Cliff Lee threw another shutout last night, striking out 7 Reds and only allowing 6 hits en route to the 1-0 victory. For whatever reason, I didn't include him as an option in yesterday's poll whether or not he will be the top pitcher for the remainder of the season. He clearly belongs in the discussion though, as he now has 5 wins, a 2.55 ERA, a 0.90 WHIP, and 67 strikeouts in 77 2/3 innings pitched. Could he still win the AL Cy Young award despite missing a month of the season?
This Just in: Stephen Strasburg looks really, really good. 10 K, no walks, and only 1 earned run in 7 innings last night in a no-decision against the White Sox. I was a bit confused by the fact that the Nationals pulled him after 7 innings, despite only throwing 85 pitches. To date, he now has a 1.86 ERA and 32 K in only 19+ IP. Looking forward, I want to see him against a really talented lineup, but his next start is trending to be against Kansas City.
Up in the Bronx, Javier Vazquez had another good start, and looks like he's back. He went 7 innings with 4 strikeouts and only 1 earned run. Unfortunately, this was not enough, and took the loss. Clearly, the first part of the season was pretty horrendous, as evidenced by the fact that these solid starts have only lowered his ERA to 5.01 for the season. If you can still convince Vazquez owners to sell low, that window is closing fast.
My thoughts about Derrek Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, and some of the other top rookies after the jump...
Ray wrote yesterday about the missing piece from the Rockies lineup, as Troy Tulowitzki will miss the next 6 to 8 weeks with a broken wrist. The Rockies are missing a huge part of their lineup, and fantasy owners are definitely scrambling. I picked up Orlando Cabrera in one league as a replacement, and suggested Ian Desmond as well in the comments. Clearly, you're not going to be able to replace the production that Tulo was giving you, but you should be able to find someone to replace at least some portion of his production.
Derrek Lee hit 2 homeruns yesterday, but unfortunately it wasn't enough to lead the Cubs to victory. For Lee, they were his 9th and 10th of the season, and hopefully this is the start of a more valuable Lee. I had Lee as my #11 1B in my preseason rankings, ahead of Justin Morneau and Adam Dunn. I don't think he catches either one of them at this point, but if he can return to some of the form that I thought he would show, he could be a buy-low candidate.
Ryan Howard went nuts, with 2 homeruns, a triple, and a double yesterday to go with the Phillies' victory. Hopefully he also is going to really get going here. He isn't having a bad season per se, with a .293 batting average and now 13 HR and 49 RBI. But I have to imagine that his owners were expecting him to be at 20/60 already.
Wandy Rodriguez went only 3 innings again yesterday, and gave up 6 earned runs and 4 walks. I had him coming into the season as the #16 starting pitcher, 1 spot ahead of Ubaldo Jimenez. Whoops. I think that at this point, Wandy is probably dropable in all formats, and if he puts it together for a pair of starts you pick him up then.
Jason Hammel had another good start last night, going 7 1/3 shutout with 4 strikeouts and only 10 baserunners. He's probably a spot starter in shallow leagues, but I think he probably needs to be owned in all leagues at this point.
Carlos Santana went 2 for 2 yesterday, to raise his batting average to .333. In 7 games, he has 5 RBI, 4 doubles and a homerun. Looking really really good.
Mike Stanton hit his first homerun, and went big with a grand slam. He went 2-4 overall, and now has 8 rbi on the season.
Pedro Alvarez went 0-4, and is now 0-10 in 3 games. Be patient, as not all rookies are going to come up and dominate like Strasburg has.