Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Happy Recap - 5/6/08

Bat Of The Night: Nate McLouth – 3/5, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI

And to think McLouth entered spring training competing for the starting CF gig in Pittsburgh. The 26 year old now has nine homers on the season to go along with 28 RBI, 30 runs scored and a .333 batting average. More impressively, those 28 RBI have come from the leadoff spot. McLouth also has good speed as he stole 22 bases in only 329 at bats last season and is a legitimate 20-20+ candidate.

Arm Of The Night: Gavin Floyd – 8.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (W)

Floyd carried a no-hitter into the 9th inning before a Joe Mauer double ended his bid. The young White Sox righty is now 3-1 with a sparkling 2.50 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 39 2/3 innings this season. In his first six outings, Floyd has posted 5 quality starts and only really been hit hard once – April 24th against a powerful Yankees lineup. The 25 year old is not much of a strikeout artist, but appears to be coming into his own by relying on great control. He is a good start at Seattle on Sunday.

Bottom Line: Felipe Lopez – 0/5, 4 K

Lopez was among three players to earn a golden sombrero on Tuesday. His 0/5 night at the plate gave him the nod over Carlos Pena and Khalil Greene who “only” went 0/4. Yuck.

Honorable Mentions

Top Five

Big nights for several youngsters both at the plate and on the mound. Stephen Drew, Blake Dewitt and Chris Iannetta make sure that the NL West youth is well represented in the Top Five while the ageless Garrett Anderson keeps hitting driving in a season high 5 runs. Scott Olsen and Jair Jurrjens continue to impress in the early going while Carlos Zambrano is a true ace for the Cubbies.

Bats

Garrett Anderson – 3/5, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Blake DeWitt - 3/4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Stephen Drew – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Erik Bruntlett – 2/3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Chris Iannetta – 2/4, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Arms

Scott Olsen – 8.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (W)
Carlos Zambrano – 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (W)
Tim Wakefield – 8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (W)
Jair Jurrjens – 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (W)
Justin Duchscherer – 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (W)

Bottom Five

The aforementioned golden sombreros for Pena and Greene while two of the NL’s top bats Chase Utley and David Wright had uncharacteristically poor nights at the plate. David Dellucci’s three run bomb off Joba Chamberlain gives the young Yankee reliever his first appearance in the Bottom Five.

Bats

Carlos Pena – 0/4, 4 K
Khalil Greene – 0/4, 4 K
Alex Rios – 0/5, 3 K
Chase Utley – 0/4, 3 K
David Wright – 0/4, 3 K

Arms

Mark Redman – 2.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (L)
Jonathon Sanchez– 4.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (L)
Miguel Batista – 2.1 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K (L)
Adam Eaton – 4 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (L)
Joba Chamberlain – 1 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K (L)

Making A Case...

Chris Iannetta & Blake DeWitt

These two youngsters entered the season as backups but are seeing decent playing time of late. Iannetta has filled in more than admirably for the struggling Yorvit Torrealba hitting .361 with 3 homeruns in only 47 at bats. DeWitt got off to a bit of a slow start after entering the season as the Dodgers starting 3B follwing an injury to Andy Laroche in spring training. However, he has turned it on of late and is now batting .317 with 11 RBI in his last 7 games. DeWitt has earned the starting 3B job in LA it appears so he is the safer option right now but keep an eye at Iannetta as he has great potential at the thin catcher position.

Justin Duchscherer

Between 2004-2006, Duchscherer was one of the top middle relief options in leagues with holds. Last year, his season was derailed by injury and after the A’s gave him a spot in the starting rotation entering 2008, many looked at him as an afterthought. Duchscherer hasn’t been spectacular in any of his first four starts and has had to miss time with injuries yet again. However, after posting his best start of the season last night, the A’s righty is now 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 22 innings. Duchscherer is currently a good fantasy spot starter at best. If he can prove healthy and string together a few starts where he goes 6+ innings, Duchscherer can be a solid contributor heading into the second half.

Closer Corner

- The Braves bullpen is officially a mess. Manny Acosta, filling in for injured Rafael Soriano, failed in his effort to lock down save number three and had to be bailed out by a combination of Royce Ring and Jeff Bennett. Bennett got the final out and his first save. With Soriano still hurting, John Smoltz is slated to become the closer upon his return from the DL. Stay tuned.

- Francisco Rodriguez is officially a machine. K-Rod maintained his torrid pace, closing out his league leading 14th game last night. He has been lights out since his return from injury.

- Jose Valverde (7) and Takashi Saito (5) both locked down saves last night and seem to have put their early struggles behind them.

- Good night for save vultures Tuesday as in addition to Jeff Bennett, Santiago Casilla and Ryan Franklin notched their first saves of the season. Jason Isringhausen and Huston Street, two of the most heavily worked closers thus far, got the night off.

- Troy Percival notched his 7th save and has still not been scored upon in 11 innings of work.

- Other Closers Locking Down Saves Last Night: Brandon Lyon (10), Kevin Gregg (6), Kerry Wood (5) and Rafael Betancourt (3).

Fantasy Observations & Thoughts

- The NL East is powering up in 2008! Chipper Jones hit his tenth homer while Mike Jacobs continues to rake hitting number nine last night. Let’s not forget that Major League homerun leader Chase Utley (13) also resides in the division.

- Barry Zito is back in the San Francisco Giants rotation and will start today at Pittsburgh. Zito was “demoted to the bullpen” a week ago, but never made any relief appearances. The 0-6 Zito should not be started in any league unless you have masochistic inclinations.

- AJ Burnett struck out 10 Tampa batters last night but took a loss allowing 5 ER in 6 innings of work. Burnett has been terribly inconsistent in the early going, but it’s only a matter of time before it comes together for the fireballing righty who is in a contract year and pitching for his next big pay day.

- Don’t look now but White Sox GM Ken Williams has put together a mighty fine starting rotation in Chicago. Javy Vasquez has been dominant in the early going while youngsters Gavin Floyd and John Danks seem to be coming into their own as Major League starters.

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