Royals prospect Luke Hochevar was called up yesterday to replace Sidney Ponson in the rotation. But he’s Aruba’s favorite son! You know who I feel bad for? The Royals caterer. With Ponson out of the rotation, who’s going to eat that side of cow he ordered? Hochevar has been lights out so far in the minors with a .90 ERA, .95 WHIP and 5-0. His 30 Ks in 40 innings is solid, not quite crazysexycool. He doesn’t seem like the kind of pitcher that is going to dominate like, say, a Volquez last year. Fortunately, he’s cut his walks this year. As I said with Cecil two weeks ago, you pickup Hochevar to see if dominates. Cause if he does dominate, people will start going gaga goo-goo for him and then you can flip him. Or you take the rookie pitcher’s thunder, slide it next to your lightning and make it rain. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:
Joakim Soria – Went to the DL. Juan Cruz will fill-in mostly, with Jamey Wright maybe seeing the occasional chance. You’re thinking, I’m not bothering with Cruz, Soria will come back and be fine. Who cares if he comes back and he’s fine? Cruz may take the job and hold it for the next two months while accumulating 15 saves. Or maybe Soria returns fine in a week. All I know is Soria has said his sore shoulder dates back to WBC (Nice, Selig!) so maybe he doesn’t recover that quickly. Add Cruz, ask questions later.
Hank Blalock – 2 HRs, 9 on the year and zero DL stints. Somewhere Nomar shakes his head, disappointed. Maybe Blalock’s staying healthy because it’s his walk year and he wants to, um, walk.
Jorge De La Rosa – Over the weekend, he threw a spectacular game where he K’d 12 ‘lins. More importantly, he only walked one. Walks have always been his issue, but it’s looked like he’s harnessed his control. I’d throw him in his next start against the Pirates. Keep in mind, he’s capable of giving you a devastatingly awful start. High risk/high reward — no pain/no gain and all that shizz.
Troy Tulowitzki – Hit his 2nd homer yesterday in the last three games. Though he was pulled from game in the ninth with a tweaked quadriceps. Seemed to be a day-to-day thingawitzki.
Chipper Jones – Glass Chipper left Sunday’s game with elbow soreness.
Rick Porcello – 5 IP, 1 ER. Was a good matchup for him and he’s a good matchup starter.
Juan Pierre – 6 hits in two games. Led off yesterday and he stole his third base. This is what it looks like when Pierre’s flexing.
Orlando Hudson – Hit third yesterday. Zoinks!
Emmanuel Burriss – Member how hot Bonifacio was the first week? That’s what Webster’s doing right now.
Kenshin Kawakami – 6 IP, 2 ER. Myers and him battled in a 1-1 game that looked like it should’ve been a 10-10 game.
Mike Gonzalez – Pitched a scoreless 8th inning because there was three lefties up in the 8th. Soriano will continue to get the occasional save.
Dustin Pedroia – Tweaked his groin. Michael Jackson was wildly successful in the 80s doing that.
Jay Bruce – Hit his 10th home run yesterday. He’s on his way to 30+ homers, 10+ steals and a .270 average. Bruuuuuce!
Adam Wainwright – 6 IP, 4 ER. Obviously not a stellar start, but the encouraging sign is there was only one walk. Then again, it was the Reds, not exactly the most patient team. Wainwright is turning into more of a split between a number two/three fantasy starter, rather than a number one/two.
Ryan Franklin – 1 1/3 IP, 2 ER. Phew, Gagne’s record is safe. Consecutive save record, not the record for the biggest difference between one’s pre- and post-steroid performance. B. Giles is still going after that record.
Kip Wells – Recorded his first save over the weekend. I’d place the over/under at 7 and take the under.
Casey Kotchman – 3-for-5, 3 RBIs. In Friday’s roundup, I thought Kotchman was breaking out. He now has 2 homers this past week and has tied for the NL lead for doubles.
Bret Cecil – 8 IP, 0 ER. With Romero set the return, Cecil probably just bought himself a little more time in the rotation. He gets both colors of the Sox in his next two starts. If you could flip Cecil for a junky closer right now, I would. Otherwise, ride the lightning, Lars.
Brad Ziegler – 1 2/3 IP, 2 ER. I’d say Kazaam, but I don’t even think he’s the closer anymore. The A’s want Ziegler as a long man in the bullpen and one and two-thirds innings would indicate what the A’s want, they get.
Alexei Ramirez – 0-for-7 since Ozzie put the Nix gun to his head. [sarcastic] Way to step up! [/sarcastic]
Adam LaRoche – 4-for-May with zero RBIs. Looks like he’s decided to go cold in the 1st half after all. Now is that any way to set an example for your little brother.
Brandon Morrow – Returned for the save and to give up a run in a shaky inning. I’d hold Aardsma for now if you have room.
Roy Oswalt – 6 IP, 4 ER. Winning the game, but giving up four runs against the Padres is like winning a stuffed animal for your kid by slipping the carny a twenty spot.
Travis Snider – His May has been terrible and now he’s losing time. He’ll get some starts and home runs, but he’s a liability for this year because of his average.
Sean Marshall – 5 IP, 2 ER. Yup, and he gets the ‘Stros next.
Edinson Volquez – 6 2/3 IP, 7 ER. Julio-Reyes-Edison-Edinson Volquez will forever be unpredictable. If you own him, you just have to accept you’ll never know when he’s going to pitch well.
Cameron Maybin – Demoted after he ran the ‘lins out of a ninth inning rally with a boneheaded mistake. Oh, and it didn’t help he’s sucked for a month and a half. Sorry, Maybin, our love affair will continue next February when I publish my sleeper outfielders for 2010.
Chris Coghlan – Didn’t show much this weekend and still showed more than Maybin.
Mariano Rivera – Worked a scoreless save yesterday. Good thing, because Joba wasn’t available to relieve him. (BTW, how do you spend so much money and not get a bullpen? George Steinbrenner just rolled over in his scooter.)
Koji Uehara – 6 IP, 1 ER, 5 Ks. He’s looking a lot more usable than his fellow import, Kawakami. And his Korean tacos are delicious!
Jim Johnson – Was hit yesterday. Baez was hit on Saturday. Tomorrow Sherrill will be hit. As long as Ray doesn’t pitch, he might be the closer by next weekend.
Joba Chamberlain – 6 IP, 3 ER. Pattern emerging — tough first inning, then settled down. Oh, and in honor of yesterday’s Mother’s Day — Owen doesn’t have a friend!