Around the Majors: April 20


Jordan Zimmerman picked up his first major league win.  Brandon Phillips continues to struggle.  David Ortiz showed signs of life.  Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Baltimore vs. Boston

  • Justin Masterson made his first start of the season, giving up 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3, over 5.1 innings.  While pitching for the Red Sox gives him win potential, his next start is likely to come against the New York Yankees.  That makes him a tough play.
  • David Ortiz “broke out” with his first multi-RBI game of the season, going 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 R.  This is far from the start fantasy owners had envisioned from him, but just continue to sit tight.  You really have no other choice.
  • Felix Pie went 0-3 and doesn’t have a hit since April 13 (16 AB).  Maybe he really is just a bust at this point, huh?  The only people who should be considering him are AL-only owners until he shows us something more.

Atlanta vs. Washington

  • Jordan Zimmerman finally made his major league debut and was impressive in doing so.  He went 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 3.  His one mistake was a 2-run home run to Matt Diaz (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R).  He threw only 72 pitches, 51 of them for strikes.  He’ll either face the Mets or Phillies his next time out, making him a tough play, but long-term he has a ton of potential and really could emerge as a must own option in all formats, even pitching for the Nationals.
  • Even with the wholesale changes to the bullpen, it was Joel Hanrahan who got the chance for the save.  He walked one and struck out one, picking up his first save of the season.  It’s just a matter of time, though, before he loses  the job.

Florida vs. Pittsburgh

  • Walks hurt Andrew Miller, issuing four free passes over 4.2 innings.  He’s now walked 8 over 11.2 innings, not real encouraging.  He’s a tough play when he’s walking people like this, but he has a ton of potential.  He’s better left on the bench, especially with Philadelphia next on the schedule.
  • Nate McLouth had the biggest day for the Pirates, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB.  At .277 with 4 HR, 13 RBI and 10 R he’s been everything fantasy owners could have asked for.  Granted, it would be nice if he stole a few more bases (he has two), but that could come in time.
  • I wouldn’t read too much into Ross Ohlendorf’s seven-shutout inning performance.  Remember, he entered the game with a 4.91 ERA.  Yeah, his next start in San Diego could be appealing, but it comes opposite Jake Peavy.  The risk just isn’t worth the potential reward.

Cincinnati vs. Houston

  • Brandon Phillips went 0-4, dropping his average to an anemic .158.  He’s now 0-17 over the past five games and has just 1 HR and 5 RBI this season.  He is likely in jeopardy of being moved out of the clean-up spot, but fantasy owners should not do anything drastic.  He’s proven to be too good the past three seasons to think that this is anything more then a slow start.
  • Mike Hampton had a no decision, but was strong again.  He gave up 3 earned runs on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5, over 6.1 innings.  I’m still scared he could go down again at any time, but thus far the results have been there.  If you are in extremely deep formats he’s definitely worth considering while he’s pitching well.

Colorado vs. Arizona

  • Jon Garland bounced back nicely, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, over 6.2 innings.  He’s set to square off with Randy Johnson his next time out.
  • Garrett Atkins went 1-4 with 1 R, raising his average to .192.  Sooner or later he’s going to hit, so just hit tight.

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

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. Why is it “only a matter of time” until Hanrahan loses his job? Who do they have that’s better? The guy has a huge k/9. They’re a crap team. He was totally serviceable last year. I don’t see it.

  2. Russ, maybe I’m wrong, but I think the bullpen purge the other day proves that the team is not going to mess around at this point. He’s given up runs in 3 of his 5 outings and if he continues like this there’s little doubt a move is going to be made.

    Perhaps he rights the ship and gets on track, but we are talking about someone with a career 4.85 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. I’d bet on a change by mid-May, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

  3. They have Joe Beimel, that’s who they have. He may be a lefty, and he may not get a lot of strikeouts, but he knows how to get outs and keep his ERA and WHIP in check. He’s the best reliever they have right now.

  4. yeah i own hanarahan, i dont see him losing the job, if fricking Joe Borowski and some of the dipsticks that close for good teams can keep their job why would the nats switch? they suck, hell even a better closer isn’t going to help them… although it woulda saved them a few games (and me some fantasy points) this last week!

  5. I agree with everyone that some good teams have used bad closers for far too long. That doesn’t necessarily make it a good plan.

    If you are a bad team there are two things that can happen with your closer:

    1) You can develop someone to help you in the future (i.e. Joakim Soria)
    2) You can build someone up to use as a trading chip at the deadline

    If Hanrahan is not getting the job done, is he going to fill either of those two categories? I’d say that they’d almost be better off moving him into situations where he can succeed and rebuild his confidence.

    Does anyone think he is the long-term solution?

  6. As far as replacements, the two options would be Joe Beimel (probably just short-term) or Garrett Mock, who was closing for the team at Triple-A and was recently recalled.

  7. I understand he’s a rookie making his first start but I was hoping for a little bit more from Zimmermann than 4.5K/9. Maybe I was jaded by his spring but between him and Lowe last night I only totaled 5 Ks!?!

  8. I agree that it is not quite the strikeout total we’d hope for, but it is just one start. Just look at Tim Lincecum’s first two starts, striking out a total of 10 batters. Yes, it was still more then a batter per inning, but we always expect him to get more then 5 in 5.1 innings (his second start).

    It happens and I would expect him to improve in time.

  9. Are we just assuming last year was a fluke for Hanrahan? I want to get on the same page as everyone. He’s a closer on the worst team in baseball. Getting him save opps are up to his team, not him. He’s a guy who had 93 K’s in 84 innings. 2.2 K/BB. The guy is a good pitcher who has been given what 3 opps this year and missed on the first two? Maybe one more than that? And they’re supposed to replace him with Joe Beimel who is 4 years older?

    I do think Hanrahan can be a mid-term solution for them at CL.

    I’ve been known to be wrong before, though.

  10. Hanrahan did have a solid season last year, but his start to this season has likely put him on a short leash, that’s all. If he can right the ship then I could see him staying there all season, but one or two more blips on the screen and I could easily see the Nationals trying another option.

    That doesn’t mean Hanrahan doesn’t regain things sooner or later, even if he is removed.


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