Happy Memorial Day everyone, we hope you had a good day doing whatever it was that you did. It was an absolutely gorgeous three day weekend here in upstate New York with perfect weather every day. However, please don't lose sight of why we celebrated this weekend. Take a moment to thank those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this great country of ours, and thank those who are currently serving. I have the utmost respect for every single person who has ever been in the armed forces as well as their families who have the difficult job of carrying on with their loved ones away. Thank you for all that you do!
Wow, talk about hot! Ubaldo Jimenez outdueled Tim Lincecum and ran his record to 10-1 on the season with another complete game shutout on Memorial Day. Jimenez scattered four hits over the nine innings and struck out nine. I would imagine that he has to cool off eventually, there is no way that Baldy can go 26-2 and have an ERA under 1.00 for the whole season. Even though it is inevitable that he will have some bad starts on the horizon, he certainly has become one of fantasy's finest this year and should be treated that way.
Yunel Escobar looks like he finally might start hitting as he has back to back multi-hit games on Sunday and Monday and drove two runs today. Escobar was a guy that I liked coming into the season as a possible guy to have as a backup or in your middle infield position if your league requires that spot. He has averaged 12 homers and 68 RBI with a near .300 batting average the past couple of seasons. He is going to have to start doing some work to get to those numbers again, but I feel fairly confident that he will have a few nice hot streaks during the season and is someone that is at least worth being injury insurance for your middle infield.
Cody Ross has been an underrated source of power the past few seasons, but through the first two months of 2010 he hadn't really done much. His batting average has been hovering around .300 which is a nice change for Ross, but a guy who has averaged 23 homers and 81 RBI over the past two years had just four coming into today and two of those were in the same game. Well, Ross pounded out his fifth tater of the season on Monday and maybe this will get him going. If you drafted Ross you might want to keep him on your bench, although like I said his batting average hasn't been bad. I would definitely give him more time to turn this around, and hopefully he will go on a tear and cross that 20 home run plateau again this season.
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Rickie Weeks is still healthy and is still swinging a hot bat here in 2010, and while I am not a Weeks believer it is hard to argue with what he is doing. After a two homer game on Sunday Weeks was at it again with another two hit game and he drove in two more runs. Weeks is already getting close to his career high in most categories, although he is hitting just .251. Ride the hot streak as long as you can with Weeks at a premium position, just don't be surprised if he slumps badly or gets hurt.
Stephen Strasburg is now supposed to make his major league debut on June 8th against the Pittsburgh Pirates (I almost typed Steelers, ha ha). I am not sure why they gave him the extra start in AAA, maybe they wanted him to face the worst possible team so instead of Cincinnati he will now mow down the Pirates in his first start. Mark your calendars, this should be exciting.
Garrett Jones hit his sixth homer of the season on Monday, and although he still isn't hitting for the power he did in 2009, he is doing better than I thought. I would like to see his batting average improve, but he did hit just .207 in April, so the fact that his average is now .261 is an encouraging sight. The thing that I am liking about Jones is that he is actually driving in runs this season. Somehow with 21 homers in just 81 games last year he managed to drive in just 44 runs. This season, although the home runs are down, he already has 31 RBI and that is with a disappointing start. I think if someone let him go in your league I would scoop him up and stash him on the bench for a while, I have a feeling that Jones is going to get hot with the power sometime soon.
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Brad Lidge was activated off the 15 day DL after missing 18 games with elbow stiffness. He came into a lopsided game and pitched a perfect eighth inning, striking out one. He might get eased back into the closer's role a little, but I would say by the end of the week at the latest he should be back at the end of games for the Phillies. How he will do, or when he will get hurt again is anyone's guess. If you are running with Lidge this season (and going forward for that matter) you are playing a risky game, and could roll craps at any time. He is one of the ultimate high risk/high reward type of players. Jose Contreras likely works into the 8th inning role for the time being, but if you picked him up I would hold on to him. He was three for three in save opps and becomes valuable again if something happens to Lidge.
Derek Jeter left the game on Monday in the seventh inning with tightness in his hamstring, a few innings after being hit by a pitch. Manager Joe Girardi just said that it stiffened up on him after a base hit in the seventh and he would be evaluated tomorrow to see the extent of the injury. Throughout his career Jeter has proved over and over that it takes nearly amputation of a limb for him to miss a game due to injury so I would be surprised if he missed any more than one game, and wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he was in the Yankee lineup tomorrow.
Somehow the Blue Jays are being very successful when two of their stars from 2009, Aaron Hill and Adam Lind are both disappointing. However, both have started to show some signs of breaking out of it recently. Hill had two hits and drove in his 18th run of the year, but in the last ten days he four home runs and six RBI. Unfortunately, he is still batting in the .170s, but I believe that has to improve. Lind hit his eighth home run, his second in the last ten days to go with five RBI. His batting average is also a horrible .226 but he is another one that I think has to turn it around. I have more faith in these two Blue Jays than I do in Jose Bautista and Alex Gonzalez, the two hitters that have carried Toronto offensively for the first two months of the year.
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