Clearing The Bases
Arizona Diamondbacks: Starting pitcher Randall Delgado, you know, one of the key pieces in the OF Justin Upton trade, is off to a rough at AAA and may not be the first call up once the Dbacks need help in the rotation, that may go to Tyler Skaggs. Good thing that Upton fellow isn’t off to a great start…..Outfielder Jason Kubel is still having problems with his quad injury and may not come off the DL when first eligible…..Another OF on the DL, Adam Eaton, has just begun a throwing program and could be back in the lineup in about a month.
Atlanta Braves: The aforementioned OF Justin Upton now has 11 HRs so far. Not a bad start to his Brave career, his brother however has been the exact opposite as he is still struggling to adjust to National League pitching…..Fantasy owners couldn’t have been to happy this week. Not only might they have missed the lineup deadline regarding OF Jason Heyward’s appendectomy, but they also lost three games at Coor’s Field, which is still a hitter’s haven no matter how cold it is. Reed Johnson should be the beneficiary of playing time in his absence but Evan Gattis could also get a look to see if he can handle the job.
Chicago Cubs: The Cubs seem to be at their wits end regarding SS Starlin Castro. He keeps making the same mistakes over and over again. He is still an extremely young player but doesn’t seem to be maturing whatsoever. Don’t be surprised if the Cubs check out his trade value once again this summer…..The Cubs signed RP Kevin Gregg last week, he got the save Tuesday night and might receive a few more chances with Carlos Marmol still a wreck and Kyuji Fujikawa still on the DL…..Manager Dale Sveum has actually threatened Castro and 1B Anthony Rizzo with demotion to AAA if they don’t turn things around soon.
Cincinnati Reds: Starting pitcher Tony Cingrani has certainly impressed the team. Johnny Cueto still looks to be a few weeks away, and if Cingrani is still pitching well when he returns, the Reds will have an interesting decision to make…..Outfielder Jay Bruce hit his first HR of the season Monday in what should be a sign of things to come, when you look at this lineup from top to bottom this team can hit, power, speed, they have it all.
Colorado Rockies: Funny how the Rockies had one of the best records in the N.L. before facing a real team in the Atlanta Braves. The Rockies hot start is a mirage, they don’t have anywhere near the pitching depth to continue this long term…..And speaking of pitching depth they have to hope that SP Jhoulys Chacin is ready to come off the DL when he is first able. He has been diagnosed with a mid-back strain, nothing to serious, but no guarantee it will dissipate in two weeks either.
Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers starting rotation is a mess right now. Clayton Kershaw is not pitching well. Zack Greinke is still on the shelf with a broken collarbone. Chad Billingsley is gone for the year and will need Tommy John surgery and the team may be rushing Ted Lilly back because of the desperation. It’s still very early, but the Dodgers need this rotation to settle down. Top pitching prospect Zack Lee is no longer considered a future star either. The top pitching jewels in the organization were traded last year to the Red Sox for 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Carl Crawford, and SP Josh Beckett. The team may wish they had Allen Webster and Rubby De La Rosa back in the fold.
Miami Marlins: Slugging OF Giancarlo Stanton is still looking for his first HR of the season. His name is going to be thrown out quite often in trade discussions but since he isn’t close to free agency, you have to think Miami will hold onto him. I know they could receive a bounty for him but he is already a proven star, granted an unhappy one, isn’t this the kind of player you want to build around? Ricky Nolasco has to think he might be dealt sooner or later also to a contender that needs a rotation arm.
Milwaukee Brewers: Did anyone see that play involving SS Jean Segura last week. The one where he stole 2B then was caught in a run down along with another runner from 1B. They both ended up on 2B, were both tagged, but Segura didn’t realize that even though he wasn’t the first runner to 2B he is still considered safe because it was his base originally, so he walk off, thinking he’s out, but ends up at 1B because no on re-tagged him. Been following baseball since the 70s, never seen that ,no idea how to score it, and really hope it never happens again. According to the rules czar, he should’ve been called out anyway when he went back to 1B.
New York Mets: Plenty of analysts are making noise that SP Matt Harvey is the best in the N.L. right now. Listen, the kids is good, really good, but can he at least pitch a full season before we go making this statement. In order for the Mets to stay in any kind of playoff race, they need Harvey to be great all year long, Jonathan Niese to be good, and Zack Wheeler to pitch well if and when he gets called up. Now Niese took a comebacker off his ankle Tuesday night and had to leave the game, but looks to have escaped serious injury. Wheeler has been dealing with a blister on his pitching hand for most of the season and has had control problems in AAA. Some people still believe that Wheeler has a brighter future than Harvey, if so, the Mets are in pretty good shape.
Philadelphia Phillies: Third baseman Michael Young has a 14-game hitting streak going. Problem is the last 12 of those games he only has one hit in each, and there really hasn’t been much power going on here…..Catcher Carlos Ruiz should return from his suspension on Sunday to add some depth to the lineup, OF Delmon Young in about 10 days from his stint on the DL…..Roy Halladay had another good start last time out and has started throwing his sinker more and more. He might be figuring things out, but still doubt he ever becomes what he once was.
Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates are playing much better ball of late and a good reason for that is because they are hitting better. Catcher Russell Martin and 2B Neil Walker have finally picked up their play and 3B Pedro Alvarez is starting to hit for power. This team has to hit in order to win as their starting staff is average to a tick above average at best…..Speaking of pitching, Francisco Liriano should be ready to join the rotation the first week in May.
St. Louis Cardinals: So, Edward Mujica is now the closer for the Cards, how long until Trevor Rosenthal gets his chance….We’ve heard some comments from OF Carlos Beltran this week that he wants to continue his career beyond this season and would really like to get to 400 HRs. He seems to have also come to the conclusion that a move to the American League and the DH is probably in order. I still wonder if and when the Cardinals feel they need something in order to win this season, if they don’t trade Beltran, thus opening up a spot for Oscar Tavares, and get what they need in return.
San Diego Padres: Outfielder Carlos Quentin has returned from his suspension, now we just have to wait until he gets hurt again…..Chase Headley has also returned to 3B. I’m very curious about him this season. Want to see if he can follow up a breakout 2012 campaign with another. I still have my doubts about him.
San Francisco Giants: In my hosts draft for SiriusXM, I had a choice Matt Cain or Madison Bumgarner, oops…..Fantasy wise I have to take a look at SP Barry Zito, but that being said can really only think about starting him against weak hitting opponents or at home…..First baseman Brandon Belt has come up with a few big hits this week, would really like to see what he could do with 500+ ABs.
Washington Nationals: The Nats have been in somewhat of a tailspin ever since Drew Storen blew the save in the first game of the Braves series. Storen was only closing because Rafael Soriano had pitched in the three games prior. I’m sure this is just coincidence, but the Nats are just 3-9 since that game…..Shortstop Ian Desmond is on pace to make 50+ errors this season, ouch…..I know they have a great starting three, but Ross Detwiler is pretty good also.
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