Around the Majors: May 1: Markakis, Gallardo & More

Nick Markakis is finally warming up.  Javier Vazquez continues to struggle miserably.  Daisuke Matsuzaka’s season debut was not what people hoped.  Let’s take a look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:

Hitters:

  • Andruw Jones (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) – He’s hitting .276 with 8 HR and 11 RBI on the year and has moved into the third spot in the lineup.  In five outfielder formats, that’s certainly enough to make him usable.
  • Nick Markakis (3-4, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) – Ty Wigginton (2-3, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) also deserves recognition.  Markakis is starting to show why you needed to have patience with him during his slow start.  Over his last four games he’s gone 8-16 with 2 HR, 6 RBI and 5 R.
  • Rajai Davis (2-5, 1 RBI, 1 SB) – It’s his first multi-hit game since April 15, certainly an encouraging sign.  Even while he’ struggled, he’s managed to steal bases, as this was his third straight game with a SB.  That alone makes him usable in all formats.
  • Denard Span (3-5, 1 RBI, 2 R) – It’s his first multi-hit game since April 18, though he has been productive without the hits.  He’s now scored four runs in his last two games and really is due to bust out at the plate.  This game easily could be the start of an extended hot streak, so if you have the opportunity to buy low on him, I’d pull the trigger before it’s too late.
  • Mark Reynolds (2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) – We all know the power is for real, but what is most noteworthy is that this was his fourth straight game with a run scored (and the only one in this stretch where he’s homered).  If he’s going to continue to score runs like this, to go along with the HR and RBI, he could be a Top 15 player at year’s end.  I’m not holding my breath, giving his propensity to strikeout, but it certainly is possible.
  • David Freese (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – He’s on a five-game hitting streak, going 9-18 with 2 HR, 10 RBI and 3 R.  We all know 3B is a shallow position, so this type of hot streak instantly makes him usable in all formats, at the least as a short-term fill-in.  He’s not a top option, as he doesn’t have big-time power, but he can hit and, with Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday & Colby Rasmus hitting in front of him, will get ample opportunity for RBI.
  • Jason Heyward (2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) – That’s three straight games with a home run.  Boy, does he know how to break out of a slump, huh?  If you benched him while he was cold, he certainly should be active once again.
  • Andre Ethier (3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) – In his last two games he’s gone 4-8 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 4 R.  Needless to say, he’s good.

Pitchers:

  • Javier Vazquez (3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 4 BB, 2 K) – Wow, this is getting ridiculous.  I was someone who didn’t expect much from Vazquez in 2010, but it was impossible to expect him to be this bad.  A 9.78 ERA?  He’s almost got to get better, doesn’t he?  The problem is that he’s proven to be extremely home run prone, allowing 8 in his 5 starts.  In the new Yankees Stadium, that’s something that could plague him all year long.
  • Frank Francisco (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K, SV) – It’s becoming obvious that the Rangers do not want Neftali Feliz to throw on back-to-back days.  That means Francisco is likely to start seeing more and more opportunities, even without retaking his job (which could happen soon enough).  In deeper formats, he’s worth activating.
  • David Price (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K) – I know we all want to see more strikeouts, but results are results.  He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start this season and his next start comes in Oakland.  Needless to say, keep him active in all formats.
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka (4.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 4 K) – That’s certainly not the season debut owners had hoped for, huh?  This is the perfect example of why using an injured in his first game back is a huge risk.  Matsuzaka should be usable, long-term, in deeper formats, you just need to have patience with him and let him find his groove.
  • Mike Pelfrey (4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 2 K) – Well, we all knew he wasn’t going to be nearly perfect forever.  He was due for a rocky outing, and given the lineup he was facing and the ballpark he was in, I’m going to take this one with a grain of salt.  His next start comes against the Giants, so he certainly should remain active in all formats.
  • Chris Volstad (9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K, W) – Considering he had just 9 Ks in 23.1 innings entering this start and 107 in 159 in ’09, I’ve got to take this strikeout total as an aberration.  Don’t run and pick him up thinking he’s going to contribute there, because it’s unlikely to happen.  He could be a solid option, and with his next start being a rematch with the Nationals, he’s worth considering if you are in need of a starter next week.  Otherwise, he’s more of a waiver wire fodder due to his lack of K potential.
  • Yovani Gallardo (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 11 K, W) – He’s 3-0 with 1 ER allowed and 25 K over his last 18 innings.  Yea, you can argue that those starts came against the Pirates and Padres, but you still need to produce.  He’s one of the best in the league and appears to have found his stride.

What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?  Which of these stories interests you most?  Did anything else catch your eye?

To read the previous article, click here.

2 comments

  1. Tuco says:

    You’ve been talking up Freese and Kouzmanoff over the last few days but I haven’t seen a lot on Wigginton. Which of the 3 would you prefer as a bench 3B option for this year?

  2. Rotoprofessor says:

    Personally, I’ve been bigger on Kouzmanoff, though there certainly is a case that can be made for Wiggy as well. Kouzmanoff has always been a slower starter, so I’d look for him to start heating up soon. As for Wigginton, how much more can we really expect?

    Freese is enjoying a tremendous hot streak, but I think he’s playing a bit over his head. I wouldn’t expect it to continue.

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