Punches at Petco (USAT)
The two So-Cal clubs were playing a nondescript 2-1 game in the bottom of the sixth Thursday night when everything exploded. Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with a 3-2 pitch and Quentin took exception, charging the mound. Greinke busted his collarbone in in the ensuing melee and could miss 6-8 weeks. Quentin was ejected for his role in the mess and surely will be looking at a league suspension.
The Dodgers had Greinke's back in the brawl, no doubt on that. Matt Kemp and Jerry Hairston Jr. were ejected in the bottom of the sixth, and the passionate Kemp had words for Quentin after the game. The two outfielders were standing toe-to-toe in a stadium runway before San Diego pitcher Clayton Richard separated them.
''I'm asking Greinke if he's OK and he said his shoulder's messed up. That kind of took me over the edge right there,'' Kemp told the Associated Press.
''I think Carlos Quentin went to Stanford, something like that?'' Kemp said. ''I heard there's smart people at Stanford. That wasn't too smart. Greinke didn't do anything wrong. That stuff happens in the minor leagues. It doesn't happen in the big leagues.''
Round 2 could be slated for next week; the Padres head to Los Angeles for a three-game set. You'd like to think nothing silly would happen on April 15 - it's Jackie Robinson Day - but logic doesn't always apply in these things.
Quentin has a history with being plunked, largely due to his approach. He's known for crowding the plate and diving into a pitch. He's been his league's leader in the HBP stat for two years running, despite playing in a modest 204 games over that time. Quentin has 116 plunks for his career, with three of them coming from Greinke (over 26 at-bats).
It's hard to build a case for Greinke throwing at Quentin in this particular instance; the Dodgers had a mere one-run advantage and Quentin was leading off the inning. And why bother hitting someone with a 3-2 pitch? For the record, Quentin says he charged the mound because of something Greinke said after the pitch; Greinke denies saying anything. And round and round they go.
While Greinke is a significant loss for anyone's baseball team, real or imaginary, the Dodgers at least have excellent depth on their staff. Veterans Ted Lilly and Chris Capuano are two potential replacements for Greinke, and either left-hander could sneak into fantasy relevance for mixed-league players. Keep your eyes and ears open for LA's announcement in the next few days.
If you're shopping for a new hurler and don't want a fifth starter from Chavez Ravine, here are some names to consider in every 50-and-under bracket:
-- Shallow: Barry Zito (50 percent owned in Yahoo!), Edwin Jackson (weather wrecked one turn; 50); Jason Hammel (49), Tommy Milone (48), Tommy Hanson (hello Astros, 47), A.J. Griffin (strikeouts missing but he's been effective, 37), Ross Detwiler (28, best fifth starter in baseball).
-- Medium: Jeremy Guthrie (18), J.A. Happ (18), Travis Wood (13).
-- Deep: Dillon Gee (ignore the first turn; 10 percent), Rick Porcello (8), John Lannan (5), Ricky Nolasco (not a joke; 5).
• Kenley Jansen had the final say in the LA victory, working a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the year. Brandon League was given the night off, on the heels of Wednesday's 34-pitch carnival. League nonetheless is 3-for-3 on his save chances and hasn't done anything to put his job in jeopardy, but obviously Jansen has Top 5 stopper potential if he were to ever take over the handshake assignment.
Sit down, slugger (USAT)
Sit down, slugger (USAT)
The Mariners already have outfield issues; Michael Saunders landed on the DL on Thursday, dealing with a sprained shoulder. The snappy play of Morse and center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (four homers, .639 slugging) has carried the offense, albeit Gutierrez has been an injury-prone disappointment for the last two years. If you think this is the year Gutierrez can stay healthy, he's waiting for you in 75 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
• The Angels have the big names and the payroll, but the A's had no problem kicking LA's tail over a three-game sweep. Oakland outscored the Angels 28-11 for the week, capped by an 8-1 rout Thursday. Page me when the Yoenis Cespedes rockpile blast finally comes to rest.
Brandon Moss didn't have a big role in Thursday's game but he homered in the two earlier victories. The big-swing, big-power lefty is off to a .367 start with two homers and a modest five strikeouts. He qualifies at first base and the outfield, and is free for pickup in over 60 percent of Yahoo! leagues. That's surprisingly low given what Moss showed in 84 games last year (.291-48-21-52).
• You're free to spin the Dan Haren start any way you like. Haren scored his first win as a National, working five mediocre innings against the White Sox (10 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K). Haren didn't allow any homers or walks, a positive step. At least the schedule plays nicely, with a trip to Miami on the way. But if I ranked all the starting pitchers in a Shuffle Up right this second, I'm sure I could find 50 names I prefer before Haren. Season to taste.
• The Blue Jays upgraded their pitching staff over the winter (Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle), but the new names haven't fooled anyone yet. Josh Johnson was the latest to throw batting practice; the Tigers knocked him out in the second inning in Thursday's matinee, en route to an 11-1 romp. The Toronto trio has allowed 45 hits and 34 runs (30 earned) over 27.2 innings, with 13 walks against 22 strikeouts. Holdover Brandon Morrow has also pitched poorly. Can you make it all better, J.A. Happ? Toronto plays three games at Kansas City on the weekend.
Speed Round: The news on Gordon Beckham is worse than first thought. He has a broken hamate bone and will miss six weeks. The White Sox might take a committee approach at second base, with Jeff Keppinger the chairman . . . David Ortiz (heel) started his rehab assignment Thursday, going 2-for-3 at Triple-A Pawtucket. The club would like Ortiz to get 20-30 at-bats before shipping him up to Boston. Scuffling Jackie Bradley Jr. is probably headed to the minors when Ortiz is ready . . . Rafael Soriano recorded his fifth save in Thursday's win; apparently his leg injury is minor . . . The Yankees will skip ahead to CC Sabathia on Friday after two rainouts in Cleveland. Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes get pushed back. The Yankees don't have another scheduled trip to Cleveland on the schedule, so it will be tricky to reschedule these two washouts . . . Josh Reddick (wrist) thinks he could be ready to play Friday.
- Sports & Recreation
- Zack Greinke
- The Dodgers
- Carlos Quentin
- Matt Kemp