Justin Morneau 1B (MIN) - Morneau hit his 6th homer of the year last night, and owners who took a flier on him have to be really encouraged. It is a small sample for sure but the power numbers to me indicate that Morneau is healthy. He now has 6 homers in 109 plate appearances after homering just 4 times in 288 plate appearances a year ago. The ISO is up from a pitiful .106 to a .250 mark - right on par with Morneau's last 2 healthy seasons. I'm not suggesting Morneau is all the way back as his chase rate (40.2%) and swinging strike rate (12.3%) are out of whack with anything he has done before, but I'd rather take the upside of a Morneau with some plate discipline risk than the guy who was devoid of any power last season.
Gordon Beckham 2B (CHA) - Beckham smacked his fifth homer of the year last night. Unfortunately for Beckham the overall line (headlining is still pretty ugly: .207/.273/.348. His ISO of .141 heading into last night is higher than it was the past 2 seasons, but that has more to do with an elevated HR/FB% (8.9%, 6.9 and 6.4 the past 2 seasons) than it does anything else. In fact, his overall extra base hit percentage is right in line with his career mark. Beckham's plate discipline is also right in line with what it was last year (.34 EYE), which isn't very good. There's no reason to higher the low expectations set forth for Beckham in the preseason just because a couple of doubles have turned into homers early on, but it is safe to say the lowly .207 BA will increase with some better luck on balls in play.
Ubaldo Jimenez SP (CLE) - I'm trying to look for some positives on Ubaldo, but he's simply broken and I don't think the tools to fix him exist on this planet. He gave up 3 ER in 6 IP last night which isn't too awful. Unfortunately the K:BB ratio of 2:6 was. He yielded a whopping 30 LD% and a below league average GB% of 40 during the start. Ubaldo entered the game with a K/BB rate of .88, by far a career worst. He also entered the game with a career worst GB% of 40%, not even close to his career average. Ubaldo should only be owned in very deep leagues and kept on the bench in said leagues until he starts showing legitimate signs of turning things around. I recently picked him up in a 12 team league to stash for upside, but the probability of him reaching it seems extremely low given the lack of positives in his game right now.
Matt Moore SP (TB) - Matt Moore continued to flash his potential last night by striking out 6 batters in 4.2 IP. He also showed why expectations for this year need to be tempered; he's simply too wild right now. Moore yielded 4 free passes and got up to 97 pitches in the fifth inning. The 2 runs he allowed were clearly the results of walks. Moore remains an elite option in keeper leagues because of his dominance, but I'm not so sure he is a sub-4ERA pitcher the rest of this season. The walk problem (4.6 per 9) and FB riskiness (33.1 GB rate) are not a good mix.
Jeff Francoeur OF (KC) - Frenchy got off to a terribly slow start but has now homered in 2 straight games. I wouldn't worry too much here. He isn't going to repeat last year's 20 stolen bases, but I think the rest of last year's fantasy stats can still be repeated. Francoeur actually has career bests in his K and BB rates giving him a .48 EYE, which is very good for him. Currently his issue isn't a lack of plate discipline but decreased power due to an inflated GB% (9 percentage points above career average) and deflated HR/FB% (5 percentage points below career mark). Francoeur will always be a hacker (42% chase rate, in line with previous 2 years) and my personal belief is that that makes him more prone to prolonged slumps. However, given the plate discipline numbers I think the GB and HR/FB rates will correct themselves as the season progresses, and we already are starting to see this with his performance the last couple of days.