Timeout for a shameless piece of self-promotion: Don’t forget to tune in to hear Rick Wolf and me on Colton and the Wolfman on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio Tuesday nights from 8-11pm eastern time. It’s a fun three hours of sports, fantasy and goofy humor.
Ok, now back to business . . .
Robinson Cano: Robbie Cano went 2-3 with a mammoth home run in the Yanks win on Friday. Yes, Andy Pettitte was great and deserves the press, but let's not forget about one of baseball's best hitters. After an atrocious start, Robbie is up to .310 but with power numbers that are still way down (just 4 HR and 16 RBI). If there is a Cano owner in your league who is frustrated by the fact that they spent 35+ or a number one pick on Robbie, take advantage. Talk all about that one aberrational year in which Cano hit .271 (2008), and leave out the fact that 2008 was the only year Robbie has failed to hit .300 plus since 2005 (when he hit .297). Also harp on the fact that if you multiply by 4, Robbie would finish with a pedestrian 16 HR and 64 RBI. Make no mistake -- Robbie will finish with .310+, 100+ runs and RBI, 30 HR and a hand full of steals. If there is a nonbeliever, act now as no one will move Cano once Memorial Day arrives.
Denard Span: Denard Span had a monster night last night going 4-5 with three RBI. Thus far this year, Span is hitting .310 with a tasty .372 OBP and 4 SB. Sell! What, louder? Ok. SELL!!!!! Span is a good player but not nearly as good as the hype or this year's performance. Span hit .264 in each of the last two years with a combined total of 5 HR (actually that includes the first quarter of this year as well). Yes, he will steal some bases but he is not a dominant force in that category. Plus, the Twins can't hit and play in a park that is super pitcher friendly. Sell high on Span while you still can.
Scott Diamond: Speaking of sell high, Scott Diamond won his third straight start Friday in the same game Span went off. Kudos go out to Scott and the owners that picked him up. Thus far, he has a great but unsustainable 1.40 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The good news is, as mentioned above, the Twins play in a pitcher's haven. The bad news is that they will not often give him the 11 run support he got last night. The other bad news is that there is nothing in his minor league record to support these stats. Indeed, Diamond has not posted a WHIP under 1.40 for a minor league season since A ball. Sell high while you still can.
Joe Saunders: Joe Saunders gave up three runs in six innings Friday. The good news is that he has a very respectable 3.55 ERA thus far. Unfortunately, the bad news far outweighs the good. Saunders has given up 15 earned runs in his last 14 1/3 innings and has a year-long strikeout rate of around 5 per 9 -- hardly a quality number. The bottom line here is simple -- you have about one more week to sell high. Saunders is a worthwhile innings eater at the back end of a real rotation, but as a fantasy starter who strikes out very few and pitches in a bandbox, he should be on only the deepest of NL-only league teams. Sell.
Edwin Jackson: Proving the maxim that pitchers on good hitting teams win more games, Edwin Jackson took a no decision last night despite tossing 8 innings of one run ball, while striking out 8 and walking only 1. Unfortunately, since the Nats cannot hit, Jackson is winless for the last month despite his season ERA of 3.31 ERA. I like EJax to have a solid ratio and strikeout year pitching in that stacked rotation against NL East teams that are offensively challenged. Just do not count on too many wins.
Alex White: Alex White looked pretty good last night, giving up just two earned runs over seven innings against Seattle. [Note -- it is almost always good to start pitchers against Seattle, San Diego or Minnesota]. His next start comes against the hardly hot Marlins, so NL-only league owners should pay attention. Of course, the bad news for White is that he pitches for Colorado. The good news is that this kid has talent. All of his minor league stops have resulted in ERAs under 3.00 and WHIPs under 1.12. If you are in a deep league where you can spot start him against weak teams or on the road, he is a worthwhile addition.
Delmon Young: Delmon Young went 2-4 with a home run and three RBI last night to help the Tigers beat the Pirates. Young has been very mediocre this year but he has a universe of talent, thrived in Detroit last summer and is only 26 despite being in his 7th major league season. Young is a HUGE buy low candidate who will produce in the warm weather this late spring and summer. You have heard me say it before, young players who make the bigs really early are often judged too harshly too quickly. There is a reason he was in the show at 19 -- he is a huge talent. His maturity is atrocious but roto players don’t lose points for that. Buy.
Eric Stults: Eric Stults will get the ball early in his Padres career. Stults will start today after just being claimed off waivers from the White Sox. Stults has not given roto owners any reason to think he will be a star in the major leagues. However, since grandiose names such as Dustin Moseley have turned into quality roto starters in Petco, why not Stults. Worth a flyer in deep leagues.
Danny Duffy: Royals youngster Danny Duffy has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. Of course, this is a tough break for the kid and the Royals. Hopefully, he will make a full recovery and be ready to pitch in the second half of 2013. In dynasty leagues he should be kept. Otherwise, cut him and do a FAAB reclaim. The only hidden good news is that Duffy was not likely to live up to his potential this year and roto owners who would have ridden that elevator down can now get off and avoid some losses.
Allen Craig: The Wolfman always says "injury prone players get injured." Yes, it sounds like a Yogi-ism, but it is true. Unfortunately, Allen Craig continues to prove the point. The Redbirds placed Craig on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring. This is a bad break for Craig, the Cards and fantasy owners as Craig was en fuego hitting .373 with five homers, 19 RBI and a 1.188 OPS. If you own Matt Carpenter -- good for you. Carpenter will be guaranteed PT with Craig hurt, Freese needing days off and Berkman and Beltran hurting. If you play in an NL-only league, grab the "other" Carpenter if you can.
And last and but not least, this from the Baron of the Bottom of the Page -- Schultz says: “I for one loved Ozzie Guillen's work this off-season as Escalante on Luck. I was disheartened to learn that HBO cancelled the series after Guillen made insensitive comments about Fidel Castro and threatened the network's relationship with the Cuban population surrounding its Time Warner headquarters. It seemed like a bizarre turn of events. Presumably, HBO didn't have a role for Guillen on Girls so he has returned to his day job as the manager of the Miami (nee Florida) Marlins. One of the biggest beneficiaries of Guillen's return to baseball has been Emilio Bonifacio, one of the lesser known names that usually resonates more with roto-baseball fans than their reality based kin. With blazing speed and an infielder's glove, Bonifacio has been on the roto-radar since he came up with the Nationals in 2008. He's been tagged with the prospect label, started out one season with something like 11 straight hits resulting in the bankruptcy of free agent reserves in early April and matured into a vital cog on championship roto-teams. Guillen likes to run and Bonifacio's 20 steals by mid-May are what many expected from Jose Reyes, one of the other three Marlins starters with shortstop eligibility. He won't help significantly with the other stats but he also won't kill you. If you can slot Bonifacio into a nicely balanced lineup, he can help you bring home your league's roto-trophy.
Derek Lowe and Kevin Millwood threw shutouts this week and Andy Pettitte struck out 9 over 8 shutout innings against his former division rivals, the Cincinnati Reds. If you were wise enough to hang on to this trio of pitchers since 2004, you likely had the good pitching week you've been waiting for near on a decade. As all of these gentlemen are likely still on your league's free agent wire, tread circumspectly. Lowe has been wonderful for the FIRST PLACE CLEVELAND INDIANS but there is realistic chance that his WHIP may be higher than his ERA at some point in the season. Pettitte is a bit more of an X-Factor; the Mariners hit him very hard in his first outing. Since it was his first outing since 2010, that may be the explanation. It also may be what's in store for Pettitte for the rest of the season. After all, for one batter on a Friday afternoon, Kerry Wood looked like the pitcher we all remembered. As for the rest of the weekend, I look forward to seeing what Brian Wilson does this week on Games Of Thrones.”
Response: You have to admire Schultz's loyalty to the Indians. Yeah, they are in first place in May but no one ever remembers that. A Major League ending is not the in the cards in 2012.