Obviously you never want to move one of your better players to the bench, but is there a situation where Yovani Gallardo should be avoided? Have Daniel Bard and Justin Masterson regained our confidence? How hot has Alex Gordon been? Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Daniel Bard – Boston Red Sox – Starting Pitcher – When the Red Sox skipped his previous start there was hope that they would realize they needed him at the backend of the bullpen. Instead, while he did make a relief appearance, the Red Sox remained steadfast in keeping him in the rotation. He made his third start against the White Sox yesterday and showed that his 7 BB performance against Tampa Bay was an aberration. He went 7.0 innings allowing 3 R (2 ER) on 6 H and 1 BB, striking out 6, in picking up the victory. In fact, as a SP he’s struck out 19 over 18.2 innings. His next start is scheduled against the A’s, and he’s well worth using at this point.
- Yovani Gallardo – Milwaukee Brewers – Starting Pitcher – It appears that the St. Louis Cardinals simply have Yovani Gallardo’s number. He was rocked for 8 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 2.0 innings. In two starts against St. Louis he’s allowed 14 ER over 5.2 innings. In his other three starts he’s allowed 4 ER over 21.0 innings. It’s not something to get too worked up about, at least not yet, but it certainly is something that needs to be closely monitored. He’ll have many more dates with the Cardinals coming up over the course of the season and, while he’s a pitcher you never want to bench, you may at least have to consider it.
- Michael Saunders – Seattle Mariners – Outfielders – It was a monster day for Saunders, who went 2-4 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 3 R. Of course, despite playing regularly, he is still hitting just .254 with 3 HR, 11 RBI, 10 R and 3 SB. He never appeared to be a major source of power throughout his minor league career, with 57 HR over 1,945 AB (and just 23 HR in 659 AB in the Pacific Coast League). He did steal 85 bases, and does have low-end appeal, but don’t let last night’s explosion cloud your judgment. He’s a low-end option for those in deep, five-outfielder formats and a must own in AL-only leagues. It is possible that you can catch lightning in a bottle and he’s worth the flier, but I wouldn’t do anything dramatic to get him.
Other Quick Thoughts:
- Overall it was a solid bounce back for Justin Masterson, allowing 2 ER over 8.1 innings against the Angels. The hits (4) and strikeouts (5) were also good signs. The problem? He walked 5 batters, something that has been a major concern of late (now 15 BB over his past 17.0 innings). He needs to avoid walks if he truly wants to excel, so unless he rectifies that issue he is going to be a risky proposition.
- Ty Wigginton went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, giving him a 9-game hitting streak (12-32 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 5 R). Obviously it’s not a lot, but for a Phillies lineup that is hurting it should be enough to find AB most days. With position flexibility, he is worth owning in deeper formats.
- It was an impressive outing for Joe Saunders, throwing a complete game shutout against the Marlins. He allowed 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 4. While he’s now sporting a 0.90 ERA, he entered the day with a .246 BABIP and 87.4% strand rate (both numbers he improved upon. He’s been impressive, but don’t buy into it.
- A.J. Burnett is thus far proving why he was worth stashing now that he’s back in the NL. After allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 8, over 6.0 innings against the Braves he has 15 K over 13.0 innings. Obviously it’s a small sample size but at this point he appears well worth rolling the dice on. Proceed with caution, however, and don’t lock him into your lineup every week.
- Alex Gordon had another big day, going 2-3 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB. Over his past three games he’s gone 8-12 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R and 1 SB. We all knew the hot streak was coming, so hopefully you didn’t panic and lose hope due to his slow start.
- Hitting for a cycle is rare, so seeing Scott Hairston achieve the feat is impressive. It was a wild Mets-Rockies game and Hairston had arguably the biggest day, going 4-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 3 R while hitting for the cycle. He should see increased playing time with Jason Bay on the DL, but he’s not going to see every day AB. Just keep that in mind.
- Speaking of big days in the Mets-Rockies game, Carlos Gonzalez (3-6, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R), Ramon Hernandez (1-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) and Dexter Fowler (3-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R) all deserve to be mentioned.
- With Javy Guerra unavailable to pitch Kenley Jansen gave us a sneak peek of what could be possible with him closing out games. He tossed a solid inning against the Nationals, hitting a batter and striking out 1. We all know it’s just a matter of time before he gets the job, especially with Guerra’s recent struggles. Jansen needs to be owned in all formats.