Known as the Sacagawea of fantasy primers, the Weekly Rundown guides head-to-head owners through a forest of obscure stats and exploitable matchups in an attempt to help solve lineup conundrums. While reading, keep in mind matchups are subject to change due to managerial moves, unforeseen injuries and Mother Nature’s influences.
As we head into this week's action, here’s the nitty-gritty on a handful of notable names:
Speedy Swiss army knife Chone Figgins, who exited in the eighth inning with a hamstring injury versus Baltimore on Saturday, is scheduled to undergo an MRI May 4. Even if the exam reveals only a minor strain Mike Scioscia could potentially rest his cherished infielder for a few games in the upcoming scoring period. With Howie Kendrick and Macier Izturis also logging whirlpool time, recently recalled premiere power prospect Brandon Wood could see an expanded role splitting time between second and third. The free-swinging Wood has recorded just one hit in his first nine at-bats with five strikeouts. Last season at Triple-A Salt Lake City he crushed a homer once every 19 at-bats. Very deep mixed and AL-only leaguers desperately seeking cheap power should scrape the barrel for the 0.05 percent owned Wood.
Buccos starter Tom Gorzelanny, Droopy's illegitimate son, will miss his next start due to lingering lower back stiffness. Plagued by command problems (8.89 BB/9), the 43.7 percent owned southpaw should be benched for the upcoming scoring period. However, as detailed in last Thursday's "Noise," Gorzey remains an excellent buy low candidate in 14-team and deeper mixed and NL-only formats. Based on his sparkling peripherals (14.3 LD%, 47.6 GB%, 0.66 HR/9), he will rapidly reverse course one he conquers the control demons. Unexciting lefty Phil Dumatrait will take Gorzelanny's turn in the rotation versus San Francisco on Tuesday.
North Side master blaster Aramis Ramirez was held out of Saturday's starting lineup in St. Louis with a swollen wrist. A-Ram was drilled by an Adam Wainwright inside fastball on Friday night. X-Rays were negative, but the 99.9-percent owned third baseman is dealing with persistent swelling and soreness. Don't be surprised if he remains in the dugout Sunday night. Consider him day-to-day.
Twinkies top chef Scott Baker was pulled after three innings Saturday after reaggrevating a groin injury suffered when he slipped off the mound in Texas a week earlier. Team trainers said the tweak was "slight," but it's very possible the 25-percent owned hurler could land on the 15-day DL early this week. If Baker is unavailable for his next start in Chicago on Thursday, long-reliever Brian Bass would likely make a spot start.
Arizona corner infielder Chad Tracy will begin a 30-40 at-bat rehab assignment with Triple-A Tucson on Tuesday. If everything goes smoothly, the 0.08 percent owned Tracy is expected to return to the bigs May 14. With Mark Reynolds currently in a 3-for-37 lumber recession (21:5 K:BB over that span), Tracy could immediately chip into his playing time with a strong performance at Triple-A. Because of Reynolds' torrid early April, he's still attracting quality talent (e.g. John Lackey, Max Scherzer, Raul Ibanez and A.J. Burnett) in Y! Plus league one-for-one deals this week. Turn a profit on the 97-percent owned third basemen before his value slides further.
Hidden lumberjacks (Last 7 days): Jose Bautista, Pit, 3B (10-24, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 0.69% owned), Milton Bradley, Tex, OF (7-19, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2.2%), Ryan Sweeney, Oak, OF (5-18, 6 RBI, 0.08%), Blake DeWitt, LAD, 3B (6-17, 6 RBI, 0.38%), Tadahito Iguchi, SD, 2B (9-25, 4 RBI, 6.5%)
Whiffers o’ the weak (Last 7 days): Jim Thome, ChW, 1B/DH (3-21, 11 K, 97.1%), Mark Reynolds, Ari, 3B (1-19, 10 K, 97.2%), Nick Swisher, ChW, 1B/OF (3-24, 9 K, 86.7%), Ryan Howard, Phi, 1B (3-22, 8 K, 99.9%), Manny Ramirez, Bos, OF (3-19, 8 K, 100%)
Inconspicuous thieves (Last 7 days): Ray Durham, SF, 2B (6-15, 3 SB, 0.53%), Fred Lewis, SF, OF (6-21, 3 SB, 2.4%), Jason Bartlett, TB, SS (7-19, 2 SB, 2.7%), Ryan Freel, Cin, 3B/OF (6-15, 2 SB, 2.6%)
This Week's Two-Start Pitchers
For stream conscious owners who want to push the innings-pitched envelope this is the list for you. Run support, ballpark factors, historical and recent trends, opposing offenses, opposing SPs, managerial tendencies and meteorological influences are painstakingly taken into account to give you the top double dippers of each week.
Remaining AL Two-Start Pitchers: Nate Robertson, Det (Bos, NYY), Miguel Batista, Sea (Tex, ChW), Jarrod Washburn, Sea (Tex, ChW), Brian Burress, Bal (at Oak, at KC), Sidney Ponson, Tex (at Sea, Oak), Matt Albers, Bal (at Oak, at KC), Brett Tomko, KC (LAA, Bal)
To Catch a Thief
Unrelated to the "Dateline NBC" predator stories, the "Rundown" investigates the best and worst base burglar matchups for the upcoming week. Stats reflect numbers through May 3:
|BEST AND WORST AT CATCHING BASE THIEFS (and this week's opponents)|
|BOTTOM 5 (Worst)||CS||ATT||CS%|
|John Buck, KC - (L.A. Angels, Baltimore)||1||15||0.067|
|Josh Bard, SD - (at Atlanta, Colorado)||6||35||0.171|
|Brian McCann, Atl - (San Diego, at Pittsburgh)||5||27||0.185|
|A.J. Pierzynski, ChW - (at Toronto, at Seattle)||4||21||0.190|
|Yorvit Torrealba, Col - (St. Louis, at San Diego)||5||23||0.217|
|TOP 5 (Best)||CS||ATT||CS%|
|Paul Bako, Cin - (Chi Cubs, at N.Y. Mets)||8||17||0.470|
|Joe Mauer, Min - (at Chi White Sox, Boston)||6||13||0.461|
|Victor Martinez, Cle - (at N.Y. Yankees, Toronto)||8||19||0.421|
|Jason Kendall, Mil - (at Florida, St. Louis)||7||16||0.438|
|Kurt Suzuki, Oak - (Baltimore, at Texas)||7||20||0.350|
Feast or Famine?
Torn between two stat-similar corner infielders this week? Use the pitching and hitting staff sorters below to help you decide whether or not Adam LaRoche or Scott Olsen is fantasy feast or famine. Stats are for games played through May 3.