Matthew Pouliot

Strike Zone

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NL Team-by-Team Notes

Monday, June 15, 2009




Pittsburgh - The Pirates might be running out of patience with Brandon Moss, who is down to .243/.289/.343 for the season. He did hit a respectable .305/.345/.451 during May, but he's not showing the kind of power he needs to make up for his high strikeout rate. The Pirates could hand right field to Delwyn Young and see what he can do. He should be picked up in any NL-only leagues in which he's still available. … Barring a setback, it looks like Ryan Doumit (wrist) will return right around July 1. Robinzon Diaz will be sent down once Doumit comes off the DL. … Charlie Morton is being pushed back to Saturday because of his hamstring injury. He's not worth using in NL-only leagues right now.

St. Louis - Miguel Tejada to St. Louis makes plenty of sense for both the Cardinals and Astros, but it seems unlikely that Houston will be willing to help out a rival, even if it benefits the team in the long run. It's going to be easier for the Cardinals to upgrade at third base than at shortstop. … The Cards demoted Brian Barden, even though he was their best defensive option at third base. With Khalil Greene's return on hold again, the Cards have Brendan Ryan, Joe Thurston and Tyler Greene sharing time between two positions. All three are worth using in NL-only leagues, but it's doubtful that one will step up and become a real contributor.

San Diego - Scott Hairston (biceps) appears doubtful to return Thursday when eligible. With Tony Gwynn Jr. playing very well at the moment, Hairston could see a lot of time in the corners once he does come back. … Everth Cabrera, due to return Friday from a broken hamate bone, is hitting .361/.439/.444 through 10 games on his rehab assignment. He'll likely see increasing time over Luis Rodriguez at shortstop as the year goes on, and while he shouldn't hit much at all, he could be of some use in NL-only leagues thanks to his steal potential.

San Francisco - Travis Ishikawa returned from the bereavement list, but there's just no role for him in San Francisco with Pablo Sandoval still locked in at first base. The Giants should go ahead and risk sending him through waivers. He'd probably clear, but even if he doesn't, John Bowker and Jesus Guzman are at least as intriguing as potential options at first and Angel Villalona could be the future in 2011 or 2012. … Emmanuel Burriss is struggling again, but Kevin Frandsen wasn't able to overtake him at second base while replacing Ishikawa on the roster. If Sandoval does eventually move back to third or a third baseman is acquired in trade, than Juan Uribe could shift to second and Burriss could be send down to play regularly in the minors for a while. The Giants, though, do like Burriss's glove and would prefer not to have to make a switch.

Washington - Maybe Manny Acta just wants it over with? I'm not sure how else to explain his decision to play Corey Patterson in right field Sunday. Patterson was only called up Saturday because Josh Willingham went on the bereavement list. Willingham figures to miss most of the week. … It looks like Jordan Zimmermann's elbow soreness was just as mild as the Nationals said it was. He returned Saturday after being pushed back four days and pitched very well against the Rays. … With Zimmermann proving to be healthy, Ross Detwiler figures to be the choice to go to make room for the returning Scott Olsen (shoulder) in the rotation. Craig Stammen is another possibility, but he's outpitched Detwiler recently. … Stammen might go later if the Nationals want to give Collin Balester another chance. After a lousy first month, Balester has allowed just four runs over his last five starts for Triple-A Syracuse.


Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of RotoWorld.com and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter at matthewpouliot.
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