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Roto Roundup: Felix Hernandez, Pedro Alvarez, Heath Bell and Others

The new closer in Miami?
The new closer in Miami?

Sorry for no Roto Roundup on Saturday morning. I went out for beers with some former colleagues and got home late on Friday night, and had an early first communion to attend Saturday morning, then an afternoon soccer game and some yard work to fill up my day.

For those of you who haven't checked out SB Nations new Pick 6 game, you should. You have a daily salary cap of $120, and have to fill out a roster of 6 players-C, MI, CI, OF, SP and RP, and it takes just minutes to enter your roster on a daily basis. Submit your roster and compete against me, Jason, Robert, Bret and Craig and comeback and tell us how you like the game as well. I have submitted my roster for today: Cole Hamels, Yadier Molina, Billy Butler, Starlin Castro, Matt Kemp and David Robertson.

After his fourth blown save on Friday night, Marlins closer Heath Bell has been removed from the closer's job in Miami, and it appears Steve Cishek is the favorite to close in Miami. Cishek owns a 4-0 record with a 0.63 ERA, a .907 WHIP and a K/BB of 2.50. He isn't green to the closer role as he earned 3 saves last season for the Marlins and earned 19 saves in his minor league career.

Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez has been hot of late, hot enough to be moved up to the cleanup spot in the Buccos lineup. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle stated that Alvarez will stay in the cleanup spot, as he wants to see what he can do there now that he is hitting and hitting with power. He went 0-2 with 2 walks in his debut there yesterday, and is hitting .253-.305-.587 with 7 HRs and 15 RBI for the season. In his last 10 games, he has hit 4 HRs and driven in 10 runs, and has raised his BA from .156 to .253.

Dodgers starter Chris Capuano threw 7 shutout innings vs the Cubs yesterday, and is now 4-0 on the season with a 2.21 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and a 36-15 strikeout to walk ratio in 36.2 innings. Capuano has been a pleasant surprise to the Dodgers and fantasy owners. I am sure he was not drafted in mixed leagues this season, and still is only owned in 51.2% of fantasy leagues at the moment. He is worth a pickup as long as he is pitching at home or vs the weaker teams in the NL, of which there are many this season.

More Roto Roundup after the jump:

The Twins placed first baseman Justin Morneau on the 15 day DL with a sore wrist. He apparently is experiencing plenty of pain in his left wrist, the same wrist that was surgically repaired in the offseason. Morneau is hitting .230-.313-.459 with 4 HRs and 9 RBI in 74 at bats this season. It isn't good news, but at least it isn't a recurrence of the post concussion syndrome.

Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez continues to pitch well in the National League, as he limited the Phillies to just one run on 4 hits, a walk and 7 strikeouts. He is now 3-1 on the season with a 1.72 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP in the early going.

Mariners ace Felix Hernandez dominated the Twins last night, shutting them out for 8 innings and giving up just one hit, while walking 2 and striking out 9 batters. Hernandez got 19 of his 24 outs via the strikeout or ground ball, and is now 3-1 on the season with a 1.89 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.

We learned yesterday that Padres closer Huston Street was placed on the DL with a right lat injury. Street was a slam dunk to get injured this season, as Street seems to find the DL at least once a season. In 2010, he missed 79 days due to a strained right shoulder, and in 2011, missed 17 days due to a right triceps strain. The favorite for saves in San Diego with Street out is Andrew Cashner who has been the main setup guy so far this season. He is the closer in waiting and can reach triple digits with his fastball.

Just a week ago, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was keeping Albert Pujols company on the power hitters who have yet to homer squad. In the past week, Stanton is 9 -28 with 5 HRs and 9 RBI. For the season, he is hitting .269-.327-.495 with 5 HRs and 14 RBI with 11 of his 25 hits going for extra bases. Stanton has the power to hit 40+ HRs this season, even with the slow start. If he could ever go injury free in spring training, he could approach 50 HRs in the near future.

Tigers closer Jose Valverde blew his second save of the season yesterday. He was 49 for 49 in save opportunities last season, but is struggling to start the 2012 season. 2012 may be end up being the year of the blown save and closers losing their jobs. Valverde is 2-1 with 4 saves, a 6.17 ERA, 1.80 WHIP and an 8-7 strikeout to walk ratio in 11.2 innings.

Angels outfielder Mike Trout is starting to heat up at the plate. He is 6-19 over his last 5 games and has 2 hits in two of his last three games. He is owned in just 55.4% of ESPN leagues, and I expect to see that number grow over the next few weeks.

Astros shortstop Jed Lowrie is proving to be a very valuable fantasy shortstop in the early going. Lowrie went 1-3 with a walk, a HR, 2 runs and 2 RBI in Saturday's 8-2 win over the Cardinals. Lowrie is hitting .338-.433-.545 with 4 HRs, 12 RBI, 13 runs and a stolen base. He has multi-hit games in 6 of his last 10 games, and owns and excellent strikeout to walk rate of 14-13.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira has struggled to start the 2012 season. After going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts yesterday, he is hitting just .229-.265-.390 with 4 HRs and 16 RBI. His BABIP in 2011 was just .239, and is sitting at .225 right now. His BABIP is in a startling downtrend since 2007:

2007: .342

2008: .316

2009: .302

2010: .268

2011: .239

2012: .225 (thru 26 games.

He should improve going forward, but how much improvement will we see?

The Twins have called up shortstop Brian Dozier and manager Rod Gardenhire says he will play everyday. Dozier offers some stolen base ability, but won't hit for much power. He owns a solid minor league OBP of .379, so if he can get on base, he could provide 20+ steals this season.

The Twins are apparently trying to deal third baseman Danny Valencia. I am not sure who would take his place at third base in the event he is traded. Ray Chang is the starting third baseman for AAA affiliate Rochesterm, but doesn't profile as your typical third baseman, as he is slugging just .317 in 63 at bats this season. Top prospect Miguel Sano, who does profile as a corner infielder, is several years away, but is mashing at Low A Beloit, hitting .308-.438-.654 with 8 HRs, 28 RBI and a 35-30 strikeout to walk ratio in just over 100 at bats.