Daily MLB Roundup & Fantasy Analysis
I tried to be productive at work yesterday-- I really did. I failed miserably. Opening Day is like no other day in American sports. The 162-game marathon kicks off in spring with every team holding aspirations of World Series trophy hoisting celebrations and champagne-poppin’ clubhouse parties. Wait, why don’t we celebrate fantasy championships this way? Someone look into that for me.
Fantasy owners, no doubt, went to bed Saturday night with visions of sugarplums dancing in anticipation yesterday's action. I know I'm not alone in my childlike glee. Rosters are set, diabolical fantasy strategy is now in motion and we are a full go! It’s mutha-flippin BASEBALL SEASON BABY!
As I did last season, I will once again be the fantasy closer of sorts for RotoBaller.com, spinning all the previous day’s news, highlights and fantasy-relevant information in one beastly article delivered straight to your fantasy baseball starved eyeballs. Like a mother bird pre-digesting a meal for her chirping spry birdlettes, don’t worry my children, Momma’s gonna feed ya.
So without further introduction, I give you the Daily Roundup:
HOT NEWS: Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke has named Francisco Rodriguez the teams closer “for now,” stating that the team wants Jim Henderson to “get his stuff back.” Who knows when that will be? Go add K-Rod everywhere possible.
HOT NEWS: Bobby Parnell visited a doctor Tuesday morning after feeling tightness in his forearm during Monday's game, and he was diagnosed with a partial tear of the MCL in his right elbow. Jose Valverde will assume the closer role, IMMEDIATE ADD!
- Felix Hernandez gave up a two-run blast to Mike Trout in the first, then became his usual dominantly stingy self as he struck out 11 in the Mariners 10-3 victory over the Angels. Justin Smoak fired a three-run shot and Robinson Cano was 2 for 4 with a double in his Mariners debut.
- Justin Masterson tossed seven strong innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out four. Cody Allen vultured the win and John Axford notched his first save while striking out two. Sonny Gray danced out of danger all night while striking out seven and getting out of multiple jams before Jim Johnson eventually coughed up two runs to break the 0-0 tie in the ninth.
- The Tigers walked off the Royals with a game-winning single by new addition Alex Gonzalez (2 RBI in the game). Neither James Shields nor Justin Verlander were particularly sharp. Victor Martinez launched a solo shot and Salvador Perez was 4 for 4 with an RBI. Joe Nathan picked up the win with a clean top of the ninth before the walk-off score.
- The Orioles edged the Red Sox with a strong performance by the bullpen and a homer by Nelson Cruz. Jon Lester was tabbed with the loss despite an eight-strikeout performance. Grady Sizemore stamped his comeback with a solo home run in the loss. Tommy Hunter nailed down the save.
- David Price (7.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K) earned a win as the Rays got to R.A. Dickey for 6 ER. Matt Joyce knocked in three runs with his 2-for-2 day. Will Myers was 3 for 5 with 2 RBI of his own to help the cause. The Toronto backup catcher Erik Kratz hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the eighth which was the only damage allowed by Price in the W.
- Chris Sale stuck out eight and got help from Alejandro De Aza’s two homers and 3 RBI to defeat the Twins. Ricky Nolasco surrendered 5 ER in his Twins debut. Jose Abreu was 2 for 4 with an RBI in his major league debut. Kurt Suzuki drove in all three Twins runs in a 2-for-4 day at the dish. Matt Lindstrom sealed the deal with his first save as the White Sox closer.
- A pitching nightmare occurred in Arlington-- the Phillies and Rangers amassed 31 total hits and 24 total runs as the Fightins took it to Tanner Scheppers and the Rangers. The Phillies put up a 6-spot in the second with a grand slam off the bat of Jimmy Rollins. The Rangers answered with 4 runs in the bottom half of the inning off of former Ranger Cliff Lee. Rookie Cody Asche was the star of the game with a 3-for-4 day including a homer, a double and four runs. Marlon Byrd also homered for the Phils. Scheppers was tagged for 7 ER over 4 innings with 3 walks and 8 hits. The bullpen didn’t fare much better, allowing an additional 7 runs. Cliff Lee was equally poor with 8 ER allowed on 11 hits and only 1 K. Yikes!!! The silver lining is that the bats are alive, I suppose?
- Neil Walker, the Pittsburgh native, lived out his childhood dream, hitting an Opening Day walk-off homer to propel the Buccos to a 1-0 victory over the Cubs. Francisco Liriano dazzled with his offspeed stuff as he blanked the hapless Cubs for 6 innings. Liriano struck out 10 while issuing 3 walks and 4 hits. Jeff Samardzija was good also, tossing seven scoreless with 3 K’s in a no decision. Emilio Bonifacio led off for the Cubs and went 4 for 5 with a double and a SB. His speed makes him instantly relevant.
- It was bombs away in New York as the Mets and Nats traded blows for 10 innings. Andrew Brown got it started with a three-run dinger in the opening frame, followed by Adam LaRoche’s towering two-run blast in the second. The pitchers settled until the eighth when Juan Lagares touched up Tyler Clippard for a solo shot. Anthony Rendon then answered in the top of the tenth with a three-run jack. The Metropolitans would not go down without a fight as David Wright smacked a two run homer in the bottom of the 10th. Bobby Parnell blew his first save chance and Papa Grande (Jose Valverde) struck out three over 1.1 IP. An MRI Monday indicates an MCL tear for Parnell and he could be done for the season Enter Valverde!!! Stephen Strasburg K’d 10 over 6 IP but did allow 4 ER in the no decision.
- Yovani Gallardo kicked off the season with yet another Opening Day win as he blanked the Braves for six innings. Aramis Ramirez added the only scoring in the game with a two-run double off of Julio Teheran. Ryan Braun was greeted with a standing ovation by the home crowd in his return from the PED suspension. The biggest fantasy story of the game was that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke went with Francisco Rodriguez to close the game, later telling the media that he wasn’t particularly pleased with how Jim Henderson was throwing late in spring. K-Rod may never give the role back and is a MUST add in all formats.
- Waino is Bueno. The Cardinals Ace was terrific as he threw seven shutout innings striking out 9. Trevor Rosenthal shut the door on the 1-0 Red Birds’ win as Yadier Molina provided the only score in the game with a solo tater. Johnny Cueto was good also striking out 8 and hitting 95 on the radar. Billy Hamilton failed to steal first base therefor he did not get on base due to his 4 Ks in 4 ABs. He won’t be a fantasy asset if he can’t get on base.
- Jose Fernandez was absolutely dominant over the Rockies striking out 9 while allowing just one run on a mammoth solo homer by Carlos Gonzalez. Fernandez smiled after the blast and went right back to dominating. The Marlins oft-criticized offense was electric as they tallied 14 hits and 10 runs. Giancarlo Stanton drove in 2 runs on a 2 for 5 night, Casey McGehee continued what he started in spring training with 4 RBI of his own and Marcel Ozuna was 3 for 5 with a homer and a double en route to 7 total bases. Jose De La Rosa sailed through 4 innings before getting tagged for 5 ER in the 5th.
- Buster Posey capped a ninth-inning rally, pushing the Giants to a 9-8 victory over the DBacks. Aaron Hill had 2 RBI, Mark Trumbo drove in 2 with his 3 for 5 performance and Gerardo Parra drove in 3 in the eventual loss. Madison Bumgarner lasted just 4 innings and gave up 4 unearned runs thanks to poor defense. A.J. Pollock managed to leave seven men on base with his 0-6 night… holy terribleness.