Pedro Alvarez made his much anticipated debut.  Scott Baker turned things around in a big way setting a career high in strikeouts.  Tim Lincecum got a win, but his performance still brought about many questions.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:


Josh Hamilton (4-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –  He’s now on a 12-game hitting streak, but the hot stretch goes back further then that.  Actually, has he ever really been cold all year, now hitting .323 with 16 HR and 48 RBI?  Since May 18 he has 9 HR with just two games where he’s gone hitless.  The injury-plagued 2009 seems like a distant memory.

Dustin Pedroia (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 SB) –  Apparently the knee problem is behind him.  He’s now on a six-game hitting streak, going 12-24 with 1 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, and 1 SB.  He has his average at .271, though you’d have to expect that number to continue to climb in the coming weeks.

Pedro Alvarez (0-2, 1 R) –
 He made his much-anticipated debut, hitting sixth in the Pirates lineup.  He struck out once, which is what really plagued him at Triple-A (68 K over 242 AB).  It’s what you need to keep an eye on, but he should hit for enough power to make him worth owning in most formats.

Jose Tabata (1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –  Power is not what he’s known for at this point, so don’t get too excited about the home run.  He’s a much better option for speed, though, so keep your expectations in check.

Mike Napoli (2-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R) –  Think he hasn’t finally become a fixture in the Angels lineup?  They had him playing first base and hitting second yesterday.  It was always said that if the Angels would ever give him every day at bats, he would become a must use fantasy option in all formats for his power. 

He’s getting the AB and now has 11 HR on the year.  He strikes out too much (66 K in 191 AB), but the power potential and regular AB (with 1B keeping him in the lineup) make him an option in all formats.

Aubrey Huff (3-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R) –  He continues to rake.  He now has 10 RBI and 4 HR over his last six games.  I wouldn’t expect this to continue, but enjoy it while you can.

John Buck (2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) –  He’s performed better then anyone could have asked for, hitting .265 with 12 HR and 35 RBI on the season.  Can he sustain it?  The HR/FB (18.6 percent) entering the game was his highest since 2004.  Considering his 30.5 percent strikeout rate, if the power does fade slightly the average will completely plummet.  In two-catcher formats he has value, but hopefully you have a viable backup.

Conor Jackson (2-3, 1 R) –  He got his first start for the A’s, playing LF and batting leadoff.  It’ll be interesting to see if they keep hitting atop the lineup, because it would have a significant influence on his potential value.


Tim Lincecum (6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 10 K, W) –  There’s some good and some bad in this one.  You love the strikeouts and like the end results.  Still, you don’t like the walks and the WHIP in general.  It’s the fifth time in his last seven starts where he’s walked at least four batters.  Over those starts, he’s posted a WHIP of 1.56.  Not even close to what you’d expect.  I’m still not pressing the panic button, but you have to be getting close at this point.

Justin Verlander (8.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 11 K, W) –  He won for the third straight start, improving to 8-4 with a 3.54 ERA.  It’s his first double-digit strikeout game of the year and comes at the perfect time, having struck out just seven over his previous two starts (14.0 innings).  We all know he’s one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game, however, with the potential to post this type of total at any time.

Livan Hernandez (6.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 H, 6 BB, 2 K) –  We all knew it was just a matter of time, didn’t we?  Hopefully you didn’t stick with him for too long.  If you did, get out now.

Jonathan Niese (7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 3 K, W) –  Since returning from the DL, Niese has gone 3-0 while allowing 4 ER on 15 H and 3 BB, striking out 15, over 23 innings.  As I’ve said before, he has solid control, generates significant groundballs (entered tonight at 52.2 percent), and generates enough strikeouts.  If you are in a deeper format, I’d definitely be buying.

A.J. Burnett (3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K) –  It was a bad start, including allowing two home runs (Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth).  It’s actually been a really rough month for him.  It’s the fourth time he’s allowed at least 6 ER in a start in his last eight outings.  Throw in a 4 ER outing his last time out and it makes matters a little worse.

He had a 1.99 ERA on May 4, but is now up to 4.33.  There’s nothing unlucky about his numbers (entered the day with a .298 BABIP and 71.7 percent strand rate), so basically he’s just regressed to the type of pitcher we’d expect (4.07 and 4.04 ERAs the past two years).

Tommy Hanson (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W) –
 He’s now 4-0 over his last five starts, having allowed no more than 2 ER in any of them.  While it’s the first time he’s gone at least seven innings over that stretch, but you can’t complain with the results.  He’s living up to the hype and is developing into one of the better starting pitcher options in the game, now at 7-3 with a 3.38 ERA.

Jon Lester (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K, W) – 
After getting beat up by Cleveland his last time out, this is they type of start you love to see from an ace pitcher like Lester.  He hasn’t lost since April 18, now at 8-2 with a 3.13 ERA on the year.

Anibal Sanchez (6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 K) – 
A nice bounce back after he struggled over his last two starts (8 ER over 12.2 innings).  He’s been solid for most of the season (entering the day he had a .315 BABIP and 72.9 percent strand rate), so his 3.22 ERA is very believable.  He’s usable in all formats.

Mike Leake (6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 3 BB, 4 K) –
 For the second straight start Leake got beat up, now having allowed 10 ER over his last 10.1 innings.  To make matters worse, he’s allowed 20 hits and walked seven over that span. 

Remember, no one had actually seen him prior to the season, having gone straight from the draft to the major leagues, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that he has hit a bit of a rough patch here.  His next start comes in Oakland, which generally is a solid matchup, but right now I’d use him at your own risk in smaller formats.

Scott Baker (7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 12 K, W) –
 It was a career high in Ks and a surprising performance, given his struggles of late.  In his previous two starts he had allowed 9 ER over 12.1 innings, striking out just 5, against the A’s and Royals.  Obviously, do not expect this many strikeouts on a regular basis, but he’s a must use pitcher in all formats.  The ERA (4.41) is going to come down and he’s already tossing a very usable WHIP (1.28).

Roy Oswalt (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K, W) –
 He continues to get it done, with his ERA at 3.12.  The real question is, where will he end up?

Jaime Garcia (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K) –  Will he ever throw a bad game?  Despite losing, he’s now allowed 2 ER or less in all 13 of his starts in 2010.  He’s someone that I will take a closer look at in the next few days, but he’s a pitcher I would consider selling high on if there’s a taker.

What are your thoughts from yesterday’s games?  Which ones caught your eye? And which ones did I miss?


Read more MLB news on