May 18, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels (35) throws during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE
The Orioles finally heeded the call of prospect hounds everywhere when they promoted uber pitching prospect Dylan Bundy on Wednesday. They moved him up to High A Fredericksburg, and will make his first High A start on Saturday. Bundy has not given up a run in 30 innings in Low A where he has allowed just 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 40. He has an absurd K/BB ratio of 20!
Athletics rookie starter Jarrod Parker had his best start of his young career yesterday, holding Albert Pujols and the Mickey Hatcher firing Angels to just one run on 5 hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings. He is now 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and a 25-17 strikeout to walk ratio in 34.2 innings. He has given up 2 runs or less in 5 of his 6 starts this season.
Remember all the projections on how well Adrian Gonzalez would hit after his trade to the Red Sox? Yeah? I was one who thought he would put up one monster year after another. Last season he put up an excellent .338-.410-.548 triple slash line with 27 HRs, 108 runs and 117 RBI. But 2012 has been a down year. Thus far, he is hitting .269-.333-.406 with just 3 HRs, 23 runs and 22 RBI. He is striking out more and walking less, and more importantly hitting for less power in 2012. His ISO is a pedestrian .137 right now. He is hitting more fly balls than ground balls than in 2011, and is hitting a few more line drives as well, so i have to imagine the power will return soon. I ranked him as my 2nd ranked first baseman heading into this season, behind Miguel Cabrera and just ahead of Albert Pujols. First base used to be a deep position for fantasy purposes, but the position is riddled with underperformance so far in 2012.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Speaking of underperforming first baseman, Ike Davis has been a real disappointment for Mets fans and fantasy owners so far in 2012. Davis went 1-4 with a strikeout in yesterday's win over the Pirates. Davis is hitting just .159-.213-.290 with 5 HRs, 15 RBI and 12 runs scored in 145 at bats this season. His strikeout rate has jumped from 20.8% in 2011 to 28.4% this season, and his walks are down from 11.4% to 6.5%. His power is down to .131, from .176 in 2010, .240 in an injury shortened 2011, so he isn't offering much value to fantasy owners so far and is in danger of being sent down to AAA. There is talk that he may get sent down when Jason Bay returns from the DL.
Baseball Nation's Rob Neyer wrote this piece on whether or not the Yankees can blame their slow start to their lineup getting old. I think they are getting old, but he ends his article opining that the real issue with the Yankees slow start is their rotation. That is true, but guys like Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira have struggled to hit for power this season, and the Yankees lineup is built around the long ball.
Speaking of Alex Rodriguez, he took advantage of Royals starter Will Smith last night, going 2-4 with 2 HRs and 3 RBI in the Yankees 8-2 win last night. Despite the two homers, Rodriguez's power is down this season. I bet my brother, a Yankee fan, that he would hit less than 30 HRs this season. After last night's game, he is on pace for just 26 HRs this season, and he is on pace to record a drop in power for the 5th straight season. Can he get back to being a 30-35 HR hitter this season?
Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista appears to be turning his 2012 season around. He went 2-5 with a double and a solo HR yesterday and has raised his BA from .194 to .230 in the last 10 games. Over those 10 games, he is 13-39 with 4 HRs and 11 RBI. For the season, he is .230-.337-.473 with 12 HRs, 29 runs and 29 RBI with an excellent 30-25 strikeout to walk ratio. I predicted Bautista would hit less than 40 HRs this season and he is on pace to hit 43 at this point. Does he reach the 40 HR mark this season?
Jeff Sullivan from Baseball Nation and Lookout Landing wrote an excellent article here detailing which pitchers are getting more strike calls and which pitchers are getting less strike calls this season, and gets into catcher pitch framing as well. Can fantasy owners take anything away from the data he presents in his article?
Phillies starter Cole Hamels continues to dominate National League hitters this season. He shut out the Nationals for 8 innings last night, holding them to just 7 base runners while striking out 8. He is now 7-1 on the season, with a 2.17 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and an excellent 66-13 strikeout to walk ratio in 62.1 innings. He has given up 2 runs or less in 7 of his 9 starts this season, and right now is the leading candidate for NL Cy Young.
White Sox starter Chris Sale was my @SBNPick6 pitcher selection yesterday and he came through for me. He shut out the Twins on 2 hits, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts over 7 innings last night, and raised his record to 5-2, with an ERA of 2.50 and a WHIP of 1.05. He has given up 2 runs or less in 6 of his 9 starts this season, and is quickly becoming one of the best starting pitchers in the American League.