Tuesday brought fantasy owners with a collection of bad news and some good news on the injury front. The news on Jered Weaver and Jason Motte was not good, but there was some good involving Chase Headley and Hanley Ramirez.
Miguel Cabrera is still the best hitter in baseball
Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera had a big day at the plate on Tuesday afternoon, going 4-5 with a HR, 3 runs and 4 RBI in the Tigers 7-3 win over the Blue Jays. Miggy is now hitting .393-.469-.536 with a HR and 10 RBI. If there is a hitter that could be the next .400 hitter, it is Cabrera.
Jason Motte has MRI, Tommy John surgery possible
I wrote about Motte here last night. Mitchell Boggs is still the closer for now, but if I owned Boggs (I do), I would grab Trevor Rosenthal (I did). Both Rosenthal and Boggs tossed clean innings last night in the Cardinals 5-1 win over the Reds.
Chase Headley back by the end of the month?
Padres third baseman Chase Headley injured his thumb back in mid-March, and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks. Yesterday, we learned that he is already taking ground balls at third base, and hitting off a tee. Here is more from MLB.com:
Headley.......had an X-ray and stress tests conducted on the thumb on Monday. The news was good.
Armed with that prognosis, Headley took some ground balls before the Padres faced the Dodgers. He also hit off a tee and played flip in the batting cage.
There's hope internally that Headley, who had a National-League leading 115 RBIs last season, could be able to play in Major League games by the end of the month following a Minor League rehabilitation stint with one of the team's affiliates.
Music to Headley owners for sure. He was expected to return in 4-6 weeks, and it appears he just might, assuming he experiences no setbacks.
The Astros breakout....all at once
The Astros lineup has struggled to score runs thus far in 2013, and are striking out at an alarming rate. We have already established that their lineup is full of whiff machines, but no one expected them to put up 16 runs last night. Every one of their hitters got a hit with the exception of Brett Wallace (what the heck happened to him?). Their offensive onslaught was led by leadoff hitter Jose Altuve, who went 4-6 with a home run, a double and 4 RBI, raising his season average to .344-.382-.500. Astros left fielder/first baseman Chris Carter also went 4- with 2 HRs and 3 RBI. When I suggested picking up Brandon Maurer for a spot start vs the Astros in Tuesday's Streamer Report, something told me to reconsider, as the Astros lineup was due. I should have listened to my inner self.
More Roto Roundup
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is officially on fire. He went 3-4 with 2 HRs on Monday afternoon, and one-upped that performance on Tuesday night, going 4-6 with a HR, 2 doubles, 2 runs and 5 RBI in the Yankees 14-1 win over the Indians. He has quickly raised his batting average over .300 and now has 3 HRs and 7 RBI over the last two games.
Coming into the season, I was skeptical that White Sox outfielder Alex Rios could put up back to back 20-20 seasons at the plate, but judging by his performance thus far, he should have no issues repeating. He went 3-5 with a HR, 2 runs, 2 RBI and a stolen base in the White Sox 8-7 loss to the Nationals. Rios did his part though, hitting a 2 run home run off of Nationals closer Rafael Soriano in the 9th inning. He now has 4 HRs and 3 stolen bases on the season. A 20-20 season seems like a slam dunk.
Raise your hand if you expected Andy Pettitte to pitch this well this season? No show of hands. Thought so. Pettitte has been the Yankees best pitcher so far this season, and it continued on Tuesday, as he held the Indians to just one run on 5 hits, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts in 7 strong innings. He is now 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA, and has gone at least 7 innings in each of his first two starts. He's 40 years old, you know.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout was a unanimous top 3 choice in most leagues this season, and the #1 overall pick in some drafts as well. Thus far in 2013, he is hitting .281-.343-.438 with no home runs, 4 runs scored, 1 RBI and no stolen bases. The regression crowd looks to be right at this point, but we all know what Trout did from May forward in 2012.
Royals closer Greg Holland struggled again on Tuesday night, giving up a hit, 2 walks and striking out 2 while earning his second save of the season. He certainly didn't eliminate any doubts for fantasy owners that he will retain the closer role, but until manager Ned Yost makes a change, he still has the job. Don't panic just yet.
Brewers former closer John Axford got the last out of the 7th inning last night. He came back to start the 8th, and looked like the Axford that we saw in Arizona this past weekend. Axford proceeded to give up a hit and 2 walks before being removed from the game. Alfredo Figaro served up a sacrifice fly to Scott Hairston and a two-run single to David DeJesus, making Axford's line look all that much worse. Even still, Axford won't be seen pitching the ninth inning anytime soon. Unless it is in AAA.
Nationals closer Rafael Soriano struggled once again in the 9th inning last night, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, one a home run off the bat of Alex Rios, but did earn his 3rd save of the season in the Nationals 8-7 win over the White Sox. Teammate Drew Storen pitched a clean 8th inning, striking out 2 in a set up role. Should Soriano continue to struggle, it appears Storen would be next in line to grab save opportunities in the Nationals bullpen, especially with Tyler Clippard giving up a 3 run bomb to Paul Konerko in the 7th inning.