After a hot start, my Reds are in a 4-way tie for first place. Hopefully they can get back on track. A couple of starting pitchers should be back in the near future and that should help. Someone is probably going to need to come up and take the place of Mike Leake, who decided to embarrass the team by shoplifting like $60 in shirts at a Macy’s store. To top it off, he had about three times that amount in his wallet. So maybe he needs to spend a little time in the minors to try and learn how not to be a dumbass.
Grady Sizemore is seeing his first action of the year after having a major surgery last year. And Ubaldo Jimenez is back from the DL. On the other side of that, Josh Hamilton was surely drafted very high in your league and now he’s out for a big chunk of time. That was just a freak injury on a hustle play and it’s unfortunate that it happened.
The season is still new so there are plenty of guys off to a hot start. Some people won’t make changes this early but I’m not one of those people. I’ve got a pretty big list of options this week so here we go.
Chris Narveson (SP, Brewers) – Narveson has four starts but only one win and three no decisions. The Brewers just aren’t scoring many runs in his starts so hopefully that will pick up. Narveson has a 2.19 ERA so it’s not like his team needs to score much more for his win total to climb.
David Murphy (OF, Rangers) – With Josh Hamilton out for at least 6 weeks, Murphy is going to get a ton of playing time. The Rangers have been scoring runs and Murphy has done a nice job. For the season, he’s hitting .325 with a home run, 6 runs scored, 4 RBI and 4 stolen bases. So he’s got the ability to help out in several categories.
Justin Masterson (SP, Indians) – The surprise team of the year so far has to be the Indians. Everyone expected them to suck, yet they just keep winning. Masterson made his fourth start tonight and won to bring his record to 4-0, with a 1.71 ERA. Will the Indians stay this hot all year? Most likely, no. But enjoy it while it’s there.
Derek Holland (SP, Rangers) – Holland has three starts so far and has pitched pretty well. His last game was against the Yankees and he gave up 5 runs for his only loss. He’s got a 2-1 record and a 3.66 ERA. As I stated earlier, the Rangers can score runs so as long as Holland doesn’t get rocked, he’ll have plenty of chances for wins.
Travis Hafner (DH, Indians) – Hafner has had a few down seasons lately, mainly due to injury. When he’s on, he’s a decent hitter with plenty of power. And he looks healthy so far this year. He’s hitting .351 with 4 home runs, 11 runs scored and 10 RBI. The only real downside to Hafner is that he only qualifies as a DH in most leagues. In my league, that means he would fill my only UTIL spot so there isn’t any flexibility with him.
Jonny Gomes (OF, Reds) – Whether or not you pick up Gomes would depend on what you need. He won’t help you win the batting average category, as he’s hitting .241 so far. But he’s got 6 home runs, 11 runs scored, 14 RBI and 3 stolen bases. What’s really nice is that he has 15 walks so far. For him, that’s a huge improvement since last year, he struck out way more than he walked.
Asdrubal Cabrera (SS, Indians) – The Indians are playing well right now and Cabrera is a big part of that. He’s hitting .284 with 4 home runs, 11 runs scored and 14 RBI. Not bad for a shortstop. He’s a talented player that was a hot pick last year and then got hurt and missed a huge chunk of the season. Like Hafner, he looks healthy so far.
Sam Fuld (OF, Rays) – Fuld is a hot pickup right now. He’s hitting .344 with a home run and 8 runs scored. But he’s got 7 stolen bases already and has been very aggressive. Obviously the average will come down but with his speed, he could be a nice source of doubles, triples and steals.
Ryan Roberts (3B/OF, Diamondbacks) – Roberts has been filling in for Melvin Mora but, with the way Roberts is playing, he’s likely to keep the starting job. He’s hitting .378 with 4 home runs, 7 runs scored, 11 RBI and 2 steals. The average is nice but will drop. But he’s got some power and can steal some bases. And being able to use him at two positions is great.
Matt Harrison (SP, Rangers) – Harrison has been another impressive pitcher for the Rangers so far. He’s 3-1 in four starts. In his only loss, he gave up three runs so he didn’t pitch poorly. He’s got a 1.88 ERA and has already held the Yankees and the Red Sox to one run each.
Kevin Correia (SP, Pirates) – Correia pitched for the Padres last year and picked up 10 wins. This year, he’s already 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA. One of those wins was a complete game. The Pirates have been a bit of a surprise this year so Correia may pick up a few more wins.
Kyle Lohse (SP, Cardinals) – Lohse tends to be up and down and can get injured from time to time. But I used him in spot starts last year several times. Mainly because he pitches for the Cardinals and they tend to win more than they lose. This year, Lohse is 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA. He’s struck out 16 in 22.1 innings and has only walked 2 batters.
Bruce Chen (SP, Royals) – Chen started off the season by giving up 5 runs and getting a no-decision. Since then, he’s allowed 2 runs in three starts, going 3-0 in those games. The Royals are much improved and Chen pitched well to close out last year so he seems to be picking up where he left off.
Kyle Farnsworth (RP, Rays) – Farnsworth has taken over as closer for the Rays. He’s got 4 saves with a win and a 1.42 ERA. He’s struck out 5 hitters in 6.1 innings and has yet to walk anyone. A few closers have already lost their jobs so Farnsworth can be a nice pickup if you need someone to take over.
Jose Contreras (RP, Phillies) – With Brad Lidge out, Contreras is the closer. He’s got 4 saves with a 0.00 ERA. He’s struck out 8 hitters in 7 innings and has walked 3. Who knows when Lidge is ever going to be healthy and the Phillies are a good team with great starting pitchers so if Contreras can keep the job, he’ll get saves.
If your team needs anything at all, I’ve surely listed someone that can help. I didn’t find a lot of good highlights so here’s a few members of the Giants doing some lip-syncing and a quick video of Aroldis Chapman possibly throwing a pitch that hit 106 mph. How are you supposed to hit that?