What a first full week of baseball! So many interesting story lines. The biggest had to be Ozzie Guillen getting suspended because of some Fidel Castro comments. My favorite twitter post came from @NealBrennan, “If you criticize Castro in Cuba, you’re punished. If you compliment him in America, you’re punished. Freedom! USA! USA!” Seriously though, if Guillen came on today and said he wanted to execute every brown haired male from Kentucky that writes at throughthefencebaseball.com, I am not going to quit my job to go protest him or even care really. By next month, no one will care. Unless you are a dick to a Kardashian (poor Kris Humphries, dude is still getting booed), most story lines like this are forgotten about in a week or two.
My other favorite story line was the over reaction from the Red Sox and Yankee fans. A combined $10 billion salary (roughly) and they have started the season 4-8. By the end of the season, they will both be fighting for the division pennant, but it is good to enjoy the overreactions to one week of a 32 month season (roughly).
Onto the fantasy headlines!
While one pitcher struggles, another is taking “the leap” this season. Stephen Strasburg has been dominating in his first two starts of the season. It is a shame there is a whole “innings cap” looming over his possible breakout year. I still think it will be interesting to see what the Nationals will do if they find themselves in the midst of the playoff race.
One of the big story lines early in the season was the lowly Mets starting the season 4-0. Then, the air was let out of the balloon when David Wright went to the disabled list with a broken pinkie finger. This is an early blow to both the Mets and fantasy owners. I expect Wright to miss the minimum amount of time.
Yoenis Cespedes has arrived: 3 HR, 7 RBIs, 1 SB and a .273 batting average should have most owners jumping for joy. One stat that jumps out at me is his 39 percent strikeout rate. Cespedes looks to be a trick-or-treat kind of guy. I’m selling high.
Speaking of local articles sugar-coating awful performances, Yu Darvish was awful; however, most feel that his “perseverance” was something that we all should not look past. This guy has been pitching to the equivalent of double-A his entire life and there are going to be some bumps. I am not buying him this season.
Barry Zito is back from the dead! He threw a gem in his opening debut going the distance for his first shut-out since 2003. The $150 billion the Giants spent on Zito are finally starting to pay off.
I hate being wrong, and I may have been dead wrong about Jeremy Hellickson. He crushed it in his opening debut and contributes a lot of it to learning how to throw a cutter this offseason. The one glaring component any stat misses is the human condition, and Hell Boy, with his new pitch, maybe on his way to a big season
The Red Sox are a mess, and it all centers around the closer situation. I am not buying either Mark Melancon or Alfredo Aceves. For all we know, Daniel Bard may end up as the closer in a couple of weeks. This is a definite stay away for me. If you own either Melancon or Aceves I would be pawning them off.
The Albert Pujols show has not lived up to billing so far in this first full week of baseball. He says he is not bothered by it, but I am. I am not buying this guy as a top-three fantasy player anymore. Too many doubts for me.
Pujols former team, the St. Louis Cardinals seem to be doing just fine without him, and that has a little to do with David Freese‘s breakout season. The homegrown talent continues to light it up this season coming off of his World Series MVP performance.
If you have been following my writing at all this season, My torrid love affair with Francisco Liriano ended in the 2nd inning of the Twins-Angels game after he gave up 5 runs (I was so disgusted I dropped him in every league I owned him in). But the big story was the Twins comeback performance capped off by Justin Morneau‘s go-ahead home-run in the 8th inning to beat the Angels. This could be the spark to him having a big season.