Chipper DispositionWednesday, May 18, 2011
Two days after it came to light that Chipper Jones
had a small meniscus tear that might require surgery (and force him to miss 2-3 weeks), the brittle 39-year-old was back in the Braves' lineup on Tuesday with the help of a cortisone shot.
And after playing in Tuesday's game (and going 1-for-5 with three strikeouts), Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution
that "I feel a lot better than two days ago." He left open the possibility that surgery could become necessary if the knee worsens, but it appears he'll be able to avoid an extended absence for now.
In theory, the obvious advice on Jones would be to wait for him to have a good game or two on the troublesome knee and then immediately sell high, but my guess is that most other owners in your league are as wary of Chipper's injuries as you are. So if trade efforts fail, just make sure you have a backup plan at 3B and enjoy the production when he's healthy – Jones' total of 27 RBI is already well over halfway to his output from last year (46) and currently equals the RBI total of MLB home run leader Jose Bautista
. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Vicente Padilla was not available on Tuesday due to right forearm stiffness. Matt Guerrier picked up his first save of the year, and with Padilla's status uncertain, Guerrier is worth an immediate speculative add in many leagues.
Royals lefty prospect Danny Duffy (3.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 43/10 K/BB ratio in 36 innings at Triple-A) is slated for a spot start on Wednesday against the Rangers. If he performs well, Duffy could stick in the rotation and is worth consideration in mixed leagues despite sharing a last name with disappointing former Pirate Chris Duffy.
A significant sigh of relief is in order for Josh Johnson's fantasy owners after an MRI on his right forearm came back negative. Johnson simply suffered a bruised forearm and is hoping to start against Tampa Bay as scheduled on Saturday.
Jorge Posada returned as the starting DH for Tuesday's matchup with the Rays, his first time starting since the great lineup fiasco over the weekend. Posada (hitting seventh) responded by going 2-for-3 with a double. Joe Girardi said on Tuesday evening that his DH spot is a day-to-day situation, but Posada's two-hit outing certainly didn't hurt his case.
After a disappointing follow-up to his not especially great no-hitter, Francisco Liriano finally looked like his normal dominant self on Tuesday, going seven innings with three hits, one run, one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts. Granted, it was against the Mariners, but it's a huge step forward for a pitcher who came into Tuesday with a 21/27 K/BB ratio in his first 35.2 innings.
Cameron Maybin missed Tuesday's game due to patellar tendinitis, but Bud Black downplayed the severity of the injury, telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that "We don't think it's anything." Maybin has hit .480 in his last six games to emerge as a legitimate consideration in mixed leagues.
Weather had a significant effect on Tuesday's schedule, postponing Pirates-Nationals, Orioles-Red Sox, Marlins-Mets and Blue Jays-Tigers. Among those most notably affected was Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann, whose turn in the rotation was skipped in an effort to limit his innings, meaning that Zimmermann will next take the mound on Sunday. Also being skipped in the rotation was Tuesday starter Rick Porcello.
Franklin Gutierrez (stomach) will reportedly be activated to make his season debut against Jered Weaver and the Angels on Wednesday. The 28-year-old had a disappointing 666 OPS last year, but could have at least a small-sized impact in deeper mixed leagues given his decent combo of power and speed (12 homers and 25 steals in 2010).
Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) was placed on the DL after undergoing an MRI, with the results unknown as of Tuesday evening. Alfredo Aceves will take over Dice-K's spot in the rotation, but should only be a consideration in AL-Only leagues at the moment given that he last started a big league game in 2009. Michael Bowden has taken over Matsuzaka's roster spot, but will pitch out of the bullpen for now.
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NL Quick Hits (pitchers): As expected, the Braves have recalled Julio Teheran for a spot start on Wednesday … Ubaldo Jimenez had one of his better starts of the season (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K's)… Roy Oswalt allowed one run on seven hits in five innings in his first start back from the DL … Hiroki Kuroda threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a win over the Brewers … Andrew Cashner is likely out until after the All-Star break after an MRI revealed that he aggravated his original shoulder injury … Wandy Rodriguez threw eight scoreless innings against the Braves, but took a no-decision when Mark Melancon blew a save … Edinson Volquez had a season-low one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts against the Cubs.
NL Quick Hits (position players): Colby Rasmus (abdomen) has been cleared to return, but was held out of the starting lineup Tuesday … Shane Victorino (hamstring) is expected to miss at least a few more days and will undergo tests on Wednesday … Ike Davis (ankle) is hoping to return from the DL on May 26 … Pat Burrell went 2-for-4 with two RBI in his first start against a right-hander since May 1… The Mets officially placed David Wright (back) on the DL … Jason Heyward (shoulder) returned to the starting lineup and went 1-for-3 with two walks and a steal … Freddy Sanchez didn't play due to a swollen left knee … Brian McCann didn't start on Tuesday, but hit a game-tying pinch-hit homer in the ninth and a two-run walk-off homer in the 11th … Chris Denorfia got another start in place of Will Venable (hand) and went 3-for-4 … Carlos Gonzalez delivered a tie-breaking two-run single to beat the Giants, giving him eight RBI in his last five games … Angel Pagan (oblique) had three hits in a simulated game as he gets closer to a minor league rehab assignment.
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AL Quick Hits (pitchers): A's closer Andrew Bailey could be deemed ready for a four-game rehab assignment if a long-toss session goes well on Wednesday … Dallas Braden (shoulder) is expected to miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery … David Aardsma (elbow) declared that "I will pitch this year" … Gio Gonzalez held the Angels to one hit in seven scoreless innings … The Yankees placed Rafael Soriano (elbow) on the DL … Brett Cecil's arm strength and velocity have improved since his demotion to the minors, and he has a 3.51 ERA in his last four starts … The Royals placed Kyle Davies (shoulder) on the DL.
AL Quick Hits (position players): Nelson Cruz went 1-for-4 in his second minor league rehab game and remains on course for a return this weekend … Carl Crawford was slated to sit against lefty Zach Britton before Tuesday's rainout … The Mariners reportedly want Dustin Ackley to improve his defense before they call him up, suggesting that a promotion probably isn't imminent … Alex Rodriguez hit two solo homers against the Rays … Derrek Lee (oblique) is likely to be placed on the DL … Justin Smoak was back in the starting lineup after rolling his ankle on Monday … Mitch Moreland (hamstring) appeared as a pinch-hitter and is expected to start on Wednesday … Nick Swisher was out of the lineup due to illness … The White Sox placed Mark Teahen (oblique) on the DL and purchased the contract of Dallas McPherson, with the team reportedly leaving Dayan Viciedo in the minors so he could continue to play every day.