by Ray Kuhn
Monday already featured a reduced slate of games, but the rain out of the Cubs and Reds game gave fantasy owners one less game to enjoy. However, that doesn’t mean that the action was any less enjoyable. Here are some thoughts that I had when looking through the box scores and results of Monday night’s action:
1) Is This it for Jake Odorizzi in the Starting Rotation?
The season started off on the right foot for Odorizzi as he pitched six scoreless innings in his debut against the Rangers picking up the victory. But two losses and a no decision later, and Odorizzi took a 6.52 ERA into Monday’s start in Chicago against the White Sox. With Scott Baker looming in the minor leagues, Odorizzi’s start tonight did little to secure his rotation spot for another start. Odorizzi only lasted 4.1 innings allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. At this point, it is safe to drop Odorizzi in most formats and he needs to have a good start before he makes his way back to your starting lineup. Baker is nothing special, but he does finally look to be healthy and at the least he should be your radar.b
2) Did Andre Rienzo Do Enough to Remain in the Rotation?
You were perfectly warranted if you expected this matchup to feature a lot of offense. In his first start of the season Rienzo held his own against the Tigers allowing four runs in 6.1 innings while earning the victory. However, it was not enough to quell the skeptics, but perhaps his second victory will start to do that. Rienzo pitched six innings for the win giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and three walks while striking out four batters. Now I’m not advocating running out and grabbing Rienzo in every league, but at the very least he is at least worth a look based on your needs and the matchups.
3) What Can We Expect of Jonathan Lucroy in the Next Few Weeks?
The Brewers really are the walking wounded of the National League. Jean Segura and Ryan Braun were both out of the lineup of Monday and Aramis Ramirez left after being hit in the elbow by a pitch. Thankfully, Ramirez appears to just be day-to-day so there is no need for concern, but that is not the case for Braun. At the very least it appears that he will be out at least for the next few days with an oblique issue and a stint on the disabled list is possible. If that is that case and Monday was any indication, then Lucroy will be manning the 3rd spot. After going 0-5 to start the game, the catcher came through with a 12th inning double and then scored the go ahead run. Lucroy’s average sits at .297 on the season with one home run, 10 doubles, and eight RBI’s. With Carlos Gomez batting leadoff, Lucroy will likely come to the plate with runners on base, and if he remains in the 3rd spot, then you should likely bump him up a few spots.
4) Is Sonny Gray for Real?
After a complete game shutout in Arlington against the Rangers, I would say so. Gray needed just 108 pitches to do it as he allowed only three hits and one walk while striking out six batters to lower his season ERA to 1.76. The right-hander looked to be in control all game, and so far this season everything we are seeing is that last season was not a fluke.
5) Can We Stop Worrying About Josh Reddick?
After the first two or so weeks of the season, there was talk about Oakland sending Reddick to the minor leagues to right the ship. Instead the outfielder’s average now sits at .250 on the season after it was below .100 less than two weeks ago. Against Yu Darvish and then Nick Martinez, Reddick went 3-4 on the game with an RBI and a run scored. Reddick has yet to get going in the power department as he only has one home run and six RBI’s, but I think he will continue to reward owners for their faith in him.
6) Is Allen Craig Going to Turn the Corner?
It is safe to assume that Craig has been a disappointment so far this season. That is what happens when you take a .177 average into action Monday night. But two hits, including a home run, later and the outfielder’s average now sits at .190 and you have to wonder if Craig will begin to turn the corner. Yes it is just one game, but sometimes that is all a good hitter needs to right the ship. Craig has not made it easy to carry him on your roster so far this season, but he is too good of a hitter to give up or let sit on waivers.
7) What About Carlos Santana?
Does Santana realize that most fantasy players don’t get points for his 21 walks? Those walks give Santana a .301 on base percentage which looks a lot better than his .122 batting average (entering Monday’s action). But two hits in four at bats later, and Santana’s average is up to .140 and fantasy owners are wondering if all arrows will now point up for him. Again, we are only talking about one game, but this is a situation that needs to watched closely. No one should have been surprised by his three run home run off Tyler Skaggs, and don’t give up on Santana just yet.
8) Is it Time to Give up on Ryan Raburn?
Raburn is really just a glorified utility player. In smaller sample sizes when given an opportunity in the past, Raburn has produced. However, he has yet to receive an everyday role. The Indians play the platoon, and the utility player often finds himself in the lineup against left-handed pitching batting fifth. That is enough to give him value in leagues that allow daily moves, but so far all Raburn has done is disappoint fantasy owners. An 0-3 performance brought his average down to .173 on the season and I would not count on Raburn until he shows improvement.
9) Will Francisco Rodriguez Ever Blow a Save?
After Monday’s outing Rodriguez is now 12 for 12 on the season and shows no signs of slowing down. There was some drama for this save as he allowed a hit and a walk, but Rodriguez emerged unscathed. It doesn’t look like he will be giving up this job anytime soon, and he should be moved up in your closer rankings if that has not already taken place.
10) Speaking of Closers, What About LaTroy Hawkins?
Most did not think Hawkins would still have the closer’s job by the end of April. Some didn’t think he would keep it past the first week of the season. Instead Hawkins recorded his 8th save against the Diamondbacks pitching a perfect inning while striking out one. It seems odd to say it, but Hawkins is another closer to believe in.