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Monday Roto Round Up: This Year's Cliff Lee Has Been Identified

SP Zach Greinke, Kansas City Royals:  Through 45 innings covering six starts, Greinke has six Wins, 54 Ks and 8 walks.  I know most of the fantasy world is looking for this year's Cliff Lee in the Recently-Crappy-Undrafted-Pitcher Bin, but Greinke is this year's Cliff Lee.  The strikeouts are up and the walks are down.

SS Michael Young, Texas Rangers:  Before the season started, Young's star had faded even in the SS-depleted AL.  Last night, he hit his 7th HR.  While I wouldn't project a 30 HR season, I would expect Young to be near 20.  That is level most thought to be nothing but a memory for Young.

OF Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers:  Kemp stole his 7th base of the season and drove-in his 17th run.  This has been done mainly from the 7th spot in the line-up.  While Kemp's SB totals shouldn't be effected, his RBIs totals won't keep pace.

OF Scott Hairston, San Diego Padres:  Hitting 3rd in front of 1B Adrian Gonzalez, Hairston hit his 4th HR of the season and drove in his 13th run.  With the Padres' line-up in need of punch, do not be surprised to see Hairston start more frequently against right-handers.  His early splits are indistinguisable from each other.  Until a more drastic split arises, that is.

3B Joe Thurston, St. Louis Cardinals:  Thurston went 3-5 last night and drove-in the Cardinals' lone run.  I mention this not because it was a good game, but because Thurston has now started the last five games at third and 16 of the Cards' 26 games.  I capitulated two nights ago and added him in an NL-Only league.

2B Manny Burriss, San Francisco Giants:  In a season that has seen a 4-, 5- and 6-SB game, stealing your 7th base when you're fantasy profile shines as brightly as Joe Thurston's gets missed.  Burriss entered the season in a three-man battle with Kevin Frandsen and Eugenio Velez for the 2B ABs.  Burris has now started 23 of the Giants 24 games.  Unlike Thurston, Burriss' .211/.294/.237 slash stats hint that his hold on the starting job could be slipping.

SP Aaron Harang, Cincinnati Reds:  With 9 Ks against the Marlins, I am warming to the idea that spot starting pitchers against the Marlins is a good idea - hot first half of April be da**ed!  Harang's last two starts resulted in back-to-back two strikeout efforts.

2B Rickie Weeks, Milwaukee Brewers:  His 6th HR of the seaosn won the game last night.  Whatever Weeks' has done to add power, it looks to have come from his ability to take walks.  With just 5 free passes through 105 ABs (and 25 Ks), he looks like he has destroyed the idea he had plate discipline and speed but couldn't hit for AVG - A 2B version of Mike Cameron.  But even the speed looks gone as he has been caught twice in his three attempts.

OF Matt LaPorta, Cleveland Indians:  Despite a 1-3 game with a HR, LaPorta was lifted for pinch-hitter Dave Dellucci, who was promptly singled and was pinch-ran for by 2B Josh Barfield, who went into the field to play left.  I don't know what bothers me more - the pinch-hitter or using a 2B as a defensive sub.

C Jason Varitek, Boston Red Sox:  A day after the Rays stole eight bases, the Yankees swiped two.  While a catcher normally escapes culpability, I can't help seeing both bases were stolen with a lefty starter on the mound.  Here I thought it'd be the Yankees' battery mate who'd be exploited in the AL East.

8th Inning Set-Up: C.J. Wilson TEX (2), Alan Embree COL (3), Carlos Marmol CHC (6), Rafael Perez CLE (3), J.J. Putz New York Mets (6), Ramon Ramirez BOS (1)

Saves: Frank Francisco TEX (8), Huston Street COL (3), Kevin Gregg CHC (4), Trevor Hoffman MLW (4), Jensen Lewis CLE (1), Francisco Rodriguez New York Mets (6), Jonathan Papelbon BOS (7)

Blown Saves: Matt Capps PIT (1), Kerry Wood CLE (1), Brandon League TOR (1)