More than just injuries, this week brought the common fantasy owner a plethora of surprises that included the return of some key players, a couple of shocking performances, some debuts, a demotion, and of course, a laundry list of injuries.
There’s more than just knowing the news; it’s knowing what to do with the news you read. Let’s take a look.
NL News and Injuries:
RP Brad Lidge - Phillies returned to action on Friday against the Mets, and was smacked around for a pair of hits, a solo rocket to the moon, a single run scored and a one earned run.
Well so much for the Great Return, eh? I still feel that Lidge is someone you can rely on, but not right away. Once he settles in and gets his marbles back he should be a quality pick up off the waiver wire though.
OF Carlos Beltran – Mets has been fitted with a knee brace, and is still waiting on baited breath for medical clearance for running alone…so forget about news of a return.
Beltran is not on track, having problems with his rehab and injury, and might not even step foot onto an MLB field until the middle of the summer. Even when he does return, how much value he will have to offer will be limited at best. If you own him, drop him or look to make a sweet deal.
2B Kelly Johnson – Diamondbacks is once again back in Fantasy news after going 4 for 5 with a home run against the Cubs; an NL leading home run might I add.
Hey Atlanta, how’s that Martin Prado guy working out for ya, huh? At this point Johnson appears to be the real deal as he builds a soft level of consistency, and shows he can hit the long ball. Currently he is hitting .313/.404/.750 with 60 total bases and 18 RBI. He is still available in some leagues, so grab him now before it’s too late.
AL News and Injuries:
2B Ian Kinsler - Rangers has been activated from the DL, but admittedly, says he is not quite 100%. Kinsler was sidelined for nearly half of ST with that nasty high ankle sprain, so not being 100% AND returning is a curious move to say the least.
Kinsler is a guy who will hit 20-20 guaranteed, and could enter into the 30-30 range. He is also good for a lot of steals, but with the ankle on the mend those numbers will probably drop a bit. Interestingly enough, he will NOT lead-off, rather bat fifth….can anyone say extra RBI opportunities?
SP Dontrelle Willis – White Sox was necromanced this past Thursday throwing 6 shutout innings; something he has not done since the long, long ago in 2006. He fanned six, walked two and gave up four hits.
It’s impressive, it really is but so is the recent hitting by the New York Mets which means absolutely nothing. Willis has a long track record of having these really good spotty games, and unless you can predict the future, I wouldn’t fall victim to this passing. Just keep shopping.
OF Juan Pierre – White Sox has been demoted to the ninth spot after failing to show up as the savior lead-off man for Chicago.
This is a real kick in the pants for owners who were projecting Pierre to flourish in Shytown—myself included— but Pierre is embarrassingly hitting .200/.261/.200 which doesn’t float in MLB or fantasy. Here’s the thing, Chicago, tried their best to swing for the fences early and got a rude awakening, but when they simply calmed down and just started hitting the ball—epic idea, I know—they started getting some quality wins. I think Pierre will heat up around June, which is why I will hang onto him…you should too.
But wait, there’s more! Take a look at some tasty SP matchups you might not be aware of this week.
Francisco Liriano – Twins: Liriano takes his impressive 3-0 record and pits it up against the Cleveland Indians this week, but it doesn’t matter because the guy is on fire. 0.93 ERA, 27 SO, 10 BB, and a SO/9 rate of 8.4 is enough to say he should be active regardless of who he faces.
Colby Lewis – Rangers: Lewis has literally come out of nowhere, and is making a case for himself as the sleeper of the month. Already, Lewis has three—count ‘um folks—three 10 SO games, and faces the Oakland A’s not once, but twice (5th and 11th). He is getting scooped up quick, so you may wanna go out and grab him now.
A.J. Burnett – Yankees: Burnett smoked the Orioles Friday going 8 scoreless innings and while Burnett hasn’t been the model of consistency this year, he has been exceptional against the bottom of the barrel teams in the league. He will face the Orioles again in his next outing.
Ian Kennedy – Diamondbacks: Kennedy has been quietly climbing the ranks of starting pitchers as of late, and it shows in his 27/8 K/BB ratio and 1.05 WHIP in five starts. His ERA is a bit fluffed at 4.45 and he has given up seven homers, but he is one of two really good two-start pitchers this week with great matchups. He’ll face the Astros and Brewers next.
Ryan Dempster – Cubs: Dempster has been enjoying a pretty good year thus far as he touts a 2-1 record with a 2.78 ERA with 32 SO and only 10 BB that translates into an 8.1 SO/9 rate. Dempster will face the slumping Pirates and the inconsistent Reds as he finishes off our quality two-start pitchers.