Hello everyone! There has been a lot of action going on in the MLB this weekend. Because everyone is looking for the 2010 version of David Aardsma, I'm going to go over some critical points on certain teams' bullpens. I'll also talk about a few players I think you should add from free agency as well as some underachievers worth investing in if you can trade for them.
Ninth Inning Chatter:
Frank Francisco is officially out, and Neftali Feliz is in as the new closer for the Texas Rangers. If Frank Francisco has a few strong outings in the next week, I think he'll regain the job. The problem is, Frank is throwing in the low 90's when he should be in the mid 90's. Either he's hurt or just not in 100% shape. It doesn't matter, because Feliz will be closing for at least a week. I can see this being a longer term thing though, so he's worth an add in all leagues that count saves.
- Mike Gonzalez has been a train-wreck since taking the closer job for the Baltimore Orioles. He had a bad spring and now it's carrying over to the regular season. Gonzalez is usually a guy who doesn't walk a lot of guys and he usually keeps his ERA and WHIP respectable. In three appearances thus far, he has an 18.00 ERA and more walks than strikeouts. Gonzalez said "I'm just off to a bad start and I need to turn it around as fast as possible.", but people are starting to wonder if this is more than just a bad start. This guy should be definitely on everyone's watch, and if he blows one more save you need to pick up Jim Johnson as his backup. The Orioles will not stand for him losing games for them. *UPDATE 2:39 APRIL 12th* Mike Gonzalez will no longer close for Baltimore for the time being. They are going to treat him similar to Frank Francisco and let him get his feet under himself before they give him the 9th inning. All leagues should add Jim Johnson for the time being, he will probably be summoned in the 9th.
- Brad Lidge threw in a Class-A game and got hammered to the tune of four runs on three hits and retired only two batters. This was his first game since receiving a cortisone shot in his elbow. I'm not worried about Brad Lidge right now, because he's not ruining any fantasy team's ERA and WHIP by playing. I know that the Phillies will not rush him back because they know how bad he can be while hurt. He is throwing pain-free right now, he just has to build his arm strength up. It will eventually get back to normal in the next few weeks and he'll be back to saving games for the Phillies. Right now Lidge is at an all-time low in value because of his trouble in his rehab starts, so if you are in need of a closer I'm sure you can steal Lidge away from someone very easily.
- Kevin Gregg now has two saves for Toronto, but it isn't like Jason Frasor is sitting out. Frasor has three saves himself. Gregg pitched in the ninth for Frasor because he had pitched three out of the last five days. I expect Frasor to be getting the bulk of the saves in Toronto, but don't be surprised if Gregg ends the season with double-digit saves.
Free Agent Hitters Worth A Mention
Kosuke Fukudome is owned in 26% of CBS Leagues, but for now that needs to change. I know, I'm completely off my high-horse for recommending Fukudome to you, but did you know that going into this season Fukudome was 24-for-71 (.338) in April and May games? The guy seems to slow down as the season progresses, but for now he is red-hot and not a bad play in your outfield. As soon as it hits June, make sure you trade him or drop him because we know how he plays after May...
- Miguel Montero might need surgery on his right knee, so Chris Snyder is playing for him in Arizona. Snyder opened up his new starting gig by going 2-4 with a homer and 5 RBI. Snyder is a good source of power from the catcher position and in leagues that start two catchers, he needs to be picked up and started.
- It seems as though Casey McGehee isn't a one-hit wonder. He crushed his second home run of the season in fashion Sunday night, giving the Milwaukee Brewers a walk-off win. McGehee has the numbers to reflect that his rookie season was not an aberration. He is available in a lot of leagues still, but that will change very quickly. Try to nab him up if you can.
Underperformers That You Should Trade For
Chris Carpenter hasn't bee himself in his two starts (5.73 ERA, 1.27 WHIP), but he looked as healthy as ever on the mound Sunday. I think he is still working on getting into mid-season form, and he'll eventually get things under control. Some owners may be ready to abandon ship on this fantasy ace, and you could take advantage.
- Jay Bruce was considered one of the top post-hype sleepers coming into the season. Considering he is 1-19 so far, some people are having their doubts. He is finally healthy, but just in an early-season slump. Don't mistake this slump for ineptitude, the guy can flat out hit. When he breaks out of his slump, expect him to do it in a big way.
- Prince Fielder went through the first week of action without a homer. This is really no big deal at all, considering we all know how much of a monster he is when he's hot. Last season he started off super slow before being one of the top hitters after May. If there is any way you can get a discount on Fielder in a trade, I would do it.
To conclude, as always, I'll give you your youtube-of-the-day. If you've seen the latest Tiger Woods commercial, you're gonna love this:
But wait, there's more! If any of you know people who play Farmville, I think you'll be able to relate very well: