Rounding The Bases tonight is will be completely in Spanish tonight to celebrate Cinco De Mayo, which has somehow become a holiday here in the States. Do we need another reason to drink? Can't we just have a few beers when we want to without stealing other country's holidays? There are a few injury notes included inside as well as one former prominent slugger finally hit his first homer of the year in dramatic fashion. As always there is plenty of news on the starting pitching of the night and much more so please enjoy Rounding Los Bases.
Kevin Slowey won his fourth game of the season, and while he hasn't really been dominant this season, he has been good enough to be a successful fantasy pitcher. He threw 5.2 innings on Wednesday, allowed three runs, didn't walk anyone and struck out three. Slowey is allowing an awful lot of baserunners, but he has only allowed more than three earned runs once this season. I have a little bit of an unnatural feeling about Slowey and feel you should continue to start him regardless of the competition.
Young Tigers catcher Alex Avila connected on his first two homers of the season, which could be the first two in a string of a bunch of them if he could get the starting catching job for Detroit. Last season in AA Avila hit 12 homers and drove in 55 runs in 93 games. His competition is starter Gerald Laird who fouled a ball off his shin the other night and is also hitting just .141. He isn't someone that you should be moving to add to your roster unless you are in an AL-only league with a nice sized bench or a traditional league with 16 teams or more. Avila has a lot of talent, but unless Laird goes on the DL, he will likely just get a few starts while the injury heals.
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Trevor Cahill took the mound again for the Athletics and had much better results the second time around. Cahill threw five innings, allowed just one unearned run, walked two, and struck out four. He was a highly touted prospect along with Brett Anderson for Oakland but hasn't had similar success. He was 10-13 in 2009 with a 4.63 ERA and just 90 Ks in 178 innings pitched. Cahill shouldn't be considered unless you are in a deeper league at this point, but you might want to keep an eye on him. However, I want a nice string of good starts before I consider adding him.
Johnny Cueto had one of his better starts of the season today against the Mets as he lasted six innings, gave up three runs, walked two, and struck out eight. Cueto now has an ERA of 5.18 and his WHIP is over 1.50. This was the first time this season he had more than five strikeouts, which is why most of you drafted him. He has not gone longer than six innings in any start and in four of six outings he has walked two or less. Cueto still struggles with consistency and will remain an average starter until he solves that issue. He still should be on a roster in every fantasy league because of his potential to be a top notch starter.
Brandon Morrow had another quality start as he gave up three runs in 5.1 innings and struck out nine. This was the fourth straight time he struck out at least eight and gave up three runs or less. He hasn't pitched into the seventh inning yet this season, but considering how much time he missed last season, perhaps that is a good thing to keep his innings in check this year. Morrow is now someone who should be owned in leagues.
Ian Desmond had a home run for the second straight game, but I am not going to get all excited and think that he is all of a sudden going to turn into a power hitter. This was his third homer of the year, and his career high in the minor leagues was 13. He could possibly get to that number this year, but in all honesty I am not counting on it. I am thinking that Desmond can end up with around 10 homers this season, and hopefully he will improve his speed game as well. He is a reasonable player to have if your league requires a middle infield position, but other than that he is injury insurance at best right now.
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Barry Zito improved to 5-0 as he had another incredibly impressive start. Zito threw seven innings, gave up just one run, walked one, and struck out four. He now has a 1.49 ERA and a WHIP of just 0.92. Zito has given up one earned run or less in four of six starts, and he should continue to give you a decent number of strikeouts. In 2009, Zito struck out 154 batters in 192 innings pitched and I believe that he should have around the same ratio this season. I am officially a Zito believer for 2010.
Kyle Kendrick was absolutely dealing against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday and had an amazing start. He did not allowed an earned run in seven innings, walked just two and struck out just three. However, please don't be lured into adding Kendrick by this start. He has allowed four or more earned runs in four of six starts and has had three strikeouts or less in five or six times to the mound. Kendrick is a borderline major league pitcher and should not be concerned in any fantasy league at this point.
Carlos Zambrano has been pitching pretty well out of the bullpen and you have to wonder how much longer the Cubs will keep him there. He had his third straight appearance in which he didn't allow a run and collected a strikeout as well. There is no doubt that Zambrano is not nearly the pitcher that he used to be, but I still don't think he belongs in the 'pen either. I don't know if he should be on your roster anymore though as he is in the bullpen and when he has been a starter he has been more bad than good over the past couple seasons.
Brandon Wood hit his second home run in about a week which makes me happy, but there are still some disturbing signs when you look at his numbers. Besides the fact that he is batting just .185, Wood has just two walks in 81 at bats this season, and has struck out 25 times in 25 games which for him sadly isn't that bad. I still really like Wood and hope that he can figures out major league hitting but right now I may be one of few who actually have him on a roster and that probably isn't a good thing.
Carlos Lee connected on his first homer of the season and it was in walk off fashion. Lee's blast that gave the Astros the win over the Arizona Diamondbacks also left Minute Maid Park over the train tracks. Lee is clearly on the downside of his career, but still should at least be on someone's roster even if it isn't in their starting lineup.
Andy Pettitte left stiffness in his upper left forearm and Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted that this was the second straight start that Pettitte complained of stiffness in the arm, and while there hasn't been any diagnosis yet, this could be trouble for the aging Yankee pitcher. I wouldn't be surprised if he misses a start or two, but stay tuned here for the news on this injury when we get concrete news we will pass it along.
Jason Heyward left tonight's game with a strained right groin and the Braves have got to be hoping their hearts out that this doesn't turn into something serious. Heyward has been the most exciting thing about the Braves this season and not only would they miss his production, but I can see their attendance suffering as well. Right now it doesn't appear to be too serious, but this is another injury that you need to keep your eyes on to see if there is any timeframe set for his return.
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