Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lidge Needs a Good Cry

Due to the timing of this article, we'll just launch into the list of relevant names, the first of which will explain the title.

RYAN MADSON - Philadelphia's lights-out setup man will be closing games for the next few nights, as Brad Lidge is suffering from a "sore knee."  Somehow, I think "sore knee" may be code for "broken heart" as Lidge blew a save not but a few days ago for the first time since he donned a Phillies uniform.  He shouldn't be out long, but without a knee to give Lidge some leverage, his pitches just wouldn't be as terrifying.  Pick up Madson for a short term fix.

TIM WAKEFIELD - I know, I can't believe it either, but now that Boston is winning every freakin' night, Wakefield should stand to benefit quite a bit.  He is eerily consistent for a knuckleballer, which is probably why he's been in the league for so long.  After 7 scoreless innings against the weak Indians offense, Timmy's ERA is all the way down to 1.87.  That will rise over time, and he'll always have a share of walks (due to that little birdie he calls a pitch floating away), but even an ERA in the 3's should be good enough to net Wakefield 13-15 wins.

JUSTIN VERLANDER - There is almost zero chance he's available, but after a horrid start to the season, there may have been an owner or two that sent him out to pasture.  The time is now to snap him up.  Verlander may not have the confidence he once possessed, but he still throws in the high-90's with a nose-to-toes curveball.  The strikeouts will always be big, the key is keeping runners from touching home.  When healthy and not out of his mind, Verlander can be one of the top starters in baseball, especially fantasy.

JOEL PINEIRO - is 4-0.  Just thought I'd mention another in the Cardinals Public Storage unit filled with pitcher reclamation projects.

BRIAN BANNISTER - Bannister took the high-powered Blue Jays, walked 6 batters, and still allowed just a single earned run over 7 innings.  He's been pretty inconsistent over the long term, but if indeed he's on a pitching hot streak, it might not be a bad idea to run him out there against his next opponent and hope the streak doesn't come to a chilly conclusion.

DEXTER FOWLER - Stole FIVE bases last night.  Yes, it was against Chris "Molasses" Young, but Fowler is showing his potential for greatness.  I'm not sure he can sustain the offensive numbers away from Coors', but if you have an open roster spot, or have been hanging onto 2 or 3 of the back-end bullpen arms in Milwaukee, it couldn't hurt to take a flier on Dexter.  In all likelihood, he's been picked up in your league already, so don't get too excited.

BARRY ZITO - He might actually be waking up.  The runs he allowed came in the 7th inning, 1 of which was an inherited runner for middle-reliever Merkin Valdez.  I'll be honest, I just wanted to type "merkin," which many of you know, is a pubic wig.  In any case, Zito seems to be "twittering" before and between his starts -- so if you want an inside track on how Barry's brain is functioning before you start him (or place a wager on him), start following old number 75.
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