Around the Majors: April 29

Billy Butler finally showed signs of life.  Jhonny Peralta continues to struggle.  Edinson Volquez returned to his 2008 form.  Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

Los Angeles (AL) vs. Baltimore

  • Torii Hunter just continues to rake, doesn’t he?  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R, putting him at .329 with 8 HR and 16 RBI.  He has at least 1 RBI in 11 of his past 14 games now, a great stretch of games.  Without Vladimir Guerrero the team needed someone to step up and Hunter has surely been up for the task.
  • Koji Uehara pitched reasonably well, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and 0 walks, striking out 5, over 6.1 innings.  He allowed two solo home runs in the seventh inning, certainly making his line look a little worse then he pitched, before getting hit with a line drive that forced him out of the game.  He has walked just 6 batters over 30 innings, showing his tremendous control.  Unfortunately he pitches in the toughest division in baseball, putting him at a disadvantage in a lot of his starts.  He also has an ERA of 4.50, so he hasn’t been all impressive.  He has value in deeper formats, but more on a week-to-week basis as opposed slotting him into your line-up and not touching him.

Seattle vs. Chicago (AL)

  • Adrian Beltre went 4-4 with 1 RBI and 1 SB, finally getting his average back above .200 (at .207).  While he has yet to hit a HR, he has picked up four stolen bases, helping make up for it a little bit.  He’s showing signs of life, so just continue to slot him in your line-up after enduring the tough times.  A reward should be coming.
  • Gavin Floyd had baserunners galore, giving up 10 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings.  Considering his WHIP was 1.71 heading into the start, so it certainly is a significant problem.  Walks have been the major problem, with 16 walks in 29.1 innings.  If he doesn’t get that problem straightened out, he’s going to become unusable.

New York (AL) vs. Detroit

  • Rick Porcello has shown his promise, but the results just haven’t been there.  After giving up 6 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 1, over 3.2 innings, he’s now given up 4 runs or more in three of his four starts.  He’s also compiled just 12 Ks over 21.2 innings.  In the future he may develop, but I can’t recommend using him in the here and now.  If you have the space, stash him away and see what happens in the next few weeks, but the bench is where he needs to be.
  • First it was Phil Hughes, now it was Joba Chamberlain who came out and put up a big performance when the team desperately needed it.  He went 7 innings giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6.  Will he remain in the rotation long-term?  Who knows, honestly.
  • Nick Swisher went 2-4 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R.  The Yankees certainly were not expecting him to be a focal point of the offense, but Xavier Nady’s injury has changed all that.  He’s hit 3 HR over the past two games and is worth using in 5 OFer formats.  Shallower leagues should have better options, but as a short-term fix he’s worth it while he’s hot.

Boston vs. Cleveland

  • How bad will it get for Jhonny Peralta?  He went 0-5, leaving him hitless in five of his last seven games and dropping his average to .211.  He has yet to hit a home run to go along with just six RBI.  Hitting in the middle of the line-up, that’s obviously unacceptable.  He’s going to breakout sooner or later, so just stay patient.
  • Jon Lester was ordinary in this one, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7, over 6 innings of work.  He’s now given up five or more runs in three of his five starts on the season.  With his next start coming against the Yankees, it’s really a tough call on what to do with him.  I’d run him out there, but I could understand people’s hesitations.  What are all the Lester owners out there planning?
  • Fausto Carmona gave up just 2 runs in 6.2 innings, but he did allow 5 hits and 4 walks.  That’s 16 walks vs. 18 strikeouts in 28.2 innings.  Yes, the results last night were fine, but the way he got there causes concern.  I don’t trust him, especially with his next start coming against the high-powered Blue Jays.

Toronto vs. Kansas City

  • Stop the presses!  Zack Greinke has given up an earned run.  He went 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 8, to improve to 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA.  It’s time to cut bait, the guy is obviously on a cold streak.  In all seriousness, he’s emerged as one of the top pitchers in the game in the early going.
  • Billy Butler went 4-5 with 2 HR, 4 RBI and 4 R, the type of breakout fantasy owners have been waiting for.  The outbreak raised his average to .242, so there is still a lot of room for him to rise.  If you benched him due to his struggles you may want to slide him back in there.  Yes, this could be just a one-day thing, but it also could be the beginnings of a hot streak.  Having endured a lot of pain, you certainly don’t want to miss the good.

Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota

  • It simply was not Scott Kazmir’s day.  He went 4 innings giving up 8 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4.  That’s two 6 earned run outings in his last three starts.  Certainly not what owners hope for.
  • Denard Span has hits in four straight after going 3-5 with 2 R.  Of course, he’s only scored 10 runs thus far this season, though that’s more telling of the Twins line-up then his performance, as he has posted an OBP of .391.  The return of Joe Mauer should signficantly help here

Pittsburgh vs. Milwaukee

  • Yovani Gallardo was clearly the star of the show.  He tossed eight shutout innings giving up 2 hits and 1 walk, striking out 11, over 8 innings to improve to 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA on the season.  To top it off, he drove in the lone run in the game, with a solo home run.  He’s a stud pitcher who needs to be used.  His next start comes again against the Pirates.
  • Many people wrote off Ian Snell, and despite his 1-3 record he has been fairly impressive this season.  After giving up 1 run on 5 hits and 4 walks, striking out 5, over 7 innings.  His ERA is now 3.72, but walks have clearly been an issue, even in this one.  He’s now walked 18 batters over 29 innings, with at least three walks in every start.  I wouldn’t just look at the ERA and say he’s a must own, because that would be inaccurate.  He has a ton of potential, but I would proceed cautiously.

Florida vs. New York (NL)

  • Seriously, is this 2008 all over again?  It’s a new bullpen, but the same old problems.  Johan Santana gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7, over 7 innings and left the game with the lead.  Of course, the bullpen quickly coughed up the lead and the Mets lost the game.  His ERA is 1.10, yet he’s 3-1 in his five starts.  For a pitcher that normally is a slow starter, his final line could be unbelievable.
  • Jorge Cantu has torn the Mets apart in the past two days.  He went 1-2 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 2 R, giving him 3 HR, 6 RBI and 4 R over the two games.

San Diego vs. Colorado

  • Adrian Gonzalez can try all he wants to be a one man wrecking crew, but it just is not enough.  He went 2-3 with 2 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R, giving him 9 HR and 19 RBI on the season.  He is a stud 1B, there’s no doubting that, and he should be considered as such in all formats.  While that doesn’t help the Padres, it certainly helps fantasy owners.
  • Catchers across the league have struggled mightily this season, with Chris Iannetta being no exception.  He entered the day hitting .143 with 2 RBI, but he busted out in a big way.  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  He’s going to continue to turn it up, so just hang in there.  In 2-catcher formats, is there really a better alternative anyways?

Chicago (NL) vs. Arizona

  • Derek Lee returned to the Cubs line-up, going 0-3 and lowering his average to .200.  He has a long enough history for us to know that he’s going to hit for a much better average, so just give him time.
  • Justin Upton now has a 6-game hitting streak, raising his average from .167 to .246.  He’s 8-21 over that stretch, with 7 RBI and 5 R.
  • I’ve spoken numerous times about Ryan Dempster and my thoughts that he was in for a tremendous drop-off from last season, and thus far he has proven me right.  He gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4, over 6 innings and is now sporting a 5.40 ERA.  I’d continue to avoid him in all formats.

Washington vs. Philadelphia

  • In the first save opportunity since Joel Hanrahan was removed from the closers role, it was Julian Tavarez getting the first chance.  He gave up 1 hit and picked up a strikeout in securing his first save of the season.  Who knows who is going to get the bulk of the save chances, so if you’re desperate for saves just hoard these back end guys.
  • Brett Myers gave up 3 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3, over 6 innings.  His WHIP is now up to 1.57.  Ouch, he’s not a pitcher I would use in any format for the time being.  As I’ve said in the past, he’s too unpredictable and unstable.

Houston vs. Cincinnati

  • Brandon Phillips hit a home run yesterday, so he was on the bench in this one.  Does that really make sense?  Maybe I’m just a jaded Phillips owner, but after a 2-4 day I want to see him in the line-up and building on the success, not being thrust into the game as a pinch hitter in the late innings.
  • Edinson Volquez has not looked like the pitcher of last season for much of 2009, but last night he was tremendous.  Over 8 shutout innings he gave up 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 6.  After walking 20 batters in his first four starts, this is certainly a positive sign.

St. Louis vs. Houston

  • Adam Wainwright had been terrific in the early going, improving to 3-0 with a 2.76 ERA after giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits and 5 walks, striking out 2, over 6 innings.  Of course, a WHIP of 1.57 does not look all that attractive.  He isn’t as bad as that number looks, so I’d expect an improvement over the next month or so.
  • Jeff Francoeur is definitely playing better then he did a year ago, hitting .277 with 2 HR, 13 RBI and 10 R after going 2-5 with 1 R yesterday.  Those numbers are nice, but he’s still far from the player people had hoped he would become.  His only value right now is in NL-only and 5 OFer formats.

Los Angeles (NL) vs. San Francisco

  • Tim Lincecum went 7 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8.  He’s now 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA.  Is anyone still worried about him?
  • Emmanuel Burris went 2-4 with 1 RBI and 1 R.  I know, he’s hitting just .182, but keep him stashed.  He seems likely to continue to receive regular playing time for the time being, and as I said yesterday, all he needs is a little bit of luck to help turn things the other way.

Anyone have any thoughts?

To read the previous article, click here.


  1. Gallardo is plain sick. I hope he can stay healthy. Torii is a guy I just have to cheer for. He has such a great attitude. He is truly a pro’s pro.

    Greinke sucks. 0.50 ERA. Terrible.

  2. biscotti says:

    I have Encarnacion who just hit the DL so I need a 3B. In fact, I don’t know if Encarnacion when he returns is the answer. I picked up Pedro Feliz but am thinking maybe Beltre is a better fit?

    Also available: R. Branyan, C. Figgins, S. Rolen, C. Blake, B. Hall.

    Appreciate the feedback!

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Biscotti, it really depends on what you are looking for. To me, Beltre and Figgins are the two best options available to you. If you are in need of some power, I would go with Beltre, as he’s going to heat up sooner or later.

    If you need speed/runs, then Figgins is a no-brainer.

    What does everyone else think?

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