Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton appears to be a man on a mission this season. Hamilton went 5-5 with 4 HRs, 8 RBI, and 18 total bases (an AL record) last night in the Rangers win over the Orioles. Hamilton, a free agent at the end of the season, is hitting .406-.458-.840 with 14 HRs and 36 RBI. If it wasn't for Matt Kemp's hot start, Hamilton would be getting all the headlines this season. Maybe now he will.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett had the worst start of his career last week, giving up 12 runs in less than 3 innings. I own Burnett in two leagues, and was very nervous heading into his start last night. Facing the Nationals and their strikeout prone lineup eased my concerns a bit, and he turned in a solid outing as a result. Burnett held the Nationals to 2 runs in 8 innings, giving up just 7 base runners and striking out a season high 10 batters. He got 22 of the 24 outs via the strikeout or groundball, which is what you want to see from your starting pitchers.
Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist has struggled out of the gate to start the season. He is hitting just .206-.361-.433 with 4 HRs and 12 RBI. But, he still has a great eye at the plate, as he currently owns a 23-23strikeout to walk ratio in his 97 at bats. He went 2-3 with 2 walks last night, but his BABIP still sits at a low .206, so his batting average should improve as more of his batted balls fall for hits.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Yankees reliever David Robertson struggled in his first save opportunity since Mariano Rivera's injury last Thursday evening. He gave up a hit, walked two and struck out two to escape with his first career save. Manager Joe Girardi has yet to name his closer but Robertson has to be the favorite as he has yet to give up a run this season and owns a K rate of 15.75/9. Seems like he is closer worthy to me.
White Sox manager Robin Ventura named Chris Sale as his closer a few days ago, and then brought him in for a two inning save in the 8th inning last night, but Sale proceeded to give up a hit, a walk and an unearned run. The game went into extras, and Addison Reed earned his second save of the season, striking out two in the process. So who closes going forward?
Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso was the main piece heading to San Diego in the offseason trade that saw the Padres deal Mat Latos to the Reds. Alonso isn't going to make Padre fans forget about Adrian Gonzalez anytime soon, but he can hit. Alonso singled in his first at bat last night, and has hit in 12 of his last 15 games, raising his BA from .214 to .290 ( after his first at bat last evening), with no home runs and 7 RBI. He owns a solid 18-10 strikeout to walk rate in exactly 100 at bats, so he won't hurt you in OBP leagues, even though his power is not that of a traditional first baseman. But, keep in mind that the Padres are considering bringing in their fences next offseason, so the power could appear in 2013.
Royals DH Billy Butler is a big dude at 6'1", 240 pounds, but has hit more than 20 home runs in a season once in his 5 year career. That might change this season, as he went 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBI in the Royals 6-4 win over the Red Sox. He is now hitting .296-.341-.530 with 6 HRs and 23 RBI thus far. He is on pace to hit 34 homers and drive in close to 130. I won't say he can't hit 30 HRs, but I am more comfortable saying he will hit between 20-25 home runs this season.
Well, maybe Albert Pujols won't catch fire after homering a few days ago. Pujols went 0-4 last night in the Angels 4-0 loss to the Twins. Pujols triple slash line now sits at a James Loney-like .190-.228-.281 with just one home run and 4 RBI. Loney's triple slash line, by the way, is .205-.278-.318. The difference is Loney may latch on as a backup first baseman somewhere next offeason, while Pujols will be counting his $254 million over the next 10 years. I tweeted last week that I thought Pujols looked smaller this season than he did last year. Anyone agree?