No one was actually nervous that Albert Pujols or Robinson Cano wouldn’t produce, were they? It was just a matter of time, and both showed owners that patience was a virtue yesterday. The same could be said for Mat Latos, who joined Yu Darvish in striking out 11 batters yesterday. Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:
- Mat Latos – Cincinnati Reds – Starting Pitcher – This type of outing is the exact reason why you don’t give up on a pitcher like Latos, despite his early season struggles. He tossed 6.0 shutout innings allowing just 2 H and 3 BB, striking out 11. He is quickly proven that maybe he just takes a little while to get going. The past three seasons his April ERAs have been 6.20, 4.98 and 5.97. His final ERAs in 2010 and 2011 were 2.93 and 3.48. In other words, those looking to point to the move to Cincinnati as a reason for his early season struggles are greatly exaggerating the situation. Hang on to him, as he should be one of the better starting pitchers in the league.
- Robinson Cano – New York Yankees – Second Baseman – With most fantasy owners focusing on the struggles of Albert Pujols (who we will talk about in a bit), most haven’t taken too much notice of Cano’s. Cano entered play yesterday with just 1 HR (which he hit on April 18) and 4 RBI. He doubled both of those numbers yesterday, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R. Obviously, no one is going to be overly concerned with Cano as we all know he’s going to get things going. Yesterday is likely just the start of things to come.
- Ublado Jimenez – Cleveland Indians – Starting Pitcher – He got the victory over Yu Darvish (6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 11 K) by throwing 7 shutout innings. That said, was it a real “positive” outing? He allowed 2 H with 6 K, but he also walked 5. In six starts this season he has walked at least 3 in all of them, with 5 or more three times. Does that sound like a pitcher you want to trust? Throw in the fact that his strikeouts are way down (5.05 K/9), as is his velocity (92.0 mph vs. 96.1 mph during his breakout 2010 campaign) and there are an awful lot of reasons to be skeptical. It’s great that he won, but I would be extremely cautious. With his next start coming in Boston, I’d be hesitant to have him in my starting lineup.
Other Quick Thoughts:
- With Brennan Boesch (0-4 with 1 K yesterday) struggling the Tigers toyed with Andy Dirks in the #2 spot of the order. He delivered by going 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R. Dirks has been getting fairly regular playing time, especially with the Delmon Young fiasco, and he’s delivered with 2 HR and 5 RBI in his past seven games. In five-outfielder and AL-only formats he has value, but that’s it.
- Clay Buchholz posted another absolute stinker, allowing 5 ER on 7 H and 4 BB, striking out 4, over 3.2 innings. He got blasted for 3 HR allowed and has now allowed 10 HR on the season. Even worse, he’s allowed 5 ER or more in each of his six starts. At this point he should be nowhere near your starting lineup.
- Tyler Greene was a player I was high on prior to the season, but thus far he had failed to distinguish himself or earn every day playing time. Things may have changed a bit yesterday as he exploded to go 3-3 with 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB. I wouldn’t quite yet declare him the starter in St. Louis, but it is possible he stakes his claim. In deeper formats, he’s worth stashing if you have the room.
- It was another strong day for Brandon Beachy, improving to 3-1 with a 1.62 ERA by allowing 2 ER on 4 H and 3 BB, striking out 5, over 6.1 innings of work. He entered play with a .227 BABIP, so it would be fair to be a little concerned, but we all have to expect his 6.06 K/9 will improve. That should offset the regression in BABIP, so there’s no reason to consider him a sell candidate.
- Albert Pujols owners can finally exhale a little bit. Finally, a month into the season, he has hit his first home run as an Angel by going 1-4 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. It’s been frustrating, for sure, but did anyone really thing that he wasn’t going to get going? Obviously, we can’t call him “hot” off of one home run, but you have to figure it’s just the start of things to come.
- Did Andrew Cashner cost himself an opportunity to close while Huston Street is out of action? He entered in a tie game and absolutely imploded, allowing 4 R (3 ER) on 3 H and 2 BB, striking out 1, in just 0.2 innings of work. With Luke Gregerson tossing a perfect seventh, with 2 K, he may be the favorite for saves at this point.
- With Justin Morneau on the DL, Ryan Doumit is likely going to play an even greater role. He stepped up yesterday, going 3-3 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R in a losing effort. He should see plenty of time at DH, C, 1B and OF and is well worth owning in all formats.
- While Santiago Casilla didn’t give up an earned run, he still blew the save by allowing 1 unearned run on 1 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, in an inning of work. It cost Matt Cain a victory, despite an impressive outing (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 K). It’s just par for the course for Cain, isn’t it? Despite a career ERA of 3.33, he’s never won more than 14 games in a season.
- How long is the leash for Javy Guerra? We may find out sooner rather than later, as he blew his third save of the season yesterday by allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, in an inning of work. Having now allowed runs in four of his last five outings, don’t be surprised to see Kenley Jansen assume the role.
- This should tell you how crazy the game was between the Red Sox and Orioles, Chris Davis (yes, THAT Chris Davis) went 0-8 with 5 K yet redeemed himself by throwing 2 shutout innings and earn the victory. Yeah, that’s what happens when the game goes 17 innings.
- Will Middlebrooks had a big day, going 2-7 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R. He struck out once, and has 3 K in 16 AB. That’s one major concern for him, but if he can continue to make contact he is going to hold value in all formats.
- Hunter Pence extended his hitting streak to 9 games, going 2-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R last night. Over the streak he’s gone 12-38 with 3 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R and 1 SB. We all know how good Pence is, so these types of streaks should not be a very big surprise.