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Roto Roundup: Michael Pineda, Danny Salazar, Jung-Ho Kang and Others

Alex offers his thoughts on some of the top fantasy performers from Sunday, including Michael Pineda, Danny Salazar, Jung-Ho Kang and others.

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Michael "Magic Mike" Pineda strikes out 16

Yankees starting pitcher Michael Pineda struck out 16 over seven innings in a, 6-2, win against Baltimore on Sunday, cruising past his previous high of 10 strikeouts. It was the first 16-strikeout performance since Anibal Sanchez struck out 16 on April 26, 2013. Even more impressively, Pineda struck out 16 without allowing a single walk (a new Yankees record). The dominant outing moved the 26-year-old right-hander to 5-0 with a 2.79 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 54/3 K/BB ratio in 46 1/3 innings.

Pineda, who the Yankees stole for Jesus Montero, has five quality starts in seven turns, and has shown impressive elite command with just three free passes. Since last year, Pineda has walked 10 and struck out 113 in 122 2/3 innings of work. And yesterday's 16-strikeout effort increased his K/9 from 8.69 to 10.49.

It's hard to imagine anybody topping Pineda's performance on Sunday outside of a no-hitter or perfect game. It appears that Pineda's breakout is legit, but, coming off major shoulder surgery, the opportunity to cash in on a Pineda's monster start is tempting; however, the improved command of the changeup is enough to sway me to Pineda's side.

Danny Salazar, Garrett Richards pitch gems

Almost as impressive as Pineda's gem was Danny Salazar, who twirled a one-hitter over seven innings with 11 strikeouts and no walks. A Brian Dozier leadoff home run was the only damage done, as the Salazar improved to 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 48/5 K/BB ratio in 33 innings. The Indians have fallen behind in the AL Central, but not because of Salazar.

Sunday's start was his third in five turns with 10 or more strikeouts. He also struck out nine over sever innings against Kansas City on May 5. Sunday's performance lifted his K/9 from 12.81 to 13.09 while lowering his BB/9 from 1.73 to 1.36. The only thing hurting Salazar right now is the home run ball; he's given up one home run in each of his five starts. But, in his last three turns, Salazar hasn't walked a batter in 20 innings.

Garrett Richards carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning Sunday, finishing with 10 strikeouts, four walks and one hit allowed in 6 2/3 innings against the Mariners. Richards now owns a 3-1 record with a 2.27 ERA and 29/16 K/BB ratio in 31 2/3 innings. The walks are very much a concern, as he's walked three or more in all but one of five starts. Richard's BABIP is alarmingly low (.213), and the command has been an issue to the point where it might make sense to sell him after his latest start.

Roto Roundup

Pittsburgh's Jung-ho Kang, batting second, finished 2 for 4 with a home run and two RBI in a, 4-3, win against the Cardinals on Sunday. The two-hit effort raised his slash line to .333/.377/.521 in 53 plate appearances. The 28-year-old now has two home runs, nine RBI, six runs and one steal for the Pirates and five multi-hit games in his last nine. With the Pirates struggling on offense, Kang should see consistent playing time, and he's eligible in multiple infield spots (shortstop, third base). While I'm not expecting him to hit for average, the power potential in the infield is enough to make a waiver claim. He led the KBO in home runs a year ago. As of Sunday, he's owned in just six percent of Yahoo! leagues. I wouldn't let him sit out there much longer.

Jason Grilli, who was third in the National League with nine saves entering Sunday, is day-to-day with back spasms, the Braves announced on Sunday. Grilli, 38, owns a 4.50 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 16/4 K/BB ratio in 10 innings, and has been one of the early-season surprises for Atlanta. Those looking for cheap saves can turn to Jim Johnson, who has shown better command after a forgettable 2014.

Matt Carpenter (fatigue), who was No. 3 among third basemen on the ESPN Player Rater entering Sunday, is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday. Carpenter owns a slash line of  .333/.403/.620 with five home runs, 23 runs and 20 RBI in 124 plate appearances. He'll continue to bat near the top of the Cardinals lineup. He's easily on pace to set a career high in home runs (11 in 2013).

Kevin Gausman (shoulder) will be used as a starter in Triple-A, the Orioles announced Sunday. Of course, Gausman needs to be cleared first. The talented 24-year-old is out with right shoulder tendinitis and will see a team doctor Monday before receiving on MRI on Tuesday. I'm not sure why the O's were messing around with Gausman in the bullpen, anyway; his fantasy value will increase in a starter's role. He's someone to stash and monitor.

Congrats to Felix Hernandez, who notched his 2,000th career strikeout at 29 years, 32 days, to become the fourth youngest player to reach 2,000.

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