Around the Majors: April 29: Mat Latos Struggles, Giancarlo Stanton Shows Signs & More

With April quickly coming to an end fantasy owners can start to figure out where their teams are strong and where they are lacking.  They can start to see which players need to be improved upon and which they think are due for a major rebound.  Let’s see whose performances on Sunday gave us reason for hope and who fantasy owners need to be concerned about:

  1. Mat Latos – Cincinnati Reds – Starting Pitcher – Is it time to be getting concerned with Latos?  It looked like he had turned a corner in his previous outing (0 ER over 7 IP against the Giants), but the Astros roughed him up for 5 ER on 10 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, in 6.1 innings.  He has struggled with his strikeout stuff (18 K over 28.2 innings), though he also entered the day with a 65.2% strand rate.  The fastball velocity does not appear to be a problem (entered the day at 93.0 mph) and it appeared that he at least corrected his control yesterday.  I wouldn’t panic when it comes to Latos, who has started slowly in the past (4.98 ERA in four April starts in ’11).  He should fully turn things around before long, and I would stick with him for his next start against the Pirates.
  2. Henderson Alvarez – Toronto Blue Jays – Starting Pitcher – Henderson Alvarez finally got a win, allowing 1 ER on 6 H and 3 BB, striking out 1, over 6.0 innings.  His one mistake was a leadoff home run to Chone Figgins (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R).  Alvarez was a popular sleeper heading into the year, who has excellent control (despite his walks yesterday) and limited strikeout stuff (though better than his 9 K over 32.1 innings to open the year).  While matchups make him a less than stellar full-time play (does anyone trust him against the Yankees or Red Sox), there is enough there to hold onto him in most formats.  He posted a 5.65 K/9 in ’11 and should be able to get back there.
  3. Wade Miley – Arizona Diamondbacks – Starting Pitcher – It was an impressive outing for Wade Miley, who took advantage of a struggling Marlins offense.  He went 6.1 innings allowing 1 R (0 ER) on 1 H and 2 BB, striking out 5.  Miley has pitched extremely well, beating the Phillies & Marlins in back-to-back starts (0 ER over 12.1 IP).  However, those were both struggling offense.  However, his next start does come against the Mets and it is hard to ignore his performance.  In deeper formats, he’s worth considering for the short-term.  Long-term, I wouldn’t expect him to be able to keep up this performance.  He just doesn’t offer much in the way of strikeout potential (6.99 K/9 over minor league career).

Other Quick Thoughts:

  • To say that it was another poor outing for Max Scherzer would be an understatement.  While he allowed 3 ER over 4.2 innings against the Yankees, he gave up 7 H and 7 BB.  He also allowed a home run to Curtis Granderson (his eighth of the year).  Control hasn’t been an issue for Scherzer this season, but he’s now allowed 8 H or more three times (and lasted 5.0 innings or less in all three of those starts).  I would definitely proceed with caution, depending on your other options.
  • Interesting to see the Marlins try to mix up the lineup, with Emilio Bonifacio (0-4) leading off and Jose Reyes (0-3) hitting second for the second consecutive day.  I wouldn’t expect this setup to continue, so don’t change your values yet.
  • Nice to see Giancarlo Stanton hit his first home run, isn’t it?  It hopefully will be the start of a hot streak, and you definitely shouldn’t give up hope.  We all know he has as much power as anyone in the game, and hopefully the knee problem is officially behind him.
  • Matt Garza was dominant against the Phillies, throwing 7.0 innings of shutout baseball.  He allowed just 1 H and 1 BB, striking out 10.  He’s thrown only one stinker this season (6 ER against Miami), allowing 2 ER or less in each of his other four starts.  He’s pitching well and is a good play in all formats.
  • It was a blown save for Grant Balfour, allowing 3 ER on 2 H (one of which being a 3-run home run to Wilson Betemit) and 1 BB, striking out 0, without recording an out.  If Brian Fuentes had been pitching lights out, then maybe a change could be looming, but he allowed 3 ER in a recent outing.  Time will tell, but for now I would expect Balfour to keep the job.
  • Tim Hudson came off the DL and pitched well enough, allowing 2 ER on 6 H and 2 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 innings against the Pirates.  I never would’ve considered him a “great” option, but he definitely holds value in deeper formats.
  • Which was more interesting for fantasy owners?  The impressive outing for Gavin Floyd (6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K) or that it was Matt Thornton who closed things out?  It was probably the latter, as we all knew that the team could make a change (despite what they said).  It will be interesting to see if Thornton is officially tabbed as closer, but things are definitely changing.
  • Frank Francisco gave up a home run for the second straight game (this time to Carlos Gonzalez), this time blowing a save.  The Mets bailed him out, however, and he ultimately earned the victory.  This is becoming a situation that fantasy owners need to be keeping a close eye on at this point.  I wouldn’t expect them to make a change, though it also wouldn’t be a huge shocker either.
  • Were the Dodgers simply giving Javy Guerra an extra day off, or has a change been started?  It was Kenley Jansen who got the save opportunity allowing 0 ER on 0 H and 2 BB, striking out 3.  Time will tell, though this easily could be the start of the inevitable.
  • Ike Davis showed signs of life, going 3-6 with 1 RBI.  It’s the first time he had multiple hits in a game since April 18 and his first RBI since April 21.  Don’t give up hope, the best is yet to come.
  • Ben Zobrist finished a home run short of the cycle, going 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  He had gone 14 consecutive games without multiple hits (6 hits, total, over that span).  He has managed to stay somewhat productive, but better days should be ahead.


  1. Tuco says:

    I’m curious. Who do you prefer for this year? Scherzer or Floyd?

  2. Jarret says:

    What are your thoughts on Jose Altuve. His minor stats look strong, is he going to be a poor man’s Dustin Pedroia? I haven’t seen anything written on him anywhere, is he playing way above his head or an under the radar guy to watch?

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Jarret – I talked about Altuve prior to the year and did like him as a sleeper. Is he going to be this good? Obviously not, but he’s well worth owning.

    Tuco – I preferred Scherzer prior to the season and he has dealt with some incredibly poor luck (.442 BABIP). His control should also be much better than it’s been. I’d probably stick with him, as he should be a nice buy low candidate.

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