It was another great day around the league, so let’s take a look at all the stories from yesterday’s games:
Warming With The Weather?
We all know that Carl Crawford and Alex Rios are not as bad as they looked in April, but could things finally be turning around for them:
- Could Sunday’s game winning hit be just what Carl Crawford needed? He went 2-4 with 1 R yesterday, giving him back-to-back multi-hit games. You knew he couldn’t stay down for too long.
- Alex Rios is finally putting things together and getting his year in order. He showed both power and speed yesterday, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R and 1 SB. That gives him two home runs in his last three games and this could be the turning point for his 2011 campaign. Make sure he is active in all formats.
- If Josh Willingham could limit the strikeouts his numbers would likely look extremely more appealing. In 93 AB this season he’s struck out 34 times, helping to limit his average to just .247. However, with 5 HR, 16 RBI and 13 R, there is a lot to like. The previous three years he’s posted strikeout rates of 23.4%, 24.4% and 23.0%. He really should get that in order, meaning the average should improve and he’s a good play in five-outfielder formats.
- Michael Young (1-3, 3 RBI) and Adrian Beltre (0-3, 1 RBI) both are sitting with 23 RBI on the season. Would anyone have predicted that? Beltre, maybe (though the consensus was that he would regress due to getting the large contract), but Young would’ve been considered a real stretch. With eligibility at both 2B and 3B (plus he should gain 1B as well), it’s hard to argue with the value he brings.
- The story of the Nationals-Giants game was clearly the pitching, with Tom Gorzelanny outdueling Madison Bumgarner. Gorzelanny tossed 8.0 shutout innings, allowing just 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 4, to get his first victory as a National (and improve his ERA to 2.93). Since his first start of the season, Gorzelanny has allowed just 5 ER over 25.1 innings. He’s not bringing the strikeout totals we’d have liked to see, but he’s certainly being productive.
- As for Madison Bumgarner, he allowed 2 runs (0 earned) on 4 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, 7.0 innings to fall to 0-5 on the season. It’s his second consecutive strong start, so hopefully he is finally turning things around.
- At least Yovani Gallardo finally showed off his strikeout potential, right? He actually looked good for 5 innings, but the wheels fell off in the sixth (where he failed to record an out). His final line was 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 7 K, marking the fifth consecutive start where he has allowed 4 ER or more. Since 4/10 he has allowed 26 ER over 26.1 innings. It’s far from what we expected, but sooner or later you have to think he’s going to turn things around. There’s not much you can really do at this point.
- Alex Avila went 2-4 with 2 HR, 2 RBI and 2 R. Both home runs were impressive, going the other way each time. On the year he is hitting .309 with 5 HR and 21 RBI. Would anyone have anticipated this type of production? He has 7 RBI in his past five games and right now is a viable option in all formats.
- While he didn’t get the victory, Bartolo Colon pitched well against the Tigers. He allowed 3 ER on 7 H and 0 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 innings of work. It’s his third straight solid outing, with 20 K over 21.2 innings as a starting pitcher. Can it continue? It’s hard to imagine and he also has a tough outing next on the schedule (at Texas). It’s hard to recommend him as a must use option, but if you are in a deeper format he’s usable.
- How long do we have to wait for Adrian Gonzalez to hit his first home run in Fenway as a member of the Red Sox? He has “struggled”, yet is hitting .310 with 1 HR, 18 RBI and 13 R on the year. Just wait till he actually gets hot…
- It certainly appears like Sergio Santos has grabbed hold of the White Sox closing job. He shouldn’t have been needed yesterday, but when Chris Sale allowed 2 ER on 2 H and 1 BB in 0.2 innings, Santos needed to get the final out (which he did via strikeout). At this point he’s a good play in all formats.
- If there was any hope of Mitchell Boggs returning to the closer’s role, it appears to have passed him by. Entering in a tie game, Boggs allowed 1 ER on 2 H and 0 BB, striking out 1, in an inning of work to take the loss. Who knows, considering the situation right now, but Boggs certainly shouldn’t be in starting lineups. Keep him stashed if you want, but that’s about it.
- The Lance Berkman show continued, as he went 2-3 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R. He’s now hitting .406 with 9 HR and 27 RBI on the season. Considering his .405 BABIP and 34.6% HR/FB, I think it’s safe to say that he is going to regress, it’s just a matter of when. If you haven’t tried selling high on him, now is as good a time as any to see what’s out there.
- Gaby Sanchez had the big blow for the Marlins, going 2-5 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 R. The home run was a grand slam against Kyle Lohse (6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 K). Sanchez remains a good play, though he’s much more attractive as a corner infielder/utility option, as he doesn’t offer the power of an elite 1B.
- Everyone was so excited after Aaron Harang’s quick start, but the past two outings have not been pretty. He allowed 4 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 4, over 5.0 innings (12 ER over 11.0 innings in two starts). The biggest concern is that, despite both coming at Petco Park, Harang has allowed 5 HR in the two poor outings. It certainly is hard to recommend him right now.
- It appears that James McDonald is finally getting things headed in the right direction. He allowed 2 ER on 5 H and 1 BB, striking out 5, over 6.0 innings to pick up his second consecutive victory. He gets another lighter hitting offense with the Astros over the weekend (he’s beaten the Padres & Giants), so hopefully he can continue to get things on track.
- Andre Ethier went 1-4 with 1 RBI, extending his hitting streak to 28 games. It’s amazing to think that he has just now reached the halfway point to Joe DiMaggio’s 56 game record. Unbelievable.
- Seriously, if there was ever a time to sell high on Alfonso Soriano (did anyone think there would be such a thing), now is it. He went 2-4 with 1 HR, 1 RBI and 1 R yesterday, giving him 11 HR on the season.