Around the Majors: May 30: Joakim Soria, Jon Lester, Jay Bruce & More

Let’s take a look at this morning’s injury news and notes:

  • The demise of Joakim Soria took another shot, blowing his fifth save (and third in his last four outings), allowing 3 ER on 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 3, over his 1.0 inning of work.  The struggles are puzzling, but for now it appears that the Royals have seen enough.  Bob Dutton (via Twitter) has reported that he has been removed as the closer, being replaced by Aaron Crowe.  How long that lasts remains to be seen, but the Royals gave him plenty of rope, he just continued to fail to deliver.  Soria should be reinstated sooner rather than later, but Crowe is now a must own option in all formats.
  • Jay Bruce went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  Since May 15 he has gone 27-64 (.422) with 8 HR, 22 RBI and 14 R.  Has he earned OF1 status yet?  He’s now hitting .294 with 16 HR, 43 RBI and 38 R on the season.
  • Just like in 2010 Brennan Boesch got off to a quick start, but has fallen off rather quickly (Remember, he did hit .163 in 221 AB after the All-Star Break in ’10).  After going 0-4 with 1 RBI yesterday he is now 15-82 (.183) in the month of May.  You have to at least start to wonder when the Tigers may start looking to replace him in the lineup, though that doesn’t appear to yet be the case. 
  • With the struggles of the Twins’ lineup in general, you would expect the player to be most affected to be Denard Span.  He went 0-4 with 1 R yesterday, putting him at .295 with 2 HR, 12 RBI, 30 R and 4 SB.  He’s never stolen more than 26 bases in a season and, with the team in need of a spark, you have to wonder why he isn’t running more than he currently is.  However, he is still scoring plenty of runs and is on pace to come close to his career high (97 in ’09).  Still, with R being the only real benefit (and he’s not even elite there), he’s more of a 5-outfielder option.
  • Aaron Harang posted his third straight good start, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 innings.  He has three consecutive no decisions, despite allowing just 3 ER over 21.0 IP.  Is he an elite option?  Nope, as he’s shown the ability to get blown up and has a poor offensive team behind him which is clearly costing him victories.  Still, if you pick your spots he is a pitcher that is worth streaming.
  • Brian McCann posted his third consecutive multi-hit game and extended his hitting streak to five games by going 3-5 with 2 RBI.  Over the streak he’s gone 11-21 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R.  We all know he’s one of the elite offensive catchers in the league, he’s just showing us why.
  • Things have gone from ice cold to scorching hot for Raul Ibanez in a hurry.  He went 1-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday giving him home runs in back-to-back games and five in his last 11 games.  Over his past 13 games he’s gone 16-52 (.308) with 5 HR, 13 RBI and 12 R.
  • Mike Morse continued his power surge yesterday, going 1-3 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  That’s 5 HR in his past 7 games, to go along with 11 RBI.  He’s guaranteed regular AB with Adam LaRoche on the shelf and is a good play in all five-outfielder formats.
  • It was a monster game for Hunter Pence, going 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 4 R.  Pence has routinely been the bright spot in a lineup that is in the middle of the pack in runs scored, but seeing him score 4 times in one game is not something to get used to.  He entered the day with just 21 R scored, but was aided by big games from Carlos Lee (2-4, 1 RBI, 1 R) and Jeff Keppinger (3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R).  He is now on an 11-game hitting streak, going 20-46 with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 11 R and 1 SB.
  • Tony Campana is not a name that you probably know, but it is one that should immediately be placed on your radar.  He went 1-3 with 1 R and 4 SB yesterday, hitting seventh in the order.  With injuries to Marlon Byrd and Reed Johnson on the DL, Campana figures to get the bulk of the playing time in CF.  While he had stolen just 8 bases at Triple-A in 120 AB prior to being recalled, he had stolen 114 from 2009-2010 and has the potential to rack up the SB in a hurry.  If you are in need of some speed, he’s worth grabbing in five-outfielder formats.
  • It was Rodrigo Lopez’ first start with the Cubs and he allowed 6 ER on 10 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, over 4.2 IP.  Did anyone really think he was a good gamble?
  • There had been talk that Bartolo Colon may have hit the wall and could potentially struggle moving forward.  Well, he put those thoughts to rest by tossing a complete game shutout, allowing just 4 H and 0 BB, striking out 6.  Then again, it did come against the A’s.  His next start comes against the Angels, where he will continue to try and write his comeback story.  It likely won’t last forever, though, as he’s already shown signs of faltering, so enjoy it while you can.
  • Trevor Cahill had his second consecutive less than stellar outing, allowing 4 ER on 4 H and 5 BB, striking out 2, over 6.2 innings.  He has now walked 10 batters over his last 12.2 innings of work, which has got to be concerning.  His next start comes against the Red Sox, in Boston, and if he is going to hand out free passes he is likely going to get torched.  I’m not saying that I wouldn’t use him, but with the way the Red Sox are hitting right now I would be extremely nervous.  Proceed at your own risk.
  • Eric Hosmer continued to rake, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R.  He now has a pair of 4 RBI games in his last four and is hitting .274 with 5 HR and 15 RBI on the season.  He certainly is living up to the hype and is usable in all formats.
  • Interesting to see Fernando Rodney pick up the save for the Angels, though Jordan Walden had pitched 6 times in the previous 9 days.  Maybe the Angels just wanted to give him a break, though he also had given up 2 ER the day before.  Monitor the situation, but Walden should remain the closer for now.
  • Big game for Torii Hunter, going 3-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  He is now up to 8 HR and 31 RBI, despite hitting just .249 on the year.  He certainly has made the most of his opportunities.
  • Jake Arrieta got beat up for 4 R on 4 H and 4 BB, striking out 3, over 2.1 innings of work.  It’s his second poor outing in his last three (he allowed 6 ER in 3.2 innings to the Nationals), though they were sandwiched around a win over the Royals.  His ERA is up to 4.97, so his 6-3 record is a bit deceiving.  With his next start coming against the Blue Jays, he is far from a must start.
  • Brandan Ryan went 1-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.  Over the streak he has gone 18-35 (7 multi-hit games) with 8 RBI and 6 R.  The Mariners moved him up to second in the lineup and, while he’s going good, he is worth using in deeper formats as a middle infielder.  I certainly wouldn’t anticipate him maintaining this for long, so enjoy it while it lasts.
  • Madison Bumgarner allowed 3 ER or less in his eighth consecutive start, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 innings to improve to 2-6 with a 3.66 ERA.  He hasn’t walked more than 2 batters in a start in his last 9 outings (only one went less than 6.0 innings), which certainly helps.
  • It appears that Allen Craig has earned himself regular playing time, which makes him a viable option in all deeper formats.  He was hitting second yesterday (and playing 2B), going 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now started six straight games, going 7-18 with 4 RBI and 2 R.
  • For the fourth consecutive start Fausto Carmona gave up at least 4 ER when he was torched by the Blue Jays for 9 R (7 ER) on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 4.0 innings.  Over his last four starts he’s allowed 23 ER over 24.2 innings.  His next start comes against the Rangers and he should be as far from your starting lineup as possible.
  • Rajai Davis went 3-4 with 2 RBI and 3 R, giving him 5 R over his past two games.  He’s stealing bases (15 SB), but he has 0 HR, 10 RBI and 21 R on the year to go along with a .277 average.  Does he really do enough to make him appealing in shallower formats?
  • Do you remember when everyone was really high on Chris Narveson?  Feels like a lifetime ago, doesn’t it?  He allowed 5 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 4.0 IP to fall to 2-4 with a 4.68 ERA.  He’s now allowed 11 ER over his past 7.2 IP.  He did enter the game with a .315 BABIP and 70.0% strand rate, so there is a bit of below average luck at play, but it certainly feels difficult to trust him right now.  He has potential, so he shouldn’t be forgotten but using him in his next start against the Marlins is not recommended.
  • The Mets pounded out 15 hits, but the production of Justin Turner may be the most noteworthy.  He went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R, giving him 1 RBI in 6 straight games.  Over that stretch he has gone 10-25 with 6 RBI and 3 R.  Don’t forget, he recently had a streak of 7 straight games with an RBI snapped.  He’s pretty much locked up regular playing time, even when David Wright returns (he should shift over to 2B) and with eligibility at both 2B and 3B, he has value in deeper formats.  He may not be an elite option, but while he’s hot he should be active.
  • Dillon Gee allowed 3 ER on 5 H and 0 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 innings to improve to 5-0 with a 3.83 ERA.  He’s far from an elite option, but he certainly has been getting the job done thus far.  He entered the game with a .245 BABIP as a starting pitcher, so you have to think that sooner or later the luck is going to run out.
  • If Mike Napoli ever got full-time AB, he’d have the potential to be scary good, at least in the power department.  He went 3-6 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R, giving him 10 HR and 25 RBI in just 105 AB.  Of course, he is hitting just .229, but over his last three games he has gone 7-12 with 4 HR (at least one in all three games), 9 RBI and 5 R.  You have to take the good with the bad, and while it’s frustrating to see him on the bench he remains a good play in two-catcher formats.
  • Wade Davis was terrible, allowing 7 ER on 12 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over 2.2 innings of work.  He’s now allowed 4 ER or more in three of his past four starts.  Hopefully he can right the ship in Seattle his next time out.
  • Evan Longoria remained hitting leadoff, going 1-4.  Sean Rodriguez was starting at SS, going 1-4 while hitting third, but committing 3 errors.  You never know from day-to-day how the Rays will set their lineup, but these two stories need to be monitored.  It’s hard to see Rodriguez back at SS today, but who knows.
  • If you were worried about Jake Peavy still, it appears that you shouldn’t be.  He took on the Boston Red Sox, allowing 3 ER on 6 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 7.0 innings to get the victory.  For now his next start is scheduled to take place in Seattle, but if the White Sox abandon the 6-man rotation, he will get moved up and face the Tigers.  Obviously, owners are hoping that he stays on track, at least for this time through, though you’d much rather have him facing the Mariners.
  • For the fourth time in five starts Jon Lester took a bit of a beating.  He allowed 7 ER on 8 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, in just 5.2 innings.  In his last 5 starts he’s allowed at least 4 runs four times (and at least 5 runs three times).  Obviously all we can do is continue to run him out there, but at this point you have to be slightly concerned.
  • Chad Billingsley bent, but refused to break, allowing 1 ER on 11 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 innings.  Obviously the WHIP isn’t impressive, but no one is going to complain about 1 ER and a victory.  He’s now sporting a 3.46 ERA and 1.29 WHIP to go along with 71 K over 75.1 innings of work.
  • There was a James Loney sighting, as he went 3-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  Is anyone getting excited yet?
  • The Marlins-Diamondbacks game was all about Arizona’s offense, as they pounded out 19 hits and 15 runs.  Leading the way were Kelly Johnson (4-6, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R), Justin Upton (5-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R) and Miguel Montero (3-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R).  For Upton, he had had just 1 RBI in his previous 10 games, so you certainly have to feel like he was due.  Hopefully it’s the start of an extended hot streak for him.


  1. Nick Tenaglia says:

    Soria is being replaced by Aaron Crow, not Trevor Crowe (on the 60-Day DL for Cleveland)

  2. Jason says:

    I benched Billingsley yesterday. With all of those hits, I at least feel justified in my concern. It could easily have gone the other way.

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