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Roto Roundup: Lance Lynn, Jarrod Parker, Yoenis Cespedes and Others

Yes HE IS SHORT. But he can hit.
Yes HE IS SHORT. But he can hit.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn is making a case to remain in the rotation if, and when, Chris Carpenter returns from the DL. Lynn won his 4th game of the season yesterday, limiting the Cubs to just 1 run in 8 innings, giving up 6 hits, 2 walks and striking out 7. He lowered his ERA to 1.33 and WHIP to 0.81.

Athletics pitching prospect Jarrod Parker looked solid in his first start of the season, giving up just one run in 6.1 innings, giving up 7 hits, a walk and striking out 5. He induced 9 ground ball outs and 11 swinging strikes. He will have his good days and bad days in his first full season, but over the long term, he should become a #2 or 3 fantasy starter.

Yoenis Cespedes is doing his best to quiet critics who said he may still need some time in the minors. He went 3-5 with a game tying 2 run HR in the 14th inning yesterday in the A's 5-4 win over Hector Santiago and the White Sox. Cepedes is now hitting .269-.367-.537 with 5 HRs, 18 RBI and 4 stolen bases, but has struck out 22 times in 67 at bats thus far.

Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will be making a visit to Dr. James Andrews to check out his ailing elbow. So, don't expect an early May return, and it could get worse. How bad is that contract looking right now?

If you have any fantasy baseball questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. I am there almost every night.

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

Angels first baseman Albert Pujols went 0-3 with a walk and 2 stikeouts last night, and is now hitting .222-.282-.319 and still has yet to hit a home run. I ranked Pujols as my 3rd ranked first baseman this season, and still think he will get hot real soon, but his owners have to be panicking right now, to some extent. Looking at his Fangraphs page, there is reason to be optimistic, as he is hitting more line drives than ever before-25% vs 17% in 2011, but his strikeout rate-12.2%-is his highest since his rookie season, and his walk rate continues to plummet.

Speaking of hitters who have yet to homer this season, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is another power hitter who has yet to hit one this season. He is hitting .255-.293-.327 with 5 RBI thus far in 2012, but he has shown improvement in his strikeout rate, which has dropped from 27.6% to 20.7%, and his line drive rate, which sits at 20.9% vs 16.3% last season. His fly ball rate has plummeted thus far, but it's just a matter of time before he gets a hold of one, and once he does, he could go on a power streak. One negative, though, is that his walk rate has been cut in half from 11.6% to 5.2%.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is probably the shortest player in the big leagues, but he might just be one of the best hitters in the game right now. Yesterday, he went 4-5 with 3 runs scored and an RBI hitting out of the second spot in the lineup. He is now hitting .377-.429-.551 with a HR, 8 RBI, 12 runs scored and 4 stolen bases. He is currently tied for second in fWAR with Robinson Cano.

Altuve's teammate J.D. Martinez has been as impressive as Altuve has in the early going, He went 3-4 with 3 RBI yesterday and is now hitting .313-.432-.507 with 3 HRs and 18 RBI. He won't hit .300 or get on base at a .400 clip, but he and Altuve will make the Astros an exciting team to watch if they keep this up.

Angels starter C.J. Wilson was the hard luck loser last night as he pitched a gem, but the Angels could muster just 2 runs for him. Wilson limited the Rays to just two runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 11 strikeouts in 7 innings of work. He was dealing and induced 16 swinging strikes last night, lowering his ERA to 2.42 and his WHIP is now a stellar 1.08.

Albert Pujols and Giancarlo Stanton aren't the only power hitters struggling this season. Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is hitting .203-.354-.359 with 3 HR and 9 RBI, but he has been unlucky thus far, as his BABIP is an extremely low .180. He has cut his strikeout rate from 16.9% to 11.5%, but his walk rate is down from 20% to 18%. Like Pujols and Stanton, his line drive rate is up a bit from last season, so those line drives should start dropping soon.

I mentioned on Twitter last night that the move from Colorado to Baltimore has turned Jason Hammel into Tim Lincecum. Hammel shutout the Blue Jays for 7 innings last night, giving up just 4 hits, one walk and striking out 7. He is now 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and a 25-8 strikeout to walk ratio in 26 innings pitched. The pitcher he was traded for, Jeremy Guthrie is 2-1 with a 5.92 ERA and has walked two times as many batters as he has struck out thus far.

Mariners catcher/DH Jesus Montero started his 5th game at catcher last night, and I saw a tweet that he now qualifies at catcher in some Yahoo leagues, as a result. Montero celebrated his 5th start at catcher by going 3-5 with a run scored and 2 RBI. For the season, he is hitting .281-.294-.391 with 2 HRs and 11 RBI.

Here is Jason Parks from Baseball Prospectus on Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy:

The reality is that Bundy might not face a serious test until he reaches Double-A, and even then the test might be an easy one for him to pass. I’m not trying to overhype just to overhype, but there are some people in the industry who think Bundy has the necessary ingredients to pitch at the major league level this season.

I doubt that he sees big league time this season, but it will be interesting to see if the Orioles push him to AA at the end of the season. A promotion to High A should provide a challenge for Bundy, as Low A has been a breeze for him to date.