Around the Majors: April 15, 2013: Oswaldo Arcia Debuts, Should We Ignore James McDonald & More

It wasn’t a full day of baseball, but that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t ample storylines to follow.  How did Oswaldo Arcia fare in his Major League debut?  Did Jeremy Hellickson and/or Mark Buehrle turn things around?  Is it time to give up on James McDonald?  Let’s answer these questions and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

  • Jeremy Hellickson turned it what was by far his best performance of the season, allowing 2 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, striking out 9, over 7.0 innings against the Red Sox to take a no decision.  It’s a good sign for fantasy owners, though that doesn’t mean that we should expect performances like this to continue.  Remember, while he has pitched well the past few years, there has been a lot of luck (.244 career BABIP, 81.8% career strand rate).  Just be cautious with him moving forward.
  • There has been speculation as to when Billy Hamilton could arrive for the Reds, and time will tell how patient the Reds remain.  However Chris Heisey is giving them reason to consider a switch, as he dropped to .152 after going 0-4 last night.  He is just 2-20 over his past six games and, even if it’s not Hamilton, someone else could see get an opportunity.  Those desperate NL-Only owners should consider stashing Derrick Robinson, who could offer some under-the-radar speed.
  • It was a much better day for Mark Buehrle, who allowed 2 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 3, over 6.1 IP.  Maybe it really wasn’t THAT much better, considering the number of base runners he allowed (he now has a 1.75 WHIP).  Of course, this is the deepest he has worked into a game this season, so there is that.  His low strikeout total was always going to limit his upside and, while you would think he’ll turn it around, there’s not much to excite owners.
  • Tyler Greene made his first start as a member of the Chicago White Sox, hitting ninth and going 2-3.  With Gordon Beckham out it’s possible he gets a few opportunities to play.  He still has the same 20/20 upside, if he can make consistent contact, so those in AL-only formats will want to pay attention.
  • Ryan Zimmerman had the biggest day for the Nationals, who beat up the Marlins 10-3.  He went 2-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R, his first HR of the year (and is also hitting just .239).  However, unlike some other sluggers, he does have 11 RBI on the season so despite his struggles he has been able to remain productive.  He’s going to fully get going before long, so stay the course.
  • While his defense did him no favors, that’s not an excuse for James McDonald’s start against the Cardinals yesterday.  He lasted just 1.2 innings allowing 8 R (3 earned) on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out no one.  While McDonald looked good in his first start of the season he has now allowed 7 ER on 12 H and 6 BB over his past 6.2 innings of work.  IF it wasn’t for his awful second half we would be stressing patience.  I know people will want to point to his 46.3% strand rate, but he also isn’t going to maintain a 13.3% line drive rate.  After a 7.52 ERA in 61.0 innings in the second half of ’12, we need to see him prove something before trusting him.
  • Making his Major League debut, Oswaldo Arcia went 1-3 while hitting seventh.  He’s just up while someone is on the paternity list, but if he impresses it’s not impossible that he forces his way onto the roster full-time.  He was hitting .414 with 3 HR and 8 RBI at Triple-A, but the Twins would have to be willing to turn over RF to him instead of Chris Parmalee (.242, 1 HR).  He may be up just for a cup of coffee this time, but rest assured he’ll be back at some point in ’13.
  • Peter Bourjos was still in the leadoff spot yesterday and he did a much better job of seeing pitches (18 pitches seen).  He went 1-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, but don’t lose hope.  He appears to have a little bit latitude and is sticking atop the lineup for now.
  • It was about as bad as it gets for Erik Bedard, allowing 6 ER on 2 H and 4 BB, striking out 1, over 0.1 innings of work.  Given the constant injury risk, he is pretty easy to ignore.
  • Without Yoenis Cespedes it was Chris Young in the third spot of the order, going 1-4 with 2 R.  He is hitting .182, though, and it is unlikely that he is the sole person getting a look in that spot.  Brandon Moss (.283, 2 HR, 13 RBI) and Josh Donaldson (.259, 2 HR, 7 RBI) both could get an opportunity.  If you either player is available in your league, keep a close eye on them.
  • Carl Crawford went 3-5 with 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, putting him at .396 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 12 R and 2 SB in 13 games this season.  He has six multi-hit games in his past nine and can you imagine how many more runs he’d be scoring if Matt Kemp was performing up to par?  He’s not going to keep up this pace, but for now it appears like those who took the gamble are going to be rewarded.

Bullpen Notes

  • With Joel Hanrahan unavailable Andrew Bailey got his shot at closing out games once again.  However he didn’t get the job done, allowing 1 ER on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 2, over his inning to blow the save.  He was rewarded with the win, he has 9 K over 5.1 innings and has allowed just 5 base runners.  Things like this happen and it shouldn’t mean he won’t get the next opportunity.   If you need saves stick with him.

One comment

  1. KB says:

    It would’ve been crazy to start McDonald vs. St. Louis last night. I don’t like the idea of starting any non-ace pitcher vs. St. Louis, really. Seems to me STL is one of the worst teams to go up against w/ a deep, contact-heavy lineup and very little potential for K. Not to mention the Cardinals SP is unlikely to allow the opportunity for a W.

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