Mike Stanton (OF—Marlins) Some cause for concern for Mike Stanton owners as he left the game with a hamstring strain and for now is on a day-to-day basis. Stanton injured his leg while running to first base on a fielder’s choice against the Mets on Friday. Hopefully, the strain will not keep him out of the lineup for that long as Stanton has serious power potential that could reach the 30+ home run plateau. Last season, Stanton smacked a home run once every 16.3 at-bats which would have projected to about 36 home runs had he played the entire year. Strikeouts will be a problem for Stanton with a K rate of 34.3% and a contract rate of 70.2%. His EYE has also been weak at just 0.28 which will hurt his average and OBP. But you can expect big numbers in the slugging column and run production. Daily leagues should keep a close watch on his current condition as he might be held back as a precautionary measure.
Brett Myers (SP—Astros) Brett Myers looked sharp against the Phillies on Friday pitching seven innings, scattering three hits and three walks and allowing one earned run. Surprisingly, Myers did not strike out at batter throwing 85 pitches. Myers became relevant again last year after battling injuries in 2009. Last season he notched a career-high 223 innings and a very good ERA of 3.15. The ERA is probably going to rise this year as he had a FIP last year of 3.56 and was somewhat lucky with a .288 BHIP. Expect a regression with Myers. Still he has very good strikeout numbers career-wise with a 7.46 K/9 and has held opponents to a solid .254 average. He probably should get a little more respect than he has. He will struggle to earn wins but should be able to produce solid numbers otherwise. He handled himself really nicely Friday against a tough lineup in a hitter/home run friendly park.
Joel Hanrahan (RP—Pirates) Yeah, I know he wears a Pirates uniform and typically Pirate players don’t get a lot of love. But Joel Hanrahan is someone that fantasy owners should be paying more attention to. Hanrahan notched his first save of the year against the Cubs on Friday. Although he did give up a walk and a hit, he also struck out two. In past seasons Hanrahan has drifted in and out of the closer role, but despite having a weighty career ERA of 4.45, he also owns a K/9 of 10.30 and a HR/9 of 0.90. Additionally, his career FIP of 3.80 is a good deal lower than his ERA so he has actually pitched more effectively than it would initially appear. He may not be elite closer and the Pirates may struggle to put him in save situations with a sputtering offense. But because the Pirates may be playing a lot of close games, Hanrahan may get more save opportunities than one might think. He’s a great sleeper pick that should be grabbed if he is still available in your league.
Brett Wallace (1B—Astros) Last year, Brett Wallace got some consistent playing time towards the end of season and certainly went through some of the growing pains that rookies often go through. He batted just .222 in 51 games despite possessing a .304 batting average in the minors with a .375 OBP. Wallace has 20+ home run potential but whether we see that this year in the major-leagues remains to be seen. The Astros are obviously high on Wallace as they have committed to him, allowing the iconic Lance Berkman to walk. Wallace managed a single on opening day in four at-bats with a run scored. With first base being such a deep position, Wallace really finds himself being more of the caboose on the train. But fantasy owners will want to monitor his progress closely as he has the potential to be a high average hitter with good power.
Mike Pelfrey (SP—Mets) Is this how an ace is supposed to pitch? Mike Pelfrey lasted just 4.1 innings while allowing five earned runs on four hits, four walks and two strikeouts in Friday night’s loss. The big blow was a John Buck grand slam. Pelfrey threw 97 pitches in those 4.1 innings which is concerning as he really doesn’t possess a strikeout pitch. Batters are able to foul pitches and hang in there against Pelfrey as hitter make contact off him 86.2% of the time and he has just a 5.11 K/9 for his career. Typically, Pelfrey is very stingy with the home run ball but on Friday he was not able to command his sinker the way he typically does and he ran into trouble. Pelfrey is hardly a typical ace. He has gone through periods where he can be a dominant pitcher and very efficient. But his inconsistency will make any fantasy owner very wary of starting him on a regular basis. He’s a draftable low-end pitcher but because of his low strikeout rate, you should watch his matchup carefully and look for consistency from start to start.
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