Monday, May 5, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Weekend Happy Recap - Week 5

After a four day work-related hiatus, the Happy Recap is back and ready to fully review an eventful weekend around the Majors!

Bat Of The Weekend: Jose Bautista – 6/12, 5 R, 1 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI

Bautista’s big weekend came out of nowhere, as he punished the Nationals with 3 homeruns and 7 RBI. Bautista is a streaky hitter with eligibility at both 3B and OF positions giving him some value in the short-term. Think of him as a nice stopgap option until he cools down.

Arm Of The Weekend: Tim Hudson – 9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 K (CG, W)

With John Smoltz on the DL and now slated to return as the closer, Tim Hudson becomes the ace of the Braves rotation. He certainly had ace stuff on Friday night, totally overwhelming the Reds pitching a complete game 3-hitter while striking out 10. Hudson will be relied upon heavily going forward and looks up to the task thus far posting solid ERA and WHIP numbers on the way to a 4-2 record. Hudson is a great start in his next outing against the light hitting Padres.

Bottom Line: Bronson Arroyo – 1.1 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (L)

Arroyo couldn’t make it past the second inning against the Braves on Sunday, surrendering 7 runs while only recording 4 outs in the process. This was the shortest outing of Arroyo’s career and he has struggled thus far in 2008. Although he’s a risky start right now, Arroyo has a history of pitching well in the second half. He could be a valuable pickup later on in the season.

Honorable Mentions

Top Five

Big weekend for Mike Cameron in his return from a 25 game suspension and in a story that is becoming redundant at this point - Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones continue to rake. On the pitching side, nice bounce back weekends for Mark Buerhle, Gil Meche and Jon Garland while the Toronto Blue Jays rotation was well represented and continues to be among the best in baseball.

Bats

Lance Berkman - 7/13, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Chipper Jones – 7/13, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI
Dan Uggla – 5/10, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI
Hunter Pence – 4/14, 3 R, 3 HR, 6 RBI
Mike Cameron – 4/13, 4 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI

Arms

Mark Buerhle – 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (W)
Gil Meche – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (W)
Jon Garland – 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (W)
Roy Halladay – 7.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (W)
Shaun Marcum – 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K (W)

Relief Stud

Joakim Soria – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 Saves

Soria continues to dominate, closing out two Royals’ wins this weekend in flawless fashion. Soria has yet to allow a run in 13 innings of work in 2008 and now has 8 saves on the season.

Bottom Five

Plenty of sluggers off to slow starts most notably consensus first rounder Ryan Howard.

Bats

Ryan Howard - 0/11, 6 K
Troy Glaus – 0/12, 5 K
Ken Griffey Jr. – 1/13, 5 K
Eric Byrnes – 1/15, 5 K
Adam Jones – 0/11, 2 K

Arms

James Shields – 3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (L)
Steve Trachsel – 3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (L)
Carlos Silva – 3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (L)
John Lannan – 3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K (L)
Jorge De La Rosa – 4 IP, 9 H, 9 ER, 3 BB, 4 K (L)

Relief Dud

Eric Gagne – 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K (BS)

Gagne blew yet another save Sunday, giving away a 2-run lead in the ninth in a game the Brewers would go on to lose in extra innings on a Hunter Pence walk off homer. With Derrick Turnbow designated for assignment and the Milwaukee pen performing poorly all-around, Gagne continues to have a long leash. However, if he continues to pitch bad, a move will have to be made. Stay tuned.

Making A Case...

Juan Pierre – 7/13, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 SB

Big weekend for Pierre who has now started 4 straight games and appears to have edged out the struggling Andruw Jones in a crowded Dodger outfield. Pierre remains limited in fantasy given his complete lack of power and ability to hit for extra bases. At this point he is strictly a singles hitter that can help you consistently in one category: stolen bases. I wouldn’t trust Pierre until he is named the full-time starter in LA. If your team lacks speed, Pierre is a good short-term option while he is in Joe Torre’s good graces.

Mark Kotsay – 5/12, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 SB

The Braves offense has been hot and Kotsay has been no exception. The newly acquired Atlanta centerfielder raised his average over .300 with a hot weekend and has now hit safely in 6 straight games. Kotsay is certainly an injury risk but has the ability to be a nice stop gap contributor hitting atop a strong Braves lineup.

Aaron Laffey – 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (L)

Laffey has put together two solid starts now and all he has to show for them are two losses being after being outdueled by veteran aces Chien-Ming Wang and Gil Meche. The rookie has looked more than comfortable at the Major League since being called up to fill in for injured starter Jake Westbrook and should get at least 2-3 more starts. He is a decent play in his next start against the Blue Jays on Saturday.

Fantasy Observations & Thoughts

- Greg Smith continues to pitch well, fanning a career high 10 batters in 6 innings of work on Sunday. Smith will likely never touch 10 Ks again this season but is certainly developing into a solid fantasy starter.

- Allow us to introduce you to breakout sensation… Aaron Cook? He now has 5 wins, a sub-3 ERA and has racked up 6 straight quality starts.

- With BJ Ryan unable to pitch back to back games and Jeremy Accardo struggling, Scott Downs is now the Blue Jays fallback option at closer and he recorded his 3rd save of the season on Sunday. Downs is a valuable add, especially in holds leagues, and has potential to vulture a decent amount of saves this season.

- Francisco Rodriguez registered his 13th save of the season on Sunday and has been on an absolute tear since coming back from an ankle injury. Another hot closer is Joe Nathan who quietly has now saved 11 games and allowed only a single run in 13 innings.

Chase Utley now has 13 homeruns and is making a strong early bid to complete the Phillies’ hat trick at NL MVP.

- James Loney continues to be a tease to fantasy owners and his 6 RBI night on Saturday is a prime example. Loney is a great talent and I think his numbers will be fall in the 25 HR-100 RBI range. He most closely resembles Conor Jackson and 2006 Adrian Gonzalez in fantasy terms.

- Melky Cabrera currently leads the Yankees in homeruns with six…

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