Daily Notes for Wednesday: Westbrook, Way-Rod return
Two pitchers who started the year off in solid fashion before hitting the DL make their return Wednesday. Jake Westbrook logged four quality starts before suffering a left intercostal strain (rib muscle). He is owned in only 9 percent of ESPN leagues and makes a great addition to any fantasy roster looking for an arm. The win potential on Cleveland remains there, even though the team isn't hitting at a level expected of them.
Wandy Rodriguez had a so-so start in San Diego to begin the season, but then allowed just two earned runs in three starts at home before straining his groin. His high-strikeout potential and the fact he plays for a winning team are more than enough to make Way-Rod a solid acquisition in most formats. He is currently owned in just 11 percent of ESPN leagues. However, there is still no evidence that Rodriguez has shaken his road woes from a season ago. His home ERA last season was a sparkling 2.94, but away from Minute Maid Park, it was 6.37. Ervin Santana has shrugged off a similar home/away split from last season (to an extent), so it's worth taking a shot on Rodriguez to see if he has also matured.
|12:05 p.m.||Gavin Floyd||R||4-3||2.93||1.08|| |
|12:40 p.m.||Kason Gabbard||L||1-1||4.34||1.71|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Greg Reynolds||R||0-1||4.08||1.13|| |
|7:05 p.m.||Andy Pettitte||L||4-5||4.27||1.44|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Scott Olsen||L||4-2||3.37||1.28|| |
|7:10 p.m.||Tom Gorzelanny||L||4-4||6.31||1.80|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Jo-Jo Reyes||R||2-2||5.84||1.78|| |
|8:05 p.m.||Derek Lowe||R||2-5||5.03||1.45|| |
|8:10 p.m.||Livan Hernandez||R||6-2||4.22||1.46|| |
|8:15 p.m.||Wandy Rodriguez||L||1-0||2.31||1.11|| |
|9:40 p.m.||Jonathan Sanchez||L||2-3||4.39||1.45|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Armando Galarraga||R||3-2||3.70||1.14|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Roy Halladay||R||5-5||3.11||0.98|| |
|10:05 p.m.||Odalis Perez||L||1-4||4.13||1.51|| |
|10:10 p.m.||Tim Wakefield||R||3-3||5.19||1.49|| |
Marlon Anderson, OF, Mets (hamstring)
Clint Barmes, 2B/SS, Rockies (knee)
Hank Blalock, 3B, Rangers (wrist)
Chone Figgins, 3B, Angels (hamstring)
Brad Hawpe, OF, Rockies (hamstring)
Matt Holliday, OF, Rockies (hamstring)
Andruw Jones, OF, Dodgers (knee)
Jayson Werth, OF, Phillies (oblique)
Garrett Atkins, 3B, Rockies (neck)
Daric Barton, 1B, A's (illness)
Ryan Church, OF, Mets (concussion)
David Eckstein, SS, Blue Jays (ankle)
Aaron Hill, 2B, Blue Jays (groin)
Paul Konerko, 1B, White Sox (hand)
Mark Kotsay, OF, Braves (back)
Gary Sheffield, DH, Tigers (oblique)
Reggie Willits, OF, Angels (finger)
Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Red Sox (wrist)
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Nationals (shoulder)
Hitters: Joey Votto, Jay Bruce, Ryan Freel and Jerry Hairston Jr., should all be considered strong options with the Reds facing a lefty (especially one who has no control this season such as Tom Gorzelanny). Bruce was hitting .389 against lefties in the minors before his call-up. Look for a third basemen to sub in for Adrian Beltre. Tim Wakefield and his knuckleball have baffled him to the tune of 0-for-11. Count on Mike Napoli as a definite start as he has been Joe Saunders' personal catcher for most of the season. Check for signs of Garrett Atkins on Tuesday, but if he looks to miss more time, consider Ian Stewart as an option for your lineup. Ryan Church is still only available to pinch-hit, and should be left on your bench until he returns for consecutive starts. Paul Konerko should be watched closely, as he might return Tuesday and has a solid history against Jake Westbrook. Ryan Zimmerman appears unlikely to start and should be benched in favor of another third baseman if you can find one.
Hitters: I'm not one to usually go with emotional matchups, but I think the 25 percent-owned Frank Thomas might have a few things to say to the Toronto Blue Jays with his bat. Craig Monroe might be in line for a DH start for the Twins. He is 7-for-18 (.389) with two home runs versus Zack Greinke. The Cardinals outfield might not look like it usually does versus southpaws. Rick Ankiel is 0-for-6 versus Wandy Rodriguez and is no sure start against lefties anyway, while Chris Duncan, who normally sits versus southpaws, is 2-for-6 with a home run against Rodriguez. Randy Winn is 11-for-24 (.458) with two home runs against Doug Davis. Get him into your outfield if you have room. Consider using even fringe Diamondback hitters, like Orlando Hudson, Mark Reynolds and Chris Snyder. Arizona should just tee off on lefty Jonathan Sanchez, thanks to their .846 team OPS versus lefties. Seattle's Jose Lopez has a beat on the knuckleball, going 4-for-7 against Tim Wakefield, and should have a solid day if you need a middle infielder. Although David Eckstein is expected to be off the DL, the Blue Jays have said he might not play every day from the get go. So he doesn't look like an AL-only middle infielder just yet.
It's a precipitation-free forecast across the country for baseball. If you need that extra level of security though, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, Arizona and Seattle are weather-proof.
Sean Allen is a fantasy baseball and hockey analyst for ESPN.com. You can e-mail him here.