CPR’s wrap up of the day’s most useful fantasy news from the diamonds of the Majors.
Hitting Heads Up
– Vladimir Guerrero was always one of my favorite fantasy players. Fantasy owners were hard pressed to find a more consistent source of production year after year. After playing just 100 games last year and entering the new year on a different team at 35 years old, I wrote off Guerrero in 2010. So far the owners who gave the veteran a shot have reaped tremendous benefits. Vlad hammered his fourth and fifth homers of the year Thursday against Kansas City and raised his season average to .340. Guerrero has 10 RBIs in his last three games and extended his hitting streak to six games. A season line of 25 HRs, 85 RBIs, and a .325 average isn’t out of the question.
– Blue Jays’ outfielder Travis Snider added two more hits Thursday to extend his hitting streak to four games and give him eight hits during that span. Owned in just six percent of Yahoo! standard leagues at the moment, Snider could give your team a power boost in the next few weeks if his timing at the plate continues. Snider could hit as many as 20 homeruns this season, but he could also hit .220. Proceed with caution, but know that there is upside to be found as well.
– Giants’ outfielder Nate Schierholtz went 3-for-3 and hit his first homer of the year Thursday at Florida. Schierholtz also raised his average to a scorching .381 in 63 at bats this season. As long as Schierholtz gets the chances he should continue to produce interesting numbers by the Bay.
– Jason Heyward returned a day after leaving the game with groin injury to deliver an two-run pinch-hit single in the eighth against Washington. Keep your eyes out for news on the injury in the days ahead.
– Orioles’ starter Brad Bergesen delivered a nice line in Minnesota Thursday evening. The righty allowed just six hits and two walks in 6.2 scoreless innings to pick up his second win of the year. Bergesen didn’t record a strikeout in the outing, however, and entered the game with a season ERA in double figures. There’s a reason the 24-year old is only owned in two percent of Yahoo! standard leagues. Bergesen could provide some help in the deepest leagues, but otherwise you can contently leave him on the wire until further notice.
– Dana Eveland picked up his third win of the season with seven strong innings of two-hit baseball against the White Sox in Chicago. Eveland struck out three and walked four. Like Bergesen, Eveland will probably only be useful in the deepest formats, but he has turned in two scoreless outings this season of seven innings or more. Look elsewhere if you need strikeouts, but keep Eveland in the back of your mind if the matchup is right and you’re desperate for a win later this season.
– Wandy Rodriguez was bounced by the Diamondbacks after just 3.2 innings Thursday. Rodriguez allowed nine hits, and five runs in his shortest outing of the season. Rodriguez has the talent to be a solid No. 3 fantasy starter, but he hasn’t lived up to his potential thus far in 2010. The last two times out the lefty has surrendered five runs. Expect better results this season , but don’t be surprised if a hidden injury or some other culprit may be behind Wandy’s rough start.
– Brian Burres turned in his second straight scoreless start Thursday, throwing seven innings of three-hit baseball against the Cubs. The consecutive starts are nice, but the BB/K numbers for the lefty are troubling. Burres has walked 14 against just 13 strikeouts in 22 innings of work this season. Those numbers hint that he has tiptoed around competition. Watch out for some challenging starts in the future.
– Alfredo Simon (3) collected another save with a perfect ninth against the Twins to complete Baltimore’s 2-0 shutout win. It looks like Simon is the man going forward at present for the Birds. Koji Uehara pitched a clean eighth for a hold in his first appearance of the year coming off the DL… Kevin Gregg (8) got another save Thursday. What can we say? It’s not like he’s been shaky. Gregg added two more strikeouts in his inning against Chicago Thursday… Frank Francisco allowed a run in the eighth during a wild game with Kansas City, but picked up his fourth win of the season when the Rangers rallied. Francisco already has seven decisions (4-3) in the first week of May. Joakim Soria took the loss giving up back-to-back homers to Josh Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero in the eighth. Neftali Feliz (7) struckout two in the ninth to give Texas a 13-12 victory… Brian Wilson (6) added a one-out save with a punchout against Florida… And Jonathan Broxton allowed four hits and two runs in the ninth to Milwaukee to blow his second save in just three chances this season. One of the most sought-after closing choices in the preseason hasn’t had many opportunities to shine in 2010 and recently the lack of work may be affecting his performance. Thursday’s outing was Broxton’s first since April 30.
Tags: Alfredo Simon Brad Bergesen Brian Burres Brian Wilson Dana Eveland Fantasy Baseball Frank Francisco Jason Heyward Joakim Soria Jonathan Broxton Josh Hamilton Kevin Gregg Koji Uehara Nate Schierholtz Neftali Feliz Travis Snider Vladimir Guerrero Wandy Rodriguez