by Ray Kuhn
The makeup of two games previously postponed by rain gave us 17 match-ups yesterday to enjoy. A lot happened out on the field, as it always does. Let’s jump right into 10 of those stories.
1) Joey Gallo Has Arrived
Did you really think we weren’t going to start things off by talking about Gallo? Gallo is the latest prospect to arrive in the major leagues with significant fan fare, and he did disappoint. The slugger came a triple away from the cycle as he went 3-4 batting in the sixth spot of the order. After reaching base in five out of six at bats, he walked once, Gallo will have a hard time matching this performance moving forward. He ended the day with three runs scored and four RBI’s, but there is still one red flag we must note. And that is the strikeouts. By no means do I want to rain on the parade of any Gallo owners and ruin his debut, but from a fantasy perspective, it must be noted. The one out Gallo made on Tuesday was a strikeout, and his propensity for striking out could help to limit his value. Although, it is hard to argue with that debut.
2) Noah Syndergaard Looks Mortal
In case you needed a reminder that top prospects can in fact be mortal, you didn’t have to look much further than Syndergaard on Tuesday. Just as you can’t overreact to the good starts, you must keep the bad ones in perspective as well. Even well allowing seven runs on 10 hits and not being able to make it out of the fifth inning, the right-hander still showed why he is so highly regarded. Syndergaard also added 10 strikeouts so the night wasn’t totally lost from a fantasy perspective, and it was a good sign that he didn’t walk anyone. The problem now, is that thanks to the Mets’ six-man rotation, Syndergaard has to wait until next week to make up for this start.
3) Yonder Alonso Returns
It is important to always be mindful of those returning from injury, and Alonso fits that bill perfectly. Prior to going down, he likely was not a vital part of anyone’s team, although he is a solid player who can be useful. And that is especially true if he keeps up hitting as he has. You just have to live with the fact that even though he is a first baseman batting in the middle of the order, there really isn’t much power there at all. In his return, Alonso went 3-4 (all singles) while scoring two runs and raising his average to .352.
4) Jordan Zimmermann Gets Top Billing
It has to be tough sharing a rotation and a spotlight with Max Scherzer, and today Zimmermann shared a day with him too. Both pitchers took the mound for Washington and Zimmermann was the one who emerged victorious. Pitching in the afternoon game, the right-hander went eight shutout innings throwing 104 pitches for the victory. By this point we should know that Matt Williams likes removing Zimmermann just before he can complete a game, but this time Drew Storen was able to secure the save. Toronto never had too much of a chance against Zimmermann who scattered six hits and one walk while striking out four and lowering his ERA to 2.88.
5) Albert Pujols is Moving Through the Record Books
On Monday night Pujols hit two home runs and I excluded him from this article. The first baseman followed that up on Tuesday by hitting another home run. This one had a little more historical significance as he is now tied with Jimmie Foxx for 17th on the all time home run list at 534. While Pujols is the same player he once was, that was still his 14th home run of the season to go along with 27 RBI’s and a .254 batting average. It is is obvious those last two stats are off of his career norms, but they are still more than respectable and better than a lot of other options.
6) Austin Jackson Has Another Strong Game
For the last few years Jackson has always been a player who intrigued me due to his skill set, but disappointed me with his performance. So far this season he is not making a bid for the All-Star team, but he has picked his performance up to the point of being useful in certain formats. Jackson went 4-4 with a walk on Tuesday as he boosted his average to .267 on the season. Again, that is not spectacular, but it is solid and Jackson has been consistent for the most part this season. The outfielder also added his seventh stolen base of the season from the lead-off spot.
7) Alex Guerrero Needs to Play More
After the first game of yesterday’s twin bill, Guerrero hadn’t done much to help his case. He got the start, and did nothing with it going 1-4. It would be asking too much to see Guerrero start both games in Coors Field, but he did make his presence felt in the night-cap. Pinch hitting with the Dodgers down three in the ninth inning, Guerrero cranked a grand slam to position his team for victory. That was the 10th home run of the season for Guerrero who also has 25 RBI’s and a .296 average. With a line like that, it truly is a mystery why he is not playing, but with numbers like that he has to be fantasy relevant regardless.
8) Johnny Cueto Returns
It was just a minor setback and one start missed by Cueto, but he returned on Tuesday and looked fine doing so. Going against the Phillies certainly helped, as the right-hander got through six innings with minimal resistance. Philadelphia managed a Chase Utley solo homer and scored a run on an error off Cueto who allowed five hits on the night with no walks while striking out four. I would use Cueto without hesitation moving forward although it is a situation worth watching for the rest of the season.
9) Andrew McCutchen is Heating Up
It took McCutchen a little while to get there, but other than the lack of stolen bases, he is living up to his first round ADP. Tuesday night was McCutchen’s sixth multi-hit game out of his last 11, and he is now hitting a very solid .292 on the season. McCutchen went 4-5 against the Giants with two RBI’s (he has 32 on the season) as he came up a home run shy of the cycle. The stolen bases still aren’t there, and I wouldn’t bank on them moving forward, but all other facets of his offense look to be working.
10) Chris Archer Dominates
There really isn’t much else to say about Archer; both for the game and the season. Other than the Pujols home run, the Angels got nothing off the Tampa right-hander who struck out 15 batters in eight innings to improve to 6-4 on the season. Were run support not an issue, Archer very easily could have more than six wins, facing Felix Hernandez in his last start didn’t help either, as he has come out of the gate dealing. With the calendar now turned to June, Archer also doesn’t appear to be slowing down.