Before I get into the Roto Roundup, I wanted to let you know that if you ever have questions, feel free to post them in the comments section of the daily Roto Roundup or any other article posted by the other Fake Teams writers. Someone will answer your question, so please do not hesitate to ask any question you may have.
Now onto the Roundup, where some starting pitchers dominated on Friday night, but none more than Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez.
Anibal Sanchez Strikes out 17
The Tigers signed Anibal Sanchez to an $80 million contract in the offseason, and some wondered whether he deserved such a large contract. Last night, Sanchez showed us why the Tigers invested so much money in his right arm, as he struck out 17 Braves. He struck out Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla 4 times apiece, as both finished the night with the dreaded Golden Sombrero.
Sanchez threw 8 shutout innings, giving up just 5 hits, walking one and striking out 17. Of the 84 strikes he threw, 27 were swinging strikes, so his stuff was working on Friday night.
Sanchez is now 3-1 on the season with a 1.34 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 41-9 strikeout to walk ratio in 33.2 innings of work. Of the 24 outs last night, 17 were via the strikeout and 6 via the ground ball.
Kyle Kendrick: Undervalued starting pitcher
Kyle Kendrick was one of my streamer picks for Friday night, and he turned in one of his best starts of his career, shutting out the Mets in a complete game effort. Kendrick held the Mets to just 3 hits, a walk and struck out 5 to earn the 4-0 win. He is now 2-1 with a 2.41 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. Right now, he is probably the Phillies second best starter based on his stats, and has put up better stats than each of the big three: Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay. Kendrick doesn't strike out a lot of batters (6.42 K/9), but also does not walk too many (2.14 BB/9). He relies on pitching to contact and keeps the ball on the ground at a 48% clip.
Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann need just 91 pitches to toss a one-hit shutout of the Reds last night. He threw a complete game, giving up just one hit, to Reds outfielder Xavier Paul, walking one and striking out five. He has been the Nationals best starter thus far, and is now 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and a 19-6 strikeout to walk ratio in 36 innings of work.
Zimmermann has gone 6 or more innings in four of his five start this season, and has given up three runs or less in each of his five starts. This was his second complete game of the season. Zimmermann pitches to contact and has gone over 100 pitches in just one start this season.
Here is what else happened on Friday night:
Tigers DH Victor Martinez has started the season slowly, but had a big night on Friday, going 3-5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs and 2 RBI in the Tigers 10-0 win over the Braves. VMart raised his triple slash line to .213-.297-.263 with 0 HRs, 4 runs and 8 RBI. He has hit in 6 of his last 10 games, with multiple hits in four of those games. If he is available in your leagues, now is the time to pick him up.
Red Sox catcher David Ross had a big night last night, going 4-4 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 2 RBI. Ross is the backup ion Boston, but a solid option in AL only and deeper leagues which require two catchers. He now has 3 HRs and 4 RBI in his 29 at bats this season.
Some have called for the Cubs to demote first baseman Anthony Rizzo due to his slow start, as his strikeout rate is up 10% over last season, and he is having trouble making contact. But he is hitting for power, and the power was on display on Friday night, as Rizzo accounted for all four of the Cubs runs with 2 HRs among his three hits on the night. Rizzo is now hitting .200-.277-.506 with 8 HRs and 18 RBI.
Has James Loney finally figured things out at the plate or is this just an early season hot streak. Loney went 3-4 with a run scored in the Rays 5-4 loss to the White Sox last night. Loney, who has been the Rays best hitter thus far, raised his triple slash line to .358-.424-.547 with a HR, 7 doubles, 6 runs, 9 RBI and a 7-6 strikeout to walk rate in 53 at bats this season.
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn struggled this spring, but his hot start goes to show you cannot rely on spring stats. Lynn held the Pirates to one run on just two hits, 3 walks and 9 strikeouts last night in the Cardinals 9-1 win. Lynn is now 4-0 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and a 34-13 strikeout to walk ratio in 29 innings this season.
Dodgers closer Brandon League came in to preserve a 3 run lead last night, and made things interesting for manager Don Mattingly. League gave up a run on 2 hits, and had to face Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun with a man on. Braun, who homered earlier in the game, grounded out to first to end the game. League earned his seventh save of the season, but probably will not be available for Saturday's game, as he has pitched on three consecutive days, and has given up a run in each of those games as well. Kenley Jansen did not pitch last night and should see work the ninth inning should there be a save opportunity.
interesting that a day after Carlos Marmol earned a save, manager Dale Sveum went to Kevin Gregg to close out a two run game last night. Gregg pitched a clean inning striking out one, to earn his 2nd save in as many tries. Marmol had thrown 18 pitches on Thursday, so maybe the Cubs are going to a closer by committee.
Braves catcher Brian McCann hit two home runs in his first rehab game this season last night, so his offseason shoulder surgery hasn't affected his power at the plate. McCann will play 10-11 rehab games and should be back in a couple weeks. I wonder how the Braves will use him as Evan Gattis has played well in his absence. I assume Gattis will play C, OF and 1B once McCann returns, so he will be eligible at multiple positions.
The Cardinals placed hot-hitting first baseman Matt Adams on the 15 day DL with an oblique injury. But the team did not call up the AAA outfielder we all wanted to see. Instead of calling up top prospect Oscar Taveras, they called up outfielder Jermaine Curtis instead.