activated by the Yankees prior to tonight's game. This has to be considered good news for the Yankees, especially considering that Melky Cabrera will be out until the beginning of June.
  • Interesting that Mark Reynolds got the start at first base last night for the Diamondbacks. He has now racked up five starts their this season, and A.J. Hinch says that he'll be put there when Chad Tracy isn't in the lineup. While that could stop once Conor Jackson returns, he could add some flexibility to benches if he manages just a couple more starts before that happens. Keep an eye on it, especially because he's still available in about 15 percent of leagues.
  • Carlos Delgado is giving no timetable for his return, stating only that he would come back when he's healthy. He didn't provide any indication as to if this was an eight- or 10-week injury, but owners should be prepared to be without him for longer than they might have expected. On the plus side, Ryan Doumit is likely to be cleared to start his rehab work sooner rather than later.
  • Yesterday: 1-0! Season: 117-83-12

Friday Notes

  • Dontrelle Willis may still have some work to do when it comes to his control, but he has pitched well enough to start turning some fantasy heads. The Orioles have struggled against left-handed pitching, ranking 25th in terms of OPS against lefties. Willis is a decent option in this one.
  • John Lackey has owned Adrian Beltre. The Mariners third baseman is 7-for-43 against Lackey, good for a .163 average, with just one home run in that stretch. You'll want to keep most of your standard Mariners active, as most have standard numbers against Lackey. While Lackey is 6-2 in his last 10 starts against the Mariners, his ERA is well over 4.30 in that time, and the Mariners have hit over .300 against him.
  • 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.
  • While Juan Uribe doesn't get much playing time for the Giants, he has hit 6-for-15 against Joel Pineiro. It's possible we see either Emmanuel Burriss or Edgar Renteria (1-for-10 vs. Pineiro) grab a seat. Randy Winn and Aaron Rowand are both playing well, and both hit Pineiro very well. Pineiro's problems have come on the road, as batters hit .333 against him away from home with an OPS of .861.
  • Johnny Damon is just 1-for-18 against Cliff Lee, but Lee has struggled against some of the other Yankee bats. No concerns from most of your regulars in this one, despite how well Lee has been pitching. With Robinson Cano just 3-for-15 against Lee, Angel Berroa and his .324 average MAY be given a shot at second tonight. A reach, but AL-only owners may take note here. With batters posting an OPS just over .500 against Lee at home, to go with his 1.75 ERA, he still is a good option.
  • 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. As for Ramirez, he's likely only available for pinch-hitting duty with the hamstring injury still bothering him.
  • You obviously are starting your big-time Twins, but make sure to have Jason Kubel in the lineup against James Shields. Kubel is 7-for-12 against the Rays starter, good for a .583 number. He doesn't vary much from home to road, but he has hit righties well all season long, posting a .375 average and 1.015 OPS.
  • Ted Lilly continues to be virtually unhittable at home, and considering the struggles the Cubs have faced on offense, they'll need it. Lilly has held opponents to a .199 average and an OPS under .500 in 2009. With the Dodgers hitting just .221 against him, it's a very nice start. Keep Juan Pierre active, but his numbers are the only really good ones. Use discretion and substitute where you can.
  • 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, Willis, Josh Outman
  • Keep on the Bench: Lackey

Weekend Notes

  • Is anyone else curious the type of welcome that Sabathia is going to get in Cleveland? I'm sure it will be fine, but I always enjoy watching players come back based upon how they left. I don't think this one was his fault, but I could be wrong. Fans are funny that way.
  • It's almost standard across the lineup to be 4-for-11 against Fausto Carmona for the Yankees. Nearly every starter in the lineup has that line. The team as a whole is right around .300 against Carmona overall. Have to like the matchup, especially with how the offense is hitting since the return of Alex Rodriguez.
  • John Maine has been stellar at home, holding batters under .200 for the season. He's already had two decent starts against Florida this year, and his May numbers are strong. While you'll want to use the 5-for-13 of Jeremy Hermida, look to avoid most other Marlins against Maine, as he's held the roster to a .200 clip in 105 total at-bats.
  • Dave Bush's last start is slightly misleading. While he did leave with runners on, the bullpen proceeded to account for two of the runs charged against him. Sometimes that's just luck. Bush has kept opponents down at home, where he's 1-0 in five starts. Keep him active against the Reds. It's a gamble, but he's throwing better than he's being given credit for.
  • Mark Buehrle is 7-2 in his last 14 starts against the Royals. At Kauffman Stadium, he's 4-2 with a 1.25 WHIP since 2006. You'll want to keep Mark Teahan active, given his .432 average in 44 at-bats. Willie Bloomquist and a healthy Coco Crisp also make decent starts in this one. Just don't go reaching if you can avoid it.
  • Felix Hernandez is just 1-3 in his last six starts at Anaheim, and he was drastically roughed up his last time out against the Angels. He's had three really bad May starts, and two very good ones, so it is basically feast or famine. While I'd avoid Chone Figgins, Howie Kendrick, and Juan Rivera (combined 11-for-69), the rest of the Angels have hit Hernandez well. Favorite play? Kendry Morales is 8-for-19.
  • Chris Volstad has been just as tough on the road as he has at home, allowing batters to hit just .217 against him away from Florida. I don't think that Livan Hernandez will see lightning strike twice, and that makes Volstad continue to look like a better option overall.
  • Paul Maholm has pitched surprisingly well against the Astros, holding Carlos Lee to 4-for-24 and Lance Berkman to 3-for-18. Jeff Keppinger could be in the lineup in this one based on his .300 number against Maholm. Otherwise, he makes a fine play at home in this one. He's 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his starts there this season.
  • There are some good numbers in the Oakland lineup against Kevin Millwood. Orlando Cabrera is a .329 hitter in 85 at-bats. Mark Ellis may be struggling, but he has hit .414 in 29 at-bats against the Rangers starter. Both Jason Giambi and Bobby Crosby are good plays as well. Based on that, may want to re-think Millwood in this one. Batters overall are hitting nearly .280 against him at home.
  • Avoid the Mariners on Sunday against Ervin Santana. Santana has already held them down once, and the team still only hits .214 against him overall. Yuniesky Betancourt's .273 (9-for-33) is the best around, everyone else checks in well under .250 against Santana.
  • While you could see some major offense between the Phillies and Nationals on Sunday, there are a couple flags to be raised. Ryan Zimmerman is just 4-for-24 against Jamie Moyer, Josh Willingham is 2-for-23, and Nick Johnson is 1-for-15. Ryan Howard is 4-for-17 and Jayson Werth 3-for-13 against John Lannan.
  • Spot Starts: Paul Maholm, Edwin Jackson, Dallas Braden, John Maine, Doug Davis, Barry Zito
  • Keep on the Bench: Jon Lester, Kevin Millwood, Gil Meche

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.

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