The 2012 closer carousel is spinning at warp speed (by my count, there’s been 10 closer changes since Spring Training), but the big news for today is that the great closer of all-time is going to miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. I’ll get into the fantasy ramifications of that news in today’s Daily Grab Bag, but I wanted to share a tweet I saw this morning from FantasyPros911.com Editor-in-Chief, Patrick DiCaprio. I thought Patrick captured the situation pretty darn well in 140 characters or less. Do you agree or disagree with him? As a Red Sox fan, I’m a little partial (and maybe biased) to Pedro Martinez being the best pitcher that I’ve ever watched, but let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Before we get to today’s games, let’s take a spin through last night’s box scores to identify the Studs and Duds from Thursday, May 3rd.
5 Good Nights
- Brandon Morrow: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 8 K’s, W
- Joe Blanton: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 8 K’s, W
- Ryan Dempster: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 6 K’s
- Jason Kipnis: 2-3, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
- Mike Moustakas: 2-4, R, HR, 3 RBI
Honorable Mention: J.P. Arencibia, Emilio Bonifacio, Adam Dunn, Ramon Delgado, Dan Haren, Ryan Vogelsong, Anibal Sanchez, Ian Kennedy, Ross Detwiler, Erik Bedard, Danny Duffy
5 Bad Nights
- Carlos Marmol: 0.0 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 BB”s
- John Danks: 7.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 1 K
- Jake Westbrook: 6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 4 K’s
- Adam Lind: 0-4, 3 K’s
- Jose Bautista: 0-4, 2 K’s
Dishonorable Mention: Kevin Millwood, Jeff Niemann, David Phelps, Homer Bailey, Justin Masterson, Joel Hanrahan
Daily Grab Bag
Check back here for daily updates on injuries, closer battles, player news, and anything else that might affect your fantasy baseball team.
- UPDATE: The White Sox have moved Chris Sale from the rotation to the bullpen and he will take over as their closer on Monday. It’s been a fun (and frustrating) ride, Hector Santiago…
- As noted above, Mariano Rivera will miss the rest of the season (and unfortunately, maybe the rest of his career) with a torn ACL. There’s been a lot of speculation on Twitter about whether David Robertson or Rafael Soriano will close, but I’m attaching my proverbial cart to the Robertson horse. Yes, Soriano has closing experience, but that was also two years ago. Robertson hasn’t allowed a run in 11 innings this season and has an absurd 14.73 K/9 IP ratio (as compared with Soriano’s good, but not as good, 8.00 K/9 IP).
- Edward Mujica picked up the save for the Marlins last night, but I wouldn’t read into that as cementing him as the Marlins’ new closer. Heath Bell will likely get a couple more opportunities to right the ship, and Steve Cishek (who has only allowed one earned run all year) had the night off after pitching two innings Wednesday night.
- Carlos Marmol implosions have become about as common as Heath Bell implosions lately, and yesterday was no different. After yet another bad outing, Marmol has been informed by Dale Sveum that he’s out as the Cubs’ closer. The Cubs will likely try to fix Marmol’s issues, but expect to see Rafael Dolis (and potentially James Russell against lefty-heavy lineups) get a few save opportunities while Marmol gets his, umm…stuff…together.
- Lance Berkman (calf) took swings in the cage for the second straight day Wednesday and indicated yesterday that he may be back by the end of the weekend.
- Pablo Sandoval was diagnosed with a fractured hamate bone today and will most likely miss at least six weeks. If you’re a Sandoval owner, take a look at Wednesday’s post where I took a look at some replacements for Evan Longoria. All these injuries to third baseman are starting to remind me of last year’s third base plague.
- Trout/Harper Watch: With two of baseball’s best prospects being called-up on the same day, I’m going to dedicate this space to keeping tabs on the youngsters for the near future. Here’s to hoping that you were able to grab one (or both)!
Bryce Harper: Harper went 1-3 with an RBI last night. (.375, 2 R, 3 RBI on the season)
Mike Trout: Trout had his best game since being called-up and went 2-4 last night. (.222, 1 Run, 1 Steal on the season)
A quick look at some of today’s pitchers to start (3 Up), pitchers to sit (3 Down), pitchers to take a flier on if you need a spot-start (Throwing Darts), and batters with advantageous or disadvantageous matchups (Today’s Swings and Misses).
David Price vs. Oakland Athletics
Price has only allowed two earned runs in 15.1 innings at home this season, and gets to face an Oakland lineup that ranks 26th in the Majors in runs scored.
Stephen Strasburg vs. Philadelphia Phillies
In a very small sample-size (15 at bats), Strasburg has held the Phillies to a .200 batting average. More importantly, he’s been firing on all cylinders this season (as evidenced by his 2-0 record, 1.13 ERA, and 9.56 K/9 IP ratio).
Tim Lincecum vs. Milwaukee Brewers
I think folks were a little too quick to proclaim Lincecum’s demise, and his last start (8.0 IP, 3 H, o ER) should go a long way towards dispelling that notion. As for today, he’s been MUCH better at home this year (3.21 ERA) than on the road (8.53 ERA).
Bruce Chen vs. New York Yankees
Chen makes for a nice spot-start here and there, but I’m a little wary of starting him versus a Yankees lineup that has a .305 career batting average with 12 home runs in 187 at bats against him.
Tim Hudson at Colorado Rockies
Hudson pitched pretty well in his first start this season, but the Rockies are 6th in the Majors in runs scored this year and that’s not even taking the whole “Coors Field-factor” into account.
Ervin Santana vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Even though Santana finally put a good outing together last week, he’s still facing a very tough Toronto lineup today (currently ranked 5th in the Majors in runs scored).
Anthony Bass vs. Miami Marlins
Bass has looked great so far this season (2.30 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 8.89 K/9 IP), and has the good fortune of starting at home today (he’s only allowed two earned runs in 14.1 innings pitched at home this year).
Wade Miley at New York Mets
Miley has pitched 9.1 innings on the road this season, and still hasn’t allowed a run outside of the state of Arizona. He’s facing a Mets team that ranks in the bottom-half of the league (19th) in runs scored and looks to be a good spot-start option if you’re scrambling for one.
Jason Vargas vs. Minnesota Twins
If you go by Vargas’ pattern so far this year, he’s due to give up four earned runs tonight. However, he’s also facing a Twins team that was shut-out in its last two games and ranks 25th in the Majors in runs scored this year.
Today’s Swings and Misses
- Ryan Braun is 7-for-21 (.333)with two home runs in his career against today’s starter, Tim Lincecum.
- Derek Jeter is 16-for-38 (.421) with three home runs in his career against today’s starter, Bruce Chen.
- Jason Giambi is 9-for-23 (.391) with three home runs in his career against today’s starter, Tim Hudson.
- Alex Gordon is 4-for-21 (.190) in his career against today’s starter, C.C Sabathia.
- Miguel Cabrera is 4-for-28 (.143) in his career against today’s starter, Jake Peavy.
- Ichiro Suzuki is 3-for-21 (.143) in his career against today’s starter, Chad Billingsley.
Don’t forget to check out some of the other great content on FantasyPros911, starting with some of today’s recent updates:
- Albert Lang previews today’s starting pitchers in the latest edition of “Pitch or Ditch”.
- Matthew Dewoskin takes a look at the closer carousel in this week’s edition of Blown Opportunities.
- If you’re looking to set your pitching lineups early for next week, Dave Shovein has you covered with Week 6′s Double Starters.
- Collin Hager breaks out his abacus to update his patented HVaC Rankings for all you premium subscribers. You haven’t subscribed yet? What are you waiting for?!?
- Don’t forget to check out FantasyPros911 Editor-in-Chief, Patrick DiCaprio and his crew on Wednesday’s episode of The Fantasy Baseball Roundtable Show.
- Make sure you’re playing Daily Fantasy Sports at FP911Challenge.com. And if you don’t know how to play, don’t miss Dan Stack’s latest on how to play the FP911 Challenge (along with some Week 5 tips).
See you tomorrow!