NFL Draft Needs: Raiders

NFL Draft Needs: Raiders
Josh Norris and Evan Silva look at the Raiders' biggest needs and project each of their 2015 NFL Draft selections.
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Nelson Cruz had himself another mighty impressive afternoon on Sunday, clobbering a pair of home runs and delivering a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning, leading the Mariners to a come-from-behind 11-10 victory over the Rangers.

Cruz belted a solo shot off Ross Detwiler in the first inning then tagged him again for a three-run blast in the third. With the bases loaded in the ninth inning, he lined the game-winning single off Rangers closer Neftali Feliz to complete the comeback after the M's trailed 10-5. Cruz, the Major League leader in home runs, has blasted eight long balls in his last eight games. He's now slashing a monstrous .354/.404/.854 with 14 RBI on the season, doing exactly what the Mariners envisioned when inking him to a contract this winter.
Apr 19 - 8:12 PM

Austin Jackson launched his first home run of the season on Sunday, helping to propel the Mariners to a victory over the Rangers.

Jackson led off the game by depositing a Ross Detwiler offering into the seats in left-center. He also collected a pair of singles, finishing the afternoon 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored and two RBI. With the three-hit attack, Jackson is now hitting .277/.333/.362 with a homer and two RBI. He has also yet to steal a base after vowing to run more this season.
Apr 19 - 8:08 PM

James Paxton struggled against the Rangers on Sunday, surrendering two runs on nine hits over just 2 2/3 innings.

Paxton struck out one and didn't issue a walk in the brief appearance. His velocity was noticeably down in this start and he could be going through a dead arm period that most starters experience in spring training. Until he can right the ship though, he's best kept out of fantasy lineups. He'll carry a 5.40 ERA and 1.47 WHIP into Saturday's start against the Twins.
Apr 19 - 8:05 PM

Jake Smolinski went 2-for-4 and blasted his first home run of the season in Sunday's loss to the Mariners.

Smolinski entered the game just 1-for-17 on the young season, so this was a breakout performance for him. His two-run blast off James Paxton came during a seven-run uprising in the third inning, but wouldn't prove to be enough to overcome the M's.
Apr 19 - 8:03 PM

Ross Detwiler was abused over 2 1/3 innings in a no-decision against the Mariners on Sunday, allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk.

Detwiler also failed to record a strikeout in the abbreviated outing. All of the damage against him came via the long ball, with Nelson Cruz blasting a pair of home runs and Austin Jackson adding on a solo shot. With an 11.68 ERA and 2.51 WHIP through three starts, it's very possible that this is the final start Detwiler makes for the Rangers.
Apr 19 - 7:58 PM

Eddie Butler pitched five innings against the Dodgers on Sunday, surrendering two runs on six hits.

He struck out four and walked one in the contest. Scott Van Slyke and Joc Pederson burned him with RBI doubles in the second inning. It was another in a line of OK, but unspectacular starts for Butler, who has yet to last six innings (but also has yet to allow more than two runs in a start). It's difficult to see much on the fantasy front here, at least in the short term. Long term, Butler is just 24 years old and has shown that he can hang with major league hitters, which isn't nothing.
Apr 19 - 7:58 PM

Nori Aoki went 2-for-4 with a double and triple in Sunday's loss to the Diamondbacks.

Aoki collected the middle pieces of the cycle, but was unable to cash in a single or a home run. The triple was his first of the season and the double his fourth. He's off to a .339/.409/.441 start with his new team. An interesting statistical tangent: Aoki now has 14 career triples, compared to 19 career home runs. Career triples will probably surpass career home runs at some point in the next few seasons.
Apr 19 - 7:49 PM

Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer against the Giants on Sunday.

Goldschmidt smacked the first inning shot off of Giants starter Tim Hudson. The first baseman would finish the game 1-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI. Goldschmidt's numbers are Mike Trout-esque to this point. He's hit five home runs, knocked in 15 and is slashing .313/.421/.667. If Goldschmidt stays healthy (he played in just 109 games in 2014), he should post monster numbers.
Apr 19 - 7:41 PM
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