It was a tough week for the Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff as they lost Matt Moore for the year and Alex Cobb to the DL for 6 weeks. See what else went down in the AL East in my team by team fantasy baseball recap of Week 2:
Two weeks into the season, Adam Jones and Chris Davis have combined for only 2 HR’s. Matt Wieters is off to a fast start .341 with 3 HR’s and 9 RBI. Delmon Young continues to swing a hot bat (6 for 13), but he didn’t have a run, HR, or RBI last week. Adam Jones only hit .182 in 22 at bats. Ubaldo Jimenez has been a complete bum 3 starts into the year (13 runs, 33 base runners, and 4 HR’s in 16 innings). I still can’t believe I tried to price enforce him in my NFBC AL league. This one move will cost me a chance of having a three peat. Wei-Yin Chen had a nice bounce back game against the Rays (1 run in 6.3 innings with 4 K’s). Zack Britton hasn’t allowed a run in 11.3 innings. Kevin Gausman was knocked out early in his last start at AAA (4 runs and 8 base runners in 3 innings with 3 K’s).
Boston Red Sox
The magical 2013 season for Boston hasn’t carried over to the 2014 season. Dustin Pedroia is battling a sore left wrist that has led to a slow start (.236 with no HR’s, 1 RBI, and no walks). Mike Napoli dislocated his ring finger on his left hand, but it isn’t broken and he is listed as day to day. Xander Bogaerts only hit .190 in 6 games with no HR’s and no RBI. Boston didn’t have one batter that hit over .250 last week. The Red Sox also have some concerns about closer Koji Uehara, who developed a sore shoulder over the weekend. Edward Mujica earned a SV as his replacement and should be held over the short term until Koji proves he is healthy. Clay Buchholz had much stronger velocity in his last start (AFB – 92.2). Jake Peavy struggled with his command (8 walks), but he pitched 2 strong games (.142 ERA with 16 K’s in 12 innings). John Lackey developed whiplash after serving up 4 HR’s in Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
New York Yankees
Sean Kelley was 3 for 3 in save chances filling in for David Robertson, who is expected back early next week. Masahiro Tanaka crushed the Cubs (2 hits in 8 shutout innings with 10 K’s). He looks like the real deal. Michael Pineda has been dominant in his 2 starts (1.50 ERA with 12 K’s in 12 innings). The middle of the Yankees starting lineup is starting to come around – Jacoby Ellsbury (.353 with 3 SB’s), Brian McCann (.333 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI), and Carlos Beltran (.350 with 3 HR’s and 5 RBI). Yangervis Solarte struggled in his 2nd week of full time at bats (.176 with no production).
Tampa Bay Rays
It was a tough week for the Rays pitching staff as Matt Moore is done for the year with Tommy John surgery scheduled. Alex Cobb pitched a great game against the Reds before going on the DL for 6 weeks with an oblique injury. Tampa has scored 3 runs or less in 7 of there last 8 games. Evan Longoria had a tough week (.143 with no runs, HR’s, or RBI). The only productive player last week was Ben Zobrist (.294 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI). Wil Myers has struggled all season (.200 with 16 K’s in 50 at bats). David Price is clearly motivated for a huge contract (2-0 with a 2.91 ERA with 22 K’s in 21.7 innings).
Toronto Blue Jays
Edwin Encarnacion doesn’t have a HR in 54 at bats. His swing is starting to come around as he hit .333 last week. Brett Lawrie is only hitting .132 on the year, but he has 3 HR’s and 9 RBI. Colby Rasmus was the Blue Jays best hitter (.438 with 3 HR’s and 5 RBI). Toronto lost Maicer Izturis for at least 4 months with a torn ligament in his left knee. This leaves Ryan Goins as the starter for now, but Stephen Drew may be a good fit for the team. Jose Reyes has started his rehab assignment at High A (0 for 3 with 2 runs scored). He should be back in the next week if he doesn’t have a setback. Mark Buehrle continues to pitch like a surprising ace (3-0 with a 0.86 ERA and 16 K’s in 21 innings). R.A. Dickey has 10 walks in 18.7 innings. Brett Cecil has been excellent out of the bullpen (no runs in 6 innings with 10 K’s). Casey Janssen started his rehab assignment and could be back over the next couple of weeks. Sergio Santos has pitched well enough (4 for 4 in SV’s with 11 K’s in 5.3 innings) where he may keep the job.
Couldn’t find the time to watch any baseball last week? Get caught up-to-date with my Week 2 fantasy baseball recap of the AL Central:
Chicago White Sox
Alejandro De Aza only hit .125 last week with no HR’s and RBI. Jose Abreu had 2 HR’s and 3 RBI, but he only had 1 other hit for the week (.136). Alexei Ramirez has been the best player on the team (.364 last week with 3 HR’s and 8 RBI – .415 on the year with 3 HR’s, 12 RBI, and 3 SB’s). Dayan Viciedo is hitting a solid .333 on the year, but he is still looking for his 1st HR. Marcus Semien continues to struggle to make contact (2 for 19 with 7 K’s). Gordon Beckham has 1 hit in 12 at bats in his rehab assignment. He should quickly move back into the starting lineup when he returns. Matt Lindstrom hasn’t allowed a run in his last 3 innings, but he may not be the pitcher that takes the mound for the next save chance for the White Sox. Daniel Webb hasn’t allowed a run in his last 3.3 innings. He looks like best option for the 9th inning. Erik Johnson pitched his 1st impact game of his career this week against the Red Sox (1 run in 6.7 inning with 9 K’s). Possible upside arm if he was dumped after his slow start.
Carlos Santana has had a tough time at first base this season (1 for 19 last week and .170 on the season with no HR’s and 1 RBI). Nick Swisher has more production (2 HR’s and 7 RBI), but he is hitting .175 on the year. Lonnie Chisenhall is trying his best to work his way into more at bats (.421). Nyjer Morgan did a nice job (.421) as Michael Bourn’s replacement. Bourn went 0 for 4 in his return on April 17th. Carlos Carrasco (9.64), Justin Masterson (9.64), and Danny Salazar (12.27) were all knocked out by the 5th inning. Trevor Bauer delivered his 3rd electric start at AAA last night (9 K’s in 6 shutout innings with 1 walk). He has 26 K’s in 18 innings with a 0.75 ERA with 5 walks. If Carrasco struggles in his next start, Bauer could be back in the majors next week. John Axford has 6 walks in 6.7 innings with 1 blown save. Cody Allen is just waiting to snatch the job (12 K’s in 6 shutout innings).
Fantasy fans are still looking for Miguel Cabrera to show up for the 2014 season. Last week, he hit .125 with no runs, no HR’s and no RBI. On the year, he is hitting .227 with 1 run, 1 HR, and 6 RBI. Ian Kinsler has outplayed Prince Fielder so far (.319 with 9 runs, 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 2 SB’s). Rookie Nick Castellanos has 1 hit in his last 13 at bats, plus he has only started 8 of 13 games. Alex Gonzalez is hitting .185 after 27 at bats. The Stephen Drew watch continues and someone is going to flinch before June 1st. Drew Smyly is still looking for his 1st start of the year due to a couple of postponements. His new start date is Friday night.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals doubled their HR output last night when they hit 2 HR’s off of the Astros. Billy Butler looks terrible (.149 with no HR’s). Mike Moustakas had a spark when he hit a HR coming off the bench in the Royals extra innings win. He is only hitting .119 on the year and fantasy players are getting anxious. Salvador Perez hit .136 last week. Norichika Aoki only had 1 hit in 16 at bats. Danny Duffy has pitched well enough as a reliever (7 K’s in 4.3 shutout innings) that he should get the first call when the Royals decide to release Bruce Chen. Chen pitched well in his first 2 starts, but he has low upside and was drilled by the weak hitting Twins in his last outing (6 runs and 9 base runners in 3.7 innings).
The Twins pitching staff has allowed 5 runs or more in 9 of their 13 games. Their offense has scored 10 runs in a game 3 times this year. A daily fantasy player probably could have turned a profit by playing Miami and Minnesota stacks 2 weeks into the season. Every Twins batter hit under .300 over the last week. Jason Kubel leads the team in hitting (.357 with 1 HR and 7 RBI), followed by Trevor Plouffe (.314 with 1 HR and 9 RBI). Ricky Nolasco turned in a nice bounce back game (1 run in 8 innings with 4 K’s). Kyle Gibson has 8 walks in his 1st two starts, but he is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Top pitching prospect Alex Meyer has a 2.61 ERA at AAA with 11 K’s in 10.3 innings. He should be in the majors by June 1st based on the Twins weak starting rotation.
The AL West has had plenty of story lines already, from injuries to elite prospects getting called up to closers losing their jobs. To read about everything that went on, check out my Week 2 fantasy baseball recap of the AL West:
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels suffered two bad injuries over the last week. Josh Hamilton is out for 6 weeks after tearing a ligament in his left thumb. Kole Calhoun turned his right ankle on Tuesday night and is expected to miss a month at a minimum. LA called up Brennan Boesch to replace Calhoun on the roster. He has major league experience, but he had 20 K’s in 48 at bats at AAA while hitting .250 with 2 HR’s and 9 RBI. I still say the best hitting option is C.J. Cron. He is hitting .328 at AAA with 2 HR’s and 13 RBI. Mike Trout hit .400 last week with 3 HR’s, 6 RBI, and 1 SB. Raul Ibanez only hit .138 with 2 HR’s and 5 RBI. Albert Pujols is starting to come around (.286 with 2 HR’s and 5 RBI in his last 6 games). David Freese only had 3 hits in 25 at bats with 8 K’s. Tyler Skaggs has been very hittable in his last 2 starts (8 runs and 19 base runners in 13 innings). Hector Santiago had a nice bounce back game (1 runs in 7 innings with 3 K’s). Ernesto Frieri blew a save while allowing 2 runs and 6 hits in 3.3 innings.
The rise of the Astros started last night as they called up elite prospect George Springer. He was hitting .353 at AAA with 3 HR’s, 9 RBI, and 4 SB’s. Last year, he hit .303 in the minors with 37 HR’s, 108 RBI, and 45 SB’s. His only downside is his huge K rate. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Houston call up shortstop Carlos Correa early in June. For the Astros to develop as a major league team, these young players need to gain major league experience. He is hitting .283 at High A with 2 HR’s, 14 RBI, and 2 SB’s. SS Jonathan Villar hit .063 last week and is hitting .163 on the year. Chris Carter has 21 K’s in 44 at bats, which has led to a .138 batting average and no HR’s and 1 RBI. Both Matt Dominguez (.304) and Jason Castro (.316 with2 HR’s and 3 RBI) are starting to come around. Houston’s pitching staff may not be as bad as expected. Brett Oberholtzer pitched an elite game in a tough ballpark (Tex) in his last start (1 runs in 7 innings with no walks and 7 K’s). Jarred Cosart has shown plus upside in 2 of his 3 starts this year (4.00 ERA with 15 K’s in 18 innings). Top pitching prospect Mark Appel is off to a slow start at A ball (5.06 ERA with 11 K’s in 10.7 innings).
Oakland has allowed 3 runs or less in 10 of there 15 games and have scored 6 runs or more in 6 times. This has led to a 10-5 record. Josh Donaldson had a big week (.324 with 3 HR’s and 7 RBI). Alberto Callaspo (.310) and Jed Lowrie (.348) also hit the ball well. Josh Reddick only has 4 hits in 41 at bats with 15 K’s. The A’s released Sam Fuld in order to activate Craig Gentry. Gentry had 5 hits in 14 at bats with 2 SB’s. He may work his way into more at bats. Jesse Chavez continues to be a huge surprise. He was electric in his last start (1 run in 7 innings with 9 K’s). His start was almost matched by Sonny Gray (same line with 1 more base runner allowed). The closer’s job has been a coin flip over the last week. Luke Gregerson earned a pair of saves in 3 chances and Sean Doolittle picked up a save in 2 tries. Jim Johnson has done a nice job in a set up role (5 shutout innings with 5 K’s), so he should be back in the 9th inning shortly.
The Mariners can put a fork in Taijuan Walker. It’s never a good sign when a pitcher with an injury has a setback. His shoulder flared up over the last week and he will be shut down for a couple more weeks. I have a tough time believing he will have any value this season. Hisashi Iwakuma will pitch a simulated game this weekend (return expected in a couple of weeks). Felix Hernandez has been electric all season (3-0 with a 1.91 ERA with 39 K’s and only 3 walks in 28.3 innings). He should be 4-0 after Brad Miller gave away his win in the 9th inning. Seattle placed Logan Morrison on the DL with a hamstring injury and they called up Nick Franklin. Franklin was hitting .395 at AAA with 4 HR’s and 13 RBI. He will see time in the outfield for now. Brad Miller only hit .208 last week with 1 HR and 1 RBI. Mike Zunino has looked good (.277 with 3 HR’s and 9 RBI), but he has no walks and 13 K’s in 47 at bats. Abraham Almonte continues to hit his way out of the majors (22 K’s in 59 at bats – much too high for his skill set). Robinson Cano is still looking for his 1st HR (54 at bats). Kyle Seager is hitting only .156 on the year with no HR’s.
Daily fantasy players have taken huge losses chasing the mighty Rangers offense over the first 2 weeks of the year. They only scored 7 runs in 3 games against the lowly Astros pitching staff over the weekend. On the year, Texas has scored 5 runs or less 13 times. No player on the team has more than 1 HR and they only have 7 HR’s on the year. Prince Fielder hit his 1st HR against Seattle, but he is hitting only .172 on the year. Adrian Beltre was placed on the DL with a quad injury. Kevin Kouzmanoff has done a surprising job as his replacement (.417 with 1 HR and 5 RBI). J.P. Arencibia has cut down on his K’s (5 in 24 at bats), but his defensive swing has led to only 2 hits all year. Yu Darvish has delivered 3 straight solid starts (1-0 with a 0.82 ERA with 23 K’s in 22 innings). Robby Ross found his command in his last start against Seattle (no walks in 7 shutout innings). Neftali Feliz has allowed 1 run in 5.7 innings at AAA with 6 K’s. He may press Soria for the 9th inning when he returns.
Despite the presence of Manny Ramirez Jr. (Yasiel Puig), the Dodgers have managed to get off to a good start this year. To catch you up on all of the action from last week, here is my Week 2 fantasy baseball recap for the NL West:
The Diamondbacks pitchers have been dusted all season. They have allowed 5 runs or more 12 times in 17 games and have allowed 6 runs or more in 5 straight games (38 totals runs). Fantasy players are screaming for top pitching prospect Archie Bradley. He has a 1.50 ERA at AAA with 8 K’s in 12 innings. Trevor Cahill and Bronson Arroyo have allowed a combined 32 runs and 63 base runners in 30.1 innings. Cahill has been bounced from the rotation with Josh Collmenter earning the job. Mark Trumbo hit .107 last week with 10 K’s in 28 at bats. Aaron Hill leads the team in at bats, but he doesn’t have a HR. Rookie Chris Owings continues to hit well (.320), but he doesn’t have a HR or RBI. Paul Goldschmidt leads the team in hitting (.328 with 2 HR’s and 9 RBI). Martin Prado hit .167 last week with no HR’s and RBI.
The Rockies have only scored 17 runs in their last 5 games all on the road. Carlos Gonzalez is hitting .200 over his last 25 at bats with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Nolan Arenado has delivered an empty .391 over the last 6 games (no HR’s and 2 RBI). Charlie Blackmon has 9 hits in his last 18 bats with 2 RBI. Josh Rutledge was called up over the weekend hoping to unseat D.J. LeMahieu for the starting 2nd base job. He has 4 hits in 6 at bats. All five Colorado’s starters had an ERA over 4.91 over the last 7 games and their bullpen hasn’t allowed a run. Franklin Morales will replace Brett Anderson in the starting rotation, who was placed on the DL with a broken finger on his pitching hand.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Yasiel Puig continues to be the next Manny Ramirez. He has off the chart talent, but he lives in his own special world. Last night, he failed to run out a deep fly ball to right field. His mental mistakes continue to eat away at Don Mattingly’s patience. Adrian Gonzalez had 4 of the Dodgers 7 HR’s with 11 RBI and a .391 batting average. Juan Uribe led the team in batting (.455 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI). Tim Federowicz doesn’t have a hit in 15 at bats with 5 K’s. Dee Gordon is running like a champ (7 steals last week) while hitting .400, but he only scored 1 run. Hyun-Jin Ryu had a nice bounce back game (7 shutout innings with 8 K’s) after getting ripped for 9 runs in his previous start. Clayton Kershaw threw a bullpen session on Tuesday with positive reports. Based on his progress, he may be 3 weeks away from returning.
San Diego Padres
Jedd Gyorko continues to struggle (.160 with 1 HR and 4 RBI). Everth Cabrera was scratched from last nights game with a knee issue. He has hit the ball well this year (.340), but his 17 K’s and 1 walk in 53 at bats suggest he has some downside risk. Cameron Maybin has started his rehab assignment as AAA (.083 in 12 at bats). He is expected to be back to the majors by the end of the month. It sounds like Josh Johnson could be done for the year. He made the dreaded trip to Dr. Andrews and it appears Tommy John surgery will be in his future. Robby Erlin has looked good in his first two starts (13 K’s and 1 walk in 10.7 innings with a 3.38 ERA). Andrew Cashner was electric in his last start (1 hitter in a complete game shutout with 11 K’s).
San Francisco Giants
Brandon Crawford was the Giants best hitter last week (.391 with 1 HR and 5 RBI). Brandon Belt has started to fade (5 for 22 with 7 K’s). He is hitting .298 on the year with 5 HR’s and 19 RBI, but he has 17 K’s and only 2 walks in 57 at bats. His approach suggests his hot start won’t be a smooth ride all season. Angel Pagan leads the team in hitting (.386 with 1 HR and 10 RBI). Pablo Sandoval is hitting .167 in his last 6 games with 1 HR and 1 RBI. Tim Lincecum has only 1 walk with 17 K’s in 15 innings, but batters are hitting .313 against him 5 HR’s. Ryan Vogelsong has a 8.00 ERA in his 1st two starts with 17 base runners allowed in 9 innings.
Here is my Week 2 fantasy baseball recap of all the NL Central action. The Milwaukee Brewers have come out of the gates swinging, while the Cubs continue to be the bottom feeders of the division.
Anthony Rizzo hit .350 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Emilio Bonifacio has only 1 hit in his last 13 at bats. Nate Schierholtz (.412) and Mike Olt (.417 with 1 HR and 4 RBI) led the Cubs in hitting last week. Javier Baez was placed on the DL at AAA with a sprained ankle. Carlos Villanueva was crushed by the Cardinals in his 2nd start of the year (9 runs and 10 base runners). Jose Veras has blown both of his save chances this year (5 runs and 9 base runners in 3.7 innings) which opens up the door for Pedro Strop (4.76 ERA and 8 K’s in 5.7 innings) or Hector Rondon (7 shutout innings with 9 K’s). Top prospect Kris Bryant is hitting .273 with 3 HR’s and 5 RBI at AA. Their top pitching prospect, C.J. Edwards, has a 2.45 ERA at AA with 16 K’s in 14.7 innings.
The Reds have exploded for 9 HR’s and 26 runs in their last 3 games. Devin Mesoraco has been electric since returning from the DL (.500 with 3 HR’s and 9 RBI in 22 at bats). Joey Votto hit .381 with 3 HR’s and 6 RBI. Brandon Phillips didn’t score a run and he only had 1 RBI while hitting .407. Todd Frazier leads the team in HR’s (4). Jay Bruce has struggled out of the gate (.152), but he has 13 walks. Homer Bailey has allowed an ungodly 13 runs, 24 hits, and 6 HR’s in 14.3 innings. J.J. Hoover was a waste of a draft pick as a possible fill in closer (7 runs, 10 base runners, and 3 HR’s in 3.3 innings). Jonathan Broxton converted his 1st SV chance. Aroldis Chapman is moving quickly. He is expected to face live batters over the next week and I still say his target date to return is May 1st. Billy Hamilton is still having a tough time stealing first base (.159 in 44 at bats with 2 SB’s in 4 tries).
The Brewers had their 9-game winning streak snapped by the Cardinals. Their pitching staff has allowed 2 runs or less in 8 of their 14 games. Aramis Ramirez is starting to find his stroke (.333 with 2 HR’s and 6 RBI). Carlos Gomez continues to play well (.346 with 2 HR’s and 5 RBI). Most of the offense struggled last week (Segura – .207, Lucroy – .174, Davis – .176, Reynolds – .118, and Gennett – .188). Mark Reynolds had 9 K’s in 17 at bats. Matt Garza allowed 7 runs and 20 base runners in 13 innings. Tyler Thornburg and Francisco Rodriguez combined for 7.7 shutout innings with no hits allowed.
The Pirates have lost 4 of their last 5 games. Their pitchers have allowed 4 runs or more in 7 of their last 8 games. Pittsburgh had 15 HR’s over the last week, but those players have only accounted for 25 runs. Starting Marte hit only .207 with 14 K’s in 29 at bats (23 K’s in 58 at bats on the year). Neil Walker led the team in HR’s (4), followed by Pedro Alvarez (3 HR’s while only hitting .148) and Travis Snyder (3 HR’s). Andrew McCutchen doesn’t have a HR in 58 at bats. Gregory Polanco continues to light it up at AAA (.465 with 2 HR’s and 11 RBI). The biggest surprise so far on the pitching staff is Edinson Volquez. He has only walked 3 batters in 14 innings and batters are only hitting .148 against him. Gerrit Cole was roughed up by the Reds in his last start (5 runs, 12 base runners, and 2 HR’s in 6 innings). Wandy Rodriguez hasn’t looked great (7.31 ERA and .156 whip). His velocity was reported to be down in his last start, but it was in line with his recent career over the first 4 innings (declined in the 5th inning).
St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina led the team in hitting over the last week (.444), but he only had 1 RBI. Matt Adams hit an unproductive .375 (2 runs, 1 HR, and 1 RBI). Matt Carpenter led the team in RBI (6), but he only hit .190 Johnny Peralta hit .353 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI. Oscar Tavares is hitting .289 at AAA with 2 HR’s and 8 RBI. Lance Lynn was electric in his last start (11 K’s in 7 shutout innings with only 3 hits allowed). Trevor Rosenthal struggled in a game where the Cardinals pushed him in to a 2nd inning (4 runs and 5 base runners in 3 innings).
We’re two weeks into the 2014 MLB season, and to no surprise there has been plenty of action. To make sure you are up-to-date on everything that is happening around the league, here is my Week 2 fantasy baseball recap for the NL East:
The Braves found their rhythm over the last 4 games, scoring 32 runs (4-game winning streak). Justin Upton hit .500 over the last week with 4 HR’s and 8 RBI. Freddie Freeman (.417), Evan Gattis (.412), and Andrelton Simmons (.412) all hit a pair of HR’s with a plus batting average. Chris Johnson continues to struggle (.158 in his last 5 games with 9 K’s in 19 at bats). On the year, Johnson has 15 K’s in 46 at bats. Melvin Upton has 16 K’s in 50 at bats, but he did show some progress last week (.238 with only 3 K’s in 21 at bats). Mike Minor is expected to return to the starting rotation next week. He threw 5 shutout innings with 4 K’s in his last start in the minors on April 13th. Gavin Floyd is still a couple of weeks away as he is trying to work up his pitch count. He only lasted 3 2/3 innings in his last start on the 13th. Craig Kimbrel developed a sore shoulder over the weekend, which led to a save by David Carpenter. Ervin Santana has been electric in his two starts (1-0 with 0.64 ERA and 17 K’s in 14 innings). Aaron Harang (0.96 ERA with 17 K’s in 19 innings) and Alex Wood (1.89 with 17 K’s in 18.7 innings) have been very good 3 starts into the year.
The Marlins broke their 8 game losing streak last night in a big way as they pounded the Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg for a 11-2 victory. It was the 5th time this season that they have scored 7 runs or more. Giancarlo Stanton continues to hammer the ball (.317 with 5 HR’s, 21 RBI, and 2 SB’s), but he does have 19 K’s in 63 at bats. Marcell Ozuna moved to 2nd in the batting order and he responded with a big game last night against the Nationals (4-5 with 3 runs and 1 RBI). He is hitting .296 over the last week with 1 HR and 6 RBI. Christian Yelich hit .400 over the last week with 2 SB’s. Garrett Jones had a pair of HR’s and 5 RBI, but he had 13 K’s in 28 at bats. On the year, Jones has 24 K’s in 57 at bats. Jose Fernandez struggled with his command (4 walks) against the Phillies, which led to the worst start in his major league career (6 runs in 4 innings). Rafael Furcal has started a rehab assignment at High A (2 for 5 with1 SB). He is expected to return at the end of the month.
New York Mets
Eric Young went 9 for 28 with 11 runs scored and 5 SB’s in his last 7 games. Luca Duda continues to be the Mets player of choice at 1st base. He hit .364 last week with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Ike Davis couldn’t even gain regular at bats as a DH in an AL park. He went 0 for 11 with 4 walks and 3 K’s. Daniel Murphy hit .313 with 4 RBI and 1 SB. New York placed Juan Lagares on the DL with a hamstring injury. His replacement, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, seized the opportunity by going 3 for 5 with 1 HR and 3 RBI in his 1st game back in the majors. Curtis Granderson suffered only minor injuries after crashing into the right field wall. He is listed as day to day. Bartolo Colon was drilled for 4 HR’s and 9 runs in his last start. He has a slight back issue that may open up the door for Noah Syndergaard to start for him this weekend. He has a 3.94 ERA in his 3 starts at AAA with 12 K’s in 16 innings. Jose Valverde showed his 1st crack when he allowed a game tying 3-run HR. Gonzalez German may be next in line. He has allowed 1 hit and no runs in his last 8.3 innings with 7 K’s.
Chase Utley has played at a high level all season (.489 with 3 HR’s and 10 RBI). He has a .549 OB% after 11 games. Ryan Howard has 18 K’s in 49 at bats with 3 HR’s and 7 RBI. Marlon Byrd hit .333 with 1 HR and 8 RBI over the last week. Jimmy Rollins continues to have a bounce back season (.304 last week with 1 HRs and 1 SB). Cody Asche doesn’t have a hit in his last 14 at bats, but his possible replacement Maikel Franco is only hitting .098 at AAA. Cole Hamels is expected to be back next week. He allowed 1 run in 6 innings with 6 K’s in his last start in the minors. He has allowed no walks in 10 innings. Batters are hitting .358 against Cliff Lee this season. Jake Diekman blew his first major league SV chance, but he was throwing 97+ in the 9th inning.
Stephen Strasburg continues to be a Jekyll and Hyde pitcher. He dominated the Marlins last week (1 run in 6.7 innings with 12 K’s), but Miami gave him the early knockout blow last night (6 runs and 11 base runners in 4 innings). He has 33 K’s in 21 innings, but has an ugly 6.00 ERA and 1.574 whip. The Nationals lost Ryan Zimmerman for a few weeks after breaking his right thumb. It was probably good timing as his right shoulder just wasn’t healthy. Ian Desmond has 10 K’s in his last 27 at bats (.222 with 1 HR and 6 RBI). Bryce Harper had a nice bounce back week (.520 with 1 HR and 5 RBI). Both Taylor Jordan (5 runs and 11 base runners in 5 innings) and Tanner Roark (5 runs and 6 base runners in 4.7 innings) struggled against the Braves. Jordan Zimmermann was also bitch slapped by the Marlins (5 runs and 9 base runners in 1.7 innings).
Los Angeles Angels
Josh Hamilton looked like a player on a mission in his first 8 games – .444 with 2 HR’s and 6 RBI. He tore a ligament in his left thumb that will cost him at least 6 weeks of the season. It wouldn’t surprise me to see the Angels call up C.J. Cron to play DH while pushing Raul Ibanez to the outfield. Cron is hitting .321 at AAA with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Last year, he hit .274 in the minors with 14 HR’s and 83 RBI. Albert Pujols appeared to be in the coffin before blasting HR’s in back to back games. Tyler Skaggs pitched an elite game in his first start for the Angels – 8 shutout innings with 5 K’s. His AFB was 93.2 compared to 90 for Arizona last season. Jered Weaver has struggled out of the gate – 0-2 with 6.00 ERA with a short fastball (87.0).
Robbie Grossman isn’t setting the bar high for George Springer. He is only hitting .063 with 12 K’s in 32 at bats. Springer hasn’t done much better at AAA – .250 with no HR’s in 28 at bats with 10 K’s. Chris Carter has 13 K’s in 27 at bats. Jason Castro is only hitting .125 in 24 at bats. Matt Dominguez has 2 HR’s in his 3 hits (.107). Just like the Twins, the Astros are loaded with poor pitching. Their closer (Josh Fields), Scott Feldman (2-0 with 0.66 ERA) and Matt Albers are the only pitchers on the team with an ERA under 4.09.
Derek Norris leads the A’s in hitting (.429 with 2 HR’s and 4 RBI) in part time at bats (14). Brandon Moss has been the best starting hitter – .310 with 1 HR and 9 RBI. Josh Reddick is on the verge of hitting his way to AAA – 13 K’s in 29 at bats (.103). Josh Donaldson may be a one-year wonder. He is hitting .194 with 11 K’s and only 1 walk in 26 at bats. Jim Johnson has looked brutal in 5 games – 0-2 with an 18.90 ERA with 7 runs and 15 base runners allowed in 3.3 innings. His velocity looks intact (94.80 sinker), so he may just need time to clear his head. Sonny Gray (1-0 with 0.75 ERA) and Jesse Chavez (1.38 ERA with 13 K’s in 13 innings) have been the A’s 2 best starters.
Robinson Cano continues to hit in Seattle (.346), but he is still looking for his 1st HR. After a great 1st game of the year, Brad Miller is only hitting .219 with 11 K’s in 32 at bats. Meanwhile at AAA, Nick Franklin is hitting .533 with 2 HR’s and 5 RBI in his first 4 games. Felix Hernandez has been elite in his first two starts – 2-0 with 1.88 ERA with 19 K’s in 14.3 innings. James Paxton was off to a great start (2-0 with 2.25 ERA with 13 K’s in 12 innings) before suffering a lat injury in his last start. Fellow rookie Taijuan Walker struck out 10 batters in 5 innings at AA. He may replace Paxton in the starting rotation next week.
Prince Fielder has only 6 hits in 37 at bats with no HR’s. No Texas batter has more than 1 HR this season. I’d have to say the HR Elvis Andrus hit this week impressed me. He jumped on a pitch and pulled to left. This may be a sign of more strength and he may climb from the Judy status. Both Alex Rios (.364 with 1 HR and 6 RBI) and Shin Soo Choo (.355) have played at a high level to start the year. Adrian Beltre is battling a quad injury and may miss a couple of games. Yu Darvish looked to be healthy in his 7 shutout innings with 6 K’s. The Rangers could be in trouble with the rest of their rotation. Ross has walked too many batters (8) and Scheppers has been hit hard (.395). Matt Harrison is still a couple of weeks away from returning. Neftali Feliz has pitched 3 shutout innings in the minors with 4 K’s.
Chicago White Sox
Jose Abreu looks like the real deal after his breakout game in Colorado. He has 2 HR’s and 11 RBI with only 4 K’s in 36 at bats. Alexei Ramirez has been swinging a hot bat – .412 with 1 HR’s, 6 RBI, 2 SB’s, but he continues to hit down in the order while rookie Marcus Semien struggles in the 2 hole (.244 with 11 K’s in 41 at bats). Alejandro De Aza had 2 HR’s in his first game of the year, but he doesn’t have a hit in his last 14 at bats. Tyler Flowers leads the team in hitting at .444 with 1 HR and 5 RBI, but he has 9 K’s in 27 at bats. Chris Sale has pitched like a true ace (2-0 with 1.76 ERA with 14 K’s in 15.3 innings). Rookie upside arm Erik Johnson has been rough up in his first two starts – 11 runs and 23 base runners in 10.3 innings. Matt Davidson is hitting .348 at AAA with no HR’s in 23 at bats.
The Bauer watch is on after Trevor Bauer made a spot start in a double header on Wednesday against the Padres. He allowed no runs in the first 5 innings with 7 K’s and no walks before losing his command in the 6th to allowed 1 run on 1 hit and a pair of walks. In his first start at AAA, he had 9 K’s in 6 innings while allowing a run. He may be a viable replacement for the Matt Moore owners in deep leagues. Carlos Santana had 11 walks in his first 9 games. Nyjer Morgan has done a nice job holding down the lead off slot with Michael Bourn out. He is hitting .389 with a pair of steals. David Murphy leads the team in hitting – .320 with 1 HR and 6 RBI.
Miguel Cabrera has had a quiet first 7 games of the year – .300 with only 1 HR and 3 RBI. Rookie Nick Castellanos hit his first major league HR off Josh Beckett and is hitting close to .400 in his first five games. Austin Jackson has dropped to 5th in the batting order. He is hitting .333 in 27 at bats with only 1 HR and 1 RBI. Max Scherzer has continued where he left off in 2013 – 1.20 ERA with 15 K’s in 15 innings. Justin Verlander has looked good, but he only has 5 K’s in 14 innings. Drew Smyly probably won’t get his first start until the 3rd week of the season. His innings were going to be limited anyways, so his value will now last longer into the season.
Kansas City Royals
It looks like the same story for the Royals in 2014. They almost need 3 hits to score a run. After 8 games, they only have 1 HR by Alex Gordon. He leads the team with 9 RBI. Mike Moustakas appeared to have a spark in spring training, but he only has 1 hit in 26 at bats (.038). Omar Infante took a pitch to the face, which will open up an opportunity for Johnny Giavotella over the short term. Alcides Escobar is also off to a slow start (.185). Yordano Ventura had an AFB of 99.53 in his first start of the year. His changeup was 89.53. Their bullpen lost another arm as Tim Collins was placed on the DL with an elbow issue. Jason Vargas has been their best starter – 1-0 with 1.20 ERA.
Long time minor league Chris Colabello had a career start to the year – .313 with 1 HR and 11 RBI. Joe Mauer is still looking for his 1st HR and RBI. Brian Dozier has made the most of his 5 hits (2 HR’s and 3 SB’s), but he is only hitting .152 with 12 K’s in 33 at bats. Jason Kubel has found his stroke – .462 with 1 HR and 6 RBI. It’s not a good sign when every pitcher on your team has an ERA over 5.00 except a rookie starter (Kyle Gibson) and 2 relievers. Ricky Nolasco has allowed 10 runs and 23 base runners in 10 innings.
Nelson Cruz has hit the ground running for the Orioles – .286 with 2 HR’s and 6 RBI. Matt Wieters value slid on draft day due to a minor spring training injury. Maybe this is the year he makes the huge step forward. Matt is hitting .370 with 2 HR’s and 6 RBI in 27 at bats. Ryan Flaherty and Jonathan Schoop are a combined 9 for 52 with 19 K’s. At least Schoop drilled a 3-run HR on Wednesday night to keep his hopes of staying in the majors alive. Last year’s HR champ Chris Davis has yet to hit a HR, but he is hitting .310. Wei-Yin Chen has been roped for 21 hits in his first 10.7 innings, but his fastball has looked good (maxed out at 94 in his last start). Kevin Gausman threw 4.7 shutout innings in his 1st start at AAA with 6 K’s. He’s only a couple more bad starts by Miguel Gonzalez (7 runs allowed in his first 3.1 innings) from getting his chance.
Boston Red Sox
My boy back home tells me David Ortiz is overpaid as a DH and past his prime. Big Papi swats back with a 3 run bomb in a key moment to help Boston win another game. He is tied with Mike Napoli for the HR (2) and RBI (8) lead on the Sox. Napoli hits the ball hard when he makes contact, but he has 12 K’s in 36 at bats. Jackie Bradley Jr. has hit his way into the Red Sox starting lineup – .400 with 5 RBI in 20 at bats. His success could push Grady Sizemore (.364) to left field when Shane Victorino returns and Daniel Nava (.125) to the bench. John Lackey has pitched great (2-0 with 1.38 ERA and 11 K’s in 13 innings). There are some concerns that Clay Buchholz has a shoulder issue due to a decline in velocity on his fastball (89.7 – 91.9 in 2013) in his first start.
New York Yankees
Jacoby Ellsbury has been electric in his first 8 games with the Yankees (.414 with 4 SB’s). He just needs some help from the middle of the batting order. Brian McCann is only hitting .172 in 29 at bats. Yangervis Solarte has crushed the ball in his first 24 at bats (.458 with 6 doubles and 7 RBI), plus he only has 1 K on the year. He is a career.286 hitter in the minors with 41 HR’s and 33 SB’s in 2539 at bats, so his upside is really limited. C.C. Sabathia has struggled in his first two starts (7.50 ERA), but he has excellent control (1 walk) and solid K’s (12 in 12 innings). Michael Pineda pitched like the top talent the Yankees thought he was when they traded for him (1 run in 6 innings with 5 K’s). Sean Kelley will take over as closer with David Robertson out with a groin injury, but he has some downside risk shown by his bad 9th inning against the Orioles on Wednesday night. Masahiro Tanaka looks to be the real thing. He has 19 K’s in his 14 innings with 1 walk. His only downside has been a pair of HR’s.
Tampa Bay Rays
It sounds like Matt Moore is done for the season with an elbow injury and it’s looks like Tommy John surgery is in his future. Seven players are tied for the team lead in HR’s (1) and no player has more than 6 RBI. Wil Myers has 11 K’s in 35 at bats. Matt Joyce leads the team in batting average (.391) followed by Evan Longoria (.371). Chris Archer has been the Rays best starter one week into the season (1.38 ERA with 11 K’s in 13 innings). Jake Odorizzi should have job security, but he was sliced up for 7 runs against the Royals. Erik Bedard will replace Moore in the starting rotation.
Toronto Blue Jays
Melky Cabrera has been juicing the ball – .308 with 4 HR’s in 39 at bats. He is tied with Jose Bautista for the team lead in HR’s. Edwin Encarnacion is still looking for his first HR and RBI. He has 12 K’s in 33 at bats. Ryan Goins has only 1 hit in 16 at bats. Mark Buehrle is 2-0 with a 0.64 with 14 K’s in 14 innings. Brandon Morrow started to find his groove in Houston when he had 9 K’s in 6 innings with his fastball topping out at 98.
There isn’t a lot of excitement in the Cubs starting lineup, evidenced by them only scoring 8 runs in their first 5 games. The only hitter that played well was Emilio Bonifacio. Seven games into the season, he is 17 for 33 (.515) with 5 SB’s. Starlin Castro had the best game probably in his career against the Pirates on Monday night when he connected for a pair of HR’s with 4 RBI. This is a very good sign going forward. Justin Ruggiano has no hits in 11 at bats. Jason Hammel may have value as a back end start in deep leagues, as he allowed only 1 runs in 6.7 innings with 5 K’s. He pitched poorly last season due to a lingering injury. Hotshot prospect Javier Baez has only 1 hit (HR) in 18 at bats with 8 K’s at AAA. Kris Bryant has 2 HR’s in his 1st 13 at bats at AA while hitting .231.
The hyped up speed train Billy Hamilton hasn’t been able to steal his 1st base. He has 7 K’s in 22 at bats with 2 measly hits and 1 walk. His only stolen base attempt resulted in a jammed finger. A 10-steal week will get the fantasy juices flowing real fast. Zack Cosart has only 1 hit in 26 at bats. Homer Bailey may have robbed the Reds for $100 million in the offseason. He has allowed 21 base runners in 9.3 innings with 8 K’s. His AFB (94.5) looks in line with 2013, so I expect him to find his rhythm soon. J.J. Hoover looks like he is one and done as closer. Jonathan Broxton was activated from the DL, so he’ll be the favorite going forward to bridge the gap until Aroldis Chapman returns in early May. Manny Parra could be a short-term dark horse to close.
They only scored 4 runs in their 1st three games of the season at home against the Braves, but their offense has been very good in their 4 road games – 27 runs. Ryan Braun gave fantasy owners a scare when he complained about a reoccurring thumb issue. He bounced back to blast 3 HR’s against the Phillies, so the wind is back in his sail. Jonathan Lucroy has been the Brewers best hitter through Week 1 – .432 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Khris Davis was a sleeper power hitter for many fantasy owners. He is hitting the ball well – .321, but he has 8 K’s with no walks in his 1st 28 at bats with no HR’s. Yovani Gallardo hasn’t allowed a run in his 1st two starts – 12.7 innings with 7 K’s. His AFB (90.7) is still a step back from his best season in the majors. The Brewers manager gave so called closer Jim Henderson owners a kick in the balls by giving Francisco Rodriguez the closing job to start the year. Frankie has 6 K’s in 3 innings with no walks and no runs allowed, so it is his job to lose at this point of the season.
Starling Marte is the only regular batter hitting over .300 after the first week of the season, but he has 9 K’s in 29 at bats. Pedro Alvarez leads the team in HR’s (2). He has more walks (6) than K’s (5), which is a good sign. It appears Travis Ishikawa is the favorite for the most at bats at first base. Gregory Polanco has a five game hitting streak at AAA (9 for 19 with 1 HR’s, 3 RBI, and 1 SB). He may be the first impact minor league player called up this year. Did the Pirates pitching coach find the keys to Edinson Volquez’s success in 2014? Volquez gave up 1 run in 7.7 innings with only 1 walk and 6 K’s. He threw 70.5% strikes and 60.7% first pitch strikes. Both are very good signs and point to upside if they are repeatable. Fantasy players have to remember Pittsburgh has saved Burnett and Liriano over the last 2 seasons.
St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina continues to improve as a player. He has 3 HR’s with 7 RBI in his first 8 starts. Matt Adams isn’t getting much respect as far as spot in the batting order, but he is swinging a solid bat (.367). His value will rise when he starts to drive in runs. Allen Craig only has 3 hits in 31 at bats. Oscar Taveras is hitting .182 at AAA with 1 HR’s and 4 RBI in 22 at bats. Michael Wacha is the young pitcher that will make the biggest impact behind Jose Fernandez this season. He is 1-0 with a 0.71 ERA with 10 K’s in 12.7 innings. Adam Wainwright hasn’t shown any wear and tear after throwing the most innings in the majors in 2013. He has 16 K’s in 14 innings with 1.29 ERA.