Today marks the first Fantasy Recap of the season. In this series, Monday through Friday every week, I’ll pick out the most noteworthy fantasy related news from the previous day’s action. This will be an easy way for readers to get a leg up on pickups and players to avoid.
Let’s look back on Thursday’s action.
In Texas C.J. Wilson made his debut in the starting rotation going seven innings while striking out seven and walking two. He allowed five hits and no runs.
Quite a start for Wilson, who had a great spring. Wilson wasn’t throwing exceptionally hard (89-91 mph), but did mix his pitches well. He definitely has some sleeper status given the improvements in his command and strikeout rates over the last two seasons. He also added a cut fastball last year, which has helped his overall numbers. Feel free to add him to your rotation for a start in Cleveland next week.
On the other end of the spectrum we have Texas closer Frank Francisco, who came in to close out game out with a one run lead. Francisco allowed three earned runs and didn’t finish the inning. Neftali Feliz struck out the side in the eighth and is a big time threat to take over closing duties should Francisco struggle a few more times. I’d make my move now on Feliz if you were thinking of trading for him.
The man who got the ninth inning started for the Blue Jays was red-hot Vernon Wells. Wells blasted his fourth home run of the season to start the rally for Toronto.
This is a completely unexpected start for Wells, who was considered nothing more than a late round flier pick on draft day. Is this just an extremely hot start? Well, yes, but before putting up mediocre numbers the past two seasons Wells was a 30 home run candidate. In spring training of last season he suffered a wrist injury. That could help explain the mere 15 home runs. At age 31, Wells is still young enough to have a bounce back season. If there is a chance he’s still available (unlikely), go get him now.
In Cincinnati, Jonny Gomes got the start in left and went 2-4 with a walk-off home run off of right-handed reliever Jason Motte. Gomes has some big time power and his AB/HR rate last season was right up there with the likes of Adam Dunn. However, his split stats against right-handed pitching may give Dusty Baker pause about playing him everyday. If he can get consistent at-bats, he could have a breakthrough season. Given enough at-bats we can expect some huge power numbers, just not the AVG (The Carlos Pena of the outfield?)
Dontrelle Willis made his return to the rotation for the Tigers going six innings, allowing seven hits and two earned runs. He struck out four and walked two. Overall I’m not very impressed by what I saw from Willis. Although he only gave up two runs, seven hits in six innings against the Royals lineup is nothing to write home about. I’m not buying.
In Oakland Brett Anderson shut out the Mariners for six innings, allowing only three hits while striking out four and walking one. Anderson looked like a guy who is going to have the breakout season many predicted. His fastball held between 91 and 94 with good movement along with big breaking curve that finished off his four strikeouts.
Randy Wells went six strong innings for the Cubs allowing zero runs while generating 13 ground balls. This start was very reminiscent of what Wells did much of last season when he posted a 3.05 ERA. While he lacks the strikeout potential to repeat his 2009 numbers, he looks to be a solid pitcher in deep leagues and someone to take a flier on in 12 teamers.
Justin Masterson had a decent first start for the Indians going five innings allowing four hits and one earned run. He walked two and struck out five. Check back to later today for some analysis for his start…let’s just say, he looked very good.
Masterson’s counter part, Gavin Floyd didn’t look so bad himself striking out seven in six innings. He is another pitcher who could have a breakout season.
In Anaheim Joel Pineiro looked like his 2009 self in the fact that he got 15 ground balls to one fly ball, but he allowed a costly two-run home run to Brendan Harris. Harris was batting ninth, which in the National league would mean the pitcher’s spot. Pineiro is going to be hard pressed to find the same success in the American League as he did last season with the Cardinals, but as long as he gets a ton of ground balls, he should still be worth a roster spot.
Delmon Young took a Fernando Rodney pitch deep in the ninth. Young didn’t get the start, however, as Jason Kubel moved to left to make room for Jim Thome at DH. Thome also homered in the game. Young and Kubel have seen bench time early this season in order for Thome to get at-bats and this situation could end up hurting both players fantasy value significantly. I am buying Delmon Young to have a solid season in 2010, but he’ll need the at-bats to produce the counting numbers. Stay tuned on that situation.