It wasn’t a good night for pitchers in general and specifically for ace pitchers as Jon Lester, Clayton Kershaw, Johnny Cueto, and Cliff Lee all failed to get the win for their teams, although Lee’s Philies rallied late to pull it out. There was some solid pitching, but it came form unexpected sources, as you can see below.
Here’s a quick look back at impact players from last night’s action who are available in over half of ESPN leagues in our daily Sleeper Central (archive here)…
Sleeper Starting Lineup
C- Wilin Rosario-(0.1% owned in ESPN leagues) Ramon Hernandez is dealing with a hand injury opening the door for Rosario to get some playing time the rest of this week. He took advantage last night going 2-3 with a double, a run scored, and a walk as he raised his average to .227. He provides power from behing the plate with six home runs and 15 RBI in his first 75 at-bats. If he gets the playing time, he could be a hot pickup very quickly for the Rockies.
1B- Justin Smoak-Sea: (2.0%) The 1B pool is a shallow one, but Smoak may be ready to contribute after a very rough start to the year. He went 2-4 last night against the Angels hitting his sixth home run of the year and driving in four. His average for the year is just .216 but over the past 13 games he’s hitting .308. His power numbers are solid with his six homers, 19 RBI, to go with 12 runs scored. If he can be less of a liability in batting average, he’ll be worth owning for those who missed out on the elite options at the position.
2B- Robert Andino-Bal: (32.5%) Returning to the leadoff spot, Andinto went 1-4 with a walk and two runs scored shile stealing his first base of the year. He’s hitting .258 with 18 runs scored, 14 RBI, and three home runs so far this year. He’s locked in at 2B for Baltimore and will continue to get plenty of at-bats and opportunities moving foward. He’s been a borderline top ten 2B, and if he leads off he can definitely join the mixed-league starting group.
3B- Joaquin Arias-SF: (0.3%) Since stepping in for Pablo Sandoval, Arias continues to impress as at least a short-term option at the hot corner. He’s hit in five in a row and last night’s 2-4 game brought his average to .270 on the year. Last night, he added a double and a run scored bringing his totals up to three doubles, two triples, a home run, and nine RBI with nine runs scored in his first 89 at-bats. He’s also stolen two bases and is a decent option if you’re desperate in deep mixed or NL-only leagues.
SS- Elliot Johnson-TB: (32.9%) Jon Lester gave up three home runs last night, one of which was to Elliot Johnson. Johnson has stepped in and taken hold of the SS spot in Tampa stealing eight bases while hitting three home runs and driving in nine in his first 35 games of the season. He’s hitting .275 and with his power-speed combo makes a nice pickup if your league is short on shortstops.
OF- Gregor Blanco-SF: (17.0%) If you need OBP and average at your outfield spots, Blanco is the way to go. The Giants leadoff hitter went 3-5 in the Giants loss last night while hitting two doubles and scoring a run. His OBP is a solid .397 on the year and he brings a little speed to the table as well with five steals in six attempts. He has under 100 at-bats but has already scored 21 runs and has six doubles, a triple, and a home run. If OBP, steals, runs, and average are your need categories, Blanco is one of the best available options.
OF- Dayan Viciedo-CHW: (42.0%) Viciedo stayed hot with the bat last night connecting on his second homer in as many days which was his ninth on the year. He’s driven in 18 (two last night) and is hitting .252 after his recent hot streak. In April he looked lost at the plate, but in the last ten games he’s raised his average almost 40 points. He is a big part of the middle of the White Sox daily lineup and a good add if you need power and can afford a few strikeouts in your outfield positions.
OF- Quintin Berry-Det: (0.1%) While Austin Jackson is on the DL, Berry looks to have the CF and leadoff roles locked up for Detroit. He went 2-4 in Minnesota last night while scoring a run for the third game in a row and adding his first MLB stolen base. He’s an interesting AL-only or short term add if you lost Jackson or need a leadoff hitter. He’s probably headed back to Triple-A when A-Jacks returns around June 1, but in the short term, he’s showing some nice ability.
AL Starting Pitcher- Jose Quintana-CHW: (0.2%) Quintana got his first career start last night against Cleveland. He pitched six innings allowing just 2 runs on four hits and three walks while striking out four. He now has 11.2 innings pitched in the majors (all against division leading Cleveland) with a 1.54 ERA and a very nice 0.86 WHIP. He’ll get Tampa Bay next week, and is worth a look in deeper leagues as a spot start option. He may force his way into the Chicago rotation with many more starts like last night’s.
NL Starting Pitcher- Lucas Harrell-Hou: (0.4%) The Astros continued to get great starting pitching as Harrell limited the Dodgers to five hits and a run in 7.1 innings. He didn’t strike out a batter but out-dueled Clayton Kershaw picking up his fourth win of the year. He has allowed two or one earned run in his last four starts and has a 3.72 ERA to go with a solid 1.38 WHIP. He has a few rough starts early, but appears to be rounding into form for the on-the rise Astros.
Relief Pitcher- Jason Grilli-Pit: (0.3%) If you’re in a league that credits holds, you probably already know that the former Tiger Grilli has a NL-leading 11. He struck out the side for his second consecutive outing yesterday as part of an exceptional effort by the Pirates ‘pen. He has pitched in 19 games hit year with 33 K’s in 18 innings and a 2.00 ERA with a 1.17 WHIP. He’s 1-1 allowing four earned runs on 12 hits and nine walks. Grilli is a huge part of Pittsburgh’s pen and can help you depending on your league structure.
Topics: Dayan Viceido, Elliot Johnson, Fantasy Baseball Additions, Gregor Blanco, Jason Grilli, Joaquin Arias, Jose Quintana, Justin Smoak, Lucas Harrell, Quintin Berry, Robert Andino, Waiver Wire, Wilin Rosario