Roto Roundup: Justin Upton, Carlos Marmol, Albert Pujols, and Others

Mike Zarrilli

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top, and bottom, fantasy performers from Saturday's MLB action.

I did not get to the Roto Roundup for Friday's MLB action as I was away from my computer all day on Friday, getting home after midnight, after my all day trip into NYC. I should be fine going forward though.

This weekend is a big draft weekend for me, as I had drafts on Friday night, Saturday afternoon and my last one this morning beginning at 10am.

Here are some of the highlights from Saturday's games, along with some injury news.

Aramis Ramirez injured again

Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez injured his knee sliding into second base on Friday, and was immediately removed from the game. He was quoted after the game saying that he thinks the knee injury is more serious than the injury he suffered to the same knee in spring training. A DL stint is likely, and could be longer than the standard 15 days. Worst case scenario for fantasy owners is that he needs knee surgery which would keep him out of action for quite awhile. As a Ramirez owner, I hope the injury is not serious.

John Lackey injury

Red Sox starter John Lackey injured his arm on a pitch to Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes, nearly hitting him, and was removed from the game with one out in the 5th inning. He was pitching well up to that point, giving up two runs, on five hits, a walk and 8 strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Here is a tweet from Pete Abraham from the Boston Globe on what he saw after the pitch:

Sean McAdam, from Comcast Sportsnet, tweeted that Lackey has a biceps strain. Sounds like he will land on the DL and we will learn the extent of the injury later today or tomorrow.

Justin Upton's huge bounce back

Braves outfielder Justin Upton had a disappointing power season in 2012, yet the rest of his stats were solid, as he scored over 100 runs and stole 18 bases. His power was impacted by a thumb injury early in the season which reduced his home run output in a big way, as his home run total dropped from 31 to 17 last season. I wrote about him quite a bit this offseason, as I felt his power would bounce back. As of this writing, Upton now has four five home runs in five games thus far, and he is well on his way to another 30 home run season, barring injury. Earlier this week, I traded a $39 Upton for a $15 Neil Walker in the UBA NL only league, as I decided to keep a $47 Matt Kemp and trade Upton, rather than trade Kemp and keep Upton. At this point, that decision looks silly. Real silly.

You know what's even more silly? Kevin Towers dealing Upton.

Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is one of the better power hitting catchers in the game, and he has not disappointed thus far in 2013. Arencibia launched his third home run of the season in the Blue Jays 5-0 win over the Red Sox. Arencibia is off to a fast start, hitting .368-.400-1.000 triple slash line with 3 HRs and 4 RBI, and has hit in four of his first five games this season.

Daniel Kelley wrote about Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos on Friday here, and Ramos responded by hitting not one, but two home runs yesterday, going yard in the 6th and 11th innings of the Nationals 7-6 win over the Reds. Like Daniel mentioned in his article on Friday, Ramos is likely to be the Nationals starting catcher this season and should be owned in more than 0.7% of ESPN leagues. That should change come Monday.

Angels first baseman/DH Albert Pujols had a huge day at the plate, going 2-2 with 3 walks, 2 runs, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI in the Angels 8-4 win over the Rangers yesterday. I have been vocal about being down on Pujols this season, and time will tell if I will be right or wrong about him. Interesting that he had his best day at the plate so far as the Angels DH yesterday. I wonder if manager Mike Scioscia will DH him more this season to keep his legs fresh.

Cubs closer Carlos Marmol blew his first save of the season last night in amazing fashion. He got Upton'd by both B.J. and Justin in the ninth inning, serving up home runs to both of them. But, manager Dale Sveum has seen enough, already. He is talking about making a change in the closer role, and Kyuji Fujikawa may not be his choice either. Fujikawa struggled last night as well, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and a walk in his inning of work. Here is Patrick Mooney from Comcast Sports:

That is Shawn Camp and James Russell, who according to Sveum, have been efficient. Good times in Chicago.

Mets third baseman David Wright is off to a hot start to the 2013 season, as he went 3-4 with 2 runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base in the Mets 7-3 win over the Marlins. He is now hitting .344-.455-.389 with as many RBI as stolen bases (3). Could Wright steal 30 this season?

Clayton Kershaw tossed another gem last night, shutting out the Pirates for 7 innings, giving up just two hits, walking one and striking out 9. He made 97 pitches, 59 for strikes, 17 of which were of the swinging variety. At one point during the game, he had put down 17 Pirates in a row. He has given up just 6 hits, walked one and struck out 16 in 16 innings of work in his first two starts this season.

Orioles outfielder Adam Jones had a breakout year in 2012, and he has picked up where he left off last season. He went 2-4 with 3 RBI last night and is now hitting .522-.522-.652 with 8 runs, 7 RBI and a stolen base thus far. He has multiple hits in four of his five games played this season.

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