April 20, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) connects for a double in the third inning of the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE
The big news from Thursday's action was the three blown saves from Heath Bell, Sean Marshall and Jordan Walden. If you think about it, there were four blown saves on Thursday, as Javy Guerra got things rolling around 1am EST last night , blowing a one run lead in the 9th inning last night, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits, while getting only one out. Guerra has blown two saves now, and gave up the game winning run in Tuesday night's game, so he hasn't been as good as his 7 saves says he's been. Manager Don Mattingley gave him a vote of confidence after the game, but I have to think the leash is short, with Kenley Jansen pitching so well to start the season.
Marlins closer Heath Bell is struggling in a big way to start the 2012 season. Yesterday, he blew his 3rd save in 5 opportunities, as he gave up 2 runs on 1 hit and 4 walks to blow a one run lead in the 9th inning yesterday. His ERA is approaching 10.00 and his WHIP sits at 2.82 right now, and his 5-7 strikeout to walk ratio tells me that he is not the closer he once was, and I would not be surprised to see Ozzie Guillen make a switch if he blows a few more saves. Guillen has plenty of pressure on him and the team has struggled out of the gate so far in 2012.
Mets starter Jonathan Niese was a popular choice this offseason to break out, and thus far he is making fantasy writers look good. Yesterday, he limited the Marlins to 2 runs in 7 innings, giving up just 4 hits, NO walks and striking out 6. He induces 7 ground ball outs, and now owns an ERA of 2.81, a 0.97 WHIP and a 23-7 strikeout to walk ratio in 25.2 innings.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will be out for at least 2 months with a UCL strain in his left elbow with no timetable for his return. Crawford was horrific last season, and I thought he would bounce back this season, but now the Red Sox, and fantasy owners will get zero from him for two straight seasons. He was auctioned at $30 in my AL-only draft, and I dropped out of the bidding around $25-26, I think. Now the Sox are without two starting outfielders, need a closer and some rotation help. Can they be a 3rd place team this season?
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon appears to be breaking out of his slump, as he now has 5 hits in his last 9 at bats to raise his triple slash line to .213-.314-.373 with 3 HRs, 8 RBI and a 20-11 strikeout to walk rate in 75 at bats. I was high on Gordon this offseason, and still think he can put up numbers similar to last year's breakout season.
The Giants placed first baseman/outfielder Aubrey Huff on the DL two days ago due to an anxiety disorder. Music to the ears of Brandon Belt owners. Belt got the start yesterday and went 2-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. For the season, he is hitting .273-.368-.364 with 3 RBI and an 11-5 strikeout to walk rate in just 33 at bats. I see the strikeout rate dropping as he should play regularly with Huff out.
Reds closer Sean Marshall blew his first save of the season by giving up 3 runs on 3 hits, one a HR, and a walk in the 9th inning yesterday. He has given up runs in 2 of his last 3 outings, and his ERA is now up to 6.14 and his WHIP up to 1.64. Marshall was working for the second day in a row, so this will be something to watch over the next few weeks, as the Reds could just let Aroldis Chapman go two innings on days where Marshall needs rest.
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak went 1-3 with a walk and a 3 run HR yesterday, but is struggling at the plate to start the 2012 season. He is hitting just .197-.254-.348 with 3 HRs and 9 RBIs thus far, and I was thinking he could have a breakout season this year, but he needs to make more contact as he has struck out 17 times in his 66 at bats thus far. ESPN's Keith Law mentioned in his chat yesterday that Smoak needs to change his approach at the plate, or he may end up a bust. Smoak was the main piece in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to the Rangers a few years ago.
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Which of the 4 closers who blew saves on Thursday loses his job first?
Javy Guerra (76 votes)
Heath Bell (21 votes)
Sean Marshall (29 votes)
Jordan Walden (32 votes)
158 total votes