It was another great day around the league, so let’s take a look at all the stories from yesterday’s games:
Jimenez Goes From Stud to Dud
Ubaldo Jimenez struggled yet again, allowing 5 ER on 3 H and 6 BB, striking out 3, over 3.2 innings. Here are just a few of the concerning numbers that Jimenez has posted in 2011:
- He’s walked 19 batters over his last four starts (18.2 innings)
- He’s made six starts and allowed 4 ER or more in four of them
- He has not yet gone beyond 6.0 innings pitched
Early on this season they were blaming a cut on his cuticle, which ultimately sent him to the DL. What exactly is the excuse now? He has struggled with a poor strand rate (60.8%), but that’s not the most concerning number. He has seen the ball fly out of the ballpark (1.21 HR/9 vs. 0.41 in ’10) in part due to an increased fly ball rate (42.5% vs. 31.6% for his career). He also has seen a significant drop on his fastball, averaging 92.7 mph vs. 96.1% the prior two seasons.
At this point he has become a tougher play, though it’s hard to imagine putting him on your bench against the Giants (5-6, 3.23 ERA in his career against them) and Brewers in a two-start week. Keep your fingers crossed and hope he figures it out. If he doesn’t, he’s going to be ticketed for fantasy benches.
- For the first time this season Justin Masterson stumbled, allowing 5 R on 8 H and 4 BB, striking out 6, over 5.2 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the first time he failed to go at least 6.0 innings or allow more than 3 ER in a start. He did enter the day with a slightly lucky strand rate (81.6% putting him 15th in the league), though there was nothing wrong with his BABIP (.295). There’s nothing to be concerned about and he should remain a must use option for his next start in Kansas City.
- James Shields continued his renaissance season, allowing 2 ER on 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 7, over 7.0 innings. He has allowed 2 ER or less in all but one of his starts this season (he did enter the day with the sixth best strand rate in the league at 86.2%). There is room for regression given the strand rate and his BABIP (he entered the day with a .234 BABIP), so now may be the perfect time to cash in on the talk and sell high. His value may not get much higher than it currently is.
- Interesting to see Allen Craig start the game at 2B before being lifted. He went 1-2 with 1 RBI and it is obvious that Tony LaRussa is going to be creative to get his bat in the lineup. At the same time, it’s obvious that they view him as a defensive liability, so they may lift him early and often. Still, if he’s going to play he is going to be intriguing for fantasy owners.
- Jaime Garcia continues to impress, allowing 1 ER on 9 H and 1 BB, striking out 4, over 7.0 innings to improve to 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Throw in 48 K in 52.1 innings and there is an awful lot to like.
- Starlin Castro returned to the leadoff spot for the Cubs, going 1-4. It’ll be interesting to see if the Cubs keep him at the top of the order or if they demote him back down for a lengthier period of time. Regardless, sooner or later, he’ll settle back in at the top and get his bat back going.
- On most night’s Daniel Hudson’s line of 3 ER on 7 H and 3 BB, striking out 4, over 6.2 innings may have gotten him a win. Not yesterday, however. He has been solid, allowing 3 ER or less in six of his eight starts, helping him to a 4.41 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He had won his previous three outings heading into yesterday.
- The Diamondbacks had Miguel Montero hitting eighth, where he went 0-4. Since April 20 he has gone 11-65 with 2 HR (none since 4/28), 4 RBI (none since 4/28) and 5 R (none since 5/1). He’s clearly struggling, though you have to think he’s going to turn it around before long.
- Don’t read anything into Brian Wilson not pitching in a save opportunity (Javier Lopez got the job done in his place). Wilson has simply pitched a lot recently and was given the day off.
- No Ike Davis… No David Wright… No problem. Carlos Beltran provided all the offense the Mets needed, going 3-5 with 3 HR, 6 RBI and 3 R. He continues to play almost every day and prove that he is healthy, hitting .295 with 8 HR, 24 RBI and 21 R on the season. You never know how is health is going to hold up, so consider selling high on him, but he’s a must use option for now in five-outfielder formats.
- It was a great pitching duel between Zach Britton and Jason Vargas, who matched each other pitch for pitch, neither factoring in the decision. Britton tossed 9.0 shutout innings allowing 3 H and 0 BB, striking out 5. Vargas tossed 9.0 shutout innings allowing 7 H and 1 BB, striking out 4. It was an impressive duel to say the least.
- Brandon League blew his second consecutive save, allowing 2 R on 2 H and 2 hit batsman. The Mariners don’t have an impressive alternative so you have to think that League is safe given David Aardsma injury, but you never know. David Pauley, Aaron Laffey and Jamey Wright have all pitched well, but none seem like good options for the ninth. Then again, did League?
- The bullpen cost Jordan Zimmerman who pitched exceptionally last night. He went 6.1 innings allowing 3 ER on 5 H and 2 BB, striking out 11. He does have strikeout potential, though don’t expect too many outings like this. Still, over his last three starts he’s 1-0, allowing 3 ER or less in all of them. His next start comes against the Pirates where he is a solid option.
- It was Martin Prado who provided the big blow for the Braves, going 2-4 with 1 HR, 4 RBI and 2 R. He has now had multi-hit games in his last three, as well as five of his last season. He’s on a modest four game hitting streak, going 7-18 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 5 R.
- Eric Hosmer homered for the second consecutive game, going 3-5 with 1 HR, 2 RBI and 1 R. He’s suddenly hitting .333 with 2 HR and 5 RBI and is showing why he is such a highly prized prospect. He should be owned in all formats.
- While his defense didn’t help, Ivan Nova allowed 8 R (4 earned) on 10 H and 2 BB, striking out 2, in just 3.0 innings. He is sporting a 4.70 ERA and, while I know he had been good in his previous four starts, is a risky play in all formats. His next start is scheduled against the Rays and if you have a viable replacement you may want to consider using it.
- Billy Butler had a big day for the Royals, going 4-6 with 2 RBI and 1 R. He’s hitting .298 with 16 RBI, but he’s hit just 3 HR on the year. Will his power ever develop?
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