The Red Sox currently sit atop the American League East standings with a 7-4 record and owe that promising start to a rotation that has executed a complete turnaround from last season. Clay Buchholz being the poster child.
Buchholz carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning on Sunday afternoon against the Rays and wound up going eight scoreless frames while racking up a career-high 11 strikeouts as Boston grabbed a 5-0 victory. The 28-year-old right-hander was working all corners of the plate with his four-pitch arsenal and now boasts a 3-0 record, 0.41 ERA and 0.95 WHIP through 22 innings this season. He also has 23 strikeouts for what would be a career-best 9.4 K/9.
Those kinds of lofty numbers aren’t sustainable for anyone, but Buchholz may have figured something out this offseason after floundering to the tune of a 4.56 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 6.1 K/9 over 189 1/3 innings in 2012. He’s been a steal so far in fantasy leagues and is an obvious must-start moving forward.
Cueto Headed To Disabled List
The Reds are off to a disappointing 5-7 start and will now be without their ace for an extended period of time.
Johnny Cueto made an early exit from his outing on Saturday evening against the Pirates after feeling a tug near his right shoulder on a fifth-inning pitch. He was then diagnosed Sunday afternoon with a strained right lat muscle and will be placed on the 15-day disabled list before the Reds’ series-opener Monday night against the Phillies. Lat strains can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to three months to recover from, and there’s been no indication given by the Reds about the severity of Cueto’s particular injury.
To replace Cueto in the starting rotation the Reds are expected to call up top pitching prospect Tony Cingrani. The 23-year-old left-hander has a 1.62 ERA, a 0.93 WHIP and an 11.8 K/9 over 211 2/3 career innings in the minor leagues and is definitely worth a look in standard mixed fantasy leagues. He could be up for a while.
Boggs Blows Another One
The Cardinals relief corps has looked like an absolute mess this month without the injured Jason Motte.
Mitchell Boggs, who was supposed to take the ninth-inning job and run with it in Motte’s absence, blew his second save in four chances on Sunday afternoon against the Brewers, wasting another fine start by Jaime Garcia. Boggs has now surrendered a total of nine runs -- eight earned -- over his first 6 1/3 innings this season.
The good news for Boggs owners is that Trevor Rosenthal -- the de facto next-in-line guy in St. Louis -- has also been awful. This is a rapidly evolving (or maybe it’s devolving) situation for fantasy purposes.
It might be wise to add Edward Mujica if you have an open roster spot.
National League Quick Hits: Reds first baseman Joey Votto tallied his first home run and first stolen base of the 2013 regular season in Sunday’s loss to the Pirates ... Ted Lilly (shoulder) has refused to continue his minor league rehab assignment, forcing the Dodgers to either activate him, designate him for assignment or trade him ... Cardinals slugger Matt Adams has three home runs and eight RBI in only 17 at-bats this season ... Jorge De La Rosa pitched six scoreless innings Sunday in the Padres’ win over the Rockies ... Aaron Hill is day-to-day with a sore left wrist ... Josh Beckett threw a complete game in the Dodgers’ loss Sunday to the Diamondbacks ... Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa left Sunday’s game after getting hit in the wrist by a pitch but X-rays were negative and he’s considered day-to-day ... Paul Goldschmidt went 2-for-4 with an RBI in Sunday’s win over the Dodgers and is now batting .348/.426/.587 with two homers and 10 RBI in 12 games this season ... Carlos Quentin began serving his eight-game suspension Sunday ... Paul Maholm went seven-plus scoreless innings on Sunday against the Nationals and is now 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 20/5 K/BB ratio over 20 innings this season ... Clayton Richard threw six scoreless innings Sunday in the Padres’ loss to the Rockies ... Tim Lincecum allowed four runs in five innings Sunday against the light-hitting Cubs and now has a 5.63 ERA through three starts ... Shaun Marcum (neck) could join the Mets’ rotation on April 21 ... Cubs reliever Shawn Camp surrendered four earned runs over 1 2/3 innings Sunday in a blown save against the Giants ... Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy hit a game-winning 10th-inning home run in Sunday’s defeat of the Cardinals ... Jonathan Broxton has an 11.57 ERA in 4 2/3 innings this season and has already taken two blown saves as a setup man ... Roy Halladay tossed eight innings of one-run ball Sunday against a weak Marlins lineup.
American League Quick Hits: Indians center fielder Michael Bourn is expected to miss about a week after suffering a right hand laceration on Sunday afternoon while sliding head-first into first base ... Carlos Santana has been out four straight games with a thumb contusion ... Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan will be out for the next few days due to hamstring tightness and Andrew Bailey is expected to fill in ... Hiroki Kuroda tossed his fifth career shutout Sunday as the Yankees beat the Orioles ... Josh Hamilton finished 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in Sunday’s series-clinching win over the Astros ... Red Sox youngster Jackie Bradley Jr. was 0-for-3 on Sunday against the Rays and is now batting just .107 with a .429 OPS over his first nine major league games ... Jake Peavy tossed seven innings of one-run ball, striking out 11, in Sunday’s victory over the Indians ... Brett Gardner hit his second home run of the season in Sunday night’s defeat of the Orioles ... A’s starter Jarrod Parker was shelled for eight runs over 3 1/3 innings Sunday in a loss to the Tigers ... Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez is day-to-day with groin tightness ... Anibal Sanchez gave up just one run over seven innings Sunday as the Tigers topped the A’s ... The Blue Jays may ask Brett Lawrie to play some second base once he returns from his rib cage injury ... Mike Trout hit his first home run of the season Sunday as the Angels beat the Astros ... Indians starter Scott Kazmir (rib cage) is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Columbus ... Astros right-hander John Ely needs Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery ... Conor Jackson, who signed a minor league contract with the Orioles this winter, announced his retirement from baseball Sunday at the age of 30.