Around the Majors: April 16, 2013: Injury Returns (C. Santana, Lawrie, Morse), Poor Starts (Zito, Haren) & More

The Phillies and Reds battled for 9 innings with no one being able to score, before the game ultimately had to be suspended due to rain and will be resumed at 5:30 PM today.  Lucky for fantasy owners who used Kyle Kendrick and Homer Bailey, as they won’t lose their stats.  Let’s take a look at all the rest of the news from yesterday’s games:

  • Juan Francisco had the biggest day for the Braves, going 2-3 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.  With Chris Johnson (2-4, 1 RBI) swinging a hot bat, Francisco needs days like this in order keep his job once Freddie Freeman returns.
  • In his return to the Blue Jays Brett Lawrie went 0-3 with 1 RBI while playing 3B.  There had been some speculation that he could play 2B, with Jose Bautista playing 3B, since Lawrie spent time there during his rehab assignment.  While it’s possible he sees some time there, don’t look for him to make a permanent shift back to second at this time.
  • Josh Johnson allowed 2 ER on 4 H and 2 BB, striking out 8, over 7.0 innings.  Though he ended up with a no decision, it was a nice bounce back after only going 1.1 innings in his previous outing. 
  • The thought had been that, with a move back to the NL, Dan Haren should return to holding fantasy appeal.  However, after he got beat up by the lifeless Miami Marlins fantasy owners have got to be concerned.  He allowed 7 R (3 earned) on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 2, over 4.1 innings.  He hasn’t gone more than 5.0 innings in any of his three starts and now has allowed 16 H over 13.1 innings (2.03 WHIP overall).  We can’t write him off, though it is incredibly tough to trust him right now.
  • Martin Prado was at 2B for the Diamondbacks last night, but don’t expect it to continue (despite Aaron Hill being placed on the DL).  With Didi Gregorious being activated he should play SS with Cliff Pennington sliding over to 2B for now.
  • It was another poor outing for Brandon McCarthy, who allowed 3 ER on 9 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 4.0 innings of work.  He’s now allowed at least 9 hits in each of his three starts.  While he has had some tough competition (Yankees/Cardinals), but that’s no excuse.  Until he proves he can limit the hits he’s tough to trust.
  • Given their starting pitching depth, how long will the Rays stick with Roberto Hernandez?  He fell to 0-3 with a 6.27 ERA after giving up 5 R (4 earned) on 5 H and 3 BB, striking out 7, over 5.1 innings of work.  Time will tell, but he isn’t a recommended option regardless.
  • Ubaldo Jimenez simply didn’t have it, allowing 7 ER on 2 H and 5 BB, striking out 1, over 1.2 innings of work.  After opening with a solid start he has now allowed 14 ER over 6.0 innings in his last two starts.  It seems like a lifetime ago when he was a viable fantasy option, doesn’t it?
  • Is the Daniel Nava ride coming to an end?  He went 0-4 yesterday, striking out all 4 times, and is now 2-14 with 0 RBI and 1 R over his past 4 games.
  • It was nice to see Carlos Santana back in the Indians lineup, hitting third and going 0-4.  One poor game doesn’t mean anything, as he was hitting well prior to the injury.  You have to wonder if he will stick in the #3 spot, with Jason Kipnis dropping down in the lineup.
  • The Brewers built a big lead, but Wily Peralta couldn’t do anything with it.  He allowed 6 R (5 earned) on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 1, over 4.0 innings, failing to even qualify for a W.  He is better than that, but should be viewed as a low-end option and nothing more.
  • Did anyone really expect Barry Zito to be able to keep shutting people out?  He got tattooed for 9 ER on 8 H and 2 BB, striking out 5, over 2.2 IP.  He had a nice start to the season, but no one should’ve expected miracles.
  • Interesting to see Brian Dozier hitting atop the Twins lineup, with him responding by going 2-4 with 2 RBI and 2 R.  In 2011 between Single and Double-A he did have 9 HR (along with 33 doubles and 12 triples), to go along with 24 SB.  Last season with the Twins (316 AB) he had 6 HR and 9 SB.  He’s clearly not a superstar, but with Aaron Hicks continuing to struggle and Darin Mastrioanni sidelined again he could get his chance to hit atop the order.  He makes contact (184 K over 1,405 AB in the minor leagues) and does offer enough power and speed.  If you need a middle infielder in deeper formats he is worth the gamble.  What do you really have to lose?
  • Mike Morse returned to the Mariners lineup, going 1-4 with 1 RBI.  The results were meaningless, though.  He’s back in the lineup and therefore a must use option.
  • Aaron Harang didn’t pitch terribly in his first start for Seattle, allowing 3 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 6, over 5.0 innings.  He has value in AL-only formats, but how long he sticks in the rotation remains to be seen.  Danny Hultzen is knocking on the door at Triple-A and, sooner or later, is likely going to force his way into the mix (either at the expense of Harang or Brandon Maurer).
  • Interesting to see the Padres use Everth Cabrera (0-4, 1 SB) in the second spot of the order, with Chris Denofria (3-6, 2 R, 1 SB) in the leadoff spot.  Cabrera is not your prototypical #2 hitter and you have to wonder how long he’ll stick there.  Denofria is probably just up at the top while he’s hot (.395 average to open the year), so don’t read too much into it.
  • Kyle Blanks, who was called up to take the suspended Carlos Quentin’s spot, went 2-4 with 2 R.  He has ample power and a week to prove himself.  Considering the Padres’ offensive limitations, if he hits he is going to stick in the lineup.
  • Think Carlos Gonzalez had a big double-header against the Mets?  He finished the day 5-8 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R and 1 SB.  If he could only stay healthy (and play all of his games at Coors), he would post some huge numbers.

Bullpen Notes:

  • Did Greg Holland’s rope as closer get a little bit longer?  It’s quite possible after Kelvin Herrera, the expected replacement, got lit up by the Braves last night.  He managed just 0.2 IP allowing 4 ER on 3 H and 1 BB, with all three hits being HR.  Bad outings happen so don’t cut bait on Herrera yet if you are desperate for saves, just realize it could be a longer investment than originally planned.
  • If Shawn Camp was still in the closer conversation, he likely isn’t now.  In 0.1 innings he allowed 2 ER on 2 H, with the big blow being a home run by Adrian Beltre (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R).  Look for James Russell to get the next opportunity.

One comment

  1. Chris Mal says:

    What about Hector Rondon? He’s still largely unknown, is coming off 2 lost years, and it’s a extremely small sample size…but the guy has been quite good so far. Which is more than they can say for anyone else in the Cubs pen. He was a good prospect a few years ago…and here he is, getting people out in the majors as a Rule V pick. Stranger things have happened. Soria was once a Rule V pick too, and went on to have a string of successful years as a closer.

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