Jeff Francis & Armando Galarraga made successful 2010 debuts.  Chad Billingsley was stellar.  Carlos Lee & Corey Hart are showing signs of turning things around.  Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games:


  • Julio Borbon (1-2) –  It’s not as much what he did in this game, but the faith the Rangers have been showing in him as late.  He sits no matter when a lefty is on the mound at this point and, in the seventh inning coming up with the bases loaded, he was pulled for Vladimir Guerrero.  While I can understand the move made today, the team clearly doesn’t hold him in such high esteem these days.  He’s likely to have value again before the end of the year, so I’d stash him away in five-outfielder formats, but with three lefties on the schedule this week he’s better off on your bench.
  • Matt LaPorta (1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R) –  He has seen his playing time diminish greatly of late due to his struggles, but the fact the Indians have kept in the majors is a good sign for fantasy owners.  They still have faith in him and his bat is slowly starting to come around.  Getting regular AB the past four days he’s gone 4-18 with 1 HR, 3 RBI and 2 R.  No, it’s not stellar, but it’s movement in the right direction.  He still has potential in five-outfielder formats, so keep a close eye.  Today’s home run could be the start of something for him.
  • Carlos Lee (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –  He has to get hot sooner or later, doesn’t he?  Don’t give up hope yet, this type of day is going to start coming more and more often.
  • Corey Hart (2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R) –  It’s just two games in Philadelphia, but Hart is finally showing signs of life.  Over the past two days he’s gone 4-8 with 2 HR, 5 RBI and 2 R.  Fantasy owners have been waiting for him to put things together and become a must use once again, so don’t overlook this.  While I may not use him yet, depending on your league, stash him away if you can.
  • Cody Ross (4-4, 1 RBI, 2 R) –  He still hasn’t started hitting for power, which is why owners have him on their rosters, but he is producing.  He has hits in six of his last seven games, going 11-27 with 1 HR, 4 RBI, 8 R and 2 SB.  At least he’s still helping owners in five-outfielder formats, but not to worry, the power will come sooner or later.
  • Alexei Ramirez (2-3, 2 RBI) –  He’s 5-7 with 3 RBI, 1 R and 1 SB over his last two games.  Is he finally rewarding owners for their patience?  It wouldn’t be surprising, as he’s significantly better then he’s been thus far.  If someone in your league has given up on him, get him on the cheap and reap the benefits.
  • Martin Prado (4-6, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) –  Who expected this type of production out of Prado?  In his last seven games he’s gone 13-35 with 3 HR, 11 RBI and 5 R.  Clearly, use him while he’s smoking hot.
  • Kurt Suzuki (0-4) –  The results are not as important as the fact that he was back behind the plate and in the cleanup spot for the A’s.  He’s a must use option in all formats now that he’s healthy once again.


  • Brad Penny (5.0 IP, 7 ER, 13 H, 1 BB, 7 K) –  He was due for a bad start and boy, was this a doozy.  It’s safe to think that a rebound will be in order, but in shallower formats, with the Angels next on the schedule, be cautious.
  • Armando Galarraga (5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 5 K, W) –  His return to the big leagues was a solid one, even if it did come against a Red Sox lineup without Dustin Pedroia (out with a “tweaked” knee, but not thought to be serious).  As I mentioned yesterday morning (click here  to view), Galarraga had been solid in the minors and should receive a steady spot in the rotation.  His next start would come against the Dodgers, so I may not use him yet, but in deeper formats, you could stash him on your bench if you’ve got room.
  • Jeremy Bonderman (1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K) –  Don’t read anything into this relief appearance.  Being bumped back a day for Justin Verlander, they likely just wanted to get him some work.  As of now, he still has a spot in the rotation.
  • Joba Chamberlain/Mariano Rivera (1.0 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K) –  The backend of the Yankees bullpen failed them in this one, highlighted by a Jason Kubel grand slam off Rivera.  It happens to everyone.
  • Cliff Lee (8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K) –  In his four starts since coming off the DL, he’s allowed 2 runs or less in three starts.  Clearly he hasn’t missed a beat and is a solid option in all formats.  Unfortunately he pitches for the Mariners, so wins will be hard to come by.
  • Joel Pineiro (9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W) –  Great start, as he has now allowed just 2 ER over his last 21.1 innings.  It makes us forget his bad two-start stretch at the end of April and makes him again a low-end option in all formats.  Be cautious, especially with his next start coming against the Cardinals, but if you are in need you can take the risk.
  • Jeff Francis (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 K) –  It was his first appearance since September 12, 2008 and boy, did he make an impression.  He has the stuff to quickly become a usable option in all formats, though don’t let his playoff performance from a few years ago coerce you into thinking he’s a must use option.  He’s a backend guy to use when the matchup is right, and nothing more.
  • Chad Billingsley (7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K, W) –  He outdueled Wade LeBlanc (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K) in what was a tremendous game.  Billingsley has now won his last two starts, giving up 2 ER over 12.2 IP.  Hopefully he’s begun to really put things together.  If right, he’s a top option in all formats, so if someone in your league is still a nonbeliever, don’t hesitate.

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


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