NL Quick Pitch: Saves on Sunday from Sean Marshall and Joel Hanrahan (first of the year for both), and Arizona's Bryan Shaw (his second - more on him in a minute). ... With the news that Brian Wilson is done for the year, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla could be in line for saves, with Casilla the sleeper choice in SF. ... Brett Myers is on the trade block, so go ahead and speculate on Wilton Lopez, Brandon Lyon (my top choice - sadly), and David Carpenter. ... Heath Bell is 0-for-2 in save opportunities, so hopefully you didn't draft him. He's not looking good. ... Matt Carpenter, J.D. Martinez, and Michael Bourn all had big days. Don't expect Carpenter to get too many at-bats barring an injury. ... Jonathan Lucroy hit his second homer of the season on Sunday and could be primed to be an above-average fantasy catcher. ... I like Jayson Werth to be more of a .270-25-80 type guy this year. ... Aroldis Chapman now has a 15:0 K:BB in eight innings this year. He could be starting soon. ... Jesus Guzman has been awful so far this year and could find himself riding pine more frequently soon. ... Hanley Ramirez homered on Sunday and looks primed to be, well, Hanley. ... Brandon Belt made an appearance in the lineup on Sunday for the first time in six games, but he only got on base half the time, so we'll see about this week. ... Dee Gordon had two hits and a league-leading seventh stolen base on Sunday, but he's still only batting .200 this year. Great things happen when he reaches base, but he's only doing that at a 27% clip so far.
Santiago Casilla (RP-SF) - Sergio Romo is the obvious choice to replace the injured Brian Wilson as Giants closer, but as we've seen recently, it's not always a slam dunk that the eighth inning guy is next in line to close. We saw it in Washington where Tyler Clippard didn't take over for Drew Storen, and we've seen it in places like Chicago where Hector Santiago surprisingly got the nod over Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain. For now it's looking like a committee approach for manager Bruce Bochy, with Casilla, Romo, and Affeldt all potentially seeing opportunities. The Giants may also have interest in a guy like Brett Myers or perhaps Joel Hanrahan, but it's probably too early for a blockbuster deal for an outside closer. Casilla has yet to allow a run in 2.2 innings this year, and he's coming off a year in which he finished with a 1.74 ERA. He has been unable to make any sort of strides with his control in recent years and looks to be settled in as a 4.0+ BB/9 guy, but in averaging 96 mph with his fastball so far this year, he has the stuff to work out of self-inflicted jams. I'd be remiss also in not highlighting his .232 BABIP and 2.6% HR/FB rate last year, but in fantasy, it's all about opportunity and Casilla could be about to get his.
Brett Myers (RP-HOU) - Well, it appears the Astros have decided to look towards 2013 (and beyond). All kidding aside, there is a report that the team is already looking to shop Brett Myers. This isn't exactly a big surprise of course, but we figured Myers was more likely to get dealt in July instead of April. It's not a lock of course that a team offers the Astros enough now, but it's time to consider the fantasy implications of a deal. The obvious in-house candidates (in no particular order) would be Brandon Lyon, Wilton Lopez, and David Carpenter. Lyon was a moderate success as a closer in 2010, and if he's pitching well at the time of a Myers trade, he's the logical choice. The Astros would likely love to deal Myers AND Lyon to shed payroll, and featuring Lyon in the ninth inning is one idea. Lopez is the team's best reliever, but that doesn't always make a guy a lock to close when the opportunity arises. As for Carpenter, I don't know when the change will be made, but I'll venture to guess that he'll end the year as the team's closer. As for Myers, his role depends on where he goes of course. The Red Sox, Reds, and Giants could use him as a closer or setup man, or some team could move him back to the rotation.
Heath Bell (RP-MIA) - Think Bell is missing Petco Park yet? Saturday, Bell blew his second save of the season in as many opportunities, allowing four runs against the lowly Astros. He now sports a 12.00 ERA and 3.67 WHIP, having allowed 11 baserunners in just three innings. Bell has also averaged just 92.7 mph with his fastball after checking in at 94 mph in each of the last two years. That's worth monitoring, though it's probably not a huge concern at this point. What's abundantly clear is that the Padres were right on deciding not to give the 34 year-old a three-year deal coming off a season in which he saw his K/9 rate drop from 11.1 to 7.3
Matt Carpenter (1B-STL) - Carpenter has been taking advantage of Lance Berkman's calf injury to see some playing time at first base over the weekend. He came into Sunday's game batting .278 in 18 at-bats, but leaves the game batting .409 after going 4-for-4 with a triple, home run, and five RBI. He hasn't shown much in the way of power for corner infielder, but Carpenter did put up a nice 1.24 EYE last year in Triple-A, batting .302/.419/.465 with 12 homers and five stolen bases in 434 at-bats. It's unlikely he'll see enough playing time (barring an injury) to have value outside of very deep leagues, but it's a name to keep in mind.
Chris Narveson (SP-MIL) - Narveson was touched up for five runs over four innings Sunday in a loss to the Braves. He allowed home runs to Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward, the latter of whom hit just .194 versus left-handers last season. Narveson now has a 7.00 ERA and 5:4 K:BB in nine innings this year. Narveson entered the season with a 4.61 ERA and 1.37 WHIP, so the early-season struggles shouldn't be a huge surprise. His velocity has progressively slowed over the years to the point where his fastball is now averaging just 86.3 mph. Narveson will get more rope, but with Wily Peralta down in Triple-A, he's going to have to do better than this to reach 160+ innings for the third consecutive season.