Daily Dose of All the MLB Action - May 20th
First off, I apologize for my hiatus. Between working two jobs and coaching little league I have been hard pressed to find time to sit down and enjoy baseball, let alone write about it. With last night's schedule I wanted to take a moment to divulge some potentially fantasy relevant on-goings.
Major League and fantasy teams are dealing with an elbow injury epidemic in 2014. It's bonkers to think that we've had 19 TJ's already and we're not through May. It's not just the pitchers dealing with injuries either; names like Bryce Harper, Jason Kipnis, Jay Bruce, Mark Trumbo, Matt Weiters and Brandon Belt are significant names with substantial disabled list stints. While some owners get lucky and miss the injury bug it seems no one has gone unscathed in 2014. AL Rookie of the Year hopeful Jose Abreu has even caught the injury bug after a sizzling first month and a half. There's nothing you can do to prepare for injuries, they're part of the game, which is why we have the waiver wire in fantasy baseball.
Even with a 5 game slate on a lame baseball starved Monday injuries can pop up and jobs become less secure. The back end of the bullpen for two teams were a bit hazy Monday night.
Carving Out a Closer
Chicago White Sox closer Matt Lindstrom suffered an ankle or foot injury while misplaying a bunt in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Patricka came in and shut the door, notching his first career save after Lindstrom hobbled off the field with the trainer. The potential options for Robin Ventura are Daniel Webb, Jake Petricka and Ronald Belisario, in that order in my opinion. Petricka could be the dark horse however if Ventura chooses to keep Webb in the setup role. Belisario is least likely to take the job.
In another bullpen blunder of late, the Indians "committee" approach may have gained clarity tonight had everything gone smoothly. However, after Brian Shaw tossed a clean 8th inning, Cody Allen faltered in the ninth giving up a game tying pinch-hit solo homer to J.D. Martinez. In my estimation you will see Brian Shaw get the next opportunity, and with his nasty slider and heat combo he could easily snag the gig for good. At least, until John Axford is given a shot again. [shudder]
One more bonus buy for you before I sign off. Rockies right hander Adam Ottavino has allowed just one hit over his last 4.2 IP (5 appearances). And with Rex Brothers scuffling, he could be next in line should LaTroy Hawkins falter. Hawkins has allowed 12 hits, 4 runs and a walk over his last 5 IP (6 appearances). With everyone else thinking Brothers is next in line, it would behoove you to think progressively and snag Ottavino before he gets more pub.
Crumbs on the plate: Jason Motte has rejoined the St. Louis Cardinals and is now my next in line for saves if Trevor Rosenthal continues to struggle. I would monitor Rosenthal closely this week. Waiting until the end of the week to grab Motte would be an oversight at this point. Spend $3 FAAB on him now instead of $15 next week.
It's good to be back.