Around the Majors: June 12: Francisco Liriano, Tommy Hanson, Dan Uggla & More

It was another great day around the league, so let’s take a look at all the stories from yesterday’s games:

  • Francisco Liriano carried a no-hitter for 7.0 innings before allowing a leadoff single to Adrian Beltre in the eighth inning.  He finished allowing 1 R on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 9, over 8.0 innings.  You certainly could argue that this performance was more impressive than his actual no hitter, where he walked 6 batters and struck out just 2.  Since returning on June 7 Liriano has tossed 13.0 innings without allowing an earned run (while giving up 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 16).  It certainly appears like he has righted the ship and, with his next start coming against the Padres, he should hopefully continue the positive trend.
  • Tommy Hanson had the line of the day, allowing 1 R on 3 H and 2 BB over 7.0 innings to defeat the Astros.  Seems fairly pedestrian, right?  Well, he struck out 14 in the process.  It was a masterful performance, to say the least.  There is reason to be cautious, however, as he entered the day with a .239 BABIP.  Keep that in mind when valuing him.  It’s hard to recommend selling high on him, considering the potential he has, but there certainly is the chance for a regression.
  • Alex Avila continues to surprise, going 2-4 with 2 RBI and 1 SB.  He is now hitting .297 with 9 HR, 35 RBI, 24 R and 3 SB (which certainly should not be discounted considering he is a catcher).  He entered the day with a .344 BABIP, so there certainly is reason to believe that the average is going to regress.  However, his 15.3% HR/FB is not an unrealistic mark, which is helping him to be on pact for over 20 HR and 80 RBI.  That’s usable in all formats.  However, the idea of selling high on him now, before his average starts to suffer, is not a bad one.  I wouldn’t give him away, as he should continue to be usable, but his value may never be higher than it is right now.
  • The struggles of Chone Figgins continued, going 0-3 with 1 R and 1 SB (his first SB since May 11).  The fact that he’s not hitting his bad enough (his average stands at .189), but if he’s not running he has no fantasy value, 3B eligibility or not.  He has stolen at least 34 bases each season since 2004, so don’t write him off yet, but he should not be active until he shows signs of turning things around.
  • It was nice to see Felix Hernandez get back on the winning side of things, but it’s not like he was spectacular, allowing 3 ER on 9 H and 5 BB, striking out 6, over 8.0 innings.  It’s a lot of base runners, but I don’t think anyone is nervous.
  • It was another explosive day from the Boston Red Sox, scoring 14 runs on 17 hits.  This certainly is closer to what fantasy owners envisioned, isn’t it?  Leading the way were Dustin Pedroia (1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), Adrian Gonzalez (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R), Kevin Youkilis (3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R) and David Ortiz (2-6, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R).  Ortiz now has 4 HR in his past 6 games and is 16-40 with 5 HR, 16 RBI and 12 R in June. 
  • While fantasy owners may not have been shocked by the poor performance in this one from Kyle Drabek, it is getting to the point that he is not an advisable option to have active.  He was torched for 8 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 5, over 4.0 innings.  In his past three starts he has allowed 17 ER over just 10.0 innings.  With his next start coming in Cincinnati, you would be well advised to find an alternative, especially considering his current 5.70 ERA and 1.79 WHIP.  There’s potential, but he’s just not usable at this point.
  • Any value that Josh Tomlin had appears to have evaporated at this point.  Granted, he pitched in Yankee Stadium yesterday, but he still allowed 6 R on 12 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 5.0 innings.  Over his last 4 starts he is 1-3, allowing 22 ER over 23.0 innings, with 6 ER allowed in each of his past 3 starts.  We all knew a regression was coming, so this really shouldn’t be surprising.  Depending on your format he probably can be released without a second thought.
  • Jorge Posada went 2-3 with 1 RBI and is suddenly on a 6-game hitting streak.  Over the streak he’s gone 13-22 with 3 RBI and 1 R.  Obviously the urn production still isn’t there, but at least he’s finally hitting.  With catcher eligibility, if someone in your league gave up on him I wouldn’t hesitate.
  • Daniel Hudson allowed 1 R on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 6.0 innings to earn the victory and post his second straight strong start.  While you don’t like seeing so many base runners, it certainly appears to be more of an aberration.  He entered the day with a 1.24 WHIP, courtesy of a below average .325 BABIP.  In other words, continue viewing him as a good option in all formats.
  • While he’s still not quite up to par, it certainly is nice to see Aramis Ramirez starting to produce.  He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him hits in 5 of his past 6 games.  Over that span he has gone 6-25 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 4 R.  I know it’s not much, but it’s something (especially the power).  Despite his overall struggles, at 3B he remains a usable option, especially with his upside potential.
  • Roy Oswalt had gone 6 consecutive starts without a win, so seeing him defeat the Cubs was certainly a good thing.  He allowed 3 R on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 7.0 innings of work.  Despite the winless streak, he had allowed 2 ER or less in 4 of the outings, so it’s not like he was pitching poorly.  He now has a 3.14 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, remaining a solid option in all formats.
  • Jose Reyes went 3-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .346 with 3 HR, 25 RBI, 47 R and 20 SB on the year.  In his last 7 games, he has 6 multi-hit games.  In fact, since May 21 he has 14 multi-hit games.  He’s posting an MVP type year, which certainly plays well for him in his contract year.
  • Chris Capuano tossed 7.0 shutout innings, allowing 3 H and 2 BB while striking out 5.  His final lines have often not been impressive, but he actually has pitched better than his numbers (4.40 ERA, 1.37 WHIP).  He’s allowed 1 ER or less in three of his past four starts, and, with his next start coming against the Angels (at Citi Field), he should be considered a viable option.
  • Hitting second once again, it appears that Dan Uggla is starting to turn things around.  He went 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him back-to-back two-hit games (and a modest three-game hitting streak).  He has the potential for a low average, but a .183 average is a bit extreme.  If someone in your league is fed up with him, now certainly appears to be the prime time to try and buy low.
  • Another poor outing for Brett Myers, who allowed 4 R on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, over 7.0 innings of work.  He’s now allowed 4 ER or more 8 times in his past 10 starts.  Unfortunately, he entered the day with a .294 BABIP and 74.5% strand rate, so it is not like he is suffering from particularly bad luck.  His HR/FB rate has gone back to his career norm (14.3% in ’11 vs. 14.3% for his career).  At this point fantasy owners have no reason to trust him, though we will take a closer look in the coming days.
  • It was another impressive outing for Phil Humber, who allowed 3 R on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 innings.  He has now won his last 3 starts and has gone at least 6.0 innings in each of his past 9 starts (at least 7.0 in 8 of them).  He entered the day with a .223 BABIP, so there is a good chance he regresses, but for now there is no reason not to take advantage of him while he’s hot.  His next start comes against the Diamondbacks.
  • Sergio Santos is clearly struggling.  He may have locked down the save yesterday, but he allowed 1 R on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 1, over his inning of work.  In his past 3 outings he’s allowed 8 ER over 2.2 innings and you have to think that his hold on the closer’s role could be slipping away.  Could Matt Thornton (who walked 1 in an inning of work yesterday) get another look? 
  • It was a poor start for Brian Matusz, who lasted just 1.1 innings allowing 4 R on 5 H and 4 BB, striking out 0, against the Rays.  He had been pitching well since coming off the DL (3 ER over 11.0 innings), but that did come against the A’s and Mariners.  He has a ton of potential, as we know, and his next start comes against the Nationals.  I wouldn’t call him a must start, but he certainly should remain usable.
  • Justin Ruggiano got the start in LF, hitting third, and he went 3-5 with 1 R and 1 SB.  He now has a 6-game hitting streak, going 11-24 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB.  You have to think that the Rays are going to start trying to find a way to keep him in the lineup while he’s hitting, so if you are in an AL-only format he is definitely worth owning.  In five-outfielder formats, he’s worth monitoring as well.
  • The amazing streak of Prince Fielder continued, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  He is now 14-34 with 8 HR, 16 RBI and 9 R in 11 June games.  He’s another contract year player who is trying to maximize his paycheck.
  • The struggles of Casey McGehee continue, as he went 0-4 yesterday.  Since May 30 he has now gone 3-41 with 1 RBI and 1 R. While I certainly projected a regression for him this season, I could never have imagined this.  He is hitting .225 with 4 HR and 24 RBI on the season.  He should snap out of it, sooner or later, so there is no reason to cut bait with him at this point. 
  • Luke Hughes has quietly been getting fairly regular AB in Minnesota, thanks to the slew of injuries, and he certainly has made the most of it.  He went 3-4 with 1 RBI yesterday and, since being recalled on June 3, has gone 12-29 with 1 RBI and 7 R.  He has eligibility at 1B, 2B and 3B, so in AL-only formats he certainly has value while he’s getting regular AB.
  • It has been a struggle for Hank Conger, who went 0-2 yesterday and is now hitting .224 on the year.  Since May 4, he has scored just 2 R, hasn’t homered and has just 2 RBI (his last coming on May 20).  In fact, he has hits in just 9 of 21 games in that span.  In other words, unless you are in a deep 2-catcher format (or AL-only), he shouldn’t be active.  He still has potential, so I would keep him stashed, but he should only be on fantasy benches.
  • Mike Moustakas went 1-4 with 1 R, giving him at least 1 hit, 1 run and 1 walk in all three of his games since being recalled.  Of course, he also hit his first home run on Saturday.  It’s been said over and over and over again, but he obviously is a must own option in all formats.
  • While an error hurt him, it’s not like Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well.  He allowed 7 R (2 earned) on 11 hits and 1 walk, striking out 2, over 5.1 innings.  Even worse, he allowed 3 HR in the process (though he had allowed just 4 HR in his previous 11 starts).  This type of outing is becoming way to common, though obviously you shouldn’t give up hope on him yet.  He entered the day with a 63.2% strand rate, so there certainly is a good chance for him to rebound.  If someone in your league has grown frustrated, now is a good time to try and buy low on him.
  • Forget about Matt Kemp (1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R), as we’ve all grown accustomed to him producing at this point.  The Dodgers got offensive help from James Loney (3-5, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) and Juan Uribe (3-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB).  We all know that Loney isn’t going to produce many nights like this.  Uribe, however, has eligibility all over the infield and has proven to be a potential source of 20+ HR.  He entered the day with a 6.0% HR/FB rate, after being over 10% in four of the previous five seasons.  Look for an improvement from him, so if someone cut bait when he got hurt he should be worth grabbing.
  • Jordan Zimmerman continues to impress, tossing 7.0 shutout innings, allowing 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 10, against the Padres.  Yes, it was against San Diego, but he has now allowed 3 ER or less in each of his past 8 starts (and 2 ER or less in 7 of those).  His next start comes against the Orioles and has become a must use option.  In fact, he entered the day with a realistic .279 BABIP and a below average 64.7% strand rate. 
  • It was a poor game for Heath Bell, who allowed 2 R on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 0, over 1.0 innings.  It happens to everyone, so don’t read much into it.
  • Jonathan Sanchez allowed 2 R on 5 H and 5 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 innings.  While he has allowed 3 ER or less in each of his past seven starts, he continues to frustrate owners with the number of walks he allows.  In his past four starts he has walked 4 batters or more (20 BB in 23.1 innings).  It makes it difficult to count on him for WHIP.  Yes, he’s usable thanks to the strikeouts, but if he ever learned how to harness his stuff he could be a great option.
  • For the second consecutive start Edinson Volquez has looked good.  He allowed 2 R on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 IP and has not allowed 3 ER with 10 K over 13.0 innings since returning from the minors.  Obviously, there is still a risk involved, but he should once again be considered a viable option.  He may not be must use (he could easily get there), but usable for sure.
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