Daily Dose of All the MLB Action from April 29th
The reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez hasn't just picked up where he left off, he's improving vastly with each outing in 2014. The Marlins' 21 year-old ace came into Tuesday's match up with the Braves with a tidy 1.99 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. He improved those numbers to 1.59 and 0.83 after 8 scoreless innings last night. Relying on a dominant 95 mph heater and filthy slider; he's holding opposing hitters to a meager .195 batting average while striking out a ridiculous 37.9% of batters faced (55 of 152) with just 8 walks. Facing off against the Braves for the second consecutive start after striking out 14 last Tuesday, Fernandez followed that awesome start with another superb showing. He ran his scoreless inning streak to 23 with 32 strikeouts with just 2 walks over his last three starts (both issued tonight) and improved to 4-1 on the year. Clayton Kershaw is set to return next week and the $215 million dollar Dodger is going to be hard-pressed to catch up Fernandez if he wants another Cy Young award. Even more frightening for the National League; Fernandez is just cracking the surface.
From a reigning ROY, to an AL ROY hopeful: Another Jose is making waves over in the American League with the lumber. White Sox Cuban acquisition Jose Abreu came into the season relatively unknown and a question mark for fantasy owners on draft day. I myself strayed away from Abreu when he eclipsed the $20 mark in auctions, of course hindsight is always 20-20, especially when Abreu comes into the final days of April hitting .270 and leading the majors with 10 HR and 32 RBI. With 3 HR and 11 RBI over his last 5 games he took player of the week honors in the AL last week. Abreu is making many owners wish they would have bid those extra $2-3 now.
Michael Pineda will be heading to the DL once his 10 game suspension ends. He strained his lat while throwing a bullpen and will miss between 2-4 weeks. The Yankees have no option but to roll with Vidal Nuno and David Phelps, you however have the option to steer clear of them both in fantasy. I urge you to do so.
Jason Kipnis exited early on Tuesday with what the Indians are calling an abdominal strain. These types of injuries can hamper a Kipnis type player in all facets of his game and could be a lengthy absence depending on the severity. Mike Aviles seems to be the beneficiary of playing time in his stead.
Yoenis Cespedes returned to action after missing a few games with a tight hamstring going 1-for-1 with 2 BB and 3 runs. Cespedes had to test it early and often scoring from first on a double. He was removed in the seventh inning but mostly due to the large lead the A's had. Manager Bob Melvin stated after the game that Cespedes was a little sore but was already lobbying to be in Wednesday's lineup, presumably at DH again.
Someone keep pitchers away from knives! Holy hell, first Jake Peavy earlier in the season and now Matt Cain missed a start due to cutting himself in the clubhouse. You can throw a perfect game but you cant cut a sandwich without hurting yourself? That's Bush League bro!
Yusmeiro Petit filled in on short notice and did a solid job. I will touch on that below in NL Notes. Cain is expected to make his next start.
Bryce Harper had a "successful" surgery on his thumb ligament Tuesday. He even slicked back his doo for an instagram pick early in the am. I burnt my tongue on spaghetti sauce tonight. I think I will be okay for my next article; like everyone else in life...I am day-to-day.
Robinson Cano was 1-for-5 in his first game back in [new] Yankee Stadium. He was booed. All is well in baseball.
Carlos Santana has 6 RBI over his last two games with a homer in each contest. After a terrible start to the season the window to buy low may have shut abruptly this week thanks to two multi-hit games and a glimpse of power.
Melky Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 11 games and now leads the AL with 41 hits on the season. With a .347 BA , 5 HR and 11 RBI he looks like a bounce back player of the year candidate. I admittedly was not a believer coming into the year. Dammit.
Jose Quintana struck out a season high 10 batters while giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and zero walks. He did not factor into the decision which eventually went the way of the Tigers.
Joe Nathan has turned things around after a shaky start to the season. Mind you, it was about 30 degrees for his first few outings and he's not exactly a spring chicken. Nathan is still one of the greatest closers of all time and should be trusted going forward.
Shin-Soo Choo was 1-for-1 with two walks and a run scored in his first start since returning from an ankle injury. He was used as the DH and will most likely be eased back into the outfield.
Martin Perez came crashing down to earth allowing 8 ER on 8 hits and 3 BB over 4.2 IP. It was bound to happen as he was pitching over his head up until Tuesday. He's a #4 starter for a reason. Treat him as such and be thankful for anything better than that level of production.
Scott Kazmir improved to 4-0 with a win over the Rangers lasting just 5 innings allowing 3 ER.
Shane Victorino returned for the Red Sox and went 4-for-4 adding two RBI. It looks like the hammy woes may be behind him.
John Lackey earned his 4th win of the year with an 8 inning, 2 run outing. He struck out 5 and walked one. He seems to be putting a rough start to April behind him.
Salvador Perez had a big night going 2-for-4 with his second homer driving in 4 and scoring twice. He's hitting .250 with 10 RBI thus far and seems to be hitting his stride at the dish after a slow start.
Francisco Rodriguez notched his 13th save in 13 chances, needing just 13 pitches to do so while striking out one. Ride the wave. The weird, old, slow wave. The Brewers bullpen in general has been lights out.
Carlos Gomez homered for the red hot Brew-Crew after going 9 games without a long-ball. It was his 6th on the year. Yusmeiro Petit filled in admirably for Matt Cain (finger laceration) firing 6 shutout innings with 4 Ks. I'm purely speculating but Petit could eventually bump Ryan Vogelsong from the rotation.
Billy Hamilton busted out with his best performance as a pro going 3-for-4 with a home run (over the fence variety) and a stolen base. He also made a terrific, and possibly game saving catch in CF.
Troy Tulowitzki is absolutely mashing baseballs right now. After homering and going 2-for-3 Tuesday his average is up to .376 with 8 HR, 22 RBI and 2 runs scored. He's looking like the Top SS across the board yet again. Hope for health from he and teammate Carlos Gonzalez going forward. CarGo was 2-for-5 with a double.
Jonathan Niese went seven strong innings defeating the Phillies with five strikeouts and one walk. He was backed by a solid night at the dish by Daniel Murphy (3-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB) and Ruben Tejada who was 2-3 with 2 runs scored. The Mets pounded Cole Hamels for 6 ER on 8 hits and a brutal 5 walks over 4.2 IP.
Giancarlo Stanton unleashed his 8th homer of the season propelling the Fish to a 9-0 rout of the Braves. Ed Lucas returned to the lineup going 3-4 with an RBI and a run. Salty hit his 5th bomb as well. Jose Fernandez whom I covered above took care of the rest. Alex Wood could not follow suit with opposing starter Jose Fernandez as he did last week. This time Wood was shellacked by the Marlins offense giving up 7 ER over 5 IP allowing 10 hits and a walk. He simply didn't have command of his fastball tonight and it got hit early and often. He'll look to rebound sunday in a tough matchup with Mad-Bum in San Fran.
Jeff Samardzija was again the tough luck loser falling to 0-3 on the season despite a fabulous 1.98 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. He's struck out just 31 over 41 innings but that ratio will surely revert to career average soon. He's not been treated kindly by his offense or his bullpen thus far. He is a nice "buy low" if anyone is willing to deal him due to his tough-luck and low K% early on.
NL Daily Homers (Season Total): Giancarlo Stanton (8), Jayson Werth (4), Angel Pagan (2), Buster Posey (6), Troy Tulowitzki (7), Drew Stubbs (1), A.J. Pollock (3), Yadier Molina (4), Carlos Gomez (6), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (5), Billy Hamilton (1), Marlon Byrd (3).
Fun fact of the day: When current Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins made his ML debut, Cal Ripken Jr. was still 117 games behind Lou Gehrig.