I really liked the Diamondbacks adding Kelly Johnson and thought he was very undervalued. It’s another example of a player coming off a poor season dismissed from the fantasy radar of many. He battled injuries with the Braves last season, but he has shown some power and the ability to steal bases. The move to Arizona was good because the park is favorable for lefthanders and he got a fresh start. He began the season hitting eighth, but moved to the leadoff spot with Conor Jackson on the disabled list and he could stay there. Johnson has six home runs and is showing more patience at the plate.
It’s safe to say Rafael Furcal is healthy. He already has eight stolen bases. Furcal is 32 and has been slowed by nagging injuries the past few seasons. One of his assets in fantasy are the stolen bases and with just 29 attempts the past two seasons, including 12-for-18 in 613 at-bats last season, I was concerned. He is already 8-for-9.
Clayton Kershaw has great stuff and is one of the toughest pitchers to hit, but his control prevents him from being an elite pitcher. He has a 26/18 K/BB ratio in 23 innings and because of that he has lasted more than six innings once in four starts.
Is Fausto Carmona back? I hope so since I own him in an expert league, but there are still bad signs. First the good. He didn’t walk a batter in 7 1/3 innings yesterday and has issued just two walks in his last two starts spanning 13 1/3 innings against the A’s and White Sox, two struggling offenses. The righthander is at least finding the plate more compared to recent seasons, but a 13/12 K/BB ratio in 27 1/3 innings isn’t good. He’ll never be a great strikeout pitcher, so he needs good control and a heavy dosage of grounders, which he gets. With a low .219 BABIP, Carmona is a little lucky right now. There is no doubt he has improved, but a 2.96 ERA won’t last long.
Brett Anderson was pitching well again through six innings, but left with an elbow injury. The A’s are saying it was a cramp and it isn’t serious.
I thought David Aardsma could lose the closer’s job this season based on his history. He had a terrific season last year, but he has never shown good control and gives up a lot of fly balls. A terrific start has made that prediction look bad. Then on Saturday, he allowed two home runs in the ninth inning and blew a save after converting six straight. There’s no need to worry yet, but he’ll be lucky to have another season with HR/FB ratio of 4.2 percent. At least he pitches his home games in spacious Safeco Park.
Paul Konerko was undervalued in drafts and already has seven home runs.
Alex Rios has failed to live up to lofty expectations and many owners that were burned by him in the past totally gave up on him making him a nice value in some leagues. He already has three home runs and four stolen bases and playing in Chicago, despite the awful performance after the trade last season, will give him a boost.
I’m not buying Doug Fister’s start, especially since two starts came against the A’s, one verse the Orioles and another against the White Sox. He relies on pinpoint control and ground balls. The K/9 will be low, so he has little margin for error. The defense behind him is good, but luck has been on his side so far.
I’m really upset that I own Ricky Nolasco in just one league. He is 2-0 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 22/7 K/BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings.
Leo Nunez has allowed just one hit in 8 1/3 innings with five walks and 10 Ks. He has yet to allow a run.
For some reason, Ty Wigginton gets little respect in fantasy. It’s bad for the Orioles that he is playing well because they need to play young players since they are rebuilding, although they could trade him. But he hit at least 20 homers in three consecutive seasons before last year where he had a low HR/FB ratio, which was an outlier. As long as he plays, he will produce and eligibility at first, second and third is a bonus.
After a horrible spring and two poor starts to set off the season, Wandy Rodriguez has pitched well in two straight. He’ll be fine.
Two buy low pitchers: Gavin Floyd and Cole Hamels. Floyd got off to a bad start last season before finishing strong. He has been unlucky so far and a one-inning start where he allowed seven runs inflated the numbers.
Hamels gave up four home runs in Arizona the other night and as a result he has a 26 percent HR/FB ratio. Hamels has a 26/6 K/BB ratio in 24 2/3 innings. Buy now.