Two innings, three runs, and five hits later, Lerew was pulled from his start against the Red Sox on Saturday. It was thought before the game that a bad outing from Lerew would result in his being pulled from the rotation in favor of recently-activated Mark Redman, but after Lerew left, Redman came on and gave up four runs in 1 2/3 innings so things are certainly up in the air now. Lerew now has a 7.71 ERA in three starts to go with a 9:7 K:BB in 11 2/3 innings of work. He probably doesn't deserve a rotation spot right now, but with Mark Redman as the other option, Lerew could get another chance, though after the game he did complain of some elbow soreness (no word on the severity). The Braves' top pitching prospect, Matt Harrison, is down in Double-A with a 4-1 record and 3.04 ERA. He's not ready though as evidenced by a 34:18 K:BB, but the Braves are running out of options.
David Wright is going to hit 25-30 home runs (maybe more), drive in over 100 runs, score close to 100, steal 20+ bases, and hit over .300. Sure this is easy to say after Wright hit a pair of two-run homers on Saturday (the Yankees then walked him intentionally in his next three at-bats for a nice sign of respect), but I was saying the same thing to worried Wright owners when Wright was hitting .244 with no homers as the calendar turned to May. Once May rolled around, Wright homered on May 1 and now has six for the year to go with eight stolen bases, 24 RBI, and a .368 OBP. Even as Wright started slow with the bat in April, he still had a 0.70 EYE for the month compared to the 0.61 mark in 2005-2006. Wright is going to get his, same with Albert Pujols and if you managed to buy low on him in your fantasy leagues, kudos to you and shame on the Wright doubters.
Marquis entered Saturday's action 5-1 with a 2.22 ERA, having been well worth his $21 million contract to the Cubs. He's been just as important for fantasy owners who no doubt invested a very low draft pick in Marquis (or a buck or two in auction leagues) or even plucked him off the waiver wire in shallower leagues. With that 2.22 ERA though came these ugly component numbers: 0.48 K/I and a 25:16 K:BB. He'd also given up three homers in 52 2/3 innings. Considering the 35 he gave up a year ago, this simply isn't sustainable. On Satuday, Marquis allowed five runs on seven hits over six innings to the White Sox to give him a 7.36 ERA over his last two starts. Marquis isn't that bad and he isn't 2.22 ERA good. He does seem to be pitching with more confidence than last year, so we won't forecast a repeat of that 6.02 ERA season, but look for Marquis to win around 14 games with a 4.30 ERA.
Weathers had an interesting save on Saturday, allowing a run on three hits over 1 2/3 innings, but also recording four of his five outs via the strikeout. Weathers now has a 2.18 ERA and an impressive 22:3 K:BB over 20 2/3 innings. I'm still not sure I buy Weathers' hot start considering his K/I rate was 0.73 entering the year but so far this year it's up to 1.06. Weathers has a lot of value simply because he's durable, but he's not an elite closer by any means. What he does have going for him is job security, as the rest of the Cincinnati bullpen has a 4.67 ERA, leaving no competition for Weathers as the closer. From a fantasy perspective, Weathers is the type of guy you find later in drafts when all the "elite"closers are gone. He's also the type of guy that can run off a string of 1 IP, 2 ER performances at any moment, so just know that's coming.
Gwynn made his fourth start in the last six games on Saturday for the Brewers, going 1-for-4. Gwynn is batting .370 with a 6:6 K:BB, leading to an impressive .442 OBP. Of Gwynn's 17 hits though, just two are of the extra-base variety (double, triple). His utter lack of power, including a .343 minor league SLG percentage, is something that most observers think will relegate Gwynn to fourth outfielder status. Gwynn though is stuck competing with Corey Hart, Gabe Gross, Geoff Jenkins, and Kevin Mench for two outfield spots alongside Billy Hall. Considering Gwynn has four stolen bases and the .370 average, it's looking like he has some NL-value only.
There are over 100 player news blurbs posted in the member area each morning, members can read the rest of today's player news by clicking here: www.fantistics.com/baseball00/. Not a member? Join today: www.fantistics.com/join/join.php3