It is another weekend in fantasy baseball, and as always there is plenty of action going on from coast to coast. As far as big fantasy news, there is another pretty serious prospect coming to the majors, but other than that it is a bit of a light night. We have news of a big name starting pitcher that has hit the disabled list, a lower name that has already thrown his second shutout of the season, and two more that are on a nice roll. We have a catcher that you shouldn't fall in love with, while we talk about an outfielder that you should. It is time for the weekend, so crack a cold one and enjoy Rounding The Bases.
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Trevor Plouffe has been called to the majors and was not only in the starting lineup for the Twins, but he hit second in the lineup. He is taking over the everyday role from Alexei Casilla, but I do wonder if he might lose his spot once Tsuyoshi Nishioka is ready to return to the lineup, but if Plouffe does anything like he did in his debut, no one will be taking this spot from him. Plouffe cranked his first home run of the year in his first at bat off of Tim Wakefield, and he also added a stolen base to his stat line. Plouffe has 20/15 capability, and at middle infield that is pretty valuable. Even with the chance of losing the position eventually, I went on a Plouffe adding tear right before I wrote this article.
Roy Oswalt rejoined the Phillies after taking eight days to be with his family after tornadoes hit his family's home in Mississippi, but now he is dealing with back issues and won't be making his scheduled Saturday start. He is going to try to do some light throwing this weekend, but right now there is no course of action set to get him back to the mound. Stay tuned to Fantasy Alarm and we will let you know when he will pitch again.
Jonathan Broxton is going to miss at least a month after his MRI showed a bone bruise, but he isn't even scheduled to throw for at least two to three weeks. Broxton finally revealed his injury to the team after weeks of subpar performances, but at least this doesn't require surgery. Again, Vicente Padilla will be the stopgap closer, but don't be surprised if he loses that job to Hong Chih Kuo or even Kenley Jansen takes that job before too long. That month seems like a best case scenario, so don't be surprised if you don't see Broxton for quite a while.
Scott Baker continues to pitch extremely well after a rough start, as he got his second win by allowing just two runs over eight innings and striking out eight against the Boston Red Sox. This is now four straight starts that he has allowed two earned runs or less, and he struck out six or more batters in three of those outings. I can't say that I have a lot of faith in Baker or that this stretch of good pitching is going to continue. I would see if you could maybe make a deal with him in it, or if you want to ride the hot streak, just don't give him too long of a leash.
James Shields just can not be stopped. The Rays top pitcher so far this year had another dominating start as he allowed just one earned run over 7.1 innings and struck out five. This is an amazing run by Shields, but I still insist that this can't last. Even the seasons that Shields was good, he wasn't anything as dominating as this, so I would definitely try to capialize on this and sell high on Shields. He is likely to have a pretty good full season, but his value will never be higher than it is right now. Don't fall in love with this run, make a move for someone better and reap the rewards.
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Again this year Rod Barajas is hitting a bunch of home runs (for a catcher) but with a pathetic batting average. He actually had two hits on Friday, including his sixth homer of the season, but his batting average is a pathetic .226. To me, Barajas only has value in two catcher leagues. I know he has a shot at hitting 20 home runs, but I believe that there are enough quality catchers these days, that a guy who only gives you one category like Barajas isn't worth having on your roster. Don't fall in love with the little bit of power, he isn't worth it.
Jordan Zimmerman pitched well for the second consecutive start, after he got off to a really rocky start. On Friday, Zimmerman allowed just two earned runs over six innings. He walked just two and struck out six, and right now Zimmerman is looking pretty solid. However, I am still not in the Jordan Zimmerman business just yet, and I need some more performances like this before I make a move.
Don't look now, but Curtis Granderson hit double digits in homers for 2011 as he connected on two bombs tonight and now has ten on the year. He is also hitting for a better average than he did last season as he is hitting .271. He also hasn't been as atrocious against lefthanders this year, which has helped him get to the stats that he is at right now. I think you are looking at a 25-30 homer season from Granderson, and to me he is not a sell high candidate.
My man Ivan Nova pitched extrememly well again, and now has four straight starts in which he has allowed two earned runs or less. After getting off to a rough start, Nova gave up just one unearned run over 7.1 innings, although he did only strikeout one guy. Nova is never going to light up the K column, but I believe he will keep his ERA in a respectable place, and with the runs support he is able to get from the Yankees, I think he is worth having on your team. If you need someone to compare him ti, think Jair Jurrjens. Right now he is probably still a pitching streaming option, but I like Nova to be a bottom of the rotation type starter.
Jaime Garcia was perfect through 7.1 innings before a walk to Casey McGehee blew the perfect game and then a hit to Yuniesky Betancourt cost him the no hitter, but Garcia was able to pitch his second shutout of the season and ran his record to 4-0, striking out eight. Garica is proving that 2010 was no fluke as he is pitching well again in his sophomore season. I might try to shop him quickly to see if you can get an experienced ace that you probably shouldn't be able to get for Garcia, but perhaps someone will fall in love with the shutout and give you too much.
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