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With 30 major league teams, 40-man rosters for each one, and a slew of minor league affiliates filled with baseball’s rank and file and a First-Year Player Draft adding hundreds of names to the mix, you’d think there would be more to talk about than Yasiel Puig and Biogenesis, right? Yet everywhere you look, those are the headlines we continue to see. So allow me to address these two things one last time. Yes, I’m sure Puig’s name will find its way in and out of a daily recap article from time to time and once the final decisions on suspensions are announced we’ll throw the named names into a little section near the injuries part, but for a focal point of discussion, this is it. We’ve wasted far too much time already on them and personally, I think Mark Appel is a much tastier topic, even if he’s now stuck on the Astros.
Though it was a typical short slate of games Thursday, the night was jam-packed with big names and big stories. There was the much-anticipated match-up between Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish, Bryce Harper was back on the field to lend his support to teammate and fellow superstar Stephen Strasburg who was still looking for his first win since Opening Day, the Mariners were looking for their first series win at Yankee Stadium in what seemed like a bazillion years, and there were aces abound with the likes of Adam Wainwright, Jose Fernandez, Mat Latos and Matt Cain all taking the hill. Yet with all of that star power front and center and in the spotlight, none of it compared to what was actually my favorite part of the night.
It was the great Terrence Mann who once said, “The one constant through all the years…has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time.” I know exactly where I was when I heard the news that Thurman Munson, my childhood idol, died in a plane crash. I had my first real kiss during the summer of the year Cal Ripken, Jr. won the Rookie of the Year award. Craig Biggio’s MLB debut was on the TV as I sat in the hospital waiting room following the worst car accident I’ve ever been in. A strike robbed the Montreal Expos of a probable World Series championship the year I met my wife and Albert Pujols won his first title the year we got married. So when I sat there watching Andy Pettitte pitch eight innings of one-run ball to shut down the Red Sox and Mariano Rivera closed it out for the team’s first win of the season, I have to admit, it felt a little strange as I knew I was literally watching the end of an era.
A quick question for all you keeper league owners out there who love to protect starting pitching – why? With a position as deep as starting pitching is and with the ease of which pitchers get hurt, why is there such a need to protect any starters outside of the super-elite like Justin Verlander. Wednesday actually presents you with just a slice out of the “why you don’t protect starting pitching” pie. On a day when CC Sabathia was put on the DL with a strained groin, Andy Pettitte was lost to a broken ankle on a comebacker to the mound and Daniel Hudson headed to Dr. James Andrews to confirm his torn UCL and need for Tommy John surgery, you saw some unbelievable pitching performances from some rather unassuming names like Lucas Harrell, Jarrod Parker, Jonathon Niese, Clayton Richard and Jordan Zimmermann. And like I said, Wednesday was just a slice of the pie. The rest can be seen throughout the year just by running down some of the names on the stats page of your league’s web site.
Apologies for the late start here today, folks, but sometimes life just throws you a few curveballs and today I’m swinging more like early-movie Pedro Cerrano. Jobu is not helping me do nothing here! But better late than never, right? So let’s get down to business and the first thing I want to do is to hit on one more pitching item that yesterday’s “pitcher injury” piece seemed to spark. I received a few emails actually asking, so what better way to address the big question than to do it right here: What the heck do I do with Tim Lincecum?
Hey, thanks. It’s good to be back. In case you haven’t noticed, the powers-that-be here at Fantasy Alarm have instructed me to take a little time for myself on days with a short slate of games and save the recaps for days that are a little more chock-full of news and excitement. Not that Monday didn’t have its fair share of news and excitement, but look at how much we have to choose from on Tuesday. There were 33 home runs hit with three multi-homer efforts, 21 bases stolen, five winning starting pitchers who went six or more innings and recorded shutouts, four double-digit strikeout performances and eight, yes eight, blown saves. A big day? I’d say so. Plenty of highs, plenty of lows and a whole lot of stuff in between.
Just like in real life, fantasy squads depend on the man on the hill to lead their team to fantasy greatness. The problem, as it is in real life, is choosing the right men to lead that squad. In what follows we'll profile five hurlers – Phil Hughes, Matt Moore, Jarrod Parker, Ervin Santana, Ryan Vogelsong – and give our thoughts on whether or not you should be counting on them. We'll then hit on some of the lead stories in the game from Tuesday night including the demotion of Bard, the en feugo bats of Quentin and Rasmus, and the suddenly dominating left arms of Liriano and Pettitte.
While the traditionalist inside me loathes the idea of interleague play, I can’t deny that it brought on a world of excitement in its first night of the 2012 season. There were pitcher’s duels, big nights at the plate, and a world of drama. Just the Cubs/White Sox game alone was loaded with enough action that had you on the edge of your seat for some time. Between Paul Konerko taking a pitch to the face and Kerry Wood’s mid-game retirement (did you see his kid come running out of the dugout and into his arms? Holy tearjerker!) I was glued to the TV. I might not dig the whole money-grubbing aspect that interleague has brought on, because that (the almighty dollar) is why it’s done these days, but I won’t deny that I watched some pretty good ball on Friday. Here’s a look at the highlights.
This is a big week we’re heading into as interleague play is almost upon us and every team is gearing up to play a full slate of games. Hard to believe we’re already at that point as the season just seems to be flying by. Since yesterday’s format seemed to give way to me covering a little more information, we’re going to stick with it in an effort to make sure that you have everything you need to set up the strongest lineup possible for the week. There’s plenty to cover, so let’s get started.