Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Fantasy News and Notes

Back In The Lineup

Derek Jeter- After sitting out for a week with a strained quad Derek Jeter finally returns to the Yankee line up. Jeter was hitting just a shade over .200 with no HR or RBI when he injured himself, so maybe the time off actually helped him. At the time of the injury Jeter was really pressing at the plate and when he made contact it was often a slow dribbler or a fly out. Toss Jeter back in the line up tonight. He is playing against Andy Sonnanstine whom Jeter is hitting .400 against and could be the right tonic to get him back on the right foot.

David Ortiz- We said the other day that it looked like Ortiz needed a day or two off, and surprisingly enough manager Terry Francona took the initiative and benched Ortiz in the rubber game of the Sox series against the Yankees. Hopefully the day off did Ortiz well and allowed him to rest his body and head. Ortiz squares off against Jake Westbrook today who he is 0-7 against, but we could see him getting it going after a big hit against like a middle reliever or mop up man with marginal stuff. It might only take a hit or even a well hit foul ball for Ortiz to get his swing back. You have to get him back in the line up immediately; he is one of the best when he is going well.

Randy Johnson- He isn't what he was, but he can still be serviceable. Think Jaimie Moyer with a better heater. He squares off against the Giants whose offense suddenly looks pesky. Personally I like to hold off a start or 2 before playing a pitcher who is coming off the DL. There is a big difference between major league and minor league hitters, and while the Giants are awful, they still shold be able to knock off some hits against Unit and get to him.

Chad Cordero- Actually came back Sunday and got a save opportunity. Problem was he struggled with his control and even more disturbing, with his velocity. Cordero said he felt fine, yet pitching coach Randy St. Claire didn't sound as convinced, saying that Cordero normally tops off between 88-91 and on Sunday struggled to his 87. After loading the bases and throwing over 20 pitches in 2/3 of an inning, he had to be bailed out by Jon Rauch to get the last batter out. It could be that Cordero needs some more work to get his velocity back, or it could be something more serious. Personally I would try to trade Cordero for any other closer that I could get for him. This shoulder thing sounds like it could be problematic.

Jimmy Rollins- Is expected to be ready to start on Tuesday after sitting out most of week 2 with a sprained ankle. This type of injury makes me a little nervous as Rafael Furcal sprained his ankle in spring training of last season and was never right all season. Hopefully this is of much less severity and Rollins can continue to be the around hitting threat fantasy owners have gotten to know and love.

B.J. Ryan- Came back on Sunday and immediately gave up a lead off triple. He went on to retire the next three hitters in order without allowing the run to score. He was barely hitting 90 on the gun, so doesn't have his great stuff back yet, but he should be able to get by with his funky motion and hitting spots until then.

Called Up

Arthur Rhodes- I thought he was dead. Well at least retired, but he's back! Rhodes isn't what he was in his prime, but he is a solid situational lefty who seems like he still might have something left. If your league counts holds, Rhodes might actually be a decent option, so keep an eye on him to see what sort of situations the Mariners wind up using him in.

R.A. Dickey- I love the veteran journeymen knuckleballers. Dickey will probably pitch out of the pen as a long reliever, but could also give a different look as a set up man. He has posted good AAA numbers the last two seasons and took a no hitter into the 7th in his last start. As with any knuckleballer his success will be based on the amount of work he gets and how the knuckler is feeling that day. As with any knuckleballer it is a live and die way to live.

Out

Joba Chamberlain- Placed on the bereavement list so he can be with his father. Joba will be out for at least 3 days now, so look for Kyle Farnsworth to pick up the slack in his absence. I doubt he reads us, but i bet Joe Girardi cringed reading that.

Alex Gonzalez- X-rays show his knee is still cracked and will need at least another four- six weeks of recovery time. Which means...

Good News

Jeff Keppinger- Has done nothing but hit since midway through last season. He will continue to get starts at SS and all around the Cincy infield to be more exact as he is an invaluable utility man.

Greg Maddux & Brian Bannister- Many have called Bannister a young version of Maddux, so its fitting that they they each throw gems on the same day. Maddux went 5 and gave up no runs, while Bannister went all 9 for the complete game shut out. Both are very solid fantasy options, and will be consistent guys who, on the days when they don't have their best stuff will still battle, fight and get by on moxie and bravado.

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