Just a reminder to post any of your questions in the comments section of the Roundup, including your roster decision, trade offers, or keeper league questions.
Zack Greinke ahead of schedule, nearing rehab assignment
I was listening to the Buster Olney podcast yesterday afternoon, and one of the topics they discussed was the Dodgers falling into last place. This caught my interest, of course, but something else was even more interesting. In the discussion, they mentioned that the team is not panicking right now, as they have yet to play more than a few games with a healthy 25 man roster thus far in 2013. But the important piece of information to take away from his podcast was what he said about Dodgers starter Zack Greinke. Olney stated the manager Don Mattingly thinks Greinke can return to the Dodgers rotation ahead of schedule. So he could be back in a few weeks.
ESPNLA's Mark Saxon confirmed Olney's assertion in this tweet last evening:
The Dodgers have clocked Zack Greinke throwing 90 mph in his two bullpen sessions and he sounds close to starting rehab stint— Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) May 8, 2013
Eric Stephen from True Blue LA wrote yesterday that Greinke could start a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, and be back in the Dodgers rotation by the last week of the month.
Matt Harvey is an ace
It might be too early to call Mets starter Matt Harvey an ace, but if Stephen Strasburg was pitching as well as Harvey, we wouldn't be hearing the end of it. Harvey completely dominated the White Sox last night, and nearly throwing a perfect game. He gave up just one hit, walked no one, and struck out 12, but did not factor in the decision, as the Mets needed 10 innings to beat the White Sox 1-0. Harvey is now 4-0 with a 1.28 ERA, 1.92 FIP, a 0.69 WHIP, and a 58-12 K-BB rate in 49.1 innings. To give you an idea as to how dominant he has been this season, he has faced a total of 178 batters this season, and given up just 22 hits and 12 walks, all in 49.1 innings or work. He has given up one run or less in six of his seven starts thus far. He is the leading candidate for NL Cy Young right now, and I have no problem calling him an ace right now.
Jurickson Profar injured
I was checking out my timeline on Twitter late last night and came across this tweet from Tepid Participation, one of the writers at Lone Star Ball:
Uh-oh. Profar, batting left handed, lifted a foul ball down the line in RF and has left the game. Trainers were looking at his left arm.— Tepid Participation (@TepidP) May 8, 2013
Things have not gone well for Profar this season. Hopefully this is a minor injury, and nothing serious.
Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick was one of my streamer picks for Tuesday's games, as he is still owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues. I imagine this might be the last week where he is eligible for the daily Streamer Report. Last night, he held the Giants to two runs on 6 hits, no walks and 6 strikeouts in the Phillies 6-2 win over the Giants. He is now 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a 35-10 K-BB rate in 47.2 innings. He has now given up two runs or less in his last six starts, after giving up 5 runs in his first start of the season.
There was a pitcher's duel between Tommy Milone and Zach McAllister in Cleveland last night. McAllister shut out the A's for 7.2 innings, giving up 5 hits, walking 1 and striking out 4 in the Indians 1-0 win. McAllister is now 3-3 with a 2.63 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. He has given up 3 runs or less in all six of his starts this season.
Milone was the tough-luck loser, as he gave up just an unearned run on 5 hits, no walks and 5 strikeouts. He is now 3-4 with a 3.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and a 41-6 K-BB rate in 46 innings.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum called starter Travis Wood the best pitcher in baseball last night. That was after Wood gave up just one run on 5 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts vs the Rangers last night. Wood earned the win, and is now 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP, and 34-14 K-BB rate in 46.1 innings thus far in 2013. Wood has been a real surprise this season, as he has tossed 6+ innings, and given up 3 runs or less, in each of his 7 starts this season. Owners who grabbed him early in the season are probably faring well in their leagues so far. Can he keep this up?
Cardinals starter Lance Lynn struggled mightily in spring training back in March, so he is the poster boy for not looking at spring stats. Lynn held the Cubs to two runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings last night, and is now 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and a 47-16 K-BB rate in 43 innings this season. He has given up 2 runs or less in five of his seven starts so far.
Last season, Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion had a breakout year with 42 HRs and 110 RBI, but he is having trouble repeating that breakout in 2013. He is hitting just .223-.229-.446 with 9 HRs and 21 RBI in 34 games. Should you be concerned? Well, his .208 BABIP has a lot to do with his low batting average and OBP, so he has been a bit unlucky thus far. His .223 ISO is excellent, and should rise once more balls in play start falling for hits.
Well, I wrote up my Closer Report yesterday, and it will post later this morning, but I had ranked Braves closer Craig Kimbrel as my #1 closer this week. Like any closer, he will have his rough patches during the season, and Kimbrel is going through his rough patch right now. He entered the game in the 9th inning last night, to preserve a 4-3 Braves lead. He got two outs before serving up back to back home runs to Devin Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo. The blown save was his third of the season, and he has given up runs in three of his last five appearances. Last season, Kimbrel gave up just 3 home runs in 62.2 innings. This season, he has given up 3 home runs in 13.1 innings. Actually, he has given up 3 home runs in his last 2.2 innings. This situation certainly bares watching for fantasy owners. I imagine Eric O'Flaherty would be the next in line to closer should Kimbrel lose the job.
Well, by now, you have heard that the Red Sox had to place Joel Hanrahan on the DL yesterday due to right forearm tightness. This after Hanrahan blew a save, which was hours after the team placed closer Andrew Bailey on the DL with a right bicep injury. So, who will be closing in Boston with two closers on the DL? According to manager John Farrell, it will be Junichi Tazawa. Time to grab Tazawa in all leagues.
It might be time to grab Kenley Jansen. Why? Because Dodgers closer Brandon League gave up a walk and a home run to Paul Goldschmidt, after his 11 pitch at bat. Technically, League did not blow the save, but he has been horrible this season nonetheless. He has given up runs in 7 of his last 10 appearances, and his ERA now sits at 5.68. I imagine manager Don Mattingly will not make a change just yet, but League is on very thin ice, in my opinion.
Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz came in to close out a 5-3 lead last night, and proceeded to walk Nick Punto on four pitches. His last pitch was very high and outside, and after throwing the pitch, he walked off the mound, clenching his right hand. Now, I have no idea what the injury was, but he was removed from the game, with Heath Bell coming in to close out the game. Set up man David Hernandez had pitched the 8th inning, giving up a hit and a walk, but did not allow a run. It will be interesting to see who closes in Arizona should Putz need some time on the DL.
Update: it was reported that Putz left the game with elbow stiffness. I think he will land on the DL, but who gets the closer job will come down to either David Hernandez or Heath Bell. Here are quotes from Putz after the game, courtesy of Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
Yeah a DL stint looks like a good possibility.