Sunday, April 19, 2009

Matinee Grab Bag

Let's just blow through all of today's games one by one.  Enter the almighty list:

Yankees/Indians - Nothin', nada, zip, zilch, squat.  No fantasy implications whatsoever.  A nice start for Carl Pavano got lost in the shuffle, but he is in NO WAY relevant, at least not yet.  Once upon a dream, Pavano was a dominant starter, and there is evidence to suggest that if his muscles, tendons and ligaments can hold up, he could be good once again.

A's/Blue Jays - 2 hours and 19 minutes of stale baseball.  Shutting down the A's was a nice accomplishment for the young Ricky Romero.  Shutting down the Blue Jays was even more impressive for Dallas Braden.  Unfortunately, he gave up one run and took the loss, but both of these starters warrant consideration if you're in desperate need.  In fact, the A's have a laundry list of young starters with high upside, but the offense has been too inconsistent to start any of 'em.  More on the unending "watch list" for me.

Brewers/Mets - Jeff Suppan lowered his ERA to just under 9, whoop-de-friggin'-do.  What's more important to take away from this game is that Carlos Villanueva did not get the save chance.  Could be fatigue; could be that he failed at life.  Trevor Hoffman is due back in one week either way, so the Brewers temporary bullpen fixes may be at the end of their respective ropes.  Time to abandon ship.

Marlins/Nationals - The Marlins just keep rolling, now a league-best 11-1, featuring ANOTHER 9th inning comeback, this time against Saul Rivera.  I don't believe this is a permanent closer switch, since Rivera was just as bad as Hanrahan, so don't do anything rash, just know the Nationals are as bad as ever.

Pirates/Braves - The Braves were due, really.  The Pirates had been straight clownin' on them, but neither of these teams is all that great.  Just happened that Atlanta's bats woke up today.  Poor Zach Duke had been off to a nice start this year, but was on the receiving end of this inevitable offensive explosion.  He's still worth monitoring, despite the rough go, but obviously not a fantasy starter just yet.  Javier Vasquez should excel in the NL - his stuff is just filthy.

Phillies/Padres - The Padres appeared to be on the brink of stealing another one from Philadelphia, but there was just one problem - Heath Bell was unavailable after pitching in (and saving) 3 straight ballgames.  So, the one run 9th inning lead quickly became a 1-run loss, and Philadelphia saved face against an eerily hot San Diego club.  Josh Geer made his first start of the season for the Pads and pitched very well, well enough that SOME may give him a look in fantasy leagues.  You, however, are smart enough to avoid him.  Young pitchers like Geer often have early success before the league adjusts.  Just wait, he'll get smacked around yet.

Red Sox/Orioles - A pitchers duel at Fenway between Jon Lester and Koji Uehara resulted in a 1-run Sox win.  Former Dodgers closer Takashi Saito got the save for Boston in Papelbon's stead, but again, don't rush out and grab him.  Papelbon was just taking a day off.  Otherwise, no news.

Rays/White Sox - Matt Garza got spanked, plain and simple.  Once again, the theme of the day is "Don't Panic."  He'll be fine.  Gavin Floyd got the easy win for Chicago and improved to 2-1 despite a rather unsightly ERA.  Floyd is a much better pitcher than he's shown so far, and I'd drop him onto the Watch List, if he isn't already taken in your league.  Though, upon inspection, it's likely that he is.  Paul Konerko continues his hot start, and is another name that MIGHT have been dropped before the season started (or avoided like the plague) due to his recent struggles.  Like Travis Hafner in Cleveland, Konerko could net you some nice pieces if used properly in a trade.  Or better, trade your current 1B for something you really need and slot Paulie K in as your own 1B.  This is not a drill, get Konerko now.

Reds/Astros - Edinson Volquez finally had a good start, but there's no way he's available in your league unless you're competing with your kid sister's 4th grade friends.  And even then, they probably got him by accident.  Felipe Paulino appeared in his first game since 2007 and pitched well, but like so many other young pitchers before him, he'll get his ass paddled in due time.  Don't pick him up until he levels out.  Or even better, don't pick him up at all.

Twins/Angels - Glen Perkins is getting my Sunday award for Underappreciated Excellence.  Sure, he got the win, but that put him at just 1-1 on the season.  Perkins should EASILY be 3-0, going 8.0 innings in each of his 3 starts, and allowing 1 run twice and 2 runs once.  If he's available, which more than likely he is not, he should be picked up IMMEDIATELY.  Otherwise, this game was a snoozer.

Royals/Rangers - NOW we know what teams need to break out of slumps; they just need to face Kyle Farnsworth!  Farnsworth has really parlayed one decent half-season into quite a career, considering he's hated in most every market he's played.  A succulent ERA of 19, an 0-3 record out of the bullpen, and 1.00 completely stupid pairs of goggles has Kyle in a league all his own.  What else happened in this game, you ask?  Vicente Padilla was terrible, Kyle Davies did the bare minimum, and Texas was just not quite as bad as Kansas City.  I was almost compelled to skip analyzing this game, except I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to punch Farnsworth in the metaphorical junk.

Giants/D'backs - I'm starting to think someone snuck into the D'backs clubhouse and replaced all the bats with pieces of bamboo and a very expensive hologram machine.  Just two years ago this team looked poised to compete for multiple years with all the young talent, but suddenly they just stopped getting better.  Based on the previous few sentences, it's safe to assume nothing offensively relevant came out of this game (or these teams, in general), but the pitching side is a different story.  Randy Johnson intimidated his way through 7 shutout innings, but has struggled mightily with any team that can make contact at the plate.  The real story came from the other team.  Max Scherzer hasn't quite figured out how to economize on the mound yet, but he will consistently strike out a handful, and if Arizona can get even 3-4 runs/game, Scherzer could go on a nice run.  He might be worth stashing on your bench, or at the very least watch closely.

Tigers/Mariners - Ramon Santiago, where did you come from?  Oh, Las Matas de Farfan.  I see.  Well, keep up the good work.  You can't be happy with his spot in the batting order (8th), but Santiago has 11 RBI's, and is batting a robust .320 so far.  This could be his coming out party, so don't be caught with your pants down if Santiago has himself a very nice year.  On the pitching side, Rick Porcello had a nice start, but that's all it is, one nice start.

Dodgers/Rockies - Most thought this was the game where the Rox might have a chance in LA.  Most were wrong.  Ubaldo Jimenez got shelled, as Matt Kemp went deep twice (one of which was a grand slam).  Most Dodgers are probably already scooped up in your league, and if you're one of the lucky managers with them, it's safe to start even fringe offensive players when LA is at home.  Time will tell how they fare on the road, but for now, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal, Manny Ramirez and James Loney are all worth playing.  Casey Blake is hovering near relevance.  I'd hold off on Blake until he gets the average back up near his career numbers.


Danno said...

I don't think I can do these game by game breakdowns every day. It just worked today since everyone played a day game.

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