Fantasy Baseball: Week Nine Rundown

Matthew BeckCorrespondent IMay 31, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 16:  Randy Johnson #51 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the New York Mets at AT&T Park on May 16, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Week Nine Rundown

Randy Johnson takes the headline for week nine with his chase for 300 wins.  He will be taking the mound on Wednesday in Washington against the horrid Nationals.  This will be his first try at reaching the milestone, after a couple tries to get to 299 wins.

Johnson’s milestone chase in definitely the biggest headline, but there are other good topics for week nine.  There are 41 two start pitchers taking the mound this week, including Johan Santana and Roy Halladay. 

On another note, there will be a full slate of games this week especially in the National League.  Ten of the 16 National League teams have seven games this week.

American League injuries updates

The Baltimore Orioles placed Koji Uehara on the disabled list, retroactive to May 24, with a sore left hamstring.  He will throw two bullpen sessions before returning to the lineup on June 10.

Joakim Soria is still about a week away from returning to the Royals bullpen.  Soria was placed on the disabled list a few weeks ago with a strained rotator cuff.

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After missing the entire 2008 season, Kelvim Escobar is scheduled to return to the Angels rotation this week.  In his last rehab start, Escobar threw six scoreless innings for a minor league affiliate.

Travis Hafner is still a few days away from returning to the Indians lineup.  Hafner was sidelined with shoulder soreness, and has been getting at bats with Triple-A Columbus.

To add to the Rays injury problems, Jason Bartlett was placed on the disabled list with a sprained left ankle.  Bartlett, the American League leader in batting average, is slated to return by mud June.

After a terrible start to the 2009 season, Mike Aviles was placed on the disabled list with a strain in his right forearm.  He should be returning within a week or two.

The Tigers Jeremy Bonderman is going to pitch in his third rehab game on Sunday.  If all goes well, he should make his season debut for the Tigers within the next week.  He has been sidelined with right shoulder soreness since spring training.

After starting just a handful of games for the last two weeks, Carlos Quentin was finally placed on the disabled list.  Quentin has been battling plantar fasciitis and was officially placed on the disabled list on Friday, which is retroactive to May 25.

Xavier Nady will begin a throwing program on Monday.  Nady has been sidelined with a strained elbow since the second week of the season.

The Yankees received good news about relief pitcher Brian Bruney.  After a visit to Dr. James Andrews, it was revealed that Bruney doesn’t have any structural damage in his right elbow.  He is schedule to start a throwing program on June 2.

The Indians have placed outfielder Grady Sizemore on the disabled list with left shoulder soreness. 

The Athletics have placed Travis Buck on the disabled list with a strained oblique.

National League injury updates

Kazuo Matsui has been placed on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring.  The Astros second baseman put together a good start to the season before being plagued by injury.

The Dodgers Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to return to the Dodgers rotation on June 6.  He has been sidelined with a strained left oblique since his opening day start back in April.

After battling with an inner ear infection for the last two weeks, the Reds have placed Joey Votto on the disabled list. 

The Reds were pleased to have Brandon Phillips back in the lineup on Friday.  He hit a home run in his first game back after missing the beginning of the week with a hairline fracture in his right hand.

Edison Volquez is scheduled to be activated from the disabled list and start for the Reds on Monday.  He has been sidelined with back spasms for the last two weeks.

The Phillies Brett Myers is scheduled to have hip surgery in the near future, with a possible September return.

The St. Louis Cardinals have activated Ryan Ludwick from the disabled list.  He had been battling hamstring problems prior to his stint on the disabled list.

To add to the Diamondbacks’ injuries, Chad Tracy has been placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle.

To no one’s surprise, the Mets placed Jose Reyes on the disabled list.  The official injury is calf tendinitis, and is retroactive to May 21.

Oliver Perez experienced a setback in his Triple-A rehab start.  On Friday, an MRI revealed that he still has patellar tendinitis in his right knee.

Elijah Dukes has been assigned to Double-A Harrisburg to start his rehab assignment.  Dukes was placed on the disabled list with left hamstring tendinitis, and is slated to return sometime in early June.

The Braves could activate Tom Glavine as early as June 2.  Glavine has yet to make his season debut due to an inflamed rotator cuff.


Two-start pitchers

Great options

Roy Halladay (TOR):  LAA(Saunders), KC(Davies)

Jakes Peavy (SD):  PHI(Blanton), ARI(Scherzer)

Dan Haren (ARI):  @LAD(Wolf), @SD(Geer)

Tim Lincecum (SF):  @WAS(Stammen), @FLA(TBD)

Johan Santana (NYM):  @PIT(Duke), @WAS(Stammen)

Good options

A.J. Burnett (NYY):  TEX(Holland), TB(Sonnanstine)

Randy Wolf (LAD):  ARI(Haren), PHI(TBD)

Clayton Kershaw (LAD):  ARI(Buckner), PHI(Blanton)

Kevin Slowey (MIN):  CLE(Huff), @SEA(Washburn)

Roy Oswalt (HOU):  COL(Cook), PIT(Snell)

Joba Chamberlain (NYY):  @CLE(Jackson), TB(Garza)

OK options

Bronson Arroyo (CIN):  @STL(Lohse), CHC(Wells)

Joe Saunders (LAA):  @TOR(Halladay), @DET(Porcello)

Edinson Volquez (CIN):  @STL(Wellemeyer), CHC(Marshall)

Rick Porcello (DET):  BOS(Matsuzaka), LAA(Saunders)

Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS):  @DET(Porcello), TEX(Holland)

Kyle Lohse (STL):  CIN(Arroyo), COL(Jimenez)

Zach Duke (PIT):  NYM(Santana), @HOU(Paulino)

Other notable two-start options

Ubaldo Jimenez (COL), Jarrod Washburn (SEA), Livan Hernandez (NYM), Todd Wellemeyer (STL), Manny Parra (MIL), Aaron Cook (COL), Joe Blanton (PHI), Kyle Davies (KC), Andrew Miller (FLA), Gavin Floyd (CHW), Kenshin Kawakami (ATL), Andy Sonnanstine (TB), Ian Snell (PIT), Jeff Suppan (MIL), Randy Wells (CHC), Bartolo Colon (CHW), Trevor Cahill (OAK)

Players to pick-up for week nine

Ben Zobrist, SS, OF (TB):  With Jason Bartlett and Akinori Iwamura on the disabled list, Zobrist will find himself a permanent spot in the Rays lineup.  He has had a hot bat so far this season and should be owned in all leagues.

Nolan Reimond, OF (BAL):  Reimond has been crushing the ball since being promoted two weeks ago.  He has five home runs and 11 RBI through his first 16 games as a big leaguer.  Pick him up if you are in need of outfield help, especially if you are in a dynasty league and need a rookie to store away for next season.

Casey Blake, 1B, 3B (LAD):  Blake has had a great season thus far.  Over his last seven games, he is batting .346 with six RBI and four runs scored.  He has cemented himself in one of the best offenses in the majors, and should be owned in all leagues.  He has upside in RBI hitting in the fifth spot in that potent offense.

Gary Sheffield, OF (NYM):  Sheffield has found himself consistent playing time with all the injuries to the Mets lineup.  He has been a great spark to the offense, with five home runs and 19 RBI over his last 30 games.  He is a viable option for any fantasy league as long as he gets consistent playing time.

Rick Porcello, SP (DET):  Porcello has been on a tear for the month of May, finishing with five wins for the month.  He has upside in strikeouts, wins and ERA. If he isn’t owned in your league, pick this youngster up as soon as possible.

Kelvim Escobar, SP (LAA):  Escobar has not pitched since the 2007 season, but has shown great signs of improvement in his rehab starts.   He is scheduled to return to the Angels as some point this week.  If you have a spot on your roster and need a quality pitcher, take a gamble and pick him up.  Wait to put him in your starting rotation until after his first start to make sure he is fully ready to return to the Angels rotation.

Tampa Bay Bullpen:  With Troy Percival on the disabled list, the Rays closer role is now wide open with no clear cut front runner.  Grant Balfour, Dan Wheeler, Lance Cormier, Randy Choate or Joe Nelson could receive the ball in the late innings depending on the matchups.  Choate recorded two saves this weekend, and Balfour has received save opportunities as well. 

Other news and notes

The Colorado Rockies have fired manager Clint Hurdle on Friday, after a poor start to the 2009 season.  Bench coach Jim Tracy will take over managerial duties for the rest of the season.

Matt Wieters made his major league debut over the weekend, taking over the catching duties for the Orioles.  He recorded his first hit on Saturday, which was a triple against the Tigers.

The New York Mets have traded catcher Ramon Castro to the White Sox for right-handed pitcher Lance Broadway.

The Florida Marlins have reported interest in right-handed pitcher Daniel Cabrera, who was recently demoted by the Washington Nationals.

Joe Torre reportedly said that he thinks Manny Ramirez should sit out of the All-Star game.

David Price struck out 11 batters, on his way to recording his first win of the season.

Victor Martinez had an early exit on Saturday against the Yankees, and was out of the lineup on Sunday.  Keep an eye out on how serious the injury is.

Brandon Webb expects to be back in action before the All-Star break for the Diamondbacks.

Jamie Moyer recorded his 250 career win on Sunday against the Nationals.  Moyer is second on the active wins list behind only Randy Johnson (299).

Carl Pavano, Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander recorded a major league high five wins for the month of May.

Interesting statistics

Adam Dunn is in line to set a record that no one in baseball has ever accomplished.  So far this season, Dunn has 16 home runs and the Nationals only have 13 wins.  If this pace keeps up, Dunn will end the season with more home runs than the Nationals have wins.  Even if the Nationals play .500 baseball for the rest of the season, they will still end up with 91 losses.

Zack Greinke already has five complete games in this young season.  His complete game total is more that the Royals recorded in all of the 2007 and 2008 seasons combined. 

Good luck to all this week, and check back again next week for the weekly rundown!

This article was originally published on www.rotoinfo.com.

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