Eno Sarris

Baseball Daily Dose

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Knee Surgery for Pedroia?

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Late last night, the doctor came calling. Dustin Pedroia has been playing with an injured knee since mid-May. Now he may have surgery on it that would keep him out a month. If the surgery gets him right, maybe his owners won't be so upset about the missed time. More news will come down the pipe on Thursday as he further considers his options.

In the meantime, Jed Lowrie will probably move over to second base, or take over shortstop, and play every day. Lowrie himself was just been cleared to play again, since his shoulder was bothering him. He hasn't been as good as he was early in the season, but the fundamental skills are still there to put up a decent batting average with above-average power at three tough positions on the infield. He's the perfect fantasy glue guy to put on your bench or use as a fill-in for an injury.

* If there's one flaw in my fantasy game, it's my love of upside. Is there nothing better than drafting a prospect in your final rounds and then having that dude go off on the league? Free early-round production for late-round prices. It's what the game is all about. Zach Britton has debuted this year and provided some of his owners with great production. We've been pointing out that he still needs to strike more batters out despite his great ground-ball rate, and Wednesday he finally stuck out six in 6 1/3 in a win against the A's. He could pull a Trevor Cahill and improve his peripherals to match his results. Juan Nicasio didn't get the strikeouts that he had in the minors, but he did only allow three earned runs in his first 13 innings and now has a spot in the Rockies' rotation for the time being (the team moved Clayton Mortensen to the pen) and is worth a look in deeper leagues. Ben Revere, after collecting three hits Wednesday, looks like he might take his speed-only game into regular time even once Jason Kubel and Jim Thome return. Second baseman Cord Phelps is up in Cleveland, and should steal most at-bats against righties from Orlando Cabrera, but his strikeout rate in the minors this year suggests that his transition might not be seamless.

Yeah, not every young player debuts gangbusters. Danny Duffy has upside oozing out of his left arm, but he walked four and struck out just one against the Blue Jays Wednesday night. Keep him on your bench as long as you can in deeper leagues because he could just be a few adjustments away. Anthony Rizzo, now that he's past his thumb issue, will not platoon at first base in San Diego, says his manager. He's still a lefty in a park that suppresses lefty power by half. He might have issues this year too. Mike Carp lost twenty pounds and started raking this year, but it was his third try at Triple-A and he's in his peak years. They'll play him three-to-four times a week in Seattle according to his manager, and he has park issues of his own. Leave him for the deep leaguers. Jemile Weeks has a little bit of both success and failure so far. Rickie Weeks' little brother went hitless in his debut, but then followed that up with two hits Wednesday night. He doesn't have Rickie's power, but he does have speed and a job for now. Brett Lawrie is rumored to be called up soon for the Jays, but he'll have to wait two-to-three weeks (plus) after he was diagnosed with a fracture in his left hand. He'll be exciting again in July.

* What about the pitchers? Even shallow leaguers are loving Alexi Ogando right now. His excellent control held against the Tigers (two walks), but more big K nights like his Wednesday night (seven strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings) would mean big things for him going forward. He needs to strike people out as a fly-ball dude in order to stave off the regression. Bud Norris, who is normally about the strikeout and wonky control, showed half of the package in a strong outing against the Cardinals. Unfortunately, he walked five and struck out one. Fortunately, he only gave up one run on one hit and is ownable in all but the shallowest of leagues if for his (usual) strikeouts alone. Derek Lowe is striking out more (and walking more) batters than he ever has, but he's still got that elite ground-ball rate. Wednesday, he had a no-hitter going until the seventh inning and left with five strikeouts and two walks in 6 2/3 scoreless. He's a back-of-staff guy in most leagues. Despite his excellent strikeout-to-walk ratio both this season (70/17) and in the game (five strikeouts, one walk), Ricky Nolasco got a no-decision for his 7 1/3 two-run innings against the Braves. He's still ownable in all leagues. Ryan Dempster held the Reds to one run and struck out eight in six innings despite having some hip issues. He's been unlucky on home runs so far this year and should be better going forward.

Lefties! Randy Wolf only allowed one run on six baserunners against the Mets, but he's been a little lucky on the batted ball and is more of a matchups guy in mixed leagues despite his nice ERA. Jason Vargas held the White Sox to three runs in 7 1/3 innings, but it was most notable that he did so in Chicago. He doesn't strike people out, and he's a fly-ball guy, but he's doing just enough to be a deep leaguer for now. Paul Maholm is in the easier league and is more ownable, even if he's getting lucky on home runs right now. After holding Arizona to one hit in six scoreless innings, he's worth owning even with the mediocre strikeout rate. Zach Duke, on the other hand, only stuck out one batter while giving up one run in the game. He's the worst lefty of the bunch.

* Bullpen update! Craig Kimbrel blew his fifth save, but is still safe. A walk, a double and a single was enough to blow the save, but he held on and got the win. Hey, Mike Stanton will do that to pitchers his whole career. Brandon Lyon should be activated Thursday and his manager says they will ease him into the closer role. That's too bad, because Mark Melancon has been a better pitcher this year. Matt Capps blew his fifth save (his third in his last four), and a healthy Joe Nathan could still take the job away from him.

* Catchers stepped to the fore Wednesday night. It looks ugly right now for Miguel Olivo, and it's not going to get any better. But look at the rest of the catcher position and you realize that his power plays in most leagues. He hit a home run and collected three RBI Wednesday night in Chicago. Ronny Paulino used to only start against lefties, but after going four for four and taking righty Kameron Loe deep, he might start taking some time from Josh Thole in New York. Chris Snyder and Russell Martin have dueling back injuries, but it's more worrisome for Snyder, who began the season on the DL for a back problem.

National League Quick Hits: Don't call it a comeback, Andrew McCutchen has been here for years - he hit a walkoff home run for the Pirates and the time to buy-low has passed … Prince Fielder isn't striking out any more and hit his 16th and 17th home runs against the Mets Wednesday … Jimmy Rollins (knee) should be back in the lineup Thursday … Ditto Martin Prado (knee) … Chase Utley just got a day off to rest … Hanley Ramirez (back) could begin a rehab assignment Friday … Jaime Garcia will be back for his next start; Some impostor in his jersey struck out one, walked two, and gave up three runs in five innings against a bad Astros offense … Jayson Werth (ankle) should return Thursday … Lance Berkman hit his 14th but running around that outfield will eventually slow him down … Chipper Jones said that Jason Heyward (shoulder) needs to get back on the field; Whatever … Hiroki Kuroda stuck out seven and allowed only one run against the Phillies and is an every-start pitcher in all leagues … Michael Bourn found a way to steal a base in a game he didn't start by making the most of a pinch hit appearance … Wandy Rodriguez (elbow) pitched well in a rehab start and might be back June 13th when he's eligible … Pedro Alvarez (quad) tweaked his quad and won't be back soon … James Loney doesn't have the power to play at first base, and now he's getting platooned; he's a dropper in most leagues … Todd Helton doesn't have first baseman power either, but after going four for four Wednesday night, he's looking spry for his age and can contribute in batting average at least … Cameron Maybin (knee) will begin his rehab assignment in the next few days … Allen Craig (knee) should miss a few days, and Jon Jay will take his at-bats … Brandon Crawford, who got two hits (one a triple) against the National, should stick at shortstop most days once Pablo Sandoval returns, spelling doom for Miguel Tejada, who is rumored to be released … Aroldis Chpaman allowed three runs and only got two outs in his first rehab appearance … The Padres might field offers for Ryan Ludwick soon, and if he ends up with the Reds that would be nice for his value … Bronson Arroyo gave up three earned in 6/13 innings against the Cubs, but there's just not much to like about what he's doing … Padres catcher Nick Hundley is back from the DL … Dustin Moseley, already borderline because of his peripherals, now has an injured non-throwing shoulder and more news is on the way … Aaron Cook is also perpetually borderline, and he gave up three runs on ten baserunners in 5 2/3 innings against the Padres in San Diego … Yunesky Maya only gave up one run to the Giant, but his one strikeout says more about his ownability.

American League Quick Hits: Adrian Beltre hit his 12th home run and once his luck changes on batted balls, he'll have had a strong season at a tough position … Evan Longoria missed Wednesday's game with an illness but expects to be back Friday … Adam Lind hit a grand slam against the Royals and has four home runs since he returned from the DL this week … Ian Kinsler will miss the next two or three days for paternity leave (congratulations) … Carlos Quentin may never have the great batting average again, but he hit two home runs Wednesday night and the power is of course real … Brian Roberts (concussion) was encouraged by a doctor's visit but won't begin baseball activities for another two weeks … Melky Cabrera and his peripherals say that he can keep up this 15/15 type of mediocrity all year after hitting his seventh out … Jake Peavy (abductor strain) is on the DL now and will probably be again this year … Alex Rios finally started a game Wednesday, his first since Saturday; he's been very unlucky on batted balls … A.J. Burnett allowed eight runs to the Red Sox, and the underlying numbers are worse than last year's in many categories and more blowups could be on the way … J.P. Arencibia (thumb) will return Thursday … Carlos Villanueva allowed four runs to the Royals but it was most impressive that the former reliever went seven innings … He's been strong in relief this year, but now Joba Chamberlain is on the DL with a strained flexor muscle … Derrek Lee will miss the weekend to attend his grandfather's funeral … Josh Outman has a great pitcher's name, but not a great game; He gave up three runs in six innings with four strikeouts and is not very dependable going forward … Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has been surprisingly good recently, has regular old stomach problems and should be fine soon … Mark Reynolds hit his tenth home run (ninth since April 24th) but is still hitting for a dreadful average and that won't change … Reid Brignac plated the winning run and hit a home run in the Rays win Wednesday night … Carl Pavano has re-found his ground-ball ways and after holding the Indians to one run in seven innings he's a matchup starter in AL-only leagues … Another converted reliever, Phil Coke gave up four earned on 13 baserunners against the Rangers and isn't a strong play in any league …. Francisco Cervelli collected three hits, but he's not very ownable in most leagues anyway … Graham Godfrey will make his debut for the A's on Friday and is worth a look in AL-only leagues since he has improved his strikeout and walk rates in the minor leagues this year.


Eno Sarris is an editor and writer at FanGraphs.com. You can find his work gathered in one place at and enosarris.com. Follow his misadventures in writing on Twitter as well.
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