by Ray Kuhn
Once again, it was not a good night for injuries around baseball. Jose Donaldson’s return is going to be delayed, Miguel Cabrera was scratched from the lineup with an oblique strain and he figures to miss at least a few days, and Freddie Freeman was hit on the hand with X-Rays currently inconclusive. However, based on how this season has been going, no one should be surprised. Let’s take a look at how those who were healthy enough for a full game fared:
1) History for Jose…
Not all statistics and records are created equal, and some are a bit more far-fetched than others. That brings us to Jose Altuve and his exploits Wednesday afternoon in Miami. Altuve became the 14th player in major league history to record two doubles and two triples in the same game. Perhaps more important to note though, is that after having eight games of at least four hits last season, this was the first such game of the 2017. However, that is not to criticize what we have seen out of both Altuve and the Astros’ offense as a whole so far this season. Altuve drove in Houston’s first run of the game with one of his doubles to bring his RBI total up to 19 for the season, and he is hitting .311 on the season with eight doubles.
2) Do the Mets Have a Lead-off Hitter…
At this point, there really isn’t anything good to say about the Mets, but let’s stick to the theme of infielders named Jose. The 2017 season has not gone even remotely well for Reyes, and it’s very likely the only reason why he is still in the lineup is Asdrubal Cabrera’s injury. Well that, and the reluctance to promote Amed Rosario. Regardless, if Reyes continues to hit, he will remain in the lineup. Despite the fact that the Mets lost yet again on Wednesday, Reyes was 3 for 6 with two doubles (his seventh of the season), a run scored, and his 19th RBI. The only place for Reyes’ .194 batting average to go is up, but he has also been the victim of a .207 BABIP.
3) Zimmer Makes Himself Right at Home…
After his major league debut didn’t exactly go as planned, three at bats and three strikeouts, Bradley Zimmer had a much better day on Wednesday. The outfield prospect doubled, picked up his first career home run, and also drove in two runs. Zimmer did strikeout out for the fourth time in his young career, and that is going to be the biggest concern we have about him. While it doesn’t factor into fantasy production, Zimmer is a very good defender, so that should help keep him in the lineup. Additionally, other than Michael Brantley, the Cleveland outfield is also the land of opportunity. However, while we will have to deal with the strikeouts, Zimmer should be on all rosters. Just keep the expectations at a minimum for now.
4) Tyler Collins Shows off Some Power…
Even if with J.D Martinez back in action for the Tigers, Detroit still needs another outfielder. On Wednesday, Collins did all he could to show that he is the man for the job. However, I wouldn’t exactly rush over to my waiver wire to claim him. The outfielder went deep twice last night, but it is worth noting that the victim in both cases was Ubaldo Jimenez. That is not take away Collins’ performance, but he simply took advantage of the opposing pitcher while doubling his home run total for the season to four. One home run was a solo shot while the other came with two runners on base as Collins saw his RBI total increase to 12 to go along with his .238 batting average.
5) Cole Tames Washington’s Lineup…
Although it was just his second victory of the season, you can’t deny the success that Gerrit Cole has been having this season. On Wednesday, he took care of a tough Washington lineup and limited them to just one run over seven innings of work on three hits and two walks. We should note though, that Cole only struck out three batters on the night with nine of hits outs coming via the ground ball and four coming through the air. Washington only had one bat all night with a runner in scoring position, and it came with two outs, as Cole never let them threaten. In 57 innings of work so far this season, the right-hander has 50 strikeouts to go along with a 2.84 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. The one problem we will have to monitor with Cole though, is that he has already allowed seven home runs so far this season after giving up seven in 116 innings last season.
6) Kurt Suzuki Shows off Some Power…
Don’t expect this every night from the Atlanta catcher, and just because he shares time with Tyler Flowers. Suzuki went deep with a three run shot in the first inning last night, his second of the season, and he later added a double and a walk in four plate appearances. In 52 at bats so far this season, Suzuki has driven in 11 runs and is batting .231. There is nothing impressive about that stat line, but since Suzuki’s playing time is limited, so is the damage his batting average can do to your team. By no means is he a legitimate power threat either, but the 11 RBI are nice and he presents little risk. Based on the state the catcher position is in, no options should really fall by the wayside.
7) The Power Continues for Cozart…
Zack Cozart is healthy so far this season, and he is certainly taking advantage of it. The shortstop appears to have found a home batting second in Cincinnati’s lineup right between Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto, and he continued his success last night. Cozart did not miss the opportunity to capitalize on a warm night at Wrigley Field with the wind blowing out as he went 3 for 5 to raise his batting average to .350. Cozart went deep for the fourth time this season, a solo shot, while also adding two singles and another RBI to bring his total up to 17 for the season. Last night brought Cozart’s OPS up to 1.045, and he is making sure that people take notice of his performance.
8) Does Texas Have a New Centerfielder…
While on a temporary basis they do with Carlos Gomez on the disabled list, but should that matter from a fantasy perspective. As of now, the plan is that Jared Hoying will get the starts out there against right-handed pitching, and after going 0-3 in his first game of the season on Tuesday (he hit .217 in 39 major league at bats last season), he bounced back in a big way last night. It’s hard not to notice when a hitter goes 4 for 4 with a home run, double, and two RBI, and that is especially the case when you likely never have heard of them. Hoying is past the point of ever being called a prospect (if he was at all) and is a career .259 hitter in the minor leagues although he has shown some power. Prior to his promotion, he was hitting .243 with seven home runs and 23 RBI in Triple-A, and that is something we can likely expect for as long as he is filling in for Gomez. In AL-only leagues where at bats are at a premium, Hoying is worth a look, but beyond that he is a player who should be monitored at best.
9) Don’t Worry About Jose…
This time, we are talking about the White Sox first baseman, Jose Abreu. It would be easy to focus on Mike Trout coming out of this game, but that’s boring. Yes, we know, Trout hit another home run and we are up to five straight days, but is it really surprising to anyone? After we saw Abreu hit just two home runs in the month of April, it was fair to have some concern about the first baseman. However, the two run shot he hit last night was his fifth so far this month, and Abreu is right back on track with where we would expect him to be.
10) Start Chacin at Home…
So far this season, it is hard to dispute the effect pitching in San Diego has had on Jhoulys Chacin. All Chacin got for his efforts was a no-decision, but it’s hard to argue with the performance. In seven innings of work, Chacin allowed just one run on two hits and two walks, while striking out eight batters. A look at his ERA and WHIP for the season isn’t exactly going to generate much confidence (4.61/1.25), but those ratios are a far cry from what they are in Petco Park (0.67/0.70). Yes, Milwaukee’s lineup isn’t the strongest, and last night they were without Eric Thames and Ryan Braun, but that still shouldn’t take away from what Chacin did as he has emerged as a legit streaming option.
Make sure to check out all of our updated rankings:
|First Base||April 26|
|Second Base||May 1|
|Third Base||May 4|