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Roto Roundup: Vicente Padilla Earns Save, Jed Lowrie New Starting Shortstop in Boston

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Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 24 games yesterday afternoon, and ended the day by hitting a game-winning HR. He went 2-5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI, and is now hitting .380-.451-.560 with 3 HRS and 15 RBIs. He has the longest hitting streak ever in the month of April. Dodgers fans hope it can go into May as the lineup Don Mattingley runs out there everyday won't scare too many starting pitchers.

The Dodgers certainly effed with fantasy owners the past few days with the soap opera over who their closer is. Two days ago, GM Ned Colletti goes on air at a local radio station and says that the Dodgers will go to a bullpen by committee with Jonathan Broxton, Vicente Padilla and Hong Chih Kuo getting save opportunities. About an hour later, manager Don Mattingley told Broxton that he was still his closer. Now for me, I went and picked him up in 3 leagues, only to withdraw the pick ups with the news that Broxton was still the closer.

Move forward to Tuesday, the Dodgers have a one run lead in the 10th and who is warming up? None other than Vicente Padilla. Of course. Why wouldn't he be warming up? Colletti told us the day before that he would get some save opps, right? And, I pondered that in a recent roundup when he pitched the 8th inning to set up Broxton Monday night. Well, Padilla earned the save as he only need 10 pitches to get three outs. When was the last time Broxton only needed 10 pitches to get 3 outs? I We learned after the game that Broxton was "not available" because of a "barky" elbow. Does he go on the DL when Kuo comes off?

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

The Padres were shut out on Wednesday at the hands of Braves starter Tommy Hanson. Everyone in the Padres lineup yesterday had a batting average below .250, with the exception of backup catcher Rob Johnson who is batting .318. With Brad Hawpe hitting .143-.191-.190, and Jorge Cantu hitting .169-.214-.231, fantasy owners and Padre fans have to wonder when prospect Anthony Rizzo will get the call. Rizzo is currently hitting .416-.483-.766 with 7 HRs and 26 RBIs in AAA. 

The Padres were stifled by Tommy Hanson who threw 7 shutout innings, giving up just 4 hits, one walk and striking out 10. I have never been a big Hanson fan, but he has pitched well this year, going 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA, a WHIP of 1.06 and a K/BB rate of 34-9.

Padres starter has had a rough start to the 2011 season, and as a Latos owner, there is some concern. In 5 innings yesterday, Latos gave up 6 runs, but only one of which were earned thanks to a Brad Hawpe error. He gave up 7 hit, struck out 5 and walked 1, so owners should feel somewhat relieved to see he pitched better than he has since last August. His ERA is 4.98 with an FIP of 6.34 an an xFIP of 4.00, so better days could be near. Latos has been hurt by a 22% HR/FB rate and walk rate that is approaching 5.00, but is striking out almost 11 batters per nine.

Joey Votto is proving everyday that he is ready to take the crown from Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols as the best hitter in baseball, and probably the #1 pick in fantasy drafts in 2012. Votto went 2-4 with a HR, 2 walks and 4 RBIs on Wednesday. Votto is now hitting .379-.509-.655 with 5 HRs and 16 RBis.

Votto's teammate Drew Stubbs went 2-5 with a game winning HR, a walk, 3 runs scored and an RBI on Wednesday. Stubbs is now hitting .271-.352-.469 with 5 HRs, 12 RBIs and 8 SBs with a 27-12 K/BB rate. After several years of floundering in the minors, Stubbs has reached his potential and is on pace for a 25-30 season. Well, according to ESPN, he is on pace to hit 32 HRs and steal 52 bases, but we all know he won't do that, because if he does, HE will be the # 1 pick in fantasy drafts in 2012.

Phillies starter Cole Hamels won his third game of the season after giving up 3 runs on 4 hits, a walks and 8 strikeouts in 7 innings on Wednesday. He gave up a HR to Chris Young, the first he has given up all year, and lowered his ERA to 3.13 and WHIP to 1.11. 

Diamondbacks outfielder Chris Young went 2-4 with 2 HRs and 3 RBIs on Wednesday. He now has 7 HRs and 19 RBIs on the season, but is only hitting .216-.235-.515 and no SBs. Fantasy owners thought he would be stealing more bases under new manager Kirk Gibson, but it is tough to steal bases when 13 of your 21 hits have gone for extra bases and you have walked just 3 times.

In just his second major league start, Athletics rookie starter Tyson Ross shutout the Angels (who doesn't shut out the Angels?) on 4 hits and a walk in 7 innings on Wednesday. He struck out 3 and lowered his ERA to 2.76.

Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford went 0-4 and saw just 7 pitches in his 4 at bats on Wednesday night. His triple slash line sits at .156-.200-.222 and he is clearly pressing. He was slotted in the 7th spot in the lineup again, and fantasy owners have to be very frustrated at this point. But as Humbled Fan indicates in his BABIP article yesterday, Crawford will still be a great fantasy hitter this year with 40 SBs and plenty of runs scored. It's April people.

Jeremy Guthrie shutout the Red Sox for 6 innings, giving up 7 hits, a walk and striking out 6. He lowered his ERA to 2.53 and has given up 2 or fewer runs in 4 of his 5 starts this season. He doesn't strike out many, but he rarely walks a guy, as he owns a 19-4 K/BB rate.

Before last nights's game, ESPN's Gordon Edes reported the following quotes from Red Sox manager Terry Francona on shortstop Jed Lowrie:

"I kind of said, ‘We view Jed as a starting player but not right now. Well, when you hit .450, I think it’s my responsibility to put him in the lineup, at least most, a lot of the time. I don’t think [Scutaro] likes it very much and I actually don’t blame him, because he’s done everything we’ve asked. 

Lowrie is hitting .390-.413-.610 with 3 HRs and 12 RBIs in 59 at bats, and he will be getting plenty more going forward.

Royals outfielder Jeff Franceour went 2-4 with a HR on Wednesday and is now hitting .330-.370-.593 with 5 HRs and 19 RBIs. Who out there thinks he has turned things around? It's April people.

Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo appears to be locked in now. He went 2-2 with a walk and a SB last night and is now hitting .239-.303-.375. He has hits in 8 of his last 10 games, but only one hit in 6 of those 8 games. It's better than not getting a hit.

Yankees starter Bartolo Colon is pitching likes its 1999, or 2002, or 2005, as he held the White Sox to one run on 7 hits, a walk and 6 strikeouts. He is now 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and a 26-6 K/BB rate. How long before the wheels come off for Colon?

Remember the Francisco Liriano to the Yankees rumors in the offseason, or was it spring training? Anyway, Yankees GM Brian Cashman is breathing a sigh of relief, after seeing Liriano give up 7 runs on 6 hits, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts in just 3 innings on Wednesday. Liriano's ERA is now up to 9.13 with a 1.90 WHIP. It is safe to say he should be dropped if he is still owned in any league.