Around the Majors: June 7

Roy Halladay may throw complete games the rest of the way.  Tommy Hanson struggled in his major league debut.  San Diego was forced to use a position player to pitch in a close game.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.

New York (AL) 4, Tampa Bay 3

  • Evan Longoria continues to be out of the line-up due to his hamstring issues, with Willy Aybar playing 3B and batting third.  He’s had his moments, but after a 1-4, 1 R day is hitting just .250.  He really only has value in the deepest of formats thanks to his position flexibility.
  • The mess that is the Rays bullpen continues, with Grant Balfour being called upon to hold things in check in the 8th inning and completely blowing up.  He lasted just 0.1 innings giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and 1 walk.  The entire lot of relief pitchers are just a complete mess here, aren’t they?
  • Joba Chamberlain gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 6 innings of work in a no decision.  He really has been sporadic this season, causing the murmurs of a potential move to the bullpen to persist.  Given his last start, you would have loved to see a much better start here as a carry over.  He’s usable, obviously, but he hasn’t been the front of the rotation starter owners were hoping for, with a WHIP entering the game at 1.44.

Detroit 9, Los Angeles (AL) 6

  • Juan Rivera went 3-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  He’s actually been playing fairly regularly, with 175 AB and managing to hit .303 with 6 HR and 25 RBI.  He’s had at least 1 RBI in seven of his last eight games.  Obviously, there numbers aren’t extremely impressive in shallower formats, but in deeper, five outfielder formats, he does hold value as a short-term fill-in, at the least.  He’s started each of the last five games, so he’s definitely getting AB.
  • Miguel Cabrera went 0-1 with 1 R and 2 BB before being lifted for a pinch runner.  Obviously, the hamstring issue is still affecting him a little bit.
  • They all can’t be winners for Rick Porcello.  He allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 2, over 5 innings of work in a no decision.  He’s been pretty bad in his last 2 starts, allowing 7 runs on 13 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4, over 9.1 innings.  He’s been good for most of the season and does have the Pirates next on the schedule, so I wouldn’t just toss him aside quite yet.

Toronto 4, Kansas City 0

  • You may never be able to take the ball from Roy Halladay again this season, huh?  Of course, this time it only took him 97 pitches, but he threw his second consecutive complete game victory.  He allowed 7 hits and 0 walks, striking out 6.  Is there any arguing that he is among the best pitchers in the game?
  • Aaron Hill had been slowing down, going 0-21 over his past give games, but may have gotten things going again yesterday.  He went 1-2 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R, giving him 13 HR and 40 RBI on the season.  Is it safe to say his injury problems from last season are long behind him?
  • Billy Butler went 1-4 yesterday and has just 2 RBI in his last eight games.  Is that what anyone is looking for in their 1B or DH spot? 

Texas 6, Boston 3

  • Nelson Cruz just continues to roll.  He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 3 R.  Since 5/20 he has gone 22-66 with 10 HR, 20 RBI, 17 R and 5 SB.  All I can really say is wow!
  • With Frank Francisco hurting again, C.J. Wilson got the chance for the save.  He walked one and struck out one in locking down his fifth save of the season.  He’s become a great fallback option for those desperate for saves this season, though he’s not going to be a great option for those in shallow formats.
  • David Ortiz went 1-4.  That is a six game hitting streak, though only one of those games was a multi-hit affair.  Seriously, with the way he’s been going, take what you can get.
  • It was a bad start for Daisuke Matsuzaka, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits and 0 walks, striking out 8, over 5.2 innings.  He still doesn’t have a big enough sample size to get all worked up over.  He’s worth monitoring, but don’t get too worked up.

Cleveland 8, Chicago (AL) 4

  • Victor Martinez went 2-5 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R.  He’s now hitting .344 with 10 HR and 41 RBI.  Those are usable numbers for a 1B (where he does have eligibility), but as a catcher those are elite.  It’s been quite a bounce back, huh?
  • Gordon Beckham was back in the line-up, going 0-4.  He’s now 0-10 since his recall, hardly the splash fantasy owners had been hoping for.  Don’t write him off because of the slow start, but too much more of this and he could be ticketed back to Triple-A a lot quicker then thought.
  • Alexei Ramirez had fallen off recently, but woke back up yesterday, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 1 R.  Hitting in the #2 hole he has significantly more upside then he did earlier in the season, so keep running him out there.

Oakland 3, Baltimore 0

  • Those control problems of Rich Hill were back, and that’s clearly not a good thing.  He lasted just 0.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 1 hit and 4 walks, striking out 0.  Those hoping that he was over these problems and could return to form this year have to be sorely disappointed right now.  In 22 innings he has walked 16 batters, a terrible ration that makes him unusable at this point.
  • Vin Mazzaro continues to roll, tossing 7.1 shutout innings.  He allowed 5 hits and 0 walks, striking out 4.  He’s thrown 13.2 shutout innings to begin his major league career, making it appear like he’s going to get an extended look from the A’s at this point.  I spoke about him last week and he’s clearly worth owning in deeper formats immediately, even without a big strikeout potential.  His next start comes against Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants, a tough match-up for a win but that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be successful.  Still, remember that he’s a rookie, meaning he could be inconcsistent.

Seattle 4, Minnesota 2

  • Well, they all can’t go well.  Kevin Slowey got rocked for 4 runs on 10 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2, over 4.2 innings.  Of the 10 hits, 3 of them were home runs.  He had been great in his last five starts, going 4-0 while giving up 9 earned runs over 33.2 innings.  Starts like this happen, so don’t be too worried yet.
  • Jose Lopez went 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R.  He hasn’t been the sleeper second baseman that some had envisioned, hitting .236 with 6 HR, but he is now up to 31 RBI.  That helps, but it isn’t enough to offset the other numbers.  He’s got potential, but he’s more of a last resort option in shallower formats at this point.  There certainly should be a more dependable player available to you.
  • I wouldn’t read much into Sean White picking up the save, as David Aardsma had pitched three of the last four days.  With Brandon Morrow only throwin 0.2 of an inning since 5/30, it does say a lot about his chances of regaining his closers role any time soon, however.

Chicago (NL) 6, Cincinnati 3 (14 innings)

  • Geovany Soto didn’t start the game, but entered as a pinch hitter and stayed in the game, going 0-4.  So much for that home run on Saturday getting him going, huh?
  • It was another solid start for Randy Wells, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, over 6.2 innings.  He’s made 6 starts for the Cubs, posting an impressive 1.86 ERA.  Is he going to be able to continue these strong performances?  He had never posted a Triple-A ERA below 4.00 prior to this season, but it was in the Pacific Coast League.  Still, I’m not counting on it.
  • Laynce Nix went 3-6, continuing to hit clean-up for the Reds.  He’s been playing well of late, going 9-28 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and 3 R over his past seven games.  If you are in need of a spare OFer in five outfielder formats, he’s worth the gamble.  I know I’m hoping to take the flyer on him and see what I can get, with both Gart Sheffield and Fernando Martinez not necessarily getting full-time AB this week.

Atlanta 8, Milwaukee 7

  • Tommy Hanson’s major league debut did not go according to script.  He went 6 innings giving up 7 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5.  The big problem was the home runs, as he allowed three on the day.  We all know that he is among the best young pitchers in baseball and this one start does not change that.  Hang tight, your patience will likely be rewarded.
  • The Braves played with the line-up, shifting Nate McLouth to the leadoff spot, where he went 1-4 with 1 RBI and 2 R.  He was followed by Yunel Escobar (3-5, 1 RBI, 2 R), with Kelly Johnson being dropped to seventh (0-4).  To me, Johnson never had much fantasy value but hitting near the bottom of the order gets rid of the little he had.  If you own him, monitor this closely, but I have a hunch we’re going to see this line-up again.
  • Wasn’t Mat Gamel not supposed to be getting regular playing time because of his defense?  That’s his third straight start, though he went 0-4.  If he’s going to play, he could prove to have value in all formats.

New York (NL) 7, Washington 0

  • The question in New York was what would happen to Fernando Martinez with Ryan Church coming off the DL.  Well, the verdict is in and he hung around, at least for now.  That means he’s going to continue to play, since no team is going to keep a 20-year old rookie up just to ride the pine.  He went 1-5 with 1 RBI and 2 R, hitting second.  He’s still raw and could struggle at times, but he’s worth owning in five outfielder formats for sure, thanks to his upside.
  • Livan Hernandez tossed 7 shutout innings giving up 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 4.  After his disaster last season did anyone imagine him starting off 5-1 with a 3.88 ERA?  It’s unbelievable and enjoy it while you can.  Chances are it is not going to last and with his next start coming in Yankee Stadium, I wouldn’t touch him.

Houston 6, Pittsburgh 4

  • Andrew McCutchen went 3-5 with 1 RBI, putting him at 6-18 with 4 RBI, 3 R and 1 SB since being recalled.  He hasn’t scored a run since his major league debut, however, which is something that is worth noting.  That is where his value truly lies, so he will be dependent on the rest of the Pirates line-up picking things up and getting him home.  With Freddy Sanchez currently hitting third, that may not happen as often as we all would like.
  • Lance Berkman went 2-4 with 1 R, giving him hits in six of his last seven games.  The problem is that he hasn’t homered since 5/25.  In the twelve games since he has managed just 5 RBI.  He’s a vital part of any fantasy offense, but slumps like this are going to happen.  The average is up to .249, the highest it has been since 4/11, so that is something to be positive about.  He’s a must use in all formats, since sooner or later you have to think he’s going to put it all together.

Colorado 7, St. Louis 2

  • Garrett Atkins went 0-4, dropping his average to .189, while Ian Stewart went 2-5 with 2 R.  I speculated on it yesterday and I’ll do it again today, could a full-time change be far on the horizon?  If you are an Atkins owner, now is the time to make sure you have a viable replacement if you haven’t already given up on him.
  • Look at that, Ubaldo Jimenez taunted us with an impressive game.  He went 8 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 9, to improve to 4-6 with a 3.91 ERA.  He has been better lately, I’ll give him that, but he did enter the game with a WHIP of 1.48.  While he did improve on that in this one, remember that he allowed 22 base runners over his previous 12.2 innings.  That type of ratio is going to get him blown up sooner or later.  Be cautious with him.
  • Rick Ankiel found himself in the clean-up spot a day after hitting a home run and promptly went 0-4.  Is he the latest hitter to simply tease us with a long ball before disappearing once again?  Time will tell, but at least he has started the last seven games.  Of course, he is just 5-26 in those games with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R.

Arizona 9, San Diego 6 (18 innings)

  • When a game goes 18 innings, what is there really to say?  Whenever you have to turn to an infielder to pitch in a game that isn’t a blowout, like San Diego did, you know it was a long game.
  • Enough of Brian Giles already, who went 0-6 with 1 R.  I know he’s making a lot of money, but he’s simply not getting the job done.  He’s now hitting .192 with 2 HR, 21 RBI and 13 R.  Are those even numbers for an NL-only format?  I’d have my doubts.
  • I think the most surprising thing of the game was Adrian Gonzalez only walking twice (he went 1-6 with 1 R).
  • Stephen Drew went 4-8 with 1 R and 1 SB.  He’s now got an 11-game hitting streak, going 17-49 with 0 HR, 1 RBI and 7 R.  It’s a nice streak, but where’s the run production?  Considering he is not a speed guy, you need to see more RBI for him to have his top value to owners.

San Francisco 3, Florida 2

  • In Ricky Nolasco’s return to the major leagues, it appeared that the time away did him well…  at least to an extent.  He went 7 innings giving up 3 runs (2 runs), which was very impressive.  Unfortunately, he was allowing way too many baserunners.  He allowed 10 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4.  If he’s going to continue to allow nearly 2 baserunners an inning, do we really expect him to continue to allow just 2 earned runs?  His next start would come against Roy Halladay and the toronto Blue Jays, and I certainly wouldn’t trust him enough to use him for that one.
  • Tim Lincecum struck out only 4 batters?  I think that’s the biggest surprise from his outing, since overall he pitched well.  In 7.1 innings he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks, improving to 5-1 with a 2.96 ERA.  It should go without saying that he is among the elite in the game.

Philadelphia 7, Los Angeles (NL) 2

  • Antonio Bastardo went 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, to improve to 2-0 on the season.  He worked a few more off-speed pitches into the mix in this start, which is certainly a good sign.  He’s worth stashing in all keeper leagues, though with the Red Sox on the schedule he’s much better suited for your bench then your starting line-up for now.
  • Jimmy Rollins (2-4, 1 R) was again dropped in the order, with Shane Victorino (2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) taking over the leadoff spot.  Both played well and if Rollins finds himself hitting behind Chase Utley, Ryan Howard & Raul Ibanez long term, his value is going to diminish greatly due to the lack of opportunity to score runs.
  • Matt Kemp went 1-4 with 1 RBI, his first RBI in June.  He does have hits in six of the seven games, but he needs to produce more runs,

Anyone have any thoughts?  Anything to add?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

3 comments

  1. arthur says:

    I cannot believe that u manage to get the ‘joba’ situation wrong time after time. The only person who wants joba in the bullpen is mike francesa, on the ‘fan. That’s it!
    Its easy-joba is a second year started (first time handling the job full-time). Joba has 4 +pitches. He has potential to b an ace. He is not currently looked to b one (cc sabathia has that expectation). To have a sucessful year, joba needs to pitch 175 ip, have era of 4.00. THAT’S IT!

  2. fijis says:

    Let’s hear it for that Bastardo!

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    arthur, I would agree that Francessa is the loudest supporter of a move to the pen, I don’t think he’s the only one. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he was shifted there by the end of the season to begin with. How many innings do we expect Joba to throw after tossing just 100 last season?

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