The end of week number nine has come and gone and the action continues to be hot and heavy. The vast majority of the news tonight is focused on starting pitching, but there is some quick hitting news on some injuries and of course the latest on Stephen Strasburg.
Carlos Zambrano is going back into the Chicago Cubs rotation and will be starting Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. I am not a fan of Zambrano by any stretch of the imagination as he is too volatile and inconsistent to be able to count on. He might be the best guy available on your waiver wire and could be worth a look, but just don't expect Zambrano from earlier in his career.
Max Scherzer had a triumphant return from the minor leagues as he completely baffled the Athletics over 5.2 innings. Scherzer gave up no earned runs but struck out 14 batters out of a possible 17 outs that he was in the game for. I still can't say that I am ready to trust Scherzer 100% after this effort, but there is no doubt that he got my attention, and in any leagues where he is available and you have a free spot, definitely give him a chance.
Anibal Sanchez is proving yet again when he is healthy that he can be a very effective major league pitcher. Unfortunately for Sanchez he has a hard time staying on the mound. A day after being the victim of a perfect game, Sanchez pitched his team to a 1-0 victory with 6.2 shutout innings while striking out seven. He hasn't given up more than three earned runs in a start since the middle of April, and has won four straight starts. Again, just be aware that Anibal generally gets hurt every single season as he has never made more than 17 starts in a season. Ride the hot streak as long as it lasts, but be ready to cut ties with him or stash him when he goes down.
Justin Masterson pitched reasonably well enough that he could have finally gotten a win, but again his bullpen lets him down. Masterson allowed three earned runs over 6.2 innings and struck out eight against the New York Yankees. I still think that Masterson is a very talented guy, but has just been unable to pitch well enough and catch a little luck to grab a win. You can not start Masterson unless you are in a very deep league, but like I have said before, keep this guy on your radar as he might be able to turn things around later in the season.
Do you need to know when your players are injured? When your fringe players will be out of the lineup? When your injured stars will be returning to their team's lineups? Do yourself a favor and go sign up for Fantasy Alarm (www.fantasyalarm.com). Fantasy Alarm is the breaking news email/text system that delivers all the latest news including starting lineups, probable starting pitchers, disable list moves and minor league call ups directly to your cell phone or email inbox. Enter promo code: Fighting Chance for a 20% discount or a 30 day free trial of the Fantasy Alarm service.
Joel Zumaya continues to pitch well for the Detroit Tigers and even recorded a save on Sunday. Don't get excited and think that he has supplanted Jose Valverde as the closer, Zumaya came in during the eighth inning and then he just stayed in for the last inning after the Tigers blew the game open in the eighth. But Zumaya is certainly looking like the guy that grabbed the fantasy world's attention early in his career with an electric fastball. If anything was to happen to Valverde, Zumaya would be a very coveted free agent. However, unless your league rewards holds, he might not do enough to warrant a roster spot right now.
David Ortiz is still lighting up the scoreboard as he hit his 11th homer of the season on Sunday and has now driven in at least one run in eight of his last 11 games. We all obviously know who Big Papi is and I don't think there is any doubt anymore that he is going to be a legitimate run producer for the rest of the season. He is still a low end option at first base, but there is no way that he should be a free agent in any type league anymore.
Felipe Paulino didn't get a win today, but he is now on a nice little streak and could turn into a decent pickup in deeper leagues or the NL-only variety. He had his best start of the season against the Cincinnati Reds, scattering four hits over eight innings and striking out five. Paulino has now given up two runs or less in four of his last five starts, and while his strikeout numbers aren't eye popping, 54 whiffs in 59 innings isn't too shabby. He is yet to pick up that first win in 2010, and probably shouldn't be on your roster just yet, but he is definitely someone to keep on your radar.
Is there really a need for me to chronicle the pitching of Mike Leake anymore? The kid is a stud and never spent a second in the minor leagues. He has only given up more than three earned runs in a start once this season and should absolutely be starting for you every time he takes the mound no matter who his opponent is. He still hasn't suffered his first loss so there is probably a slight cold streak in his future, but I really see Leake as being a prominent fantasy pitcher for all of 2010.
Fantazzle is the ultimate online fantasy gaming site. Play the Fantazzle daily or weekly fantasy baseball game to compete against the best in the fantasy business and win cash. You can also play Fantazzle for FREE and win smaller cash prizes. Be sure to check out the Fantazzle Fighting Chance Baseball game coming soon to www.fantazzle.com.
Howie Kendrick had a two home run game on Sunday, and although he has been better he still is not the guy that we thought he would be when he came to the majors. We had always heard that Kendrick will be a multiple batting title champion, but after two months of the season he is hitting just .251. Kendrick has been near .300 for the past couple of seasons so you would think that there is a hot streak coming, but I don't know when he is going to be the guy who is going to hit .330 or more like expected. All that being said he is still worthy of being a starting second baseman in traditional 12 team leagues, but a lower tier starter.
Don't look now but Evan Longoria has ten stolen bases. Longoria hasn't broken double digits in steals in either of his first two seasons so this is somewhat of a surprise. Just when I thought one of my favorite fantasy players couldn't get any better, now he is adding stolen bases to the mix.
Stephen Strasburg is going to get another start for the Nationals' AAA affiliate in Syracuse on Thursday, which means that he won't be starting on Friday as first reported. However, it is just a matter of time before he pitches in Washington and if you already made the move on him, hold on to Strasburg. There is no way that he makes another minor league start after this one.
Andre Ethier has finished his minor league rehab assignment and should be back with the Dodgers on Monday. Make that roster move right away to get him back into your lineups, Ethier was leading the free world in almost every statistical category when he went down.
We welcome your comments anytime right here or by emailing us at email@example.com . We guarantee a response within 18 hours. Remember to listen to Fighting Chance Radio on Tuesday night at 9:30 PM EST and Sunday Night at 11 PM EST on The Fantasy Sports Channel or www.blogtalkradio.com/fightingchanceradio.
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