David Wright’s struggles found him on the bench. Justin Verlander continues to pitch lights out baseball. Hanley Ramirez returned to the Marlins lineup.

Let’s look at these stories and all the rest from yesterday’s games.



David Wright (DNP)

He got a much-needed day off in the midst of a stretch of 15 consecutive games with a strikeout. It was surprising, however, with the game on the line, that the Mets used Chris Carter and Rod Barajas as pinch hitters in the ninth inning, leaving Wright on the bench.

Were they saving him in case they got the tying run on? Possibly, but as I’ve said before (click here to view), I have my reservations about him and his power.


Alcides Escobar (3-for-4, 2 R)

He extended his hitting streak to five games, going 8-for-18 with one HR, one RBI, four R and one SB over that span. He’s been moved into the second spot in the order and thus far has responded.

With Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder behind him, that certainly is an enviable spot. If he can hit and stay in this spot, he’s going to be a must use. Of course, with only nine walks, there is a concern that he can continue to hit.


David Ortiz (1-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R)

Who said he was done? He’s now 19-for-53 with seven HR, 17 RBI, and nine R in May.


Josh Hamilton (2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R)

He’s now hitting .280 with eight HR and 24 RBI on the year. Are 2009’s struggles a thing of the past? His BABIP is .327. His HR/FB is 18.2 percent. Yep, seems quite manageable to me, as long as he stays healthy.


Jeff Keppinger (3-for-5, 4 RBI)

He’s now the man at 2B for the Astros, as they released Kaz Matsui. It was a nice RBI performance, but don’t look for that type of production very often. He can hit but lacks power or speed, so only consider him if you need some average and runs scored. He’s a low-end option, but with all the middle infield injuries, one that does have a bit of value.


Hanley Ramirez (3-for-5, 1 RBI)

He returned to the lineup, and hopefully that mess is behind us. I could go on and on about this whole debacle, but I digress.


Cameron Maybin (2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 R)

Over his last six games he’s gone 8-for-24 with two HR, 10 RBI, and five R. He was a top prospect, so don’t quickly dismiss this type of production from him. Obviously, 10 RBI is a bit much, but he should add some SB to the mix as well. It’s a small sample, but in five-outfielder formats it’s likely enough, thanks to his upside potential. If you need help there, he’s worth the flyer.


Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-5, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 R)

He just keeps chugging along, despite the ragtag cast around him. If he should get traded to a better offense and better home ballpark, the numbers could be scary.



Tom Gorzelanny (6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K, W)

It was a heck of a bounce back after going torched by the Pirates for five ER over five innings his last time out. His hold on a rotation spot may be tenuous, with Carlos Zambrano apparently on his way back, so consider him as a spot starter, but nothing more than a short-term solution for now.

With the Dodgers next on the schedule, it doesn’t seem like a good matchup, but then again, neither did this start against the Phillies, did it?


Clay Buchholz (8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K, W)

He had a bad spot in early May (nine ER in 10.2 IP), but he’s rebounded with back-to-back wins over the Tigers and Twins. He gets another tough test in the Rays next time out, but at this point he’s proven his value.


Joe Saunders (7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, W)

That’s three consecutive strong outings, giving up two ER over 22.1 innings, while going 2-0. He may not be a big strikeout pitcher, but you knew he was better then he had showed in April. He’s not a top option, but he’s certainly usable in most formats. However, before you just thrust him into your lineup against the Blue Jays, I would consider how they are mashing at the moment.


Kerry Wood (0.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 K)

He’s now sporting a tidy 18.90 ERA. Needless to say, if someone in your league gave up on Chris Perez, don’t hesitate to snatch him up. It certainly appears like he’s on the cusp of regaining the closer’s gig, doesn’t it?


A.J. Burnett (6.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 4 K)

It was not a pretty performance, as he was outpitched by Wade Davis (5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 3 BB, 7 K, W). That’s two bad starts in his last three, and Burnett is now carrying a 1.43 WHIP on the year. He’s been known for some enigmatic performances in the past, so it shouldn’t be that surprising. I wouldn’t be overly concerned, especially pitching for the Yankees, but it’s worth monitoring.


Justin Verlander (9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K, W)

He appears to just be one of those players who struggled in April and then turned it on, doesn’t he? After going 1-2 with a 5.53 ERA in April, he’s now 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in May (in four starts). It’s awfully similar to 2009, where he went 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in April and 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA in May.


Doug Fister (8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 K)

He took the loss, but he just continues to get it done. He continues to benefit from a .231 BABIP, so I still look at this with skepticism. His next start comes against Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. He’s usable while he’s hot, but don’t expect him to continue on like this for too much longer.


Ian Kennedy (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K, W)

He was supported by six home runs (Kelly Johnson, Stephen Drew, Justin Upton, Chris Snyder, and a pair from Adam LaRoche), but he didn’t really need it. We all know his potential, so his 3.24 ERA and 1.10 WHIP shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Of course, he has benefited from a .252 BABIP and 82.4 percent strand rate, so there are certainly reasons to believe a regression is coming.


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


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