Last week, I tweeted that we all have heard about the 80 power tool that Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper possesses, but I had yet to see it. Last night, driving home from work, Jim Bowden and Casey Stern were discussing the same. Well, Harper must have been listening, as he hit his first major league HR last night, and you can see it here.
Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was diagnosed with a strained left hamstring and missed last night's game vs the Diamondbacks. Eric Stephen from TrueBlueLA, tweeted that he thinks Kemp will be placed on the DL after Monday night's game. I guess it is possible Jerry Sands could be called up to replace him. And that is exactly what the Dodgers did. They DL'd Kemp and called up Sands.
Earlier in the day, the Dodgers called up Elian Herrera, a man of many positions, who has played second base, shortstop, third base, and two outfield spots at AAA Albuquerque.
Rays outfielder Desmond Jennings, who is enjoying a solid start to the 2012 season, was finally placed on the DL last night due to continued pain in his left knee. He is eligible to return from the DL on May 27th. Jennings is hitting .265-.333-.398 with 3 HRs, 20 runs, 11 RBI, 8 stolen bases and a 22-11 strikeout to walk ratio in his 113 at bats thus far.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Coming into the 2012 season, I went back and forth with my ranking on Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday. At first, I had him ranked in the low 20's, then I moved him up to #14 overall with the thought that he is one of the more consistent hitters in baseball. But so far this season, he is is hitting for decent power, but the batting average is lower than expected. He is hitting .257-.333-.443 with 6 HRs, 21 runs, 23 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Looking at his BABIP of .287 compared to his career BABIP of .344 tells us his BA will increase from here as long as it reverts to career norms.
Orioles pitching prospect Dylan Bundy finally tossed 5 innings in a start last night, as he gave up one unearned run on 2 hits and struck out 3. For the season, he has thrown 25 innings, giving up 4 base runners and striking out 35. Time for a promotion to AA?
Red Sox starter Jon Lester tossed aside the chicken and beer and threw a complete game 8 hitter, giving up one run, walking none and striking out 6. He moves his record to 2-3 with a 3.71 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP and a 34-18 strikeout to walk ratio in 51 innings of work. His strikeout rate has fallen off a cliff this season, falling from 8.55/9 in 2011 to 6.00/9 this season. He is still keeping the ball on the ground as his ground ball rate sits at 50.4%, but his swinging strike rate is in a 3 year decline, currently at 7.7%.
Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond almost lost his starting job last season. That scare lit a fire under him, it seems, as he has started the 2012 season hitting better than many expected. He went 3-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBI, and is hitting .271-.296-.432 with 4 HRs, 20 runs, 14 RBI and just 2 stolen bases thus far.
Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair has to be the favorite to represent the Cubs in the All Star game at this point. LaHair went 3-4 with a HR, 2 RBI and a stolen base last night, raising his triple slash line to .356-.452-.702 with 9 HRs, 16 runs and 20 RBI. LaHair is 29 years old and is allowing the Cubs to take their time with Anthony Rizzo crushing AAA pitching once again. LaHair and Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis are showing that perseverance in any line of work can pay dividends.
Yankees reliever David Robertson's stint as a closer may have been short-lived, as manager Joe Girardi called on Rafael Soriano to close out an 8-5 lead in the 9th inning last night. He pitched a scoreless 9th to earn his second save of the season.
Twins RELIEVER Francisco Liriano tossed 2 scoreless innings last night vs the Indians, walking 3 and striking out 3. A few years ago, I wrote a piece, I think when Joe Nathan went on the DL for Tommy John Surgery, that Liriano would make a good candidate to close. I wonder if the Twins are thinking the same. It will be something to watch as the season goes along. Current closer Matt Capps is a decent candidate to be traded, assuming he doesn't blow up between now and the trade deadline.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was hit in the leg with a foul ball off the bat of Dexter Fowler and will miss a few games as a result. Here is more from Troy Renck at the Denver Post:
X-Rays were negative on the leg, leaving the all-star shortstop listed as day-to-day with a deep bruise on his fibula. However, he’s unlikely to play in the series finale against the Giants.