Matt Stroup

Baseball Daily Dose

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Ubaldo's Back, Stewart Packs

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Tuesday featured two notable moves from the Rockies: One of them (the return of Ubaldo Jimenez) was expected; the other (Ian Stewart's demotion) came as considerably more of a surprise.

First, Ubaldo: His pitching line wasn't all that pretty (5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K's), but he gave up all four of those runs (including a three-run jack to the resurgent Pablo Sandoval) in the first inning, then quieted down to surrender only three baserunners the rest of the way, notably whiffing Sandoval on a 96 mph fastball on his last pitch of the day. Additionally, his splitter was operating with vicious downward movement, and I would expect something a lot closer to a vintage line when he faces the Cubs on Monday.

As for Stewart, the Rockies had simply seen enough after the third baseman got off to a 2-for-26 start following injury troubles with his hamstring and knee during spring training. He'll be back at some point, but the fact that he no longer has 2B eligibility (and has averaged 22 HR but just 66 RBI the past two years) makes it relatively easy to cut Stewart loose in shallow mixed leagues. Ty Wigginton and Jose Lopez stand to benefit, but Wigginton (1-for-2 with two walks against lefty Jonathan Sanchez Tuesday and carrying the aforementioned 2B eligibility) would be the more intriguing waiver add of the two.

In other news…

  • Victor Martinez (groin) hit the 15-day DL Tuesday after aggravating his injury in an attempt to return to action on Monday. Omir Santos was called up to join Detroit's roster, but Alex Avila will get the majority of the starts behind the plate in Martinez's absence. V-Mart had five hits in his last 10 at-bats before hitting the DL, but will have to wait at least two weeks before looking to improve his .250 average and 709 OPS with two homers and nine RBI thus far.

  • Tony La Russa indicated that there would be a "role change" for struggling closer Ryan Franklin, and though it's not exactly clear how long the duration of that change might be, Mitchell Boggs (2.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 12/3 K/BB ratio in 9.0 IP) is worth a speculative add wherever available.

  • In other closer-related news, the Blue Jays activated Frank Francisco, but the right-hander may not take over ninth inning duties from Jon Rauch right away given that manager John Farrell praised Jon Rauch's work over the weekend. Francisco and Rauch are both worth carrying on fantasy rosters for the time being.

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  • Terry Francona said in a radio appearance that he plans to start Jed Lowrie as long as he's hot after seeing the shortstop hit an absurd .625 (15-for-24) with two homers and nine RBI over his previous seven games. Lowrie proceeded to go 0-for-4 with two strikeouts while hitting leadoff Tuesday, but still warrants a roster spot at the moment given his recent run.

  • Zack Greinke (rib) threw three scoreless innings in a rehab start at High-A, hitting the 91-94 MPH range with his fastball. He's expected to make three more rehab starts before being activated.

  • Two Atlanta-related takeaways from an admittedly biased Braves fan: 1) Brandon Beachy (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K's) looked very sharp in a win over the Dodgers, and his 3.86 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 24/9 K/BB ratio in 23.1 IP speak to a player who should be owned in more than 17 percent of Yahoo leagues; 2) Freddie Freeman's power is no joke. His homer on Tuesday was a shot to left center off Hiroki Kuroda, and I've seen Freeman just miss homers at least twice in the past week. The rookie is likely to land close to must-own territory in mixed leagues sooner rather than later, and there's nothing wrong with getting ahead of the trend now.

    NL Quick Hits (pitchers): Mike Leake (clothing theft) will start against Arizona on Thursday … Wandy Rodriguez (7.31 ERA, 1.81 WHIP prior to Tuesday) held the Mets to one run on three hits in seven innings ... Josh Johnson moved to 3-0 after dominating the Pirates for seven innings ... Randy Wolf shut out the Philles over six innings, continuing to rebound after a brutal spring ... Randy Wells (forearm) and Andrew Cashner (shoulder) are both expected to begin throwing programs on Friday, but Wells is on course to return sooner.

    NL Quick Hits (position players): Logan Morrison left the stadium wearing a protective boot after straining the arch in his left foot, but could play Wednesday ... Brandon Belt didn't start again on Tuesday and could be demoted when Cody Ross (calf) is activated Wednesday ... Jason Bay (rib cage) may get activated a day early (Wednesday) after going 4-for-4 with two homers at High-A St. Lucie ... Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson was informed that the Rays aren't interested in trading B.J. Upton right now ... With Melvin Mora a late scratch due to a jammed left foot, Ryan Roberts homered twice and has become a must-own in NL-Only formats given his 1.226 OPS in limited action thus far ... Seth Smith (groin) appeared as a pinch-hitter … Brandon Phillips (groin) returned to action, going 2-for-4 ... The Mets designated Brad Emaus for assignment and called up Justin Turner, who's worth a look in NL-Only leagues as he takes over at second base.

    AL Quick Hits (pitchers): Jake Peavy (lat) is expected to miss one start after an MRI showed muscle tenderness irritation ... Dallas Braden (shoulder) is slated to visit Dr. Lewis Yocum on Wednesday ... James Shields dominated the White Sox in a complete-game, 2-1 win ... Brett Anderson shut out the Red Sox for eight innings en route to his first win of the season … Meanwhile, the struggling John Lackey finally notched a respectable outing with six innings of one-run ball in the losing effort … Joakim Soria picked up his fifth save after loading the bases in the ninth ... I'm not personally much of a believer, but Bruce Chen should be surfacing on the radar in deeper mixed leagues after moving to 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA … Tommy Hunter (groin) threw a bullpen session and appears to be close to beginning a rehab assignment ... Brandon Morrow (forearm) will return from the DL on Saturday ... Brian Matusz (intercostal strain) will throw from 120 feet Wednesday and could throw off a mound later this week … David Aardsma (hip) is expected to make three or four rehab appearances before rejoining the Mariners.

    Editor's Note: For exclusive columns, rankings, projections and more, check out Rotoworld's MLB Season Pass.

    AL Quick Hits (position players): Alex Rodriguez (oblique) expects to return Wednesday ... Johnny Damon (finger) is hoping he'll do the same ... Aaron Hill (hamstring) left Tuesday's game early and is considered day-to-day... Rajai Davis (ankle) could begin a rehab assignment on Friday in hopes of returning next week ... Adam Dunn's .162 average may get him moved down in the order... Delmon Young and Justin Morneau were out of the lineup due to the flu ... Peter Bourjos (4-for-5, a homer, three RBI) is worth a close look in deeper mixed leagues given the potential for steals and power (in that order) … Justin Smoak (bereavement list) is expected to miss 3-7 days, with Adam Kennedy and Chris Gimenez comprising a stay-away-in-mixed-leagues platoon until he returns ... The Angels activated Erick Aybar (oblique) from the DL, designating former top prospect Brandon Wood for assignment ... Chone Figgins raised his average to .188 with a 3-for-4 night.


  • Matt Stroup covers basketball, baseball and football for Rotoworld.com. You can find him on Twitter here .
    Email :Matt Stroup



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