Adrian Gonzalez homered for the fourth straight day on Sunday and now has six on the season. I know that this isn't any breaking news that Gonzalez hits for good power, but I thought it was noteworthy that he had a nice streak going. Even if he isn't traded away at the deadline, Gonzalez seems to be the one guy who can hit home runs for San Diego whether it be on the road like today, or in PetCo Park.
For those of you in deeper leagues or in NL-only leagues, consider adding San Diego's Clayton Richard. He came over in the Jake Peavy trade, and while he isn't very exciting, he isn't bad either. Richard hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his four starts in 2010, so he could help you some in your ERA. He walked four batters in just 5.1 innings, so he is far from someone that I would target in traditional leagues, but keep in on your radar for pitch and ditch situations.
Scott Olsen was masterful for the Nationals on Sunday against the powerful Dodgers lineup as he shut them out over seven innings and struck out eight, walking just one batter. Olsen was always a promising young prospect for the Florida Marlins, but his career seems to have spiraled out of control, and I would probably need to see a good six to eight weeks of production from Olsen before I even CONSIDERED adding him to my team. I would not add him after this performance.
David Price continues to show that he is ready to take his place as one of the best young pitchers in baseball as he threw the first complete game of his career on Sunday which also happened to be a shutout. Price also struck out nine Blue Jays in throwing 109 pitches. There's not too much more to say on this one, the kid was always supposed to be awesome, and now it looks as though he is going to live up to that hype. If there is any way that you can get your hands on him at a reasonable price, I would do it.
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Brandon Morrow had his second straight good start after his first two were nightmares. Morrow still walked way too many guys, but he allowed just two earned runs over six innings and struck out eight. Morrow has a chance to be a quality major league pitcher, however, my major concerns are his injury history and the fact that he only threw 69 innings last season. I wonder how long that the Blue Jays will keep him as a starter in 2010, but they have said from the beginning that he would be a starter all season long.
Break up the Astros!!! After starting the season 0-8, Houston has won eight of the last ten and Brett Myers has been a big contributor to that. He has had a couple of rocky starts, but he hasn't given up more than four runs yet, and he was great on Sunday against the Pirates. Myers allowed just two runs over six innings and struck out six. He allowed a lot of base runners with 11 hits, but he was able to work out of trouble almost every time. He isn't a must add at this point, but at worst Myers is a good guy to grab when he has a positive matchup.
Paul Konerko continues his hot streak as he homered for the third straight game and has five in the past ten days. Paulie is a quality power hitter whose batting average fluctuates greatly. Even with the recent hot streak I don't see Konerko getting back to the days when he was a 40 home run guy, but I could see him getting over the 30 homer plateau. If he is available in your league, depending on your roster, he wouldn't be a bad guy to have even if it is just for injury insurance.
Geovany Soto continues to hit and now he added a little power to the equation as he hit his second home run of the season. He is now hitting .366 on the season, but you would love to see more of the ball leaving the park. Given the state of the catcher position, if yours is letting you down, I would give Soto a long look and hope that he is working on a repeat of his rookie season.
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Rick Porcello got tattooed again on Sunday for the second consecutive outing after starting the season hot. He allowed six earned runs in just four innings and struck out just three. He is still a young pitcher and will go through these little rough patches, but Porcello is ultra talented and you should continue to start him regardless of the matchup.
Colby Lewis is still getting a good number of strike outs, but he continues to give up more runs each time he takes the mound. The soon to be 31 year old Rangers hurler gave up four runs and over 6.1 innings and struck out ten. Lewis gave up all of his damage in the first two innings of the game before settling in and keeping the Tigers in check. I am still not buying into this guy being a viable fantasy starter unless you are in dire need of strikeouts. Eventually I think the number of base runners he allows on top of the fact that he has been in the bullpen in the recent past will eventually prove to show that he isn't as good as the start he is off to.
Javier Vasquez got shelled again for the Yankees and is now 1-3. Vasquez gave up five earned runs in just 3.2 innings, walked three and struck out three. I know that Yankee fans are certainly freaking out, and if you own Vasquez I am sure that you are none too happy as well. I would remain patient with Vasquez and continue to start him every time he takes the mound. A few more bad starts and I might considering only spot starting him against weaker competition, but I am a long way from even thinking about letting Vasquez go.
Brandon Wood drove in a couple of runs today, but just barely, and now has a hit in back to back games. Wood put a little dumper into shallow left that Marcus Thames couldn't get to that plated two Angels. I know it sounds ridiculous to report on a guy with one hit in back to back games, but that is where it has ended up for Wood. If this turns into a hot streak he could be worth a look in larger leagues, but right now he is still nothing but an end of the roster guy at best, and that is only if you are related to him. I think pretty much else everyone but me has let him go.
Brad Penny continues to shine for the St. Louis Cardinals as he shutout the Giants over 7.2 innings on Sunday, scattering eight hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out two. While he was shaky at best during his time in the American League, Penny has been great since he came back to the NL with the Giants last season and now the Cardinals. Penny is a huge innings eater, as he has gone at least seven innings in every start so far, and he generally gets more strikeouts. He is an absolute steal as your fifth starter and should produce as more than that. Pitch him right now regardless of the matchup.
Gio Gonzalez got back on the winning path after a subpar outing by shutting out the Indians over seven innings. He only struck out three, but he also allowed only five hits. Gonzalez led the minor leagues in strikeouts one year on the farm, so he definitely has a ton of talent and knows how to finish batters off, so don't shrug this off completely as a fluke. Right now I think Gonzalez is best used as a matchup guy against the weaker teams in the American League, but he certainly has the talent to be more and could work his way into an every start kind of guy with his whiff capabilities. At worst, keep him on your radar.
Kelly Johnson was the man again for the Diamondbacks today as he connected on his seventh homer of the season. It was Johnson's fourth home run in the past three games, and while I think he is a reasonable option at the second base position, I don't want you to go chasing this hot streak too hard. Johnson's career high in home runs is 16 and I just can't imagine him all of a sudden hitting 30 home runs, in fact I would be surprised if he hit 20. If you subscribe to my thinking we are three weeks into the season and he has seven. If he was to max out at 20, that would mean he would only have 13 left in him for the rest of the season which has just over five months left in it. He is a good option as a middle infielder if your league requires that, but I wouldn't pick him up and let any one good go, or think that he will cure your team's ills.
With Brad Hawpe going on the 15 day DL, Seth Smith should be getting some more short term attention on the waiver wire this week. Smith has struggled to find regular playing time in the crowded Rockies outfield, but with Hawpe out of the mix for a while he should get plenty over the next few weeks. Smith has been very productive in his limited time, and even had 15 homers in just 335 ABs last season. He hit two homers on Sunday and already has four on the season. I don't love him long term because of the number of guys who can play his position in Colorado, but as a short term replacement for now he is worth a look.
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