Clearing The Bases
Arizona Diamondbacks: Pretty tough week for the DBacks as they lose 2B Aaron Hill until June with a broken hand. Hill suffered the injury when he was hit by an Edwin Jackson pitch. Tried to play with it over the weekend but just couldn’t do it. Outfielder Jason Kubel was also placed on the DL with a quad injury. The rest might do him good as Kubel has been beat up since the end of spring training. Cody Ross was activated off the DL to replace him. Didi Gregorious, the SS acquired in the SP Trevor Bauer deal, was also activated off the DL, but he won’t he won’t be an everyday player right away.
Atlanta Braves: What are the Braves going to do with C Evan Gattis when Brian McCann returns? There is no DH in the National League so that’s not an option. First baseman Freddie Freeman will have returned himself from the DL with an oblique injury so he can’t play there. He’s not going to start in the outfield over Justin Upton, B.J. Upton, or Jason Heyward. Third base, maybe, but does anyone even know if he can play there? Have to be impressed with how the Braves swept the Nationals over the weekend. Seems the Nats lost some of their competitiveness with that blown save on Friday night.
Chicago Cubs: I know Texas 1B Lance Berkman is going to take a lot of grief for coming out and saying Wrigley Field is the worst place to play in MLB, but the truth is he was more than likely saying what most player don’t have the guts to say. Good to see though that the old yard will get a $500 million facelift, perhaps that will change Berkman’s opinion…..One of the Cubs top prospects, OF Jorge Soler, was suspended for five games in AAA for going after an opposing player with a bat. This happened during a bench clearing brawl, good to see he doesn’t have anger management issues.
Cincinnati Reds: Huge loss for the Reds with SP Johnny Cueto going on the DL with a triceps injury. The Reds disintegrated in the playoffs last year once Cueto had to leave due to injury. He is only expected to miss 3-4 starts this time however and with how stacked the Reds are, they should be able to survive his absence. Tony Cingrani will take his place in the rotation and make his first start on Thursday. He is one of the Reds top prospects and could actually stick with the team should he pitch well.
Colorado Rockies: How many fantasy owners were holding their breath after SS Troy Tulowitzki was hit in the elbow by a pitch in the first game of a double-header yesterday. They certainly couldn’t have felt any better when Tulo didn’t play in the night-cap, but relax, he’s okay…..Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez looks like he is going to have any MVP type season…..Catcher Wil Rosario can really hit also, it’s a shame this team has absolutely zero pitching and will certainly fade as the season rolls along.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Remember when everyone thought the Dodgers were crazy for not trading some of their starting pitching depth away. Well they lost Zack Greinke a couple of months with the broken collarbone, they did trade Aaron Harang, and now Chris Capuano had to leave last night’s start early due to a strained calf. Now they do have Ted Lilly in AAA on a rehab stint and he did pitch last night as well, but the team is unsure if he is ready to pitch in the majors. At this point it probably doesn’t matter, he’ll get that chance to prove himself healthy…..Speaking of healthy, OF Matt Kemp doesn’t look completely recovered from shoulder surgery. Fantasy owners are going to need patience there.
Miami Marlins: Wow is this team bad, especially on offense. You almost have to feel bad for OF Giancarlo Stanton. There is just no reason for the opposing team to pitch to him. Now I know you may not believe in lineup protection and may even point out that last year he had players like Gaby Sanchez, Logan Morrison, and Carlos Lee hitting behind him, not exactly murderers row, but last year he also had Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio, and Hanley Ramirez hitting in front of him, and as long as those guys were getting on base, than opposing teams not only had to pitch to Stanton, but had to throw him fastballs to keep Reyes, Bonifacio, and HRam from stealing multiple bases.
Milwaukee Brewers: Outfielder Ryan Braun looked horrible Tuesday, striking out four out of five plate appearances. Doubt this is anything to worry about, but it is something to keep an eye on…..Starting Pitcher Yovani Gallardo was arrested for DWI earlier this week. He won’t be suspended and has apologized to the team but you wonder if in the future MLB and the players association will take a harder look at these kind of offenses…..In a game over the weekend where RP Jim Henderson had pitched earlier in the game, the Brewers still elected not to use John Axford in a save situation that arose in extra innings. Pretty much let’s you know where he stands right now.
New York Mets: Mets are having a rough weather road trip. Had their game in Minnesota postponed Sunday due to a wintry mix, then had to play a double-header Tuesday because of a snowstorm in Colorado on Monday and they may have to do the same thing again Thursday because the game Wednesday was cancelled due to another snowstorm. Who knew that instead of bats they should have brought shovels…..When they return home though on Friday, the play the Nationals in what for me is a must see game, Matt Harvey goes up against Stephen Strasburg.
Philadelphia Phillies: Well SP Roy Halladay finally had a Halladay like start Sunday, granted it came against the offensively challenged Marlins, but you have to start somewhere…..2B Chase Utley looks strong, he’s running, and could have a big year, 1B Ryan Howard not so much…..Don’t forget about C Carlos Ruiz fantasy fans, he is eligible to return from suspension on April 28.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who missed his start Sunday with a hamstring issue has been cleared to pitch Friday…..Another starter, Franciso Liriano looks to join the rotation before the end of the month…..Second baseman Neil Walker seems to have found his groove, going 8-18 over his last four games after starting the season 3-29…..Third baseman Brandon Inge could return from his rehab assignment in about a week.
St. Louis Cardinals: The closer carousel is also making a stop in St. Louis. We are still awaiting word on what the Cards will do with Jason Motte, but season ending surgery seems the most likely outcome. Mitchell Boggs has struggled in limited opportunities and now manager Mike Matheny has mentioned that Edward Mujica could get a shot. Still think Trevor Rosenthal might be the eventual winner, but the Cards don’t seem to be in any rush to promote him to the job. Keep in mind they took forever to give the role to Motte as well.
San Diego Padres: The Padres received some good news Wednesday with the activation of 3B Chase Headley. Now we get to find out if last season was a fluke or not. That being said, it might take him a week or two to really get into the feel of things…..Unfortunately for the Padres however is that OF Cameron Maybin had to be placed on the DL to make room for Headley. Maybin was off to a slow start this season and the wrist injury certainly didn’t help any.
San Francisco Giants: Well the real SP Barry Zito showed up last night in Milwaukee. Zito had been pitching lights out of late but was crushed by the Brewers, all is right in the world once again…..Another start, another blah outing for Tim Lincecum. Really have to wonder if his future is in the bullpen. Really doubt if he will ever be the pitcher he once was.
Washington Nationals: No matter what the Nats are saying publicly, they have to be concerned about 3B Ryan Zimmerman’s throwing problems. It may be physical, shoulder surgery, or it may be mental but either way he is hurting the team right now. What makes matters worse is that there isn’t much they can do with him. Can’t put him at 1B, Adam Laroche is there. No DH in the NL. Not to mention their best prospect, Anthony Rendon, is also a 3B. Makes you wonder if they had to do it all over again if they would not have signed Zimmerman to that long term deal, and with that deal, he is just about untradeable, especially if he can’t play the field.
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