It was a tragic day in fantasy baseball and in St. Louis where the best player in the game left in obvious pain as he was crashed into at first base. Hold your breath everyone. But there is good news in Oakland, some more on the South Side of Chicago, and we know that both of those cities need some good news. I give you some news about one pitcher who just teased you with one good start, and another that I am starting to pay more attention to in Florida. We also continue our series of pitching streamers with a new guy north of the border, so don't miss all of that and more with Rounding The Bases.
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Albert Pujols left the Cardinals game on Sunday with an injured wrist suffered on a play at first base. Pujols fielded a throw from second base and Wilson Betemit ran into Pujols' arm as he made the catch. Pujols immediately dropped his glove to the ground and ran into foul territory in obvious pain. He also jumped into the air like a little girl (sorry Albert, gotta call em like I see em) before trainers made it to him. They are calling it a sprain right now, but Pujols' owners have to be shaking in their boots as this really didn't look good. He is due to be re-evaluated tomorrow and we will have the info as soon as possible.
Trevor Cahill bounced back today after four really tough starts to put the clamps down on the San Francisco Giants and his first win in a while. Cahill pitched eight great innings where he allowed just five hits, one run, one walk and struck out seven. Of course you had every right to be nervous after that last stretch where the guy's ERA went up a run and a half in just about a month, but Cahill is a very talented pitcher and you had to know he would break out of it. I have ultra confidence in him going forward and can't think of a scenario where I wouldn't start him.
Bronson Arroyo does this every so often and today was the day for his monthly gem. He shut down the Toronto Blue Jays for eight innings on Sunday, allowing just five hits and striking out five. Arroyo always gets a lot of fantasy attention because he has had a few decent seasons in his career, but generally he is wildly inconsistent, something you all know by now I hate. It seems that he will throw three absolutely horrible starts and then will fool you with a gem like Sunday and you hold him for another few weeks and torture your stats. I don't even mess with Arroyo unless it is a streaming situation with a great matchup.
Nyjer Morgan has had a rough first season in Milwaukee from an injury standpoint and it has hurt his chances of getting something regular going as far as production. Morgan was able to hit his second home run of the year on Sunday, and if he can stay in the lineup and get at the top of the Brewers' batting order he could be a huge help to your team. Morgan is able to get on base and with the likes of Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder up after him, he could be a great source of runs scored and some steals as well. If you own him he is definitely worth starting while he is playing, and hopefully this will be the end of his injury woes.
Chris Volstad might not have picked up the win on Sunday, but he continues to pitch well, and I know he isn't getting much fantasy love, but I am telling you that you have to start paying a little attention to him. Volstad is a highly touted kid that has great stuff, but has never been able to show any consistency at the major league level. I can't say that I am confident in him in any way, especially given the current state of the Marlins team. But if you need a streamer and he has a favorable matchup, I would consider Volstad there or perhaps as a two starter if he is in a good spot.
When Alcides Escobar was traded to Kansas City I thought that he was going to have a breakout season, figuring that with the Royals playing very few meaningful games the team would just allow him to run at will when he got on base. However, as the old adage goes you can't steal first base and Escobar's struggles to get hits has haunted him again in 2011. However, all of a sudden there are fewer players that are hotter than Escobar right now, and he is getting hits and stealing bases in bunches. Escobar even hit his first home run of the season on Sunday and if you need any help at shortstop, Escobar is your guy to look at.
Is Alex Rios finally waking up? After hitting a home run and driving in four runs on Saturday, Rios went yard again on Sunday and even though he is hitting just .209 he is finally showing signs of life. Rios has plenty of talent but not everything between the ears and you have to hope that this little hot streak gives him some confidence to keep it going. If you have benched Rios a while back I would suggest putting him in your lineups this week to see if he can keep on rolling.
Zach Stewart (TOR) vs. Mike Minor (ATL)--Stewart came up to the majors when Kyle Drabek was demoted and Stewart has put up a few nice seasons in the minor leagues. He gets a good number of strikeouts and was great in his first start in the majors. Minor hasn't been able to get his stuff together in the majors and has gotten tattooed when the Braves have given him chances. I like Stewart's shot at having a good showing.
Saturday's Result--Carlos Villanueva (TOR)--7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks. He took the loss but pitched fairly well. Would like to see more strikeouts, but for a streamer it is a good choice.
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