Matt Moore (SP - DET) - Moore looked really strong again Saturday, allowing just a bunt single and nothing else through three innings while racking up three more K's without a walk on improved command and velocity both. Naturally, within a few minutes of when I picked him up off the waiver wire he strained his right knee sliding to field that bunt single, and now he's going to be gone for an undetermined period of time. It certainly didn't look all that serious, but on replay you can see that the toe of his cleat caught the grass and stuck for a split-second, so a more serious injury isn't out of the question...my guess would be that it would just be a 1-3 start issue though. It's a shame, because Moore looks better in many ways through the "giant" sample size of 10 innings thus far: improved velocity by a full mph, improved delta from his cutter and changeup, and much better command and GB rate. Hopefully this will be a brief bump on a rebound season for Moore, who honestly hasn't shown this sort of velocity since 2012. I'm sticking with my pickup (it's a fairly deep league with injury slots) unless I hear that this will be more than a month missed for Moore.
Willians Astudillo (minor deity - MIN) - OK, so an amazing thing happened Saturday: Willians Astudillo drew a walk. The most amazing thing about it is that, adding in the HR that he also hit Saturday, he now has 4 HRs, 3 BBs, and 3 K's.....for his entire 114 PA MLB career. ABs have indeed been hard to come by for "Tortuga", but that might be a blessing in disguise.....you've got a little more time to go and grab him. Guys that hit like this are unicorns, and sooner or later even the Twinkies will figure out that he simply has to play. Seeing him in the #2 hole Saturday leads me to believe that they're starting to figure out what they have....I think he needs to be owned in basically every format right now with his multi-positional eligibility and seeming ability to hit every ball regardless of where it's pitched (except on the 3-0 pitch that he fell down swinging at on Saturday). Starting him outside of 2-catcher formats would be a tough proposition just yet, but I think that situation will continue to improve.
Michael Pineda (SP - MIN) - It might be time to get back on the Pineda bandwagon, as he ramped up to 80 pitches in his second start (from 40 in start #1) and allowed 4 hits and 2 runs with 1 walk and 5 K's over 5 innings. The stuff looks fully intact despite an apparent velo drop in start 1....I say that because his spring training velo seemed absolutely normal, and even the HR he allowed to Rhys Hoskins Saturday was on a decent slider that Hoskins reached low and away for and just got enough of. Do you what the highest xFIP of Pineda's career is? 3.61. With a better home park for flyballs you have to think his stretch of underperforming his peripherals should come to an end....I like the odds of him giving you SP3-4 value if he can stay healthy.
Tim Anderson (SS - CWS) - Anderson singled twice and homered on Saturday, going 3-4 with a bomb for the second straight day against the Mariners. He's hit in all 5 of his starts so far, and amazingly enough he's only struck out twice. It's far too early to determine whether Anderson is actually a bit more patient and/or showing better contact ability this year, but I will say that: A) with a profile like his, any small gains there are immense, and B) he's still just 25, so gains there wouldn't be unexpected at all. Add in a slowly improving offensive core in Chicago, and you've got a player here that could easily be a steal for his SS15 position this spring. He's definitely a guy that should be owned and started, even if just at MI, in standard leagues. The floor isn't great in AVG, but there should be enough counting stats to be palatable, and the ceiling is impressive. I also love him on Sunday at just $4100 against lefty Wade LeBlanc and the Mariners once again.
J.A. Happ (SP - NYY) - Happ's two starts against Baltimore have been....uninspiring. On the bright side there's the excellent swinging strike%, and on the downside there's pretty much everything else. He's been hit hard, his control has been spotty (for him), and the velocity is down. When both velocity and sharpness are decreased, that's a major problem. I don't want to read too much into two starts, but they were against the worst offensive club around. The rest of his April schedule is pretty favorable as well: CWS, KC, @LAA, @SF. I'm planning on sticking with him, but I'll be watching the next few starts closely....pitching in Yankee Stadium is no place for anybody that is declining, and with Happ's average-ish stuff he can't afford any dropoff at all.
This is just a small sample our daily analysis, join our member area for over 80 daily player updates sent to your inbox every morning and track your team online. Click here for details: http://www.insiderbaseball.com/baseballsample.htm Click here to register: http://www.fantistics.com/salesbaseball.php3