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For those of you who didn't hear, I was hospitalized for three days with a hideous case of the flu (throwing up 20 times, and I'm not exaggerating for effect, ain't fun). I'm back at it today, at least I'm trying to be. Fantasy Alarm pays me to be witty and informative. I will not be witty today, so let's hope I will be informative. With this being the first day of May, the season is unofficially a sixth over, let's look back on a handful of players who excelled in April or those who were unable to get things on track. Again, nothing witty, but hopefully there will be some things in here that are at least informative.
Ever wonder where the Angels would have been had Mike Trout not been called up to save the day? Angels fans shudder to think about it and fantasy owners of Trout want little to do with a baseball world that doesn’t include the 20-year old center fielder. With his incredibly humble, team-first attitude and his .355-64-13-44-30 batting line, Trout has injected new life into this game that simply gets everyone excited about the game.
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.
Jim Thome may not have a lick of fantasy value left in him these days, but the guy can still make headlines, can’t he? And the best part about it is that, unlike so many other things going in the sports world these days, it’s for something positive. How sick and tired are you of hearing about this Jerry Sandusky crap? How about some more Roger Clemens steroids articles? So when Thome set the record for most walk-off home runs by a single player, I was genuinely excited for him. The stuff about Jonathan Papelbon blowing the save and then offering Thome $5K to win it for the Phillies was cute and all, but to me, that was much more secondary to watching a guy who, at the age of 41, can still bring the lumber.
When Todd Wilhelmsen closed out the ninth inning of the Mariners’ 1-0 win over the Dodgers, it wasn’t just another save chance for the 28-year old right-hander. The third and final out that he recorded put the Mariners in the MLB record books as the 10th team in major league history to throw a combined no-hitter and the second team to accomplish the feat with the most pitchers used – six – joining the 2003 Houston Astros who last threw a combined no-no against the New York Yankees. It was also the third no-hitter in Mariners history. Kevin Millwood started the action, throwing six no-hit innings, but was forced to leave the game afterwards due to a groin strain. Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor combined to finish the seventh inning, Lucas Luetge and Brandon League handled the eight and Wilhelmsen came in and with just nine pitches need, finished the job off with a perfect ninth.
While I could sit here and run down the concept of interleague play and talk about how it cheapens the meaning of the World Series because these teams have now all played each other several times over a few year span, I’ll take the glass is half full approach here and relish in the fact that when we near interleague play, the week is filled with a full slate of games every day. No slow Monday or Thursday here; every team is playing. And with that full slate of games comes the usual excitement and fanfare that all full baseball days bring. But on Monday, we had the excitement of a number of firsts. And nothing’s better than your first, right?
More often than not, the MLB record books and record-breaking moments have very little impact on the fantasy baseball world. Sure, it’s amazing to see a pitcher win his 300th game or to watch a player get his 3000th hit, but for the sake of the fantasy game, it’s just another win or just another hit. Usually the player already has a high-profile, so his cost is already pretty high and it’s not like you’re plucking a potential Hall of Fame candidate off your league’s waiver wire. But sometimes a record comes to the foreground and brings attention to a player who doesn’t often see the spotlight. That player today is Washington Nationals starter Edwin Jackson.
Prince Fielder trusted his agent and waited, and waited, and waited. It paid off as the Tigers signed him to the 4th largest deal in the history of baseball. Will he continue to have success in Detroit? At this time of year everyone talks about projections. I'll give my thoughts on why I think number projections are a shell game that no one really has the answer to. I'll also touch on two relatively minor signings – Bartolo Colon to the A's and Wilson Betemit to the Orioles – and tell you which one has the potential to be a more significant move for the 2012 season.
Happy Memorial Day! Today we pay tribute to the men and women who serve in our Armed Forces, and take the time to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives in defense of this country. We at Fantasy Alarm have nothing but the utmost respect for those who serve and have served to protect us and the liberties and principles of the United States. We thank you for your service this day. It is a rough transition to fantasy baseball, but Memorial Day has become a big day in the Major League Baseball season. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the news of the day in Rounding The Bases.
The first weekend of the regular season is upon us and players are still just getting their feet wet. We have a bunch of pitchers with high expectations getting off to slow starts, and a few under the radar guys who looked like world beaters.There is some injury news tonight about one of the top pitchers, the top closers, and one of the top young hitters in baseball. As always, sign up for the Fantasy Alarm service to have updates on your players sent to you either by text message or emailed directly to your inbox. It is the fantasy owner's best friend. I just have one question for you....