Clearing The Bases
Arizona Diamondbacks: Seems to be only a matter of time until closer J.J. Putz loses his job even though manager Kirk Gibson has come out and said he is safe for now. Problem for fantasy owners is the, who is next in line, David Hernandez or Heath Bell. Hernandez is the better pitcher at this point in their careers, but as we have seen with a few other teams, managers tend to rely on the veteran who has done it before…..Not that he has had a setback, but 2B Aaron Hill was told to keep the cast on his wrist for now…..Outfielder Adam Eaton is still about a month away from returning.
Atlanta Braves: Outfielder Jason Heyward who underwent an appendectomy last week doesn’t expect to return to the lineup until late May or early June…..Catcher Brian McCann however is hoping to return to the Braves next week…..That’s back to back solid outing by Julio Teheran, perhaps he has figured it out…..Shortstop Andrelton Simmons has replaced B.J. Upton as the leadoff batter. This is the right move. Even if Upton were hitting, he has never been a high on base guy, he would be batting lower in the lineup.
Chicago Cubs: Do the Cubs not have anyone who would be a better option at closer than Kevin Gregg? He was just signed a couple of weeks ago. Manager Dale Sveum has also hinted about using a closer by committee approach even when Kyuji Fujikawa returns…..The team is also making noise that if the city doesn’t agree to make the necessary upgrades to Wrigley Field that they will look into other places to play. This is probably just a bluff as the only draw to watch the Cubs play is Wrigley.
Cincinnati Reds: All eyes will be on Manager Dusty Baker when SP Johnny Cueto is ready to return from injury. Tony Cingrani has looked great and one would think deserves to stay in the rotation but Baker may not be inclined to keep him over Mike Leake…..Speaking of Cueto, he makes his first rehab start Friday and if all goes well could return about 10 days after…..Mat Latos had to leave his last start early with a hip injury but it is not serious, and he is expected to make his next start.
Colorado Rockies: I know it comes as a complete shock that SS Troy Tulowitzki is hurt once again. The good news however is that his shoulder is not considered to be serious, just a day to day thing and he should be back in the lineup shortly…..Nolan Arenado is going to be given the chance to win the 3B job as Chris Nelson wasn’t impressing anyone…..For those wondering if OF Dexter Fowler is the real thing or just hot? Have a feeling he is the definition of a player who has finally figured things out.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Hanley Ramirez is back at SS for the Dodgers having recovered from his thumb injury and this team could use the help….Outfielder Carl Crawford has a tight hamstring and has been given the last couple of games off with the hope that combined with Thursday’s off day will be enough to get him healthy…..Starting pitcher Ted Lilly however may have to go on the DL as he needed an injection into his rib cage. If he has to miss a start/s Matt Magill would take his spot in the rotation.
Miami Marlins: As if the Marlins offense wasn’t inept enough, star OF Giancarlo Stanton will most likely be lost for all of May due to a hamstring injury suffered Monday versus the Mets…..There was some thought that Christian Yelich would be called up to replace Stanton but alas, that’s not going to happen…..There really isn’t much to watch for in Miami, the state of Florida should be thrilled this team is no longer named after them. Let owner Jeffrey Loria be Miami’s problem.
Milwaukee Brewers: What has gotten into 3B Yuniesky Betancourt? That’s seven HRs he has now, seven. He’s played so well that Milwaukee has already announced that he will be the primary 1B when 3B Aramis Ramirez returns from the DL, which could be as early as Friday…..Shortstop Jean Segura is starting to make the Brewers organization look pretty smart for obtaining him in the SP Zack Greinke deal. This kid looks really good with a solid mixture of speed and power.
New York Mets: Management and fans aren’t sure what to make of the performance from 1B Ike Davis so far. He is off to another incredibly slow start and is now batting seventh in the order. The team can’t really afford to wait until the summer for his bat to heat up once again…..Shortstop Reuben Tejada who is known much more for his glove than he is his bat is having a tough time in the field so far this year…..David Wright who missed the start Monday with a stiff neck is just fine, no reason to worry there…..Living in New York, I can tell you it’s a good thing the Mets avoided being swept by the Marlins on Wednesday or there might be quite a few people on top of bridges and tall buildings.
Philadelphia Phillies: The topsy turvy season for SP Roy Halladay continued once again Tuesday as he was shelled by the Indians. Fantasy wise, he is more than a matchup play, but I wouldn’t start him against good offenses, his ball just doesn’t move like it once did, he is still trying to figure things out…..Outfielder Delmon Young returned to the lineup Tuesday and actually hit a HR. He will help the lineup as he will provide power, but his play in the OF leaves quite a bit to be desired although in Philly, anything hit in the air tends to be a HR anyway.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Outfielder Starling Marte is yet another player in fantasy where we need to determine, hot start or the start of something special? I’m sort of in between on this one, in other words, I’m just not sold on him yet…..In your weekly SP Francisco Liriano update, he is expected to join the rotation on May 11…..Rumor is that 2B Neil Walker may have to go on the DL.
St. Louis Cardinals: Closer Jason Motte has been throwing, 60’/90′ and reporting no pain. The Cards are willing to give him a little more time to see if his elbow will respond. Odds still favor that he will need surgery and even if he can pitch, there is no guarantee the team uses him to close…..Speaking of no guarantees, those of you who are waiting for an injury to one of the OFs, Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, or Jon Jay so that the team will call up super prospect Oscar Tavares, keep in mind they could always just move Allen Craig back to the outfield and play Matt Adams at 1B.
San Diego Padres: The Padres have been sitting OF Kyle Blanks against certain right-handers, not sure this is the best course of action for someone you would like to be a major power threat in your lineup…..Some were worried that 2B Jedd Gyorko might lose his starting job once 3B Chase Headley returned from the DL, well so far he’s still in there. I’d stick with him if I’m the Pads, he really doesn’t have much else to prove at AAA and you need to see what you have here.
San Francisco Giants: First baseman Brandon Belt has come alive with the bat of late. Would really like to see manager Bruce Bochy leave him alone and let him play every day…..I know baseball is a business but I would really hope that for the benefit of the game the Giants would eventually relent and let the Athletics build a stadium in San Jose, this has been going on for years now and will eventually end up in court. As Andrew Brandt of ESPN would say, there will be lawyers.
Washington Nationals: First the good news. Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman has been pretty much untouchable in his last two outings and is now up to 18 scoreless innings. Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman looks good to be activated Friday. The bad, OF Bryce Harper had to leave the game with what looks like an oblique injury, as of right now he’s listed as day to day. Starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg was seen flexing his pitching arm during his last start. Apparently they are blaming it on his workout regimen and not anything that will keep him from making his next start.
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