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Archive for May, 2006

Strike Zone Notes

From Strike Zone – NL Team-by-Team notes, on RotoWorld:

Florida: The switch from Chris Aguila to Cody Ross probably wasn’t an upgrade, but the Marlins had nothing to lose by trying it. Unfortunately, it does increase the chances that Jeremy Hermida will be a platoon player for the foreseeable future, as the Marlins will need to find at-bats for Ross and Joe Borchard. Hermida may hit for a higher average while playing strictly against right-handers, but it might be a while before he’s again worth using in mixed leagues.

Houston: Taylor Buchholz still has the nifty 1.24 WHIP, but three shellings in four starts have taken his ERA from 2.16 to 5.57. Saddest of all is that most owners likely had him benched for the shutout he turned in against Texas, which was sandwiched in between outings in which he gave up 17 runs in 6 2/3 innings. I’m not optimistic that Buchholz will go back to being a quality NL-only starter. The league will continue to adapt better to his curveball, and he doesn’t have any other pitches that can be described as above average. He can be used as a spot starter against weaker teams, but don’t be afraid to drop him.

San Francisco: The Giants are hoping to get Moises Alou back from a sprained ankle before the end of the week. It’s unclear whether he’ll go on a rehab assignment, but if he does, it will almost certainly be for only a game or two. Steve Finley hasn’t been nearly as good while playing regularly in place of Alou, so the Giants won’t hesitate to shove him back into a reserve role. He’s batting .235 with no homers and 11 RBI in 81 at-bats since Alou got hurt on May 5. . . . Armando Benitez isn’t quite in 2004 form, but his velocity has picked up since his return from the DL and it looks like he’s ready to settle back in as a quality closer. Now it’s just up for the Giants to generate some chances for him. They’ll do a better job of that, so Benitez is a top-20 fantasy closer again.

Overnight Dispatches

From Rotoworld:

Jeff Kent (hand) took batting practice prior to Tuesday’s game. Kent could return to the starting lineup on Wednesday.

Danys Baez got a relief victory after throwing two scoreless innings Tuesday against the Braves. Baez has three wins, but this is the first that didn’t follow a blown save. He’s pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings in his last six appearances.

May 31st – Standings and Statistics

Standings: Tied for 4th - 72.5 points - 19.5 out of first

Cover Zero 92 / GOK 76 / X 75.5 / AARR / 10PK / Pi 61 / SJ 57

HR   AVG   RBI   R   SB    W   ERA   WHIP   K'S   S
--   ---   ---  ---  ---  ---  ----  -----  ---  ---
86  .2673  344  319  53   33   4.32  1.400  314  10
T-2  7TH   1ST  5TH  1ST  2ND  6TH   7TH    T-6  T-9

BOX SCORE FOR 05.30
Atomic Roadrunners            ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Johnny Estrada       Ari  C    4  1  2   0 |  0  0   .312
Ronny Paulino        Pit  C    5  0  1   0 |  0  0   .302
Prince Fielder       Mil 1B    4  0  1   0 |  0  1   .326
Ryan Zimmerman       Was 3B    4  0  0   0 |  0  1   .271
Jose Reyes           NYM SS    5  0  1   0 |  0  0   .254
Adrian Gonzalez       SD 1B    3  0  2   0 |  0  0   .250
Khalil Greene         SD SS    3  0  1   1 |  0  0   .219
Adam Dunn            Cin OF    4  2  2   0 |  0  0   .236
Dave Roberts          SD OF    3  0  1   1 |  1  0   .283
Joe Borchard         Fla OF    1  0  1   0 |  0  0   .213
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                        36  3 12   2 |  1  2   .333
---------------------------------------------------------
RBI: KGreene 1(33), DRoberts 1(15)
2B: PFielder 1(17), ADunn 2(9)
3B: KGreene 1(1)
GIDP: RPaulino 1(4), JReyes 1(2), KGreene 1(7)
SB: JReyes 1(20)
CS: DRoberts 1(3), JBorchard 1(3)

PITCHING                          ip  h  r er bb ibb so bf    era whip
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Danys Baez        W(3-2)         2.0  1  0  0  0   0  1  7    0.00 0.50
Aaron Cook        L(5-5)         7.0 10  2  2  0   0  3 27    2.57 1.43
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals                           9.0 11  2  2  0   0  4 34    2.00 1.22
----------------------------------------------------------------------

RESERVE HITTING               ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Mike Lieberthal      Phi  C    2  0  0   0 |  0  0   .284
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                         2  0  0   0 |  0  0   .000
---------------------------------------------------------

RESERVE PITCHING                  ip  h  r er bb ibb so bf    era whip
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Wheeler       Ho(7)          1.0  2  0  0  0   0  1  5    0.00 2.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals                           1.0  2  0  0  0   0  1  5    0.00 2.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------

May 30th – Standings and Statistics

Standings: Tied for 3rd - 72.5 points - 19.5 out of first

Cover Zero 92 / GOK 76 / AARR / X-Men / 10PK / SJ 60.5 / Pi 59.5

HR   AVG   RBI   R   SB    W   ERA   WHIP   K'S   S
--   ---   ---  ---  ---  ---  ----  -----  ---  ---
86  .2662  342  316  52   32   4.36  1.403  310  10
T-2  7TH   1ST  5TH  1ST  2ND  7TH   7TH    6TH  9TH

BOX SCORE FOR 05.29
Atomic Roadrunners            ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Johnny Estrada       Ari  C    3  0  0   1 |  0  0   .306
Ronny Paulino        Pit  C    3  1  0   1 |  2  0   .306
Prince Fielder       Mil 1B    4  1  2   2 |  0  1   .328
Ryan Zimmerman       Was 3B    4  1  2   1 |  0  0   .277
Jose Reyes           NYM SS    5  1  1   2 |  0  0   .256
Adrian Gonzalez       SD 1B    3  0  1   0 |  0  1   .242
Khalil Greene         SD SS    3  0  0   0 |  0  0   .217
Adam Dunn            Cin OF    4  1  1   1 |  0  1   .230
Dave Roberts          SD OF    4  0  0   0 |  0  1   .282
Jeff DaVanon         Ari OF    0  1  0   0 |  1  0   .272
Rich Aurilia         Cin 2B    4  0  2   0 |  0  0   .262
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                        37  6  9   8 |  3  4   .243
---------------------------------------------------------
RBI: JEstrada 1(33), RPaulino 1(9), PFielder 2(33), RZimmerman 1(32),
JReyes 2(27), ADunn 1(32)
2B: PFielder 1(16), RAurilia 1(6)
HR: PFielder 1(9), RZimmerman 1(9), ADunn 1(17)
GIDP: RPaulino 1(4), KGreene 1(6), RAurilia 1(2)
SB: JDaVanon 1(3)

PITCHING                          ip  h  r er bb ibb so bf    era whip
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Doug Davis        L(3-4)         3.0 11  8  7  2   0  2 21   21.00 4.33
Aaron Heilman     BS(2)          2.0  2  3  3  1   0  1  9   13.50 1.50
Kerry Wood        W(1-1)         6.0  5  2  1  1   0  4 23    1.50 1.00
Danys Baez                       1.0  1  0  0  0   0  0  4    0.00 1.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals                          12.0 19 13 11  4   0  7 57    8.25 1.92
----------------------------------------------------------------------

RESERVE HITTING               ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Mike Lieberthal      Phi  C    1  0  0   0 |  0  0   .292
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                         1  0  0   0 |  0  0   .000
---------------------------------------------------------

Overnight Dispatches

From Rotoworld:

Jeff Kent said the injury that has kept him out since Saturday is to his left hand not his wrist. “The soreness is between my thumb and index finger, and it also goes to my middle finger,” he said. “My hand slipped off the bat. I sprained it pretty bad.” Kent was able to swing a fungo bat during Monday’s game, but doesn’t know when he will return to the starting lineup.

Brewers manager Ned Yost told the AP on Monday J.J. Hardy is not close to returning. Hardy has been on the DL since May 17 with a sprained right ankle and is eligible to come off the DL later this week

Doug Davis managed to give up eight runs — seven earned — in three-plus innings Monday in a loss to the Pirates. Just when he seemed to be turning things around. He entered at 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA during May. Davis will get Washington and San Diego next, so he’s worth keeping active in most formats, even if he has been one of the NL’s bigger disappointments.

Phillies activated catcher Mike Lieberthal from the 15-day disabled list. Lieberthal had been out since May 4 with a knee injury. Sal Fasano has been acting as Jon Lieber’s personal catcher, but Lieberthal will get most of the starts behind the plate.

Kerry Wood held the Reds to two runs — one earned — and five hits in six innings to pick up his first win of the season on Monday. He struck out four and walked one. Wood had better stuff and command than he did six days ago in a no-decision against the Marlins. Of course, it’s entirely possible that he’ll have his next start pushed back again, depending on how he feels over the next few days, but what he did today was fairly encouraging.

Triple-A Albuquerque’s Jason Vargas gave up nine runs and four homers in four innings on Sunday. Vargas gave up three runs in 11 2/3 innings in his first two starts after being demoted, but his struggles yesterday likely eliminated what chance there was of a quick return to the majors.

May 29th – Standings and Statistics

Standings: 3rd Place, 74 points, 19  out of First

Cover Zero 93.0 / GOK! 76.5 / AARR / 10PK 72.5 / X 67.5 / SJ 62 / Pi 61

HR   AVG   RBI   R   SB    W   ERA   WHIP   K'S   S
--   ---   ---  ---  ---  ---  ----  -----  ---  ---
83  .2666  334  310  51   31   4.26  1.389  303   10
3RD  7TH   1ST  T-3  1ST  T-2  6TH   7TH    6TH   9TH

                    BOX SCORE FOR 05.28
Atomic Roadrunners            ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Johnny Estrada       Ari  C    3  0  1   0 |  1  0   .313
Ronny Paulino        Pit  C    4  0  2   0 |  0  1   .315
Prince Fielder       Mil 1B    4  1  1   0 |  0  2   .324
Ryan Zimmerman       Was 3B    5  1  2   3 |  0  3   .272
Jose Reyes           NYM SS    5  1  3   0 |  0  0   .257
Adrian Gonzalez       SD 1B    0  0  0   0 |  0  0   .241
Khalil Greene         SD SS    4  1  0   1 |  1  0   .221
Adam Dunn            Cin OF    4  0  0   0 |  0  1   .229
Jeff DaVanon         Ari OF    3  0  0   0 |  1  2   .272
Joe Borchard         Fla OF    3  0  0   0 |  1  1   .203
Damian Jackson       Was 2B    1  0  1   0 |  0  0   .250
Rich Aurilia         Cin 2B    4  0  0   0 |  0  2   .252
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                        40  4 10   4 |  4 12   .250
---------------------------------------------------------
RBI: RZimmerman 3(31), KGreene 1(32)
2B: RPaulino 1(7), PFielder 1(15)
HR: RZimmerman 1(8)
CS: JReyes 1(6)
ERRORS: JReyes 1(4)

PITCHING                          ip  h  r er bb ibb so bf    era whip
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Mulder       L(5-3)         4.3 10  8  8  1   0  3 25   16.74 2.56
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals                           4.3 10  8  8  1   0  3 25   16.74 2.56
----------------------------------------------------------------------

RESERVE HITTING               ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Cody Ross            Fla OF    1  0  0   0 |  0  0   .348
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                         1  0  0   0 |  0  0   .000
---------------------------------------------------------

Overnight Dispatches

From Rotoworld:

Jeff Kent (wrist) is expected to be in the starting lineup on Monday. Kent missed Sunday’s game due to the sore wrist.

Mark Mulder was tagged for eight runs in 4 1/3 innings Sunday in a loss to the Padres. Mulder remains good enough to beat NL teams most of the time, but if he ends up in the AL as a free agent next year, it could very well be a disaster. He’s currently 5-3 with a 4.52 ERA for the Cardinals. The three homers he surrendered on Sunday brought his total to 11 in 71 2/3 innings. He gave up a total of 19 in 205 innings last year. Mulder will probably bring down his ERA some, but he’s not a top pitcher right now.

Mike Lieberthal (knee) caught five innings for Double-A Reading on Saturday. Lieberthal went 0-for-2 in the game. He is expected to be activated off the disabled list in time for Monday’s game.

Overnight Dispatches

From Rotoworld:

In his sixth start since joining the rotation, Juan Cruz tossed six shutout innings to beat the Reds on Saturday. Luis Vizcaino, Brandon Lyon and Jorge Julio worked an inning apiece to complete the 7-0 shutout. Cruz has a 5.53 ERA as a starter, but that’s mostly from one terrible outing. He’s allowed no more than two runs in four of the six starts. It will be fine to use him in NL-only leagues when he faces the Braves next week.

Jeff Kent was removed from Saturday’s game due to a sprained left wrist. Oscar Robles replaced him at second base. Losing Kent for any length of time would be an especially harsh blow with Bill Mueller absent and Cesar Izturis not yet ready to return. Kent said he will likely miss Sunday’s game with a sprained left wrist and be day-to-day after that. Oscar Robles or Ramon Martinez will start in his place against the Nationals tomorrow.

May 28th – Standings and Statistics

Standings: 2nd Place, 79.5 points, 13.5 out of First

Cover Zero 93.0 / AARR / GOK! 74.5 / 10PK 70.5 / X 68 / SJ 61.5

HR   AVG   RBI   R   SB    W   ERA   WHIP   K'S   S
--   ---   ---  ---  ---  ---  ----  -----  ---  ---
82  .2670  330  306  51   31   4.14  1.378  300   10
T-2  7TH   1ST  3RD  1ST  2ND  3RD   6TH    6TH   9TH

                    BOX SCORE FOR 05.27
Atomic Roadrunners            ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Ronny Paulino        Pit  C    4  0  1   0 |  0  1   .308
Prince Fielder       Mil 1B    3  0  1   1 |  1  1   .326
Jeff Kent            LAD 2B    1  0  0   0 |  0  1   .256
Ryan Zimmerman       Was 3B    4  0  1   0 |  0  0   .269
Jose Reyes           NYM SS    6  0  1   0 |  0  0   .249
Adrian Gonzalez       SD 1B    4  0  2   0 |  0  1   .241
Khalil Greene         SD SS    4  0  2   0 |  0  1   .226
Adam Dunn            Cin OF    3  0  0   0 |  1  0   .235
Dave Roberts          SD OF    5  0  1   0 |  0  2   .289
Joe Borchard         Fla OF    1  1  1   2 |  0  0   .211
Damian Jackson       Was 2B    4  0  0   0 |  0  1   .236
Rich Aurilia         Cin 2B    3  0  0   0 |  1  1   .263
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                        42  1 10   3 |  3  9   .238
---------------------------------------------------------
RBI: PFielder 1(31), JBorchard 2(14)
2B: AGonzalez 1(10)
HR: JBorchard 1(4)
GIDP: RPaulino 1(3), JReyes 1(1)
CS: RZimmerman 1(3), DRoberts 1(2)
ERRORS: RPaulino 1(6), ADunn 1(6), DJackson 1(4)

PITCHING                          ip  h  r er bb ibb so bf    era whip
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Wheeler       BS(1)          2.0  1  1  1  1   0  1  8    4.50 1.00
Armando Benitez   S(3)           1.0  1  0  0  0   0  2  4    0.00 1.00
Aaron Heilman                    0.3  1  1  1  1   0  0  3   30.00 6.67
Danys Baez        Ho(3)          1.0  2  0  0  0   0  0  4    0.00 2.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals                           4.3  5  2  2  2   0  3 19    4.19 1.63
----------------------------------------------------------------------
RESERVE HITTING               ab  r  h  bi | bb so    avg
---------------------------------------------------------
Cody Ross            Fla OF    3  0  0   0 |  0  1   .364
---------------------------------------------------------
Totals                         3  0  0   0 |  0  1   .000
---------------------------------------------------------
GIDP: CRoss 1(1)

RESERVE PITCHING                  ip  h  r er bb ibb so bf    era whip
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Wise         W(3-2)BS(2)    2.0  1  1  1  0   0  2  6    4.50 0.50
Juan Cruz         W(2-3)         6.0  4  0  0  2   0  5 23    0.00 1.00
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Totals                           8.0  5  1  1  2   0  7 29    1.12 0.88
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Overnight Dispatches

From Rotoworld:

Clay Hensley limited an ailing St. Louis lineup to one run and five hits over eight innings to win Friday. Hensley has been pitching pretty well anyway, and he took advantage of the some ill Cardinals to even his record at 3-3 tonight. Hensley has a 3.40 ERA in eight starts since moving into the Padres’ rotation. It looks like he’s a fixture now.

Dave Roberts went 3-for-3 with his second homer, a walk and a stolen base Friday against the Cardinals. Roberts has been one of the NL’s top fantasy outfielders for this month. He is batting .349 with two homers, nine RBI, 23 runs scored and 10 steals during May.

Prince Fielder hit a go-ahead, RBI single off Phillies closer Tom Gordon in the top of the 10th inning on Friday. Closer Derrick Turnbow blew a 5-3 lead for the Brewers in the bottom of the ninth, but he picked up the win thanks to Fielder. Reliever Brian Shouse was afforded the save opportunity with Turnbow having already thrown 21 pitches while struggling and converted with a scoreless bottom of the 10th. Fielder also added a stolen base in the contest, his fourth of the season. His father Cecil had just two steals in his entire career.

Taylor Buchholz was rocked for nine runs on 11 hits in just 3 1/3 innings of work versus the Pirates tonight. Buchholz did strike out five and walk just one. However, when he was in the strike zone the Pirates were hitting the ball with authority and totaled six extra-base hits (three homers) in the contest. Buchholz had thrown a complete game shutout last time out, but he’s given up a total of 25 runs in his three starts surrounding that outing. He’s been too erratic to count on in NL-only leagues and certainly can’t be used against the Cardinals next week.

Manager Felipe Alou said he hopes to have Moises Alou back from a sprained ankle in another week or so. If Moises takes a rehab assignment, it probably won’t last more than a game or two. His return will send Steve Finley back to the bench.

Ronny Paulino went 4-for-4 with three RBI in a 12-5 win over the Astros on Friday. The four hits raised Paulino’s average to .310, but he still has just seven extra-base hits (one homer) in 100 at-bats for the Pirates this season. However, he won’t be in danger of losing any playing time to Humberto Cota or Ryan Doumit until that batting average starts sinking again.

Mike Lieberthal (knee) will play in a game for Double-A Reading on Saturday and then rejoin the Phillies on Sunday or Monday. Carlos Ruiz will be sent down to make room for Lieberthal.

Jose Reyes went 0-for-2 with two walks and his 19th stolen base of the season on Friday. Reyes tied Carl Crawford for the major league-lead in stolen bases when he swiped second off Marlins starter Josh Johnson. What’s more impressive is the 21 walks Reyes has drawn this season. The switch-hitter walked just 29 times all of last season, and increased plate discipline should help Reyes score more runs, steal more bases, and make better contact when he is swinging the bat. That he’s hitting just .251 with such great speed and relatively few strikeouts is surprising, but that number should rise over time.

Brandon Webb improved to a major league best 8-0 on Friday by throwing a complete-game shutout against the Reds. Webb has been fantastic all season with quality starts in 9-of-11 outings. He’s also given up one or zero runs in six of those starts. Webb had also thrown a complete game shutout against the Braves last time out. The 8-0 start is the best in the club’s brief history, surpassing Randy Johnson’s 7-0 start in 2000.

Marlins acquired outfielder Cody Ross from the Reds for a player to be named or cash. Ross won’t be joining the Marlins until Saturday at the earliest, so it wasn’t announced who he’d replace on the roster. Chris Aguila is our guess, since he has options and Joe Borchard doesn’t. Ross probably won’t be worth using in NL-only leagues while serving as a reserve outfielder and pinch-hitter. The Reds decided they preferred Quinton McCracken to Ross, and they needed to open up a roster spot for Kent Mercker.