Just a quick look and acknowledgement of the highlights from Thursday as I just don’t have it in me to perpetuate the hype-machine and feed into the Yasiel Puig lovefest that’s going on. He had a phenomenal spring and three of his first four games have been absolutely fantastic. But while I may own him on a few of my fantasy teams and have been lucky enough to benefit from his white-hot start, I’m not quite ready to ship his cleats off to Cooperstown and start engraving the plaque just yet. We’ve seen a number of ballplayers come and go over the years, many who have gotten off to hot starts such as this. Some have lasted. Some haven’t. So for those who are freaking out over Puig’s start, tread lightly. It’s four games in right now. Let’s see where we’re at after say, 40 or 50 more. The Cuban hype is on such overdrive that I've stopped drinking mojitos in protest.
Now let's hit the highlights...
Fantasy Beast of the Day
|Yoenis Cespedes, OF OAK||2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI|
The honors for Thursday’s top performance go to the other Cuban guy everyone seems to have forgotten about – Yoenis Cespedes. While most eyes are locked onto Puig, Cespedes had his second multi-homer game in the last three days and is now batting .444 (8-for-18) with four home runs, six RBI and six runs scored during the current scoring period. He’s currently on pace for 33 home runs this season and has finally started to pick up the batting average -- .245 right now, the highest it’s been all year. The speed game is lagging though as he only has just two successful stolen bases in seven attempts, but perhaps that’s coming soon. The important fact is that he’s finally starting to hit again.
|Yasiel Puig, OF LAD||2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI|
|Daniel Descalso, 2B STL||3-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB|
|Cameron Maybin, OF SD||2-5, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SB|
|Phil Hughes, SP NYY||W, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, 7 K|
|Max Scherzer, SP DET||W, 1.29 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 9 K|
Yeah, yeah. Puig Shmuig. Enough already. Blah blah blah. First career grand slam. Blah blah blah. Let’s talk about someone else.
OK, so maybe moving onto Daniel Descalso is like forcing you to chew up some Ambien and watch a ballgame. But if you look a little closer, you’ll notice that he is 6-for-11 (.545) with a home run, five RBI, three runs scored and a stolen base. He’s pinch-hit a couple of times in between those starts, but should he start to get a little hot, Pete Kozma could see a reduction in playing time. Be careful to all of you NL-only and super-deep mixed leaguers who are using him.
I do like talking about the return of Cameron Maybin though. For those of you just joining us, Maybin has been my fantasy Achilles heel for a number of years now and seeing him jump back into the fray with a pair of stolen bases like that is just what I needed to overrate him in my mind and get him back into my active lineup in every league I can. I say it each and every season – maybe this is the year he finally puts it all together and lives up to that 5-tool potential we have all been waiting on. Well guess what…? Maybe it’s this year.
Nice to see Phil Hughes rebound after a tough outing the last time he was on the hill. He now has three quality starts in his last four outings and owns a 2.95 ERA and a 25:6 K:BB over that span. Look for him to continue that success when he heads to pitcher-friendly Oakland to take on the A’s next week.
Max Scherzer keeps rolling along nicely and is killing it for fantasy owners. Currently 8-0 with a 3.24 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, Scherzer could, in fact, get better as the season progresses. His FIP is 2.36 (2.80 xFIP) and he’s got a 2.62 SIERA which shows that even if he isn’t dominating with his 10.80 K/9, he’s still making hitters look feeble at the plate. He hit a bit of a rough patch in early May when he allowed a total of nine runs in two starts, but since then, he has four consecutive quality starts with a 1.86 ERA and a 32:8 K:BB.
|Jimmy Paredes, OF HOU||0-4, 4 K|
|Justin Upton, OF ARI||0-3, BB, 3 K|
|Michael Morse, OF SEA||0-4, 3 K|
|Aaron Harang, SP SEA||L, 23.14 ERA, 3.43 WHIP, 3 K|
|Ian Kennedy, SP ARI||L, 22.50 ERA, 3.75 WHIP, 4 K|
Everyone has a bad day, don’t they? Some more than others – am I right, Aaron Harang? At some point I think we’d all like to see the Mariners put him out to pasture and bring up the likes of Danny Hultzen or Tijuan Walker.
Zach McAllister, SP CLE – finger (out for at least another week)
Dexter Fowler, OF COL – illness (day to day)
Tyler Chatwood, SP COL – triceps (out for June 8 start)
Jose Altuve, 2B HOU – groin (day to day)
Mark Ellis, 2B LAD – groin (day to day)
Hyun-Jin Ryu, SP LAD – foot (questionable for June 7 start)
Chris Coghlan, OF MIA – calf (day to day)
Placido Polanco, 2B MIA – illness (day to day)
Lucas Duda, OF NYM – quadriceps (day to day)
Wandy Rodriguez, SP PIT – forearm (questionable for next start)
Yonder Alonso, 1B SD – hand (15-day DL)
Angel Pagan, OF SF – hamstring (day to day)
Jesus Sucre, C SEA – wrist (day to day)
Kelly Johnson, 2B/OF TB – back (day to day)
Jake McGee, RP TB – shin (day to day)
Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for over a decade on a variety of web sites. You can find his personal musings on RotobuzzGuy.com and for questions, thoughts or comments, you can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rounding The Bases - Todd Zola Looks At The First 10 Rounds of a Likely 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft
Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola - Looking Ahead To The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Season
Rounding The Bases - Master Fantasy Baseball Notes From Todd Zola
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (20 Prospects for '14)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 24
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (September Call-Ups)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 23
Rounding the Bases: A Day For the Little Man
Rounding The Bases: Morse, Willingham On the Move?
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Roster Expansion)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 22
Rounding the Bases: Five Surging Pitchers & Hitters
Rounding the Bases: Rookies, Veterans & Roster Movement
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Pitching Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week 21
Master Notes From Todd Zola - Taking A Look at Starting Pitching In Keeper Leagues
Rounding the Bases: Small Names, Big Production?
Rounding the Bases: A First for Stephen Strasburg and the (Near) Final Round-Up
The Farm Report: Minor League Baseball Coverage From A Fantasy Perspective (Hitting Help On The Way!)
2013 Fantasy Baseball Waiver Pickups: Week Twenty