Not a day goes by without some closer controversy and we could have one brewing in Kansas City and Boston in the next week or so. Kelvin Herrera nailed down his second save last night and Joel Hanrahan...well, not so much. He had a huge meltdown vs the Orioles.
Evan Gattis: Grab him off the waiver wire now
Before reading this, make sure you read David O'Brien's 2012 article detailing Gattis' life experience. He's gone to hell and back, so he is easy to root for. Anyway, Gattis is now the Braves starting catcher, at least until Brian McCann is ready to return from offseason shoulder surgery. He went 2-3 with a HR and 3 RBI last night in the Braves 7-0 win over the struggling Marlins. Gattis now has 3 HRs and 6 RBI, and is hitting .409-.458-.864 in just 25 at bats. This could be just a hit streak for Gattis, but he has power as his 40 HRs in just under 700 plate appearances over the last two seasons in the minors.
End of the line for Adam Lind?
Adam Lind teased fantasy owners back in 2009 with a triple slash line of .305-.370-.562 with 35 HRs, 93 runs and 114 RBI, displaying power he had never shown in the minors. Of course, guys like me bought into the breakout, and projected that he could repeat the power breakout. He disappointed in 2010, hitting just .237 with 23 HRs and 72 RBI, and followed that up with a .251-26-87 line in 2011. He was still productive, but he struggled so bad last season that he found himself back in AAA, where he comoletely dominated. This season, he has struggled to at the plate, hitting just .105-.190-.158 with just one extra base hit in 19 at bats. Could this be the last we see of Lind as an every day player?
Manny Machado is struggling
I own Machado in my AL-only keeper league, and am beginning to get worried about him and whether he could be demoted if this slump continues. I know it's early, but remember he is just 20 years old and should be in AAA if the team had been conservative with him. AA actually. Machado went 0-4 last night with one strikeout, and is now hitting .176-.222-.206 with one extra base hit, 4 runs, 1 RBI, no stolen bases and a 6-2 strikeout to walk rate in 34 at bats thus far. He is hitting second in the Orioles lineup just ahead of Nick Markakis. If manager Buck Showalter moves him down in their lineup, the slump could continue, so I see Showalter giving Machado more at bats in the two hole.
Note: Minutes after I wrote this Machado hit an absolute bomb over the Green Monster off of Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan to put the Orioles up 8-5. So, like I said, it's early.
Joel Hanrahan on a short leash?
Soon after the Machado blast, SB Nation's Red Sox site tweeted the following regarding Hanrahan:
Doubt Farrell pulls the plug on Hanrahan as closer quite so quickly, but we'll see I guess.— OverTheMonster (@OverTheMonster) April 11, 2013
I was a little surprised at the tweet, as Hanrahan already has 3 saves in his 4 appearances this season. But after giving up 5 runs on 3 hits, two of them home runs, he has now given up 3 home runs in just under 5 innings of work thus far. I doubt he loses the closer job this early, but it is important to note that set up man Andrew Bailey is un-scored upon this season with a 6-2 strikeout to walk rate in 3.1 innings.
More Roto Roundup
Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder has that good year/bad year trend going, and while last season was solid, it wasn't the big year many had expected from him. Thus far in 2013, Fielder is hitting .310-.400-.586 with 2 HRs, 2 doubles, 5 runs and 10 RBI. I think he could put up a 35 HR, 110-120 RBI season along with a .300+ batting average this season in the stacked Tigers lineup.
Daniel Kelley wrote this piece on Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera yesterday, saying he will be the next reliever to get saves. Apparently Royals manager is buddies with Daniel, or just read the piece, as he went to Herrera in the 9th inning of a 3-0 game last night. Herrera notched the save by striking out the side with a Joe Mauer double mixed in. Herrera was called upon, I assume, since closer Greg Holland threw 27 pitches in his save opportunity on Tuesday night. How did I know he threw 27 pitches on Tuesday, you ask? Well, Baseball Press has this impressive Bullpen Usage chart that they track everyday, along with providing MLB lineups on a daily basis. Bookmark their site.
With that said, I agree with Daniel. Grab Herrera if he is available in your leagues. Guy is dominant.
Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock had himself a day at the plate on Wednesday afternoon. With talk of Cody Ross returning from the DL next week, Pollock needed a game like this to stay in the big leagues. Pollock went 3-5 with 2 HRs, 3 runs, 4 RBI and a stolen base. He raised his triple slash line to .273-.273-.636 with 2 HRs and 6 RBI. He probably becomes the Diamondbacks 4th outfielder till Adam Eaton returns from the DL in late May.
Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso played the ninth inning at second base, after the Padres ran out of infielders after a few moves. It was the first time in the majors or minors that Alonso played second base. After missing a rather easy grounder (Gonzalez's single), Alonso was moved to third base, where he last played one full game in 2011 with the Reds. With the right-handed Cruz up, Alonso moved back to second base. That was fun.
So Alonso is now eligible at second base and third base in leagues where you only need one game played at the position to be eligible there.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp has struggled at the plate this season, but he might be coming out of his early season slump after going 2-5 in last night's 4-3 win over the Padres. He raised his triple slash line to a Mendoza-like .167-.235-.267. He might still be recovering from his offseason shoulder surgery, as he had trouble catching up to Eric Stult's fastball, but he did see a steady stream of breaking pitches and slow stuff from Stults, so that may have contributed. He did hit long foul ball in the 9th inning that would have been a home run had it stayed fair. True Blue LA's Eric Stephen said it was easily the hardest ball he has hit this season. Patience.
Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders left last night's game vs the Astros with a right shoulder sprain. Mariner's beat writer Larry Stone, from the Seattle Times, tweeted that Saunders is expected to miss "some time" as a result of the injury. I assume that means a DL stint for Saunders, which means more Jason Bay in the Mariners lineup.
I was watching the Dodgers-Padres game last night and am pretty sure I heard Padres play by play announcer Dick Enberg say that Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez's thumb injury is healing quicker than expected and could be back in early May.
A suspension is likely coming for Soler, and possibly a demotion as well.