Fantasy Baseball News and Notes is a new daily column that will recap yesterday’s performances and top fantasy baseball headlines. Follow me on Twitter – @MikeBaumSays – for more fantasy baseball musings. Your comments and questions are always welcome.
Hanley Ramirez was activated from the DL before Monday night’s game, and while he didn’t start, he did pinch hit, striking out looking in his only at-bat. Fantasy spin: Expect Ramirez to be in the starting lineup tonight. He’s recovered very quickly from a torn ligament in his right thumb, but the reports of his rehab have been nothing but positive, so there’s reason to believe he will hit the ground running.
Giancarlo Stanton limped off the field Monday night after straining his right hamstring running out a ground ball. He was placed on the DL right away, indicating the strain was somewhat severe. Fantasy spin: The Marlins and fantasy owners will sorely miss the slugger’s bat, and all we can do is hope that he’s able to return after a minimal stint on the DL. The Marlins instantly become even more of a stream-worthy opponent, as they don’t have a single fearsome hitter left on their roster.
Victor Martinez had another night to forget Monday, going 0-for-4 and watching his batting average drop to .198 in the process. Fantasy spin: VMart is really killing fantasy owners right now, as he’s got just 9 RBI despite hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the Tigers order. He’s too good of a hitter for this to continue, but it’s fair to wonder if Jim Leyland will move him down in the order until his bat heats up. If Martinez is dropped, be sure to scoop him up, and he can probably be had for next to nothing via trade.
Asdrubal Cabrera went 2-for-3 with a double, walk, and 2 runs batted in Monday night. It was Cabrera’s third straight multi-hit game, and he’s raised his average from .162 to .225 in that span. Fantasy spin: Because he plays a shallow position, patience was always the recommendation with Asdrubal. The Indians have stuck with him as their #3 hitter, and now that he’s heating up he should be one of the better run producing SS in fantasy.
Nolan Arenado had three hits, including his first major league home run, in the Rockies 12-2 victory over the Dodgers. The rookie scored three runs and drove in a pair. Fantasy spin: Arenado is already making a good impression, and he’s yet to play in his home stadium, where his numbers figure to be even better. Don’t sleep on the youngster, who can be a viable starter at 3B right away.
John Buck went 1-for-7 in the Mets extra innings loss to the Marlins, but he made his one hit count, launching his 9th home run of the season. Fantasy spin: Buck just keeps producing, so fantasy owners so continue to ride the wave. Buck’s amazing start is just another reminder of why using a high draft pick on a catcher is not recommended.
Jordan Schafer went 1-for-1 with 3 walks and a pair of stolen bases in the Braves 3-2 win over the Nationals Monday night. Fantasy spin: Schafer has been very solid as a fill-in for Jason Heyward, posting a .485 OBP in limited at-bats and recently earning some starts in the leadoff position. Deep leaguers who need a short term boost in runs and SB should give him a look.
Brandon Moss had a pair of homers including a 2-run walk off blast in the bottom of the 19th inning, and he also stole his first base of the season. The homers were Moss’ third and fourth of the year, and the three RBI brought his season total up to 19. Fantasy spin: It had been 2 and a half weeks since Moss last homered, but his owners likely werent’ complaining because he’s been keeping his average right around .300 and scoring and driving in runs consistently. Moss is a solid CI option, or a good 3rd or 4th OF in mixed leagues.
Erick Aybar went 2-for-5 with a homer and a double in his rehab game Monday night, and will re-join the Angels for their game on Tuesday. Fantasy spin: Aybar owners who have patiently waited for three weeks for his return from a bruised heel will no doubt be thrilled to have him back. He was hitting .321 before he hit the DL, and should be a good source of average, runs, and SB from the SS or MI spot.
Stephen Strasburg struggled with his command Monday night, walking four batters and allowing 6 hits in 6 innings of work. He departed with the game tied 2-2, so he took a no decision in this one and remains stuck on just 1 win. The numbers aren’t alarming, but Strasburg’s body language on the mound certainly was. He was visibly frustrated with his inability to execute his pitches at times, and he was seen shaking his arm and trying to loosen his shoulder, elbow, and forearm. After the game manager Davey Johnson admitted to the media that Strasburg was dealing with some forearm tightness, and he would be treated by the team’s medical staff. Strasburg also admitted that he had trouble getting loose, but he was adamant that he would make his next start. Fantasy spin: This is a scary development for Strasburg owners, as forearm tightness is often an early warning sign of elbow issues. Strasburg looked to be having trouble repeating his delivery and keeping his mechanics clean, which could be an indication of overthrowing. Given the potential severity of this issue, it might be wise to float Strasburg’s name out in a few trade offers before more negative news comes out. You should still be able to get a lower-risk ace in return.
Matt Harvey was not at his best Monday night, needing 121 pitches to get 16 outs. He did strike out 7 and he only gave up one run, but he allowed 7 hits and walked 2, and took a no-decision. Fantasy spin: Harvey hasn’t been quite as dominant in his last two starts, but he’s yet to have a really poor start and should continue to be viewed as a top 15 starter until further notice.
Andy Pettitte was torched by the Astros, yielding 7 runs on 10 hits and a walk in just 4.1 innings pitched. The outing raised his ERA to 3.86 on the season. Fantasy spin: This was Pettitte’s first time failing to toss a quality start this season, so even though it came against the lowly Astros, there’s no reason to panic. He is still a fine 4th or 5th starter.
Mat Latos stymied the Cardinals bats on Monday, holding them to 5 hits and no runs over 6 innings, earning his 2nd win in the process and lowering his ERA to 1.83. Fantasy spin: Latos has historically been a slow starter, but he’s off to a terrific start, throwing 6 consecutive quality starts to open the year and posting a terrific 37:8 K/BB ratio in his first 39.1 innings pitched.
Ubaldo Jimenez turned in a vintage performance on Monday, going 7 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits, walking just 2 batters, and striking out 4. Fantasy spin: Ubaldo needed this outing because his ERA was sitting at an unsightly 10.06 coming into this one. The trouble with Ubaldo is that he struggles to put together any sort of consistency, so this one good start isn’t nearly enough to trust him again.
Bobby Parnell blew his second save in just 4 chances this season, giving up a leadoff double, a single, and a sacrifice fly before settling down as getting out of the jam with the game still tied at 3. Fantasy spin: Parnell has been excellent this season, allowing just 2 earned runs and posting a 1.58 ERA. The Mets will stick with him, and so should fantasy owners, as more opportunities will surely come.
Ernesto Frieri blew his first save of the season on Monday when he failed to protect a 7-6 lead. He got himself in trouble by walking Coco Crisp to lead off the inning. Crisp then stole second, and with 2 outs he came around to score on a Yoenis Cespedes single. The Angels eventually lost the game 10-8 in 19 innings. Fantasy spin: every closer will blow a save every now and then, but managers hate to see their closers issuing free passes. Frieri now has 8 walks in 10.2 innings pitched, and he will need to clean that up if he wants to hold off Ryan Madson and remain the Angels’ closer.