Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Happy Recap - 4/22/08

Bat Of The Night: Casey Blake – 4/4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Plenty of Indians receiving honors today on the heels of their 15-1 beatdown of the Royals last night. Blake was perfect at the plate piling up 3 extra base hits – 2 2B and 1 HR - and 6 RBI. At third base, a thin position in fantasy this season, Blake is a serviceable option who can provide decent power production when he is going well. He is a streaky hitter who gets most of his numbers in bunches which makes him a risky proposition as an everyday starter.

Arm Of The Night: CC Sabathia – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K (W)

CC is back people! Just a dominant, old school outing for Sabathia who pounded the strike zone and put pitches wherever he wanted on his way to 11 strikeouts over 6 scoreless frames. Location was the biggest issue for the big lefty during his early season struggles and it appeared he has straightened out many of those problems over the last week. We expect Sabathia to return to form going forward in what is a big contract year.

Bottom Line: Carlos Gomez – 0/5, 4 K

Tough night for the youngster who edged out fellow golden sombrero donning buddies Carlos Pena and Jose Guillen for this most unwelcome distinction.

Honorable Mentions

Top Five

Some unexpected power tonight from Jacoby Ellsbury and Ronny Cedeno. Adrian Gonzalez is beginning to roll while Bobby Abreu continues to look strong at the plate in his walk year. On the pitching side, Ted Lilly and Justin Verlander took a step in the right direction as they try to put their early season struggled behind them while Edinson Volquez is coming into his own. The best line in the Top Five comes from the only pitcher to lose John Smoltz, striking out 10 over 7 innings of work and recording his 3000th strikeout in the process. First ballot hall of famer for sure…

Bats

Jacoby Ellsbury – 3/5, 3 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI
Bobby Abreu - 2/5, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Ronny Cedeno – 2/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Adrian Gonzalez – 3/4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Johnny Damon – 3/5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Arms

Ted Lilly – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K (W)
Paul Maholm – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (W)
Edinson Volquez – 7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 7 K (W)
Justin Verlander – 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (W)
John Smoltz – 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 10 K (L)

Bottom Five

The golden sombreros abound as we saw some real rough nights at the plate Tuesday as well as a host of blown saves. Manny Corpas has been shaky and blew his 3rd save of the season last night while Jason Isringhausen couldn’t hold a one run lead in the 12th against the Brewers. Izzy owners really can’t complain however as the Cards’ closer already has 7 saves and this was the first game he has failed to close out.

Bats

Carlos Pena – 0/4, 4 K
Jose Guillen – 0/4, 4 K
Jeff Kent – 0/4, 3 K
Aaron Rowand – 0/4, 3 K
Nick Johnson – 0/4, 3 K

Arms

Gil Meche – 3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (L)
Vincente Padilla – 3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (L)
Jason Isringhausen – 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (BS, L)
Manny Corpas – 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (BS, L)
Heath Bell – 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (L)

Making A Case...

Jorge Cantu – 3/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

We put out a sleeper alert for Cantu when he won the third base job in Florida at the end of Spring Training and he has done nothing but make us look good. Cantu pounded his third homer of the season last night and is now batting .337 with 12 runs scored and 8 RBI on the season. He is the Marlins’ unquestioned starter at third base and hits 5th or 6th in a lineup that is far better than people realize. Cantu should continue to thrive in Florida and could even be moved to the 2 hole in time if Dan Uggla struggles. He is currently only owned in around 30% of leagues so if you need a third baseman, he is your man.

Fred Lewis – 3/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI

Lewis has enjoyed a fine April hitting .338 and scoring 11 runs at the top of the San Francisco Giants lineup. Lewis has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games with 7 multi-hit games over this time. The centerfielder will not hit for power but he is speedy and can help you in runs scored and stolen bases while he is hot.

John Lannan – 7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (W)

John Lannan has now put together two very impressive starts following up his 11 K effort against the Mets with 7 scoreless innings versus another NL East foe, the Atlanta Braves. Lannan is only 23 years old and does have some nice minor league numbers to provide some backing for his strong pitching of late. The lefty has shown good control through the ranks so his WHIP may actually go down but his ERA is destined to finish over 4.00 as he is pitching over his head a little right now. Right now, Lannan can be considered a good spot starter given the right matchup but it will take a few more starts for him to prove he’s for real.

Fantasy Observations & Thoughts

- JJ Putz returned last night and locked down his 2nd save of the season. You may all now mercifully drop Mark Lowe and Ryan Rowland-Smith from your rosters.

- In the D’Backs-Giants game last night, Brandon Webb notched his league leading 5th win while Barry Zito took his league leading 5th loss.

- Evan Longoria hit his 2nd homerun of the season. The rookie third basemen has been inconsistent since being called up but be a force come June. Do not drop this guy.

- Jonathon Papelbon closed out his league leading 8th save last night while Brandon Lyon notched his 5th save and second in two games.


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