It is the end of another week of the fantasy baseball season and boy is there a lot of news today! We have one closer who is finally back active and pitching for his team, while another looks like he totally doesn't belong in the ninth inning anymore. We have a shortstop returning from injury, and a third baseman that I have a personal crusade against and will tell you not to bother with him. Not only that but we have a ton of pitching to talk about as always, some good, some not so much. So crack a cold one on this Memorial Day Sunday because hell, you don't have to work tomorrow!
Umm, so what is the deal with Joakim Soria? It has been a disaster of a season for Soria thus far, and it just got worse on Sunday. Entering the game with a one run lead, Soria coughed that up and eventually blew the game, allowing a home run to Nelson Cruz on his way to the loss in the game. Soria now has four blown saves on the season, and has been a complete disaster with a 5.57 ERA. Over time it has been proven that when closers collapse, they do it in a big hurry (see Brad Lidge, Eric Gagne, Matt Thornton, etc) so could this already be the end for Soria? I think it is time to think that it could be, and while I like Aaron Crow to replace him, on our Sirius/XM radio show Jeff Mans says he likes Louis Coleman. Either way we both agree that something is certainly not right with Soria and you need to handcuff your closer now before it is too late and he loses his job.
Andrew Bailey was activated by the Oakland Athletics from the Disabled List and he came in and pitched on Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles. Now, the A's didn't go ahead and insert Bailey right back into the back of the bullpen, but he did pitch a scoreless, hitless seventh inning. It is great for fantasy owners to get this guy back active again, but it sucks that he wasn't inserted right back into the closer's role as fragile as this guy is you don't know when he might get hurt again. Hopefully it will be just one or two more appearances in a less stressful situation before the team gives Bailey his job back. Brian Fuentes might have gotten the save tonight, but he obviously has proven that he doesn't belong in that role any longer.
Rafael Furcal has been back for a week leading off for the Dodgers, but if you look you will see that he has really been making things happen over the past two days. After a two hit game yesterday with a stolen base, Furcal did one better on Sunday as he had three hits, including his first home run of the season and drove in three runs. Now, I am by no means a Rafael Furcal fan, but I do understand how shallow the shortstop position is. I would hope that perhaps you can take this short hot streak and perhaps deal him for someone more consistent and less injury prone, but there are only so many reasonable shortstops to target, maybe a Stephen Drew would make sense.
For the last two years I have warned you all about taking Aramis Ramirez in drafts. Last year he still did pretty well, but this season has been pretty bad. I know his batting average is still a respectable .281, but he hit just his second home run of the season and we are just two days away from June 1st. So, now he isn't hitting home runs and his batting average isn't that great so the only reason to have Ramirez at this point is because the position has gotten decimated by injuries. I would even try to trade Ramirez for a guy like Pablo Sandoval or Ryan Zimmerman who are currently hurt as they will put up better stats when they come back than a healthy Ramirez will all season long.
Justin Morneau has had a very productive weekend and that brings up the questions if this is the end of his season starting slump. He has six hits since Friday and has driven in three runs over that span. I am still far away from thinking that Morneau will be back, and I think that you need to try to take this quick hot streak as a chance to possibly deal him away and try to get SOMETHING for him. I really can't see myself having any confidence in Morneau until 2012 at the earliest. Something is not right with him and I just don't like him for the rest of this season.
Kyle Lohse won his seventh game of the season against the Colorado Rockies as he gave up just two earned runs over six innings and struck out six. His ERA is still just an impressive 2.13 and he hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in nine of his last ten starts. At this point you have to think that Lohse is going to be the latest in pitching coach Dave Duncan's long list of reclamation projects and he will actually have a good season. He obviously has to have some regression as he isn't going to be this good, but I wouldn't expect Lohse to completely fall off the map as far as fantasy production is concerned.
John Danks has been a hard luck loser on more than one occasion for the White Sox this season, but Sunday certainly wasn't one of those times. Danks allowed a whopping nine earned runs over just four innings against the Toronto Blue Jays and he struck out just one batter. He is now 0-8 on the season and at this point I wouldn't be surprised if he was dropped in your league. If you own Danks I still wouldn't drop him as he has been too successful in his career to just continue to lose. Danks will turn it around at some point in 2011.
Justin Masterson was really not very good on Sunday, and perhaps had his worst outing of the season. Masterson allowed six earned runs over five innings, walked five and didn't strike out a single batter. Masterson is now 5-3, but his ERA is just a shade over 3.00. He is still a great pitcher with good strikeout capability, regardless of today's outing, and there is no reason to lose faith in the guy. Masterson will turn it around from this little cold streak and will be back helping your fantasy teams before too long at all.
Brennan Boesch had one hit in each game of the doubleheader between the Tigers and Red Sox on Sunday, and also drove in one run in each game, highlighted by his fourth homer of the year in Game One. I have never been on the Boesch bandwagon as i think he is still living off of his fast start in 2010, and hasn't shown much since to suggest that he is a quality baseball player. If you have Boesch I would give him the shortest of leashes, and if anyone would take him off of your hands I would absolutely jump at the chance. If you wait too long on either he will be just worthless and drag your team down more.
Join The Fantasy Alarm Show & SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio for the first mock fantasy football draft of the season! On Monday, June 13th, hear some of the top minds in fantasy football, including Jeff Mans & Ryan Hallam, compete in an expert's fantasy football draft, live from the Fantasy Sports Trade Association Summer Conference in San Francisco. We're not letting reality ruin our fantasy! Mark your calendars - Monday, June 13th at 8pm eastern
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