Around the Majors: April 19

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Emilio Bonifacio’s hot streak has seemingly come to an end.  Ian Kinsler continued his torrid week.  Rick Porcello (pictured) earned his first major league win.  Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Cleveland vs. New York (AL)

  • A.J. Burnett’s control problems reared its ugly head in this one.  He threw 6.1 innings giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and 7 walks, striking out 2.  That meant 111 pitches, just too many.  When he’s on he is one of the better pitchers in baseball, but when he’s not you run the risk of this type of performance.  While the ERA wasn’t devastating, he walks this many again and it could be.  He’s worth using, but just be prepared.

Oakland vs. Toronto

  • Where did Ricky Romero come from?  Seemingly out of no where, the Blue Jays have found a savior for their injury riddled rotation, at least for now.  He went 7 shutout innings, giving up 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6, to improve to 2-0 on the season.  While I’m not so sure this can continue, especially pitching in the AL East, but cash in while you can.  Unfortunately, with the White Sox next on the schedule, I’m not so sure I would take the risk.  Gamble at your own risk.
  • Alex Rios went 1-4, putting him at 2-23 over the past five games.  He hasn’t picked up an RBI since April 12.  Certainly not a great start from a player fantasy owners expected so much from, but don’t panic yet.

Baltimore vs. Boston

  • Is Koji Uehara one of those pitchers who excels against the tougher opponents?  He went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5.  Unfortunately, his next start comes against the Rangers, who roughed him up for seven runs over five innings, making him an extremely tough play.
  • David Ortiz went 0-4 with two strikeouts, dropping his average to .170 with no home runs.  While the wrist is certainly an issue, he’s already struck out 14 times.  I can’t simply point to the injury because he’s just not making contact.

Chicago (AL) vs. Tampa Bay

  • Gavin Floyd rebounded from a terrible start earlier in the week to beat the Rays giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 0 walks, striking out 7.  This is the prime example of why one bad start early on should not deter you from using a pitcher.
  • Carlos Quentin is on fire, going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now homered in three straight games and has five in his past six games.  He’s quickly trying to prove that last season’s power surge was not a fluke.

Los Angeles (AL) vs. Minnesota

  • Maicer Izturis got the day off so Rob Quinlan filled into the #3 spot in the line-up.  I’m no manager, but there has to be a better configuration than this one.
  • Howie Kendrick was batting .296 on 4/12, but after going 0-4 he’s now sitting at .213.  He hasn’t homered since Opening Day and hasn’t had a stolen base since April 10.  At this point he seems like nothing more then a middle infielder for those in deeper formats and a bench option at best in shallow formats.  Obviously, he’s got a lot of talent so just sit tight and hope he turns things around.
  • Glen Perkins picked up his first win of the season, giving up 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4.  He’s opened strong, with a 1.50 ERA over his first three starts.  His next start is set to come in Cleveland, making him a pitcher certainly worth using.

Kansas City vs. Texas

  • Ian Kinsler’s strong play continued, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R and 2 SB.  He’s now hitting .460 with 4 HR, 14 RBI, 13 R and 6 SB.  All I can say is…  Wow!
  • It’s too bad the Rangers haven’t given Frank Francisco many save opportunities early on, because he has been rather dominant.  He picked up a vulture win, striking out one in a perfect inning of work.  For the season he’s tossed 5.1 innings, giving up 1 hit and 0 walks, striking out 7.  I’d consider him a #2 closer right now, even with just one save on the season.

Detroit vs. Seattle

  • Rick Porcello picked up his first win of his major league career, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 3.  That’s a vast improvement from his first start, when he got hit hard for four earned runs over five innings.  Of course, this start was against the Mariners, so I’m not going to get too excited.  Still, with the Royals the next team on the schedule, he could be worth using in deeper formats.

Milwaukee vs. New York (NL)

  • Will the Brewers bats ever really get going?  Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder combined to go 0-7 and are now hitting .222 and .179, respectively.  Those two struggling hurts the value of every other player on the team, so owners across the board have to hope the turn things around soon.
  • Gary Sheffield was in the line-up for the second consecutive day and third time since Wednesday.  If the Mets are going to continue to use him, the value of Daniel Murphy and Ryan Church could suffer.  It’s certainly worth monitoring.

San Diego vs. Philadelphia

  • Exactly why did Heath Bell get the day off?  Edwin Moreno instead got the save chance and did not even record an out.  He gave up 2 runs on 2 hits, including a 2-run home run off the bat of Raul Ibanez, to blow the game for the Padres.
  • Speaking of Ibanez, he’s settled in nicely in that Philadelphia order, hasn’t he?  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, leaving him at .386 with 5 HR and 10 RBI already.  Obviously, writing off the 36-year old would have been a big mistake.

Atlanta vs. Pittsburgh

  • Javier Vazquez tossed 6 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 8.  He’s now struck out 25 over his first 18 innings, meaning he is one of the elite strikeout artists in the game, exactly what some expected with his return to the NL.
  • Zach Duke’s strong start took a major hit in this one.  He went 6 innings, giving up 6 runs on 12 hits and 0 walks, striking out 2.  His next start comes in San Diego, so I wouldn’t write him off quite yet.

Florida vs. Washington

  • On 4/11 Emilio Bonifacio was hitting a ridiculous .583.  Since then he’s gone 3-29, dropping his average to .321.  At first blush, that’s still solid, but considering where he was it has to open some eyes.  He’s also struck out 11 times in that span, making things worse.  I wouldn’t write him off, but you have to be paying attention.

Cincinnati vs. Houston

  • Edinson Volquez gave up only 1 run over 6 innings, but he still left plenty for owners to be concerned with.  He allowed 4 hits and 5 walks, while striking out 7.  He’s now walked 13 batters over just 15.1 innings.
  • Felipe Paulino impressed in his season debut, tossing 6 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6.  Of the remaining 11 outs he records, 7 were on the ground, making things look even more attractive.  His next start comes against the Brewers, what normally would be a definite benching.  Even with the Brewers struggles, it would be tough to see using him due to the risk.  Sooner or later Milwaukee is going to start hitting.
  • Miguel Tejada went 3-5 with 1 RBI, extending his hitting streak to six games.  Over that stretch he’s 13-25, including five multi-hit games.  Of course, he has just 1 RBI, but we can’t get everything.

Arizona vs. San Francisco

  • Randy Johnson looked like the Big Unit of old, tossing 7 innings of 1-hit ball.  He walked two and struck out 7.  It took him just 73 pitches to get it done.  That’s certainly the type of performance owners have been waiting for from the veteran.
  • Justin Upton (0-3) and Eric Byrnes (0-2) both continue to struggle.  At this point, considering that neither is guaranteed to be playing everyday, both should be bench options.

Colorado vs. Los Angeles (NL)

  • Ubaldo Jimenez gave up 7 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks, striking out 3, over 4.1 innings.  The guessing game of which Jimenez will show up continues, which is why I wouldn’t use him at this point.
  • Matt Kemp was back in the seven spot, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R.  When is Torre going to figure it out?

So, what does everyone else think?  Anything to add?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

1 COMMENT

  1. You could probably make an argument for Kemp thus far as well.

    I drafted Ubaldo late in a h2h keeper league and after a solid first start, he’s been shelled in consecutive games. Worth holding onto until he straightens out or should I look for a steadier hand? (I do have Johan and Chad Billingsley on the same staff so I can afford the occasional blip.)

  2. Mateo, it really depends on who else is available and how deep of a league it is. Even then, while I’ve never been a big Ubaldo fan, I can almost guarantee that there is an owner in your league that would be willing ante up and acquire him. If you want to get rid of him, I’d explore a trade at this point.

    What about everyone else?

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