Anibal Sanchez was amazing last night, pitching 8 innings and giving up just 5 five hits with a whopping 17 strikeouts against one of the league’s best offenses. Sanchez has never looked dirtier. Filthy even. I was hoping Manager Jim Leyland would send Sanchez out for the ninth to try for 20 Ks, but Anibal was pulled after 121 pitches. Leyland said he needed Sanchez in the dugout to bum a cigarette. No, Sanchez doesn’t usually smoke but he was on fire last night and always has a spare menthol for Skip. That kind of know-how and pedigree was why I owned Anibal everywhere last year, so of course I don’t own him anywhere this year. I must give it up to our fearless leader, Grey, for coming up with that headline. I almost went with “Bell of the Anibal” or “A Boy Named Anibal.” And those are just terrible. But things are really clicking for the Boy Named Anibal. I once knew a boy named Sue. He got in bar fight with Commodus and Reese Witherspoon, and Reese played the “Don’t-you-know-who-I-am!?” card and everyone got arrested. Well, if you didn’t know Anibal Sanchez before last night you better know him now. 17 STRIKEOUTS! Great Anibals of fire! Sanchez’s previous high was 14 Ks, but he now holds the Tigers record, which has got to peeve Justin Verlander a bit. Relax JV, you had Kate Upton, let Sanchez have this. His new home in Detroit has been good to him. No one wants to win more than 14 games for Jeffrey Loria anyway, right?
Since joining Detroit he has a 2.54 ERA with 7 wins in 17 starts. Sanchez is a candidate to be a good number two starter for your fantasy team, but if you can sell high and net a Top 30 player for him (see Harvey, Matt), by all means do it quickly as his value will never be higher than it is right now. I’m talking about dinner using coupons for the dollar menu and a $1 can of Arizona iced tea value. Now that’s value! Anibal was cooler than an ice cold Arnie Palmer last night and has been stellar all April, compiling three wins with a 1.31 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and 41 punch outs. April has historically been his best month and these stats are right within his career norms. I’d expect Sanchez to break out this year with 15-17 wins and an ERA around 3.50. Based on past seasons a K/9 of around 8 should give him a good chance at 200 strikeouts. That will help your fantasy team!
Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball last night:
David Ortiz – 1-for-4 with his 2nd HR in just his 6th game back from injury. I’m pretty sure even if Big Papi was 400 pounds and in a wheelchair he’d still hit at least 20 home runs a year. The man is pure power. #bostonstrong
David Ross – 4-for-4, 2 HR. We have to chalk most of this up to the Astros being terrible but the Red Sox managed 17 hits off Houston. Dustin Pedroia had 3 hits and Jacoby Ellbury and Mike Napoli had 2 each, while Will Middlebrooks went 2-for-4 with his 6th HR. The Lastros are doing some wondrous things for fantasy stats.
Ryan Dempster – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 K and his 1st win of the year. We hate on the Dumpster a lot here, but in all honesty he should have at least three more wins than his record reflects and the 43 Ks are glorious.
Justin Grimm - 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 4 Ks. In the words of Calvin Candy, you had my curiosity last week, Mr. Grimm, now you have my attention. It was the Twins, sure, but don’t be grimm, that’s two straight quality starts and he’s definitely proven he’s at least streamer-worthy. He gets the White Sox next week.
Oswaldo Arcia – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI. His second home run. Arcia’s a rookie with some crazy power in one of MLB’s most cavernous ball parks. That’s a recipe for some serious meh.
Jake Peavy – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 K and his 3rd win. Jake’s 39 strikeouts in April is his best total since he struck out 46 in April of 2007. He also won the Cy Young that year. I’m not saying… I’m just saying.
Jordan Zimmermann – 9.0 IP, 1 hit, 1 BB, 4 K. Threw just 91 pitches. Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez get all the fanfare but I think some Zimmermania is warranted. Zimm moves to 4-0 with a 2.00 ERA. Watch and learn, Strasburg.
Homer Bailey – 7.0 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 6 K. Two of the leagues best offenses squared off so naturally this game was a pitchers duel to end all pitchers duels. Since his 7 ER debacle in St. Louis, Homer has given up just 3 ER in 21.0 IP with 24 K.
Paul Maholm – 3.2 IP, 10 hits, 8 ER. The regression train was headed straight for Maholm but he tried to dodge a la Teddy Duchamp. He dodged it successfully, but still got mauled by the Tigers.
Dan Uggla – 0-for-4, 4 K. Uggla, indeed.
Matt Tuiasosopo – 2-for-4, 2-run HR, 5 RBI. He’s been great against lefties but doesn’t play enough to be a decent fantasy option. He’s just so-sopo. Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter each had 3 hits in this one as well. Great, as if that Tigers’ lineup isn’t fearsome enough, these guys are about to get going.
Kyle Kendrick – 9.0 IP, 3 hits, 5 K. Shutout. A little MetCo magic, perhaps? Even Kendrick was shocked he pitched this well. He takes his 2.41 ERA into next week’s match up versus Miami. Stream-o-Nator is gonna eat that one up.
Ryan Howard – 1-for-4, 3-run HR, his third HR. If you can find a believer in Ryan Howard, or just a huge fan of Subway commercials, sell while you still can.
Kevin Gregg – 1.0 IP, K and his 2nd save. Carlos Marmol got the save yesterday and Sveum wasn’t gonna press his luck. Kevin Gregg has been included in every trade proposal I make over the past two years. He’s my ultimate throw-in. Oh, want me to sweeten the deal? I’ll give you Kevin Gregg. Yeah, I know I don’t own him but I’ll pick him up and trade him. He’s not the worst player in the league, but I like to pretend like he is.
Anthony Rizzo – 3-for-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI, SB. His 7th and 8th HR. AND a steal!? That’s the slam and legs with extra slam. I can never get enough slam. You really know the way to my heart, Rizzo. I’m buying.
Mariano Rivera – 1.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 K and his 8th save. It was a little shaky, like his knees at 43, but the cutter prevails.
Edwin Encarnacion – 2-for-4, 2 HR. His 6th and 7th HR. Yeah, you should have traded for him last week. His fourth straight game with a homer and his fifth in four games. #edwinning
Jose Bautista – 1-for-4 and his 6th HR. Joey Bats has got his work cut out for him if he’s trying to keep pace with E5 these days. Either way, it should be fun to watch.
Francisco Cervelli – Suffered a broken hand and expected to miss at least a month and a half. He was off to a nice start, batting .269 with 3 HRs. If you were unfortunate enough to be a person who had to own Cervelli, it might serve you to know that Austin Romine was called up to replace him on the roster, but I can’t recommend him outside of AL-East Only leagues.
Carlos Beltran – 2-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI. Hit home runs from each side of the plate for the ninth time in his career. Wow! That means zero to your fantasy team. So who cares.
Matt Carpenter – 2-for-4 and his 3rd HR as the Cardinals score nine runs on the Pirates. Those of us who had to choose between Matts were hopeful it was Adams who would be the guy, but now that he’s injured Carp is the man. He’s got 7 hits and 2 HR in his past five games and he has multiple position eligibility. Carpenter also loves Rainy Days and Mondays. If you get that joke, you are old.
Starling Marte – 1-for-3 with his 6th SB. Despite the K/BB rate being 25/5 my Starling is batting .322 with 6 steals. As much as I like him, that looks like a great candidate for some sell-high action.
Brandon Belt – 2-for-4. Neal Schweiber’s doppelganger has a four-game hitting streak with a HR in that span. He also plays everyday and is available in 40% of RCL leagues. He’s worth a look, don’t make me take of this belt!
Paul Goldschmidt – 0-for-4, SB. That stolen base is why Grey told us all to draft him back in March. Now let’s see him do it 15 more times, with 25 more homers. Please?
Martin Prado – 0-for-5 now batting .218. I hear a lot of fantasy chatter but not much about Prado. For a guy you generally own for batting average Martin has been brutal. I mean, he’s no Justin Upton. The multiple eligibility is sweet but if there’s better options on waivers it might be time to go for it. Prado may be stylish, but I couldn’t blame you for cutting him for someone better.
Jordan Pacheco – 3-for-4, 2 runs. With Todd Helton sidelined for being old the Tyler Colvin talk began, so naturally it’s Pacheco who looks to spend a lot of time at first base. I mention him because he has 3rd base eligibility and 3rd base is a barren wasteland riddled with fire, ash and Josh Donaldson. Not expected to have much power, but he should hit for average at Coors.
Wilin Rosario – 2-for-4 with his 5th HR. Again, just draft the catcher in Colorado, and draft him late. It’s science!
Wei Yin Chen – 8.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 BB, 5 Ks. Chen has been solid for the O’s all month and he gets the Mariners next week at SafeCo. Yes, please. He is available in just under 70% of RCL leagues. If you want to weigh-in on Chen, leave it in the comments.
Carl Crawford – 2-for-4, 2nd HR. Recently said in an interview that his time in Boston was a nightmare. True, nothing scarier than that 7-year $142 million dollar contract, but admittedly I sometimes wake up screaming to Bobby Valentine‘s eerie grin, too. Still we’re all hoping for a solid bounce back year for Crawdaddy, and so far he’s delivered.
Josh Beckett – 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 Ks. Beck can’t seem to buy a win this year and is quickly laying to rest the Beckett “odd-numbered-years” theory. However, he can buy a 12-piece bucket of KFC for just $7.99. And OMG you guys, he ate all the bones!
Jean Segura – 2-for-5, 2 RBI and his 7th SB. Batting .359 with 10 runs and 7 SB. He is the number two shortstop on the player rater and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jean stay in the top 5 all season. Jean has got it going on.
Ryan Braun – 1-for-5 with his 7th HR. ALL HE DOES IS HIT HOME RUNS! He sent this jack by Fed-Ex, so expect your stat to be added on Monday.
CJ Wilson – 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 3 ER, 9 K with his 2nd win. He struggled in this one despite the 9 Ks. Everyone on the Angels not named Trout scares the fishes out of me. C.J. gets the A’s next week but I’d sell high on this outing if I could.
Mike Trout – 1-for-3, 2 BB and his 4th SB. The wise old prophet, the Catatfish, has returned to provide his wisdom on the Great Trout. Oh-Ommmmmm. The Catatafish holds that Trout has four more SB and two more HR than he did last April (he had just 11 AB). When you put it in that perspective, clearly Trout is just getting started. #itbegins
Peter Bourjos – 2-for-5 with 2 runs now batting .319. Grey told you to BUY him. Bourjos .319 average is gorgeous and he’s got a nice eight-game hitting streak leading off for the Anjels. But damn, if you don’t steal a base soon Pete, I am just going to snap. If Trout was leading off he’d have 15 SB by now. You heard me, Catatafish!
Mark Trumbo – 1-for-4 with a 2-run HR, his third homer. We’ve all heard the sad trombone plenty of times, but what does a happy trombone sound like? Probably a lot like Mark Trumbo going yard. Trums, who always starts hot out of the gate, is batting .327 over the past two weeks and I’d sell high if you could as I can’t imagine that average can be sustained. If you need power, though, Trumbo is the right instrument to own.
Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 5 K and his first win of the season. Straight Cashner, homey! He was even 1-for-1 with a run and a stolen base, too. He stole a base! Who cares if it didn’t count towards my stats, I am smitten with Cash. Played like a true Padre, he knows if he doesn’t score probably no one else will. Honestly, if you had me guess which pitcher struck out 17 batters last night, my first guess would have been Cashner. He’s got the skills for some serious K-upside (10.1 K/9 in 2012 or 52 K in 46.1 IP) and he pitches half his games at Petco. Injury issues are always a concern but the kid’s still just 26 so he’s worth the taking a chance on. Grey told you to BUY him, now I’m telling you. Andrew Cashner is worth paying for.
Questions? Problems? Complaints to management? Advice, small gifts or large bribes? Please leave it in the comments below, or you can get at me on twitter @dandemanco. Join us next Saturday for another Friday recap as fantasy baseball continues next week, all week long!