Forget what I said last night about the Cardinals' David Freese at least being in the discussion for NL Rookie of the Year. Jason Heyward was basically given the award in Spring Training and I have to say that he is even surpassing expectations so far in 2010. I figured he would be good for about a .280 average with 20 homers and 80 RBI. Well, it isn't even the end of May and he is nearly halfway to that home run total as he crushed his ninth tonight, and he isn't far off halfway to that RBI total as he drove in runs number 31, 32, and 33 on Friday. It is inevitable that he will slow down at some point here, but he is still worth his weight in gold in any kind of league and should be treated that way.
Tim Hudson was masterful again on Friday and the more I look at his stats, the more I wonder why I really don't have much faith in this guy. Hudson is now nine starts into the season and he is still yet to give up more than three runs in a start after tonight's eight shutout innings. However, he has only struck out five or more twice this year and his 26 strikeouts in 60 innings leaves plenty to be desired. However, five wins already and an ERA of 2.09 is also hard to argue with. For some reason I still struggle to put much faith in him, but numbers are hard to argue with. I sort of doubt that Huddy is out there, but if he is you could probably make worse choices.
Somehow Jonny Gomes is actually putting together a pretty good season in 2010 much to my surprise. Gomes has bounced back and forth between the majors and minors over the past few seasons, mostly because he has yet to master the art of taking a pitch (EVER!). Saying Gomes has plate discipline is like saying Chris Farley was a light eater. But he isn't doing bad in that department and is shockingly batting over .300. Gomes connected on his sixth homer of the year on Friday, but I have absolutely no confidence that this is going to continue. He has big time power potential as he smacked 20 jacks last year in just 98 games, but I just can't see him being consistent enough to warrant the Reds putting him in the lineup every day.
Jacoby Ellsbury is due to return to the Red Sox lineup on Saturday after missing a good deal of time with multiple rib injuries. He hasn't played since April 11 after a collision with teammate Mike Cameron. Ellsbury is apparently still not 100% but feels he is ready to play. Be sure to make the necessary roster moves to get him in your lineup.
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Scott Olsen had his shortest outing in a month as he allowed four runs in just three innings, walking three and striking out only one. I am hoping that this is just an isolated incident and not the start of a trend. But for those of you who have been reading this all along know that I have been half waiting for his wheels to fall off every time he takes the mound. Keep Olsen on your squad and throw him out there again on his next start, but keep him on a very short leash. If he is really bad again next time out, you are going to have to make a tough decision.
Jimmy Rollins left the Phillies game in the sixth inning when it looked like he reinjured the calf that cost him 29 games earlier this season. Rollins started hard out of the box, but was gingerly jogging by the time he got near the bag and immediately came out of the game. Stay tuned for more news on this as the prognosis becomes available.
Javier Vasquez had his best start of the season by far as he allowed just one hit against the New York Mets over six innings and whiffed six. This is now two straight good starts for Vasquez after his horrific start to the season. I don't think that he will revert back to the guy he was in Atlanta last season, but I still think he can win 14 games for the Yankees if he can continue turning the corner. If you have been sitting Vasquez on your bench and not pitching him, I would feel comfortable putting him back in there next time out.
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Elvis Andrus is having a fine sophomore season and it looks like he will surpass last year's numbers, at least in batting average and stolen bases. After hitting just .267 in 2009, Andrus is at .322 after his one hit on Friday and with two more stolen bases he is now up to 17 on the year. He is still yet to hit his first home run, but you should have expected that when you drafted him. Andrus might be able to get to five roundtrippers, but he is going to give you a nice edge in the stolen base department.
So explain this to me. The Tampa Bay Rays just won two games in Yankee Stadium, but somehow they drop the first one to the ASTROS???? Brett Myers was sizzling as he gave up just one unearned run over seven innings and struck out seven. He has been uncharacteristically consistent so far in 2010, but like Scott Olsen earlier, I have kind of been waiting for Myers' wheels to come spinning off as well. But also like Olsen, I would continue to use Myers if I needed some help in the pitching categories.
As soon as you start to lose faith in Mark Buehrle after giving up 23 earned runs in his last five starts he goes out and throws a gem on Friday. He allowed just three hits in eight shutout innings with three strikeouts. Buehrle needs to pitch well to be fantasy relevant because he doesn't get a lot of strikeouts, but he always seems to get about 14 wins and finish the season with an ERA around 3.50.
Jose Guillen had a two home run game on Friday, giving him 11 bombs on the season. He is off to a very good start in 2010, but I still don't have a ton of faith in him for the rest of the season. He could get to 25-26 homers by the end of the season, but he doesn't hit for a great average and he also tends to get injured a couple times a season.
The good news is Brad Penny hit a grand slam, the bad news is it appears that Brad Penny strained muscle in his back on the swing. He tried to warm up the next inning but didn't even start the inning. It is too early to say if this is going to be a long term thing or if he will make his next start.
Wade LeBlanc definitely took one on the chin on Friday. In his worst start of the season, LeBlanc gave up a whopping eight runs in just three innings, and struck out two. He hadn't given up more than two earned runs in any of his first six starts before this nightmare and he had been getting a better than average number of strikeouts. Long term I am not a fan of LeBlanc although it appears that many people do. He is another guy that you can possibly play the hot streak while it lasts, just don't give him a really long leash.
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