CPR’s wrap up of the day’s most useful fantasy news from the diamonds of the Majors.
- Bronson Arroyo had a solid first turn of the year Thursday, getting through eight innings with just 109 pitches and limiting the Cardinals to four hits and a run in the no-decision. The 33-year old did take a baseball off his calf in the outing, but was able to stay in the game and pitch well. Arroyo is available in just over 50 percent of Yahoo! standard leagues. He’s a solid arm at the back of your fantasy rotation, just watch out for his bad outings, they seem to sneak up with him. The good news for prospective owners is recently he’s been actually quite good. The second half of last season Arroyo threw 108 innings with a 2.24 ERA and 1.04 WHIP after opening the season with a 5.38 ERA and 1.48 WHIP in the first half. After today’s outing it looks like he has carried over some of the momentum. He’s worth a spot if you’ve got the space.
- Both Toronto’s Ricky Romero and the Rangers’ converted reliever C.J. Wilson had nice lines today in a low-scoring affair from Texas. Romero went seven, allowing just five hits and a run, while Wilson mowed down nine Jays’ hitters and only surrendered five hits in seven innings himself. Neither guy figured in the decision, but with both pitchers right around 20 percent ownership, they are both worthy of keeping your eye on down the line. They should be owned in most 14-16 team leagues.
- Baltimore’s Brian Matusz made his season debut and didn’t disappoint, striking out seven Rays’ hitters in five innings of two-hit ball to pick up the win. The only drawback was the five free passes issued. That number should get smaller as the year progresses and Matusz could have a dynamic season.
- Tampa Bay’s Jeff Niemann left the game just 1.1 innings into his start against Baltimore after being struck with a line drive off his right shoulder Thursday night. Niemann said his shoulder was “pretty sore” after the contest and will have to wait and see if he’ll be able to make his next start.
Hitting Heads Up
- Stop the presses… Garrett Jones didn’t hit a homerun on Thursday. Instead he carried an 0-for-3 with two walks as the Pirates lost for the first time this season, 10-2 to the Dodgers. Read more about the rising slugger from Yahoo!’s Steve Henson.
- The Royals’ Scott Podsednik racked up four hits in five trips today in Kansas City’s 7-3 loss to Detroit. Podsednik has missed time for parts of the last three years, but he looks fully ready to go this season and should have the starting left field job going forward. Podsednik could be a real cheap source of steals this year, possibly even topping the 30 steals he had last year with the White Sox, if he gets enough attempts in 2010.
- The A’s look like they will struggle for runs all season. On Thursday, first baseman Daric Barton helped support the cause with three hits and four RBIs in the A’s 6-2 win over Seattle. Barton should only be considered an extremely deep sleeper (in leagues rostering over 500 players), but should you find yourself in such a league there is reason to be hopeful from the Mercury News’ Gary Peterson.
- Atlanta’s Martin Prado has 11 hits in three games for the Braves. Not bad for a batsmen who is hitting second in Atlanta and could qualify for multiple positions in your league.
- Jason Frasor got his third chance to close in as many games this season Thursday afternoon in Arlington, and for the second straight day he did it successfully. Frasor walked Nelson Cruz to open the ninth, but struck out the next two batters to quiet the threat and eventually secure his second save of the season. Good to see Cito Gaston go right back with Frasor in two straight games.
- Frank Francisco didn’t have as much luck as he blew the save Thursday allowing three runs in the ninth to the Jays, including yet another Vernon Wells‘ homer to open the inning.
- Leo Nunez bounced back from a bad outing last night in New York and pitched a perfect ninth with a strikeout for his first save. I tend to believe Nunez will put up solid numbers again this year and prove his doubters wrong.
- Francisco Cordero picked up a win over St. Louis after pitching a perfect inning and then watching Jonny Gomes’ solo homerun in the bottom of the ninth win it for the Reds 2-1 Thursday afternoon… Matt Capps nailed down his first save of the year, but it included a double to Chase Utley and an intentional walk to Ryan Howard before Capps settled down. Stay away from Capps if you possibly can… Carlos Marmol allowed a leadoff hit and a walk, but pitched out of trouble to get his first save for the Cubs at Atlanta… Mike Gonzalez gave up a hit and walked two to load the bases in the ninth, but then got Ben Zobrist to fly out to end the game and give Gonzalez his first save of the season… and Chris Perez pitched a perfect 11th inning for his second save in as many nights for the Indians.
Topics: Ben Zobrist, Brian Matusz, Bronson Arroyo, C.J. Wilson, Carlos Marmol, Chase Utley, Chris Perez, Daric Barton, Francisco Cordero, Frank Francisco, Garrett Jones, Jason Frasor, Jeff Niemann, Jonny Gomes, Leo Nunez, Martin Prado, Matt Capps, Mike Gonzalez, Nelson Cruz, Ricky Romero, Ryan Howard, Scott Podsednik, Vernon Wells