Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Nishioka Taken Out

Friday, April 08, 2011


The Orioles are sitting atop the American League East standings with a sparkling 5-1 record. Cleveland has begun the year 4-2. The Pirates are in second place in the National League Central. The Rays and Red Sox are winless.

It's April 8.

Your fantasy team is in the cellar. Nobody's hitting. The staff is getting knocked around nightly. You don't have enough power. You need another closer. You're too top-heavy in the outfield. Why won't anyone steal a friggin' base!

It's April 8.

Having a panic attack at this point in the baseball season is not only unhealthy, it's illogical. The Red Sox aren't going to finish in last place. The Indians aren't going to finish in first. As our own Aaron Gleeman pointed out Thursday on Twitter, fretting over results this early in the summer (or spring, really) is like questioning an NFL team's worth two quarters into the first game of the regular season.

Struggles are part of the deal. If you did your research and drafted well, there's no sense worrying or attempting wholesale changes after the first week of games.

Before this Daily Dose gets too lectury, let's get to the goods...

* Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffered a fractured fibula on Thursday afternoon in New York when Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher upended him while successfully breaking up a double-play attempt. The slide was legal and the Twins acknowledged that fact after the game. Of course, that doesn't change the reality of the situation: Nishioka, who many fantasy draftees viewed as a potentially valuable stolen base producer, will be out for at least a month. And probably more.

In his place rides Luke Hughes, who will be called up from Triple-A Rochester on Friday morning. The 26-year-old slugged six home runs and tallied 15 RBI in just 65 at-bats this spring and is likely to start most games at second base while Nishioka is out. Matt Tolbert will remain a utilityman, making only random starts in Hughes' place. Hughes should have value in AL-only leagues and deeper mixed formats.

* I was asked on a Sirius-XM radio spot this week to name some players I would draft if given the chance to do it all over again. I play in six leagues, but I target many of the same names in each of those league drafts and often end up with somewhat similar rosters. The first name that came to mind when the host asked that question was "Ian Kinsler." The Rangers second baseman has already slugged three home runs in 20 at-bats and has attempted two stolen bases. He's clearly feeling healthy and has second-round potential when he's at his best. In drafts I was tracking this spring, he was going as late as round nine.

* Marlins starter Javier Vazquez got a lot of late action in drafts this year. It was easy to buy into the idea that he might bounce back to his 2009 form with a move back to the National League and south Florida seemed like a pretty good fit. But he was shelled for seven runs -- four earned -- over just 2.1 innings when he debuted for the Fish on Sunday against the Mets. He's facing the Astros next in what looks to be an attractive matchup, but what if he gets rocked again? How long should fantasy owners stick with a guy that had a brutal 2010 for the Yankees?

We're drawing a line in the sand. Vazquez, if he's back to the form he had as a member of the Braves, should dominate the weak-hitting Houston lineup. If he doesn't, it might be proof that he's truly past his days as an effective starter. If the Astros handle him, we're bailing.

National League Quick Hits: Brewers starter Zack Greinke threw a bullpen session Thursday for the first time since his February rib fracture … Sean Burnett picked up his second save of the year Thursday for the Nationals … Josh Johnson struck out six batters Thursday in his second start of the year … Nationals prospect Bryce Harper collected an RBI single in his first professional plate appearance Thursday at Single-A Hagerstown … Jay Gibbons has begun a minor league rehab assignment … Mets outfielder Jason Bay hit off a tee Thursday for the first time since straining an intercostal muscle … Takashi Saito is day-to-day with hamstring tightness … The Brewers are considering Marco Estrada for a regular rotation spot … Roy Halladay tossed seven scoreless innings Thursday against the Phillies … Pirates reliever Joe Beimel is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday … Henry Rodriguez has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment … Astros outfielder Michael Bourn was held out of Thursday's lineup because of a groin injury … Mike Pelfrey might be on the trade block this summer … Rockies starter Esmil Rogers allowed just one run over 7 1/3 innings Thursday and struck out eight … The Astros have dropped Bill Hall to seventh in the lineup.

American League Quick Hits: Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is day-to-day with tightness in his rib cage … Adam Dunn wants to play Friday despite a recent appendectomy … Grady Sizemore went 1-for-3 in a minor league rehab game Thursday at Triple-A Columbus … Red Sox reliever Matt Albers will be placed on the disabled list Friday due to a sore lat muscle … Brandon Morrow allowed five runs in a three-inning rehab start Thursday at Single-A Dunedin … Angels outfielder Reggie Willits has begun a minor league rehab assignment … Brian Fuentes notched a save Thursday against the Blue Jays … Yunel Escobar is day-to-day with a mild concussion … Tigers starter Brad Penny allowed four runs in four-plus innings Thursday against the Orioles … Adam Moore has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will need surgery … Joel Zumaya has been cleared to begin a throwing program … Orioles DH Vladimir Guerrero hit his frist homer of the year Thursday versus the Tigers … Brian Matusz will head to extended spring training next week to resume his rehab … White Sox starter Edwin Jackson struck out 13 Rays on Thursday … Justin Duchscherer had an ablation procedure on his back … A's second baseman Mark Ellis is day-to-day with an ear infection … Jeremy Guthire is still hoping to start Sunday despite having pneumonia … The Blue Jays activated Octavio Dotel from the disabled list.


Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva


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