My apologies for not posting the Roto Roundup on Thursday. I had an online auction that went from 8pm-midnight, and was pretty beat afterward. This one will be a short one as I have to catch a train to NYC this morning, as I have one of my NL-only auction drafts in NYC this evening.
Anyway, the big news from Thursday was the Tigers signing their former closer Jose Valverde to a minor league deal. I assume once he is ready, he will be closing for the Tigers, but that bullpen is a mess right now. Phil Coke blew a save on Wednesday, and even with Valverde in the mix, they really don't have a shutdown closer. Why they don't give Joaquin Benoit or Al Albuquerque a shot is beyond me. But, maybe they will get their chance the next time a save opportunity arises. Since they signed Valverde to a minor league deal, they have no risk, so if he doesn't pitch well, they are not on the hook for a guaranteed contract.
In other closer news from Thursday, Cubs closer Carlos Marmol appeared to be well on his way to blowing a save, as he gave up two runs on 3 hits and a walk before he got an out in the ninth, but was able to escape more trouble as he struck out Pedro Alvarez and got Neil Walker to ground into a game ending double play. It is important to note that Kyuji Fujikawa pitched a clean 8th inning, striking out one batter in dong so. The Cubs had a lefty warming up in the bullpen during the Pirates 9th inning rally. I assume Marmol will continue getting save opportunities until he blows up again, but his ERA and WHIP is going to hurt some pitching staffs early in the season.
Reds leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo has been everything the Reds have hoped for thus far in 2013. He went 2-4 with a leadoff home run and two runs scored yesterday in the Reds 5-4 win over the Angels. Choo has scored a run in each of the Reds three games this season, and assuming he stays healthy, could easily put up a 20 HR, 20 stolen base, 100 run season for the Reds.
White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham went 4-4 yesterday, but unfortunately for his owners, all were singles, and he did not score a run or knock in a run. He is off to a fast start to the 2013 season, as a result, and owners are holding out hope that 2013 will be his breakout season.
Speaking of fast starts, Orioles first baseman/DH Chris Davis is the definition of a man on fire. Davis went 2-3 with a HR and 4 RBI in Thursday's 6-3 win over the Rays. After just three games, Davis is hitting .636-.692-1.727 with 3 HRs and 11 RBI, and has at least a HR and 3 RBI in each of the Orioles first three games. Maybe last year was a sign of things to come for Davis, as he is proving his 2012 breakout was real.
Andy Pettitte just continues to amaze, as he limited the Red Sox to just one run on 8 hits, striking out 3 and walking one in eight strong innings in the Yankees 4-2 win. Pettitte continues to pitch like he is 30 years old instead of 40 years old. He pitched very well in his 12 starts last season, and is showing no signs of aging just yet.
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts injured his hamstring and had to leave yesterday's game vs the Rays. What some thought was a knee injury is "just" a hamstring injury, but he will more than likely land on the DL. This is tough news for Roberts who has battled an assortment of injuries over the last few seasons, and had appeared to be 100% healthy coming into the season. Hopefully, he will need just the standard 15 days on the DL and be back in the Orioles lineup later this month. I imagine Alexei Casilla will replace him in the Orioles lineup while he is out.