This will be a short one, as I decided to have some beers and a cigar with my neighbor last evening, so I got a late start with the Roundup.
Diamondbacks pitching prospect Trevor Bauer made his first major league start last night with mixed results. He tossed just 4 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. He will have more days like this, but will also mix in some 8-10 strikeout performances as well. Like many other young starting pitchers, he will have to control the free passes as the season goes along. I remember Clayton Kershaw having the same problem when he first came up but he has learned to limit them as he gained more experience.
A.J. Burnett may not have been drafted in many leagues back in March, mainly because he started the season on the DL. His first few outing were solid, then he had probably the worst outing of his career, giving up 12 runs in 2.2 innings, and I am sure many owners dropped him after that outing. I own him in 2 leagues and I was close to dropping him as well. But that would have been a big mistake, as he has been ace-like since that start. He gave up 3 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts in 6.2 innings yesterday to win his 9th game of the season. Since that disastrous start on May 2nd, he has given up 3 runs or less in 10 straight starts, and has gone 6 or more innings in 8 of those 10 starts. He is now 9-2 with a 3.31 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and a 69-29 strikeout to walk ratio in 81.2 innings. He is one of the reasons for the Pirates being just 1.5 games out of first place on June 28th.
More Roto Roundup after the jump:
Last weekend, it was reported that Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman may need another DL stint for his ailing shoulder. He received a cortisone shot (PED?) and since then has started looking like the Zimm of old. He went 1-6 with 2 RBI yesterday, and is now hitting .235-.297-.350 with 5 HR, 34 runs, 30 RBI and 3 stolen bases. Since Sunday, he is 9-23 with 5 runs scored, 2 HRs and 8 RBI. it remains to be seen how long the cortisone will provide him relief, but fantasy owners are hoping he is over his season long slump. Yes, I own him in 3 leagues.
Padres starter Andrew Cashner made his first start of the season last night, and he was better than I expected. He tossed 6.1 innings, giving up just 2 hits, a walk and striking out 9. I mentioned last week that he could be a solid source for strikeouts, and he made me look good last night. He should benefit from pitching in Petco Park going forward, but could run into control issues down the road. You have to take the good (strikeouts) with the bad (inexperience, walks) with some young pitchers.
I wrote about Albert Pujols the other day, and he is still on a hot streak. He went 4-5 with 3 runs scored, and has now raised his triple slash line to .270-.32-.461 with 12 HRs, 39 runs and 46 RBI on the season. Over his last 10 games, he is 13-35 with 3 HRs and 9 RBI and he should continue batting with runners on base, especially with Mike Trout leading off for him everyday.
Giants starter Madison Bumgarner is solidifying himself as a top 10-15 starter. He may not strike out as many batters as some, but he is awesome just the same. Last night, he tossed a complete game one hit shutout of the Reds, giving up just 2 walks and striking out 8. He is now 10-4 with a 2.85 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and a 92-22 strikeout to walk ratio in 110.2 innings. His strikeout rate is down a bit this season, but he has traded some Ks for more ground balls, as his ground ball rate sits at 50% right now. His strikeout rate of 7.48 per nine, and his walk rate of 1.70 per nine, combined with his ground ball rate puts him in the Holy Trinity of starting pitchers.