by Will Overton
The weather continues to wreak havoc on the early season baseball schedule. Despite a couple more rainouts, there was still a lot of baseball played last night and with it we have out top stories of the night coming from the box scores.
- Jarrod Saltalamacchia Is Making Some Noise
Judging from his 6% ownership on ESPN as of last night, I don’t think many fantasy owners are noticing what Salty is doing down in Miami. Last night the Marlins catcher was 3 – 4 at the late with 2 R, 1 HR and 1 RBI. That is now five HR’s on the season for Salty and three in the last four days. Saltalamacchia is striking out way too much as always, but he’s also taking a bunch of walks and is sporting an impressive .404 OBP right now. As he is heating up the catcher is slowly climbing higher up the batting order, hitting fifth last night. The catcher position is getting deeper, but there is legitimate power here and Saltalamacchia should be getting a close look. Over the last three seasons he has 55 HR’s total, so this isn’t a fluke.
- Has The Magic Run Out For Martin Perez?
After five really great starts to begin the year and an absolutely insane 26 straight scoreless inning streak, the A’s caught up to Martin Perez last night. Perez allowed eight runs on eight hits over 4.2 IP. The loss though only raised his ERA to a still impressive 2.95. I don’t think we can look at this one start and assume everything is going to fall apart now. I also don’t think we can look at the recent streak he just had and assume he’ll go back to being that good. My thoughts on Perez are similar to what they were in the pre-season, he’s a good pitcher who doesn’t strike a ton of guys out and pitches in a scary home field.
- What Do The Blue Jays Do With Their Closer Job?
Sergio Santos came in and blew another save last night, allowed 3 R on 2 H and 1 BB while recording just one out. This outing ballooned his ERA up to just above the 8.00 mark. For the Blue Jays, Casey Jannsen can’t come back from the DL soon enough. Jannsen is making progress now after a setback earlier this month, but it could be a couple weeks still. For now I’m not sure what the Jays will do as Santos is falling apart, but no one else seems able to step up in his place. If nothing else owners who have stashed Jannsen have nothing to worry about upon his return.
- Good Things Happen When Billy Hamilton Is On Base
I don’t think anyone would dispute this headline. The only issue is, how often can he get on base. Hamilton had one of his better nights last night collecting three hits, including a HR and stealing one base. Hamilton is now 9 for his last 26 at the dish, including three multi-hit games in his last six starts. He also has 5 R and 3 SB in those six games. The big thing now is for Hamilton to be more consistent about getting on base and utilizing his best weapon.
- What Is Going On With Alfredo Simon?
Last night marked the fifth start of the season for Alfredo Simon and for the fifth time he picked up a quality start, almost effortlessly. Simon went 6 IP and allowed 2 R on 5 H while striking out five. Simon has yet to allow more than two runs in any game this season, despite going at least six innings in every game. At this point Simon has to be owned in the majority of fantasy leagues because of the way he is pitching. At the same time though owners have to keep in mind that the bottom could fall out on this at any time and need not get too attached.
- Are We Paying Enough Attention to Adam LaRoche?
The Nationals have had their share of issues this season with injuries and underperformers, but one thing they have not lacked is consistency from Adam LaRoche. Last night LaRoche went 2 – 5 at the plate and drove in two runs, bringing his season total up to 17 RBI now. LaRoche is hitting .312 and has an OBP of .413. LaRoche has recorded at least one hit in 19 of his 24 games played this season. LaRoche doesn’t put up quite the flashy numbers of some others at his position, but he remains consistently solid year in and year out and this year looks to be no different.
- The Brewers Starting Pitching Mojo Rolls On
The Milwaukee Brewers starting pitching continues to be absolutely lights out. Kyle Lohse picked up his fourth win and fifth quality start of the season last night with a line of: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB and 9 K. Yes, that’s not a misprint, Kyle Lohse struck out nine batters innings. In fact, this is the second time this year he has recorded this many K’s and he has 40 K’s in 40 IP for the season. Suddenly at 35 years old Kyle Lohse is getting batters to swing and miss apparently. What’s happening in Milwaukee is a mystery, but it just keeps on going.
- Can Joe Smith Be The Long Term Answer At Closer For The Angels?
On Friday Night the Angels turned to Joe Smith and not Ernesto Frieri to close out the game. Last night he picked up his second save in as many chances and he had the Angels fans breathing easy. My original thinking behind this move was that the Angels just wanted to get Frieri right and build some confidence in him. Smith has other plans for this promotion though and looks to want to make it a long term thing. Smith isn’t the power pitcher that Frieri is, but he has good control and can get some strikeouts. Frieri isn’t out of the picture, but Smith could force the Angels into something permanent if he pitches well enough.
- Yusmeiro Petit Shines In Impromptu Start
A cut on the tip of his finger forced Matt Cain to be a late scratch for yesterday’s game. In his absence Yusmeiro Petit stepped in and looked very impressive. Petit threw six scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and no walks, while striking out four. Petit had some success last year in a handful of starts for the Giants so this wasn’t completely out of nowhere necessarily. Unfortunately for Petit unless someone on this team hits the DL there isn’t an opening for him in the rotation. If someone does get injured Petit certainly seems first in line to fill the gap and could be a decent deep league grab at that point.
- Back-to-Back Big Nights For Carlos Santana Has Fantasy Owners Smiling
I know Ray talked about him yesterday, but after another big night it’s worth talking about him again today. Carlos Santana, for the second night in a row, posted a line of 2 – 4 with 1 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI. In two nights he has tripled both his HR and RBI total for the season. He’s also brought his average up 30 points, all the way to .156. It sure looks like Santana is finding his swing again which means the door is closing on the opportunity to buy low. I think when it’s all said and done this season Santana will be back among the top five catchers in fantasy baseball, where he belongs.