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Roto Roundup: Zack Greinke, Austin Jackson, Bryce Harper, and Others

Ray Guilfoyle highlights some of the top fantasy performers in Thursday's MLB action, including news on Mike Zunino, Bryce Harper and others.

Rob Carr

Thursday was a quiet day in MLB, as there were only 8 games played. Here is what I saw during the games, reading the boxscores and other fantasy sites on Thursday.

Mike Zunino: Ready for the big leagues?

I was reading Buster Olney's blog post from Thursday morning where he wrote about the Mariners predicament as to when they should call up their top hitting prospect, Mike Zunino. Zunino, if you weren't aware, tore up High A and AA last season, hitting a combined .360-.447-.689 with 13 HRs and 43 RBI in 44 games. This season, AAA is not much of a challenge either, thus far, as he is hitting .385-.414-1.038 with 4 HRs and 17 RBI in just 6 games. For comparison, the Mariners current catcher, Jesus Montero, is hitting just .133-.133-.133 in 8 games this season.

Here is an excerpt from Olney's blog:

"He just needs to play," said Zduriencik. "This guy really hasn't failed, and he needs to have the ups and the downs. He's a fast-tracker, and if you brought him to the big leagues today, he'd handle himself."

It will be Zunino who will dictate with his play his timetable to the big leagues, Zduriencik said, and it's likely that sometime soon, he will be an option for the Mariners.

Small sample sizes aside, Zunino could be up with the big club sooner than we think.

More home runs in San Diego and Seattle this season?

Meet the New Petco Park and Safeco Field | FanGraphs Baseball

FanGraphs writer Jeff Sullivan wrote this piece (link ^) on the "new" Petco Park and "new" Safeco Field where he opines that we need change our thought process that these two parks don't allow home runs based on a few that have been hit thus far in 2013.

Want more proof? Here is a tweet from Mariners fan and ESPN writer Jim Caple after Franklin Gutierrez homered in the first inning last night:

I guess we could see a lot more HRs in Safeco this season.

Biogenesis Update

So the New York Times is reporting that MLB is now resorting to paying former clinic employees for clinic documents, as current players are doing to same so they can destroy the evidence. This is getting interesting.

More Roto Roundup

Blue Jays starter Josh Johnson got roughed up in Detroit yesterday, and didn't make it out of the second inning. He gave up 6 runs on 7 hits, 2 walks and a strikeout in just 1.1 innings. He has given up 16 hits and 9 earned runs in just 7.1 innings of work thus far. It is only two starts, but both he and R.A. Dickey have struggled in their first two starts in the American League. I just read K

Tigers outfielder Austin Jackson had a breakout year in 2012, hitting .300-.377-.479 with 16 HRs and over 100 runs scored. Back in spring training, he stated that he wants to run more this season, but we haven't seen him run too much so far. That could happen once the warmer weather is here to stay. But, what we have seen is Jackson continuing to show that 2012 was not a fluke. He went 3-6 with 3 runs and an RBI yesterday in the Tigers 11-1 win over the Blue Jays. AJ raised his triple slash line to .375-.444-.400.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, you've heard of him, has picked up where he left off in 2012. He went 2-3 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and 2 walks last night, and is now hitting .417-.447-.778 with 4 HRs, 8 RBI and 8 runs scored thus far in 2013. He has attempted just one stolen base and was unsuccessful in that attempt. He is well on his way to meeting my 25 home run projection for him, and he may even knock in 90+ runs, but I am a little surprised he has only attempted one stolen base thus far.

Closer News

If you own Drew Storen in any leagues, make sure you get him in your lineup today, as closer Rafael Soriano has appeared in the last three games. Soriano gave up a hit in a scoreless 9th inning last night to earn his 5th save of the season. Storen will get the save opportunity tonight if there is a save opportunity.

Giants closer Sergio Romo notched his 6th save of the season yesterday, giving up a hit while striking out 2 to preserve the Giants 7-6 win over the Cubs.

Injury News

Dodgers starter Zack Greinke was removed from his start last night with an apparent shoulder injury. He hit Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin in the shoulder with a pitch, then Quentin decided it was time to charge the mound. Greinke held his ground, actually charging Quentin and the two basically attempted to tackle each other. Then Quentin was tackled from behind by A.J. Ellis, while Yonder Alonso, I believe, tackled Greinke from behind. I am not sure how Greinke was hurt, but he was removed from the game after meeting with the Dodgers trainer. We should learn the seriousness of the injury later today. It did not appear that he was injured seriously, and I was kind of surprised he left the game.

UPDATE: Greinke has a fractured collar bone and will miss an extended period of time.

Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson's rehab from a broken forearm appears to be going smoothly as he has begun a throwing program and could start swinging a bat if he experiences no setbacks. He is targeting a mid-May return to the Yankees lineup.

White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham injured his hand in a game a few days, and yesterday we learned he fractured the hamate bone in his left hand and will miss 6-8 weeks as a result. Conor Gillaspie appears to be the biggest beneficiary as he started at third base last night, with Jeff Keppinger moving over to second base.

Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders was placed on the 15 day DL with a sprained right shoulder. Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez will man right field while he is out. I think I would prefer Ibanez over Bay if both are available on your league waiver wire.

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