Tonight there isn't a lot of general news or many games on the schedule so the Rounding The Bases entry is a little shorter than usual, but it is no less important for you to read. There is some fantastic news on Matt Holliday, some more of the same from the New York Yankees, and impressive performances by young Braves pitchers. We also highlight a couple of aging, injury prone players that are screaming "SELL HIGH ON ME!" and we identify them. All of this and more for you to enjoy from a light Monday in the major leagues.
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Have I mentioned enough times how much I love Andrew McCutchen? I mean I really <3 me some McCutchen, in fact sometimes I call him Andy. Don't judge me, I'm not ashamed to shout it out loud, I HEART ANDREW MCCUTCHEN! Ok, I think I'm done now. Back in the lineup after missing a game with a sore neck, he only had one hit today, but it was his second home run of the season, and while many think that he won't be able to raise his power numbers even when moving to third in the batting order, I think he has a real shot at 25 home runs and will be an incredibly valuable part of your fantasy roster.
Matt Holliday is recovering beautifully from his appendectomy and reports came out today that not only will he almost definitely skip the DL, but there is a chance that he might return by the weekend! Now that's a tough guy! I know that appendix surgeries have come a long way and they aren't nearly as intrusive as they once were, but for him to miss just over a week after the procedure would be very impressive. Keep it tuned to Fantasy Alarm for Holliday updates, but it seems like his return is coming much sooner than expected.
That committee approach that the Braves said they were going to use appears to be a myth as Craig Kimbrel not only came in to collect his second save of the season, but he also did it by striking out the side. So far he has been given the ninth inning duties, and his main competition, Jonny Venters, has been given the setup role. I believe that this is the way it is going to stay unless Kimbrel really goes through a long stretch of giving up runs as he is just a natural closer. I can't believe he is still available, but if he is, definitely make the move to grab the young fireballer and you should be rewarded all year long.
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Brian Roberts is off to an amazing start as he hit his second home run of the young season already, and his three RBI brought his total so far to eight. This is about as good as it is going to get people, as Roberts is not a big home run or RBI guy. Not only is his stock probably as high as you could hope for all year, but he is a huge injury risk so right now I am begging you to try to find a trade partner and upgrade your team at second base by trading away Roberts and getting more than his value if possible. Perhaps targeting a guy like Dan Uggla or Dustin Pedroia who are off to awful starts might not be such a bad idea. You aren't going to be able to get the deal done straight up, but I bet the price tag is more reasonable than you thought a few weeks back.
He might not have gotten the win, but don't overlook the performance of Braves' youngster, Brandon "Sex on the Beachy". He is a long way from a household name, but he had a pretty damn impressive minor league career and now might be poised to make an impact with the Braves. He rocked Spring Training to the tune of a 0.90 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 20 innings, and did great against the suddenly slumping Brew Crew. Beachy allowed just one run over six innings, issued just one walk and struck out seven. Overall I would say this was a pretty good night for him and if you have an injury or are in need of some pitching he might be worth a flier. Don't drop an experienced, proven veteran for him, but if you have someone like Ross Ohlendorff, I would take a long look at Beachy.
The strong pitching performances by Orioles pitchers just keep coming as young Jake Arrieta took the mound on Monday and kept the O's undefeated as he gave up just one run over six innings. Arrieta isn't a big strikeout pitcher, however, and the three strikeout victims he claimed today is probably about average for where he will be on a given start, maybe a bit higher. I do think that Arrieta will be successful, but I can't say with confidence that 2011 will be his coming out party. He still has a lot to learn on the major league level and I do think that he is looking at a season where he wins 10 games with an ERA over 4.50. He might be a pitch and ditch option against some of the weaker teams in the American League, but not someone I would go out of my way to keep on my roster all season long.
Jorge Posada collected just one hit on Monday, but he made it count as he blasted his third home run of 2011. He is off to an amazing start, and like Brian Roberts, I might take this time to shop the aging catcher/DH to see if you have a sucker, I mean opponent in your league that might believe in Posada (look for someone who likes Pinstripes!). It is possible that not having to catch and withstand the stresses it puts your body through could help Posada to not only stay healthy, but to have a strong offensive season. It is possible, but I'm just not buying into it. Sell high and maybe target Matt Wieters or Geovany Soto, both who might be frustrating their owners in the early going.
Ho-hum, Mariano Rivera racked up his third save of the season on Monday against the Twins, guess this isn't the year he drops off the cliff either, huh? Looks like Jeff Mans might not have been so crazy to draft him in every single league he participates in. Oh, and YAWN, Alex Rodriguez belted another home run for the Yanks. Guess all of you who shied away from him after his "off year" last season might have written him off to quickly. And Ivan Nova was effective, not great in his first start. His story is still yet to be written, but i think it will tell a tale of a guy worthy of being at the end of your roster and not on the waiver wire.
Whoa Nellie! Don't look now, but Rangers' outfielder Nelson Cruz is on an incredible tear to begin the season. Some shy away from Cruz because he seems to get injured every year, but I think he is one of those rare guys (like his teammate Ian Kinsler) that are generally so good while they are healthy that they are worth the injury risk. Cruz clobbered his fourth home run in the first week of the season and is now hitting nearly .400 to begin the year. Obviously it is not time to trade for him if you didn't draft him, but if some small injury flares up for Cruz, that is when I might make the move on his owner to see if he might be had at a discounted price.
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