CPR’s wrap up of the day’s most useful fantasy news from the diamonds of the Majors.
- From the news file on the closing front, Toronto named Kevin Gregg their closer for the time being, Baltimore placed ailing Mike Gonzalez on the DL leaving their closer job open, and the Angels placed Brian Fuentes on the DL as well after he hadn’t pitched since April 5 with stiffness in his back. Fernando Rodney takes over the stopper role for now, and just happened to get his first save of the year today at Yankee Stadium. Check out Yahoo! fantasy expert and blogger extraordinaire Andy Behrens’ spin on the developments in Toronto, Baltimore, and Los Angeles.
- Ryan Franklin picked up his third save of the season with a perfect ninth as the Cardinals kept the Astros winless with a 2-1 victory at Busch… The Marlins’ Burke Badenhop got a rogue two-inning save against the Reds Wednesday, striking out three of the seven batters he faced to close out a 5-3 Fish victory… Neftali Feliz got four outs for his second save in as many chances for the Rangers… Carlos Marmol struck out the heart of the Brewers’ order for his third save of the season. The rest of the Chicago bullpen may be shaky, but Marmol looks on top of his game in the early going this season… Jonathan Papelbon got around two walks for his third save of the year at Minnesota… Joakim Soria got four outs for just his second save of the year as Kansas City held off Detroit 7-3… David Aardsma got his fourth save as the Mariners rallied past the A’s at Safeco 4-2.
- Homer Bailey is a popular sleeper of starting pitchers this season amongst many in the fantasy community based on his second half performance last year, but he got shelled on Wednesday night and more could be on the way. Bailey allowed five runs on eight hits and four walks in just 5.1 innings at Florida. Personally, the righty’s jump in innings last year is a severe concern for me. The 23-year old threw a combined 203 innings last year between triple-A and the big league club. In 2008 his innings logged were just 147. Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci has long talked about the increased chance of injury young pitchers face when their innings jump by more than 30 in a year, Bailey’s jumped by 56. Don’t be surprised if he encounters more rough outings throughout the season.
- Houston’s Brett Myers had his pitches working Wednesday, going seven innings and allowing just four hits and striking out seven. Myers would end up with the loss though when the Astros’ anemic offense could only manage a run against Brad Penny and his Cardinals on the other side. Both pitchers have seen better days in their respective careers, but both could offer a solid back of the rotation starter on your rotation in medium to deep mixed leagues.
- Joel Pineiro was dealing in the Bronx on Wednesday with seven strong innings of five-hit baseball as the Halos beat the Yanks 5-3. Pineiro struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. Pineiro is available in more than half of standard leagues at the moment. His numbers this year might go up some leaving the NL and the tutelage of Dave Duncan in St. Louis, but there’s no reason he won’t remain a legitimate fantasy starter in most leagues this year.
- Jonathan Sanchez rebounded quickly from a difficult first start of the year and completely shut down the Pirates this afternoon. Sanchez struck out 11 and allowed just three hits in eight solid innings for his first win of the season. Sanchez is owned in close to every league though, and after tonight your chance of acquiring him at a discount has probably just gone out the window.
- John Danks was really good for the White Sox Wednesday. Just a day after almost getting ho-hit by Ricky Romero, the Sox starter threw seven brilliant innings of his own, striking out six and only allowing two hits en route to his first victory of the season.
- Rangers’ Colby Lewis had another good looking start for Texas. Lewis picked up his second win of the season with 10 strikeouts and just three hits and two runs allowed in 5.1 innings as the Rangers beat the Indians 6-2.
Hitting Heads Up
- Brett Carroll started in leftfield tonight for the Fish, in place of the injured Chris Coughlin, and came through with a 3-for-4 line, including a solo homerun, and a double.
- Yesterday Colorado’s Seth Smith took advantage of some playing time with Carlos Gonzalez still nursing his hamstring. On Wednesday, Ryan Spilborghs took those honors. The man his teammates call “Toxic,” went 2-for-5 on the night with a homer in the Rockies’ 6-5 extra innings win over the Mets. Spilborghs could really produce decent numbers I believe if he can ever win himself a consistent starting job. Keep an eye on him in your deep league throughout the season, especially if injuries continue to give him opportunities to get at bats.
- Cubs’ shortstop Ryan Theriot stole two bases for the second day in-a-row against the Brewers and catcher Greg Zaun‘s aging arm. Kosuke Fukudome stole three bags today and even Geovany Soto got in on the act with a swipe of his own. The Cubs swiped four bases in the series opener on Monday. Theriot is also heating up at the plate after a poor spring and slow first week. The Riot was 4-of-5 today with two RBIs and a run scored from Wrigley.
- Scott Podsednik kept hitting with another two base knocks Wednesday at Comerica Park. Keep rolling the speedy outfield option in your league while his hot streak stays warm.
- Just an FYI… universally owned Dustin Pedroia slammed his fourth homer of the season Wednesday against the Twins. The Sox’ second baseman didn’t hit his fourth last year until July 9.
Topics: Brad Penny, Brett Carroll, Brett Myers, Brian Fuentes, Burke Badenhop, Carlos Gonzalez, Carlos Marmol, Chris Coughlin, Colby Lewis, David Aardsma, Dustin Pedroia, Fantasy Baseball, Fernando Rodney, Geovany Soto, Greg Zaun, Homer Bailey, Joakim Soria, Joel Pineiro, John Danks, Jonathan Papelbon, Jonathan Sanchez, Kevin Gregg, Kosuke Fukudome, Mike Gonzalez, Neftali Feliz, Ricky Romero, Ryan Franklin, Ryan Spilborghs, Ryan Theriot, Scott Podsednik, Seth Smith