Emilio Bonifacio starts season on fire
In most seasons, if you looked at who is leading the majors in hitting, you would be surprised, no shocked, to see Emilio Bonifacio's name atop the batting average leader board. But, Bonifacio is in fact leading all of MLB in hitting right now with a .500 average, after going 3-5 in Tuesday night's game and 2-5 in Wednesday night's game vs the Pirates. He is also tied for the major league lead in stolen bases with five and leads in hits with 19.
Here is a fun fact about Bonifacio from Mark Gonzales from the Chicago Tribune via Twitter:
Elias: Bonifacio is 1st big leaguer (since 1900) to record games with 1 hit, 2 hits, 3 hits, 4 hits and 5 hits all within team's 1st 7 gms.— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) April 9, 2014
Our own Jasper Scherer wrote about Bonifacio on Tuesday, opining that even after his hot start, owners should stay away from him. I agree with Jasper. This hot start is just that, a hot start, and he won't continue to hit like this. I know I am stating the obvious here, but it's a fact.
What should owners do with Bonifacio? Well, unless you can find an owner willing to give you more value in return in a trade, you hold onto him and ride out the hot streak. But, know this. It will end, and it will probably happen real soon. He has already eclipsed his 2013 WAR total in his first 36 plate appearances of 2014.
Josh Hamilton out 6-8 weeks
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton injured his thumb diving into first base on Tuesday night and reports on Wednesday indicated he needs surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and will miss the next 6-8 weeks.
This is a huge blow to the Angels and his owners, as he was off to a nice start to the 2014 season. The Angels called up outfielder J.B. Shuck to replace him on the 25 man roster.
For more on Hamilton's injury and the impact on the Angels roster, make sure you check out Halo's Heaven, SB Nation's Angels fan site.
Jim Johnson blows up again; Luke Gregerson next in line?
Athletics closer Jim Johnson has had a very rough start to the 2014 season, blowing one save, and losing two games in his four appearances thus far. There is already talk that he could be replaced with a few more blown saves. Well, he didn't get a blown save yesterday for some reason, but he did blow the lead in the ninth inning vs the Twins.
Johnson came on to preserve a two run lead in the ninth inning, but proceeded to give up two runs on two hits and two walks, while getting just one out. There is a chance he loses the closer role as soon as tomorrow, so I would run to your waiver wire and grab Luke Gregerson or Ryan Cook. I think Gregerson gets the first shot at closing games should Johnson be removed from the role.
For more on Jim Johnson and the A's, make sure you check out Athletics Nation, SB Nation's A's fan site.
Fake Teams makes a trade in Tout Wars
I was looking for a starting pitcher yesterday in the Tout Wars mixed league yesterday, and made offers to several owners, including Scott Pianowski from Yahoo. The offer I made to Scott was Brandon Belt and Gregerson for his Alex Cobb and Jhonny Peralta. I have just one starting pitcher on my roster right now, James Shields, with Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list. So, after initially saying he had no interest, Scott came back to me, after the Johnson blow up, saying he would do the deal. I think it was a fair deal for both sides.
Cobb helps my thin starting pitching and Peralta adds depth to my roster in case Troy Tulowitzki needs a DL stint. If I can grab another off the waiver wire in the next week or so, or make another small trade, I will be happy.
Here are my thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers on Wednesday:
The Indians allowed Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez leave via free agency this offseason and one had to wonder who would replace them. Well, if Zach McAlister and Trevor Bauer can pitch like they did yesterday, they won't miss Kazmir or Jimenez. McAlister dominated the Padres in the first game of Wednesday's twinbill, tossing seven shutout innings, while giving up just five hits, no walks and striking out seven to earn his first win of the season. Bauer gave up two runs, one earned, on four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts in six innings of work in the second game of the doubleheader. Bauer pitched well enough to win, but took the loss.
Just yesterday I was thinking how the negativity toward Billy Hamilton had peaked, and that all he needed to quiet his critics was to have a big game at the plate, or just get a few hits and a stolen base. He has had a really rough start to the season, but yesterday he had a big game at the plate and on the base paths. Hamilton went 3-4 with a walk, two runs scored and his first two stolen bases of the season. Hamilton raised his triple slash line to .192-.250-.308, but he is still hitting below the Mendoza line.
For those of you in one game eligibility leagues, Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez started the game at catcher last night in Los Angeles, so he now has catcher eligibility for the rest of the season. This works out great for as I own him in my AL only keeper league, and can drop/trade Ryan Hanigan when George Springer gets called up.
Royals outfielder Alex Gordon had a nice day at the plate on Wednesday, going 2-4 with a home run and four RBI in the Royals 7-2 win over the Rays. Gordon was moved to the fifth spot in the Royals order this season, so while I expect his runs scored to drop slightly, we should see his RBI, and hopefully his power, increase this season.
I was high on Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka coming into the season, as I see his splitter being very difficult to hit, especially for al the American League hitters who have never seen him before. Last night, Tanaka gave up three first inning runs, but shut the door after that, shutting out the Orioles for the next six innings. All told, he gave up three runs on seven hits, a walk, and ten strikeouts in seven innings of work. He currently owns a 3.21 ERA with an 18-1 strikeout to walk rate in 14 innings in his two starts.
Tigers closer Joe Nathan blew his second save of the season last night in Los Angeles. He came on in the ninth inning to preserve a three run lead and proceeded to give up three runs on three hits and two walks, including a leadoff home run to Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Nathan complained of dead arm after the game, so it will be interesting to see who gets the next save opportunity for Detroit. Nathan got the win though, as the Tigers got to Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the tenth inning, with Al Albuquerque getting the save. Nathan now has a 12.27 ERA and 2,73 WHIP to start the 2014 season.
As stated, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up a game winning home run to Tigers DH Victor Martinez in the tenth inning last night to take the loss. On Tuesday night, he did blow the save, giving up the game tying run in the ninth inning. Last night, he wasn't able to get out of the tenth inning, giving up two more hits before being replaced buy Jay Howell to get the last out.
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