Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran
slugged three home runs in a game Thursday for the first time in his career. They were all two-run shots and helped the Mets climb to a 9-5 victory over the Rockies. Beltran looked a little shaky during the first week of the regular season, but he quickly caught fire offensively around mid-April and has been raking ever since. With a .977 OPS, eight homers and 24 RBI in 36 games, the 34-year-old Puerto Rican has been one of the top fantasy steals of the young 2011 season. And there's no reason to think the good times won't continue. When Beltran is healthy, he produces. That's been a truth almost his entire career.
Let's get on with Friday's edition of the Daily Dose...
* Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann
was drafted in nearly every mixed fantasy league this spring. He might not have gone in high rounds or even middle rounds, but he was plucked off almost every draft board. And for good reason. The 24-year-old returned from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery at the end of last season and rattled off a 27/10 K/BB ratio over 31 innings before the curtain closed on the Nationals' 2010 campaign.
Zimmermann has experienced his ups and downs so far in 2011. Some starts have been good, others not so much. But on Thursday night in Atlanta, he made a whole lot of brave and bold fantasy owners look intelligent. The Wisconsin native racked up a career-high 11 strikeouts against a tough Braves lineup and would have earned his third win of the season if not for a late collapse.
Here's to hoping Zimmermann channels whatever went right for him Thursday into a solid full season. The guy has a quality four-pitch arsenal headed up by a mid-90s fastball and sharp-breaking slider.
* Mets first baseman Ike Davis
made some noise last season, slugging 19 home runs and tallying 71 RBI over 147 games as a rookie in the National League East. He's been even better this year, boasting a .925 OPS, seven home runs and 25 RBI through 36 games. Unfortunately, he is going to have to put that momentum on hold for a bit. Davis was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday afternoon with a left ankle sprain and a bone bruise. Mets assistant GM John Ricco told reporters that he expects the 24-year-old to return in a little over two weeks.National League Quick Hits:
An MRI Thursday on Jason Heyward
's right shoulder showed only inflammation … Carlos Ruiz
will be activated from the disabled list before Friday's game … Chris Young
has opted to undergo surgery to repair a re-tear of the anterior capsule in his right shoulder and is likely to miss the rest of the season … Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan hinted Thursday that Eduardo Sanchez
is the Cardinals' first option at closer … Roy Oswalt
showed a lack of velocity Thursday in what was supposed to be his final rehab start … Martin Pradro led the Braves over the Nationals Thursday with a game-tying seventh-inning grand slam … Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal
is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A Albuquerque … Johan Santana
threw off the slope of a mound this week at the Mets' spring training complex … Chase Utley
homered and drew a walk Thursday in a rehab game at Single-A Clearwater … Andrew McCutchen
was benched Thursday for failing to hustle in Wednesday's loss … The Phillies placed catcher Brian Schneider
on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring … Armando Galarraga
is not being removed from Arizona's rotation, at least not yet … Scott Proctor
will rejoin the Braves' bullpen Sunday … Nelson Figueroa
has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Oklahoma City … The Cardinals are hoping Ryan Theriot
(oblique) will feel well enough to return Friday.American League Quick Hits:
Royals youngster Eric Hosmer
hit his second home run in as many days Thursday at Yankee Stadium … Orioles youngster Zach Britton
hurled nine shutout innings Thursday against the Mariners … Alexi Ogando
is recovered from his blister and should have no restrictions when he takes the mound Friday … Eric Chavez
had the walking boot removed from his bruised left foot … An MRI Thursday on Bruce Chen
's strained lat muscle showed no structural damage, but he is still likely to miss three weeks … Robinson Cano
was able to play Thursday despite getting beaned in the helmet Wednesday night … Franklin Gutierrez
went 2-for-4 with four RBI in a rehab game at Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday night … Mariners closer Brandon League
blew his second save in a row Thursday against the Orioles … Brandon Webb
showed improved velocity Thursday in a start at extended spring training … Justin Duchscherer
is scheduled to throw a two-inning simulated game Friday … Rafael Soriano
played a game of catch Thursday without feeling discomfort in his inflamed throwing elbow … Brian Matusz
will make at least two minor league rehab starts.