Raul Ibanez has started to hit a little more in the last week and even hit his second home run of the season on Thursday. He now has a least one hit in eight of his last ten games, and has two multi-hit games within that streak. I still think that Ibanez is going to shed his early season funk, but I still don't see any way that he even approaches the home run totals he had in 2009. If you can get Ibanez to hit .275 with 23 homers and 90 RBI, I think you should consider yourself well off.
Ryan Doumit has been coming through of late which is good for those who drafted him hoping he would stay healthy. Doumit drove in two runs on Thursday, giving him ten in the past six games. Hitting has never been his problem, but Doumit has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. So far, so good on that front and if you drafted him, I would say keep him on your roster unless you have a chance to get someone fairly young and productive like Geovany Soto who is having a very nice year.
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Garrett Jones got off to a sizzling start and has faded tremendously since then. All in all his numbers are too bad, but his fantasy owners were certainly hoping for more. Jones did drive in three more runs on Thursday to give him 20 on the season already which is good. However, he is batting just .247 and he has four home runs on the season. I know you are thinking that isn't too bad, until you realize that he had three of them in the first two games of the year. Jones still has a chance to be a productive member of your fantasy lineup, but he definitely needs to find the consistency he lacks at this stage.
Despite my assurances that he was truly finished, Ivan Rodriguez continues to hit the baseball. Pudge hit his first home run of the season and is still hitting .403 with 11 RBI in the first month of the year. I still really don't think you can trust him to stay healthy, or to play at anywhere near this level for the rest of the year. Unless you are trying to live through an injury at the catcher position, I would take the pass on Pudge and figure that it is just a matter of time before he turns into a pumpkin.
Scott Olsen is now officially on a roll, and I am starting to believe a little bit. Olsen lasted 7.1 innings, allowed just a single earned run and struck out right. He has now allowed just that one earned run in his last three starts, and this is the second time in his last three trips to the mound that he fanned eight guys. I still don't expect this to last the whole season, but right now you might want to play the hot hand, and there aren't too many hotter than Olsen at this point.
Victor Martinez looks like he might have woken up a little bit, and boy did he need it. Martinez had just three RBI in the last ten games and his batting average had dropped about 25 points over that time frame. However, on Thursday he had two hits including his second homer, and drove in four runs alone. Despite his early season struggles, Martinez will have his numbers when the season is over, so don't do anything crazy like trade him for pennies on the dollar. When September rolls around, you will be more than happy that you still have him.
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Justin Smoak isn't hitting for a dazzling batting average but the young Texas slugger has been true to form in the power department. He connected on his third homer on Thursday in just his 14th major league game and he also has eight RBI over that span. There sure will be some ups and downs like with almost all young players, but Smoak is the real deal, make no mistake about that.
Diasuke Matsuzaka had another rough outing for the Boston Red Sox, but it was a little bit better. Dice allowed five runs in 5.1 innings, walked three and struck out three. This was slightly better than his last time out when he gave up six runs. While he is off to a very poor start, I would still give Matsuzaka another start or two before I thought about cutting bait, but that would be about it. The guy does have some good stuff, but between his health concerns and his inability to throw the ball over the plate consistently, he is a very large risk right now.
Brad Bergeson won his second straight start, and this time he actually deserved the victory. Bergeson has been a train wreck so far this season, but he was masterful on Thursday as he 6.2 shutout innings although he did not record a strikeout. This was the first time all year that he didn't allow four earned runs or more, and while he isn't a strikeout master, the fact that he got none tonight is very concerning. Unless he has a major turnaround like last season, I would leave Bergeson where he belongs in free agency.
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