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Roy Halladay to have shoulder surgery
Yesterday it was reported that Phillies starter Roy Halladay will have shoulder surgery to repair a partially torn rotator cuff, repair a frayed labrum and removed a bone spur. The initial diagnosis says he will miss 60-90 days, but you can never tell how long a pitcher will need to return from shoulder surgery, so I wouldn't count on him returning this season. Just ask Johan Santana. Maybe their injuries are different, but a shoulder is a shoulder, and Halladay's shoulder has lots of inning thrown. Halladay is droppable in all but keeper leagues.
Heath Bell: Diamondbacks closer....maybe
Yesterday afternoon, we were informed that the Diamondbacks have given their closer job to Heath Bell due to the elbow injury suffered by closer J.J. Putz on Tuesday night. Then last night, we learned that manager Kirk Gibson told both Bell and David Hernandez that he would mix and match the two of them in the 8th and 9th innings. I don't see Bell keeping the job, so I would grab Hernandez if you can. I think he will get over his early season struggles and earn more saves than Bell by season's end.
More Roto Roundup
Braves second baseman Dan Uggla appears to be in the midst of turning his season around. He went 2-4 with 2 HRs, 3 runs and 2 RBI yesterday, raising his triple slash line to .209-.315-.445 with 7 HRs, 20 runs and 12 RBI. He has shown a lot of swing and miss at the plate this season, striking out 43 times in 110 at bats. In his last 10 games, Uggla is 11-38 with 3 HRs and 4 RBI, raising his batting average from .160 to .209. He won't hit higher than .240-.250, but should improve upon the 18 home runs he hit last season.
Pirates starter A.J. Burnett entered his start on Wednesday leading the National League with a 12.21 K/9. Surprised, right? Where is Stephen Strasburg and Clayton Kershaw you ask? Strasburg currently ranks 13th with a 8.93 K/9 and Kershaw ranks 8th with a 9.62 K/9. Burnett limited the Mariners to two runs on 2 hits, 4 walks and 9 strikeouts in 7 innings of work. He is now 3-3 with a 2.57 ERA and 1.08 WHIP.
Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen had a slow start to the 2013 season, after his best season at the plate in 2012. Back on April 27th, McCutchen was hitting just .216, but since then he is 14-32 with 2 HRs and 7 RBI, raising his batting average to .275. After his 1-4 line yesterday, he is hitting .275-.328-.450 with 4 HRs, 19 runs, 19 RBI and 7 stolen bases. He is on pace for 30+ stolen bases for the first time since 2010.
Padres starter Jason Marquis is owned in less than 2% of ESPN leagues, but he went out and shut out the Marlins for 8 innings yesterday, giving up just 5 hits, one walk and 3 strikeouts. He is now 4-2 on the season, with a 3.48 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP and a 26-20 K-BB rate in 44 innings. He has given up 2 runs or less in 5 of his 7 starts thus far. I shudder when I say he should be picked up in most deeper mixed leagues and all NL only leagues while he is pitching so well.
Most rookies struggle to hit for a good batting average in the first few months after their big league call up, but don't tell that to Twins outfielder Oswaldo Arcia. Arcia went 4-5 with a run and an RBI, raising his triple slash line to an excellent .300-.344-.467 with 2 HRs, 6 runs and 9 RBI in 60 at bats. Over his last ten games, Arcia is 14-36, and has raised his BA from .185 to .300.
Twins catcher/DH Ryan Doumit had a big game on Wednesday night, going 4-5 with a HR, 3 runs and 2 RBI in the Twins 15-8 thrashing of the Red Sox. Doumit is now hitting .244-.313-.400 with 2 HRs, 13 runs and 11 RBI in 26 games this season.
Jordan Zimmerman is the best pitcher on the Nationals right now. And it isn't even close. Zimmerman shut down an excellent Tigers lineup last night, giving up just one run on 7 hits, 2 walks and 7 strikeouts. He is now 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and a 34-9 K-BB rate in 51 innings. He has given up 3 runs or less in all 7 starts this season.
I recently saw someone rank Angels first baseman Albert Pujols in the top tier of first baseman for the rest of the season. I was a little surprised at the ranking, and thought this was a perfect case where the player's name value was clouding the ranking. Pujols went 2-4 in the Angels 3-1 loss to the Astros last night, and is now hitting .240-.322-.408 with 5 HRs, 14 runs and 19 RBI thus far. Accroding to ESPN, he is on pace for just 25 HRs, 69 runs and 93 RBI this season. That is not the stats of a top tier first baseman.
Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt singlehandedly beat the Dodgers last night, homering off of their two best pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Kenley Jansen. Goldschmidt went 2-4 with 2 HRs and 3 RBI, driving in all three runs for the Diamondbacks, and is now hitting .320-.413-.592 with 9 HRs, 22 runs, 30 RBI and 4 stolen bases. Keith Law once said Goldschmidt is nothing more than a platoon player. I wonder if he still thinks that.
Dodgers manager Don Mattinglty was asked before Wednesday game whether there would be a change at closer. He responded with the following, via Bill Shaikin on Twitter:
Mattingly says he's thought about mixing up closer role but doesn't want to mess up 'pen, "not that we're not a mess already a little bit."— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) May 8, 2013
The fact that he is thinking about a change tells me that there will be a change inevitably. It is common knowledge that Kenley Jansen is the better reliever, and Mattingly is starting to feel the pressure to right the ship after six consecutive losses. Stay tuned. I wouldn't be surprised that he went to Jansen in the 9th inning last night with the off day on Thursday, even though Jansen has pitched in the last two games.