Roto Roundup: Lance Berkman on Fire, Josh Johnson Dominates Braves

PHOENIX, AZ - APRIL 12: Lance Berkman #12 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning of the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on April 12, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman is making Cardinals GM John Mozeliak look good for signing him this offseason to play right field. But maybe Berkman should have signed to play in Arizona, because he has had some series against the Diamondbacks this week. In the three game series, Berkman has hit 4 HRs and driven in 10 runs....and the third game is only in the third inning as I write this. Fantasy owners are quite happy with Berkman right now.

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Josh Johnson dominated the Braves for 7+ innings on Wednesday, holding the Braves to just one hit, while walking 3 and striking out 9. His stock was a bit down on draft day after he had some shoulder soreness last September and ended his season early. I ranked Johnson in my top 12 fantasy starters this preseason, and he is back to the pitcher we saw last year.

Brewers starter Shaun Marcum tossed 7 shutout innings vs the Pirates on Wednesday night, giving up just 4 hits, a walk and striking out 4. Marcum is now 2-1 with an ERA of 2.55.

Prince Fielder went 1-4 with his 3rd HR of the season, a 3-run shot, giving him 14 RBIs on the young season. Fielder is hitting .385-.467-.718 so far, and is on track for another solid season.

Josh Hamilton's replacement, David Murphy, went 2-4 with an RBI and 2 SBs on Wednesday afternoon. Murphy is now hitting .350-.409-.550 for the season with 4 SBs. Murphy could go 15-15 this year, with an outside shot at 20 HRs this season.

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

Twins outfielder Delmon Young has struggled after his breakout season in 2010. Young went 2-4 with 2 RBIs on Wednesday, but is hitting just .220-.238-.268 so far in 2011 with 5 RBIs. I would hold onto Young as he hit just .222 in April last year, then heated up in May, June and July.

Royals outfielder Alex Gordon continues to stay hot, as he went 2-5 with a run scored and 2 RBI on Wednesday. His triple slash line is .346-.382-.519 with 7 RBIs. A Royals lineup in 2012 could include Gordon, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Alcides Escobar. And if they were smart, they would deal Joakim Soria for a major league ready hitter, especially with Jeremy Jeffress ready to close.

White Sox starter John Danks hurled a quality start only to see his bullpen blow up yet again. Danks gave up just one run, on 8 baserunners, striking out 7 in his 8 innings of work, but closer Matt Thornton blew yet another save on Wednesday, as he gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks for his 3rd blown save in as many opportunities. 

Athletics closer Brian Fuentes saved his 5th game on Wednesday, and manager Bob Geren can take it slow when Andrew Bailey comes off the DL. Fuentes has had his share of problems in the past, but has pitched well this year.

Jose Bautista hit his 3rd HR of the season, a 3-run shot, on Wednesday. Bautista is hitting .353-.500-.618 with 5 RBIs. He hit just 4 HRs in April of last year, before getting he started flashing his 54 HR power in May, so Bautista is well on his way to topping his April 2010 power production.

Reds first baseman Joey Votto went 3-4 with a run scored, an RBI and a SB, his second SB of the season. Votto is now hitting .444-.527-.667 with 7 RBIs thus far. Is he the second best player in baseball right now?

Phillies starter Roy Halladay threw another complete game last night, holding the Nationals to just 2 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 9 Ks. Halladay is 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA so far this season, and would anyone be surprised if he wins the NL Cy Young award again this year?

Indians catcher Carlos Santana, who I ranked as the #2 fantasy catcher in my preseason rankings, is off to a slow start to the 2011 season, as he is hitting just .200-.280.273 with a HR and 6 RBIs. The season is still young, and Santana still has a solid 9-5 K/BB rate.

Former prospect Matt Laporta is also struggling early this season as he his hitting just .189-.295-.378 after going 0-5 with 2 strikeouts on Wednesday. I was listening the morning show on the MLB channel on XM Radio a few days ago, and Jim Memolo and Rob Dibble were talking about what the Indians got back in their trades involving CC Sabathia to Milwaukee and Cliff Lee to Philadelphia. Matt Laporta and Carlos Carraso the two best prospects they got back, and he is nowhere near the potential they thought he had. Now you know why the Indians, although starting the season pretty well, will probably finish near the bottom of the AL Central.

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters went 2-4 with a run scored, 2 RBI and his 1st HR of the season on Wednesday. He is hitting just .241 on the season, and fantasy owners will kick him to the curb in 2012 if he doesn't have a breakout season this year.

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has been the subject of plenty of backpage articles in the New York papers for his slow start, changing his stance, and his propensity to hit ground balls, but he went 2-4 with two runs scored and an RBI on Wednesday. Has Jeter broken out of his early season slump?

Alex Rodriguez may very well be ready to put up a monster season in 2011, as he went 2-3 with a HR and 3 RBI on Wednesday vs the Orioles. He is hitting .355-.474-.806 with 4 HRs and 9 RBIs to date.

Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison went 1-4 with his 3rd HR of the young season on Wednesday night. He is hitting .317-.440-.634 so far this season and could put up a 20-80 season for fantasy owners this year.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is silencing his critics, including me, who thought he could be a fantasy bust this year, and questioning whether he could duplicate his 2010 season. Tulo went 3-4 with a HR, 2 runs scored and 3 RBIs on Wednesday. He is now hitting .306-.447-.806 with 5 HRs and 12 RBIs so far this season. As each day goes by, he is slowing distancing himself from Hanley Ramirez as the top fantasy shortstop.

Cardinals outfielder Colby Rasmus went 3-5 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs on Wednesday night in the Cardinals thrashing of the Diamondbacks. Rasmus has started the season hot, hitting .383-.473-.596 with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs and an excellent 8-8 K/BB rate. The knock on Rasmus this offseason was his high K rate last year, but so far this year he appears to have kept it in check.

Well, so much for Albert Pujols slump. All he needed was to travel to Arizona and feast on Diamondback pitching. Pujols went 2-3 with 3 runs scored and 2 RBIs on Wednesday night, after going 3-5 on Tuesday night. He has raised his triple slash line to .229-.296-.313 and he'll be hitting .300 before you know it.

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