Around the Majors: June 17: Dustin Ackley, Tim Lincecum, Carlos Santana & More

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

  • Dustin Ackley made his Major League debut for the Mariners, hitting seventh and going 1-4.  He will certainly have value for leagues that use a middle infielder, but I wouldn’t get too excited.  In the Pacific Coast League in 2011 he had just 9 HR and 7 SB in 271 AB.  In 2010 across two levels, he had 7 HR and 10 SB in 501 AB.  You certainly would love to see him offer a little bit more speed or power, because in a weak lineup a good average can only take you so far.
  • Finally, Carlos Santana showed us some signs of life.  He went 3-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, hitting sixth in the lineup.  Considering that he had been 2-25 in his six games, both hits being singles, this is a very welcome sign.  Since May 1 he had hit just 2 HR with just 9 RBI, so to say he was struggling would be an understatement.  Obviously, no one is going to deem him “back” after just one game, but we can hope that this is the start of an extended hot streak.  His upside is too great, so just continue to stick with him and hope for the best.
  • The Blue Jays had a save opportunity and it went to Frank Francisco, who allowed 0 R on 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over 1.0 inning to notch his seventh save of the season.  Will he be the go to man at this point?  Anyone willing to put money on that?  The situation remains a mystery, making it tough to trust anyone in most formats.
  • Has the time come that fantasy owners should be concerned with Tim Lincecum?  It’s not that he pitched terribly against the A’s, but his control just wasn’t there.  He went 6.0 innings allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 H and 5 BB, striking out 7, to fall to 5-6 on the season.  He is now 0-2 in his last four starts, allowing 18 ER over just 21.1 innings (6.1 innings is his longest outing in the stretch).  More worrisome, he has walked 12 in his past three starts.  Let’s not forget, however, that Lincecum did go through a few difficult stretches in 2010 and no one was going to complain with his end game numbers (1.94 ERA in September).  Don’t press the panic number off a few rough starts.  There’s no reason to think that he won’t turn it around before long.
  • Would anyone have expected such a good pitching duel from Doug Davis and Freddy Garcia in Chicago?  The wind blowing in certainly helped, though Garcia still gave up 3 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 7.0 innings.  While that was a little surprising, Davis’ performance against the Yankees was downright shocking.  He went 7.1 innings allowing 1 R on 3 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, to earn the victory.  I wouldn’t get too excited, however, as the elements were certainly a factor.  Just to put things in perspective, the performance lowered his ERA to 4.95 and his WHIP to 1.65 (compared to a career 1.51 mark).  He’s unusable in all formats.
  • Adam Lind went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R, his fourth consecutive game with a home run (7-15 with 4 HR, 7 RBI and 4 R).  What else can be said besides the fact that he is scorching hot right now?  It feels like it is stating the obvious, but it has to be said.
  • Jay Bruce continues to struggle, going 0-4 with 3 strikeouts.  You knew he was going to have to cool down, but he has now gone 14 straight games without a home run.  In fact, he is 0-13 over his past 5 games, without an RBI and with just 1 R.  Since June 1 he has just 2 RBI.  He’ll warm up once again, so don’t panic.  On the year he has 17 HR with 48 RBI and 46 R, so is anyone really complaining?
  • Nyjer Morgan has a modest 4-game hitting streak after going 3-4 with 2 R.  He has three multi-hit games over the streak, going 8-19 with 4 R and 1 SB.  While it’s not a lot to go by, he is getting regular playing time right now.  However, he’s not a lock to continue playing every day, as the Brewers have shown that they want to continue giving Carlos Gomez a shot.  If he is playing regularly, Morgan will have value in 5-outfielder formats, thanks to his speed.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is certainly living up to the hype, isn’t he?  He went 3-4 with 1 RBI and 3 R yesterday, putting him at .352 with 14 HR, 62 RBI and 50 R on the season. 
  • We have long heard about the potential of Sean Rodriguez, and while he’s shown plenty of versatility (2B, 3B, SS, and OF depending on your format) the numbers just haven’t been there.  He had a big day yesterday, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R, but is still hitting just .216 on the season.   Plus, he doesn’t play regularly, further hurting his appeal.  He’s worth monitoring, but don’t do anything based on this one game.
  • Mike Stanton went 0-4 and is now 2-19 with 7 K over his past 5 games.  You own him for his power, though, so don’t get too worked up.
  • Stop the presses…  Jose Reyes went hitless…  It feels like it’s been a month or two since that happened.
  • Joel Pineiro allowed 2 R on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 6.1 innings to defeat the Mets.  Amazingly, it snapped a string of five consecutive starts where he had allowed 4 ER.  While he certainly pitched better, he has walked 3 batters in each of his past starts.  He’s too big of a risk to trust right now.
  • Many fantasy owners probably moved Colby Lewis to the bench this week, and rightfully so.  He had allowed 15 ER over 4.2 innings in his previous two starts.  Of course, against a tough Braves lineup, he came back in a big way allowing 2 R on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 10, over 6.2 innings to pick up the victory.  We all know he’s better than he had showed the previous week and is a good play in most formats.  His next start is scheduled for against the Astros, so if you benched him this week you will want to get him back in there.
  • Randall Delgado has a ton of talent, but it shouldn’t have been surprising to see him struggle in his Major League debut against a tough Rangers lineup.  He allowed 4 R (3 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, over just 4.0 innings.  This was likely just a spot start, so don’t even bother considering him.
  • Nick Markakis went 4-5, extending his hitting streak to 8 games.  Over the streak he has gone 15-36 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 3 R.  Overall the numbers look great, but you have to realize that 6 of the RBI came in one game.  You’d like to see a little bit more production coming with the hits, but is anyone really going to complain?  He’s raised his average from .236 to .260 and hopefully the other numbers will start to come as the hits continue to mount.
  • It was Joe Mauer’s first game back from the DL and he settled right in behind the plate and hitting third.  He delivered with an RBI single in his first at bat, finishing going 1-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  The numbers don’t really matter with him, at least not yet, however.  Just the idea for fantasy owners of having him back in the lineup is significant.  While he isn’t likely to repeat the 2009 power surge (28 HR), his ability to hit for a good average puts him among the elite in the game.
  • Could the Padres have tried to force feed Anthony Rizzo into the middle of the lineup too soon?  He was dropped to seventh yesterday, going 0-4 in the process.  He was viewed as a savior of sorts for the team, the bat they so desperately craved.  That’s a lot of pressure, and he also isn’t hitting in the most of ideal parks, is he (actually, it’s probably the worst in baseball)?  He’s not going to hit .160, but is it possible that he doesn’t live up to the hype?  Absolutely.
  • Chris Carpenter may have gone 8.0 innings, but that doesn’t mean it was pretty.  He allowed 5 R (4 earned) to the Royals, on 10 H and 1 BB, striking out 7.  He is now 1-7 with a 4.47 ERA and 1.39 WHIP.  Wasn’t he supposed to be a fantasy ace, or at least close to it?  His next start comes against the Phillies, so it doesn’t get any easier from here.
  • Joakim Soria tossed a scoreless inning, allowing 1 H and striking out 1.  He hasn’t allowed an earned run in June, a span of 9.0 innings (he’s only allowed 3 H and 2 BB over that stretch).  He certainly appears to have righted the ship and is back to securing holding the Royals closer’s job.  He’s one of those guys that, even if he stumbles, you know it’s not going to be long before he’s back in the role.
  • The Rockies and Tigers combined to score 19 runs, so there were plenty of big offensive performances to talk about, like Carlos Gonzalez (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R) and Jhonny Peralta (2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 R).  However, what about Charlie Blackmon?  He went 4-4 with 2 RBI and 2 R, putting him at .410 with 6 RBI, 5 R and 5 SB in 10 games.  Dexter Fowler who?  Obviously, he is not going to continue at this type of pace (he has a .444 BABIP), but don’t expect the team to rush Fowler back into the mix.  In five-outfielder formats he is worth owning while he’s hot.
  • It was an ugly performance for Rick Porcello, allowing 9 R (6 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 0, over 3.0 innings.  I know he has pitched fairly well this season, but he’s still sporting a 1.38 WHIP and has just 43 K in 75.1 innings.  He’s hardly a big-time option and someone I wouldn’t trust.  I’d consider him a last resort of sorts.
  • Daniel Hudson was dominant, allowing just 1 R on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, in a complete game victory over the White Sox.  He has now allowed just 3 ER over his past 3 starts (22.0 innings), while striking out 19.  He has a 3.56 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, despite a below average .311 BABIP and 68.9% strand rate.  In other words, he really is this good.
  • Michael Pineda was tremendous, allowing 1 R on 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 innings against the Phillies (a great rebound after allowing 5 ER against the Tigers in his last outing).  You have to wonder how long the Mariners will let him go before shutting him down for the season, but that’s a problem for later on in the year.  His next start comes against the Nationals and he should be active in all formats.
  • Brett Myers allowed 3 R (2 earned) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, in a complete game victory over the Dodgers.  However, he still allowed a home run (to Andre Ethier, who went 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R).  It’s easy to get excited with the results, but I wouldn’t consider him a lock to have figured things out.  His next start comes against the Rangers, in Texas, and with balls flying over the fence against him with regularity, I would be seriously concerned with that one.

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