Dana Eveland- OAK- Hot- Eveland had very similar numbers to his counterpart on the Angels last night, Nick Adenhart. He gave up 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 in 6 IP. The difference was that Eveland’s Oakland teammates couldn’t push the runs across the plate, while the Angels scored 3. Between AAA and he majors last year, Eveland threw 189 innings, a huge jump from 2007, when he lost most of the year due to a finger injury. It was by far the heaviest workload he has had and at age 25 he could be at risk for injury and/or ineffectiveness this year.
Jon Lester- BOS- Cold- Lester started his first start strong, striking out 5 batters in the first 2 innings. Things started to go south in the third inning, with a couple of infield hits and an error by Kevin Youkilis throwing Lester off his game, but only 1 run scored despite the error and 3 hits. The wheels really came off the Lester cart in the 5th inning, though, as Lester yielded 4 runs of 4 hits and a walk before getting the final out in the inning and calling it a night. The bottom line is that this outing should not be cause for alarm. Lester got tired (he threw 97 pitches) in cold weather and he was flustered by some freak plays. Chalk it up as just one of those games.
Mark Teixeira- NYA- Cold- Teixeira got his first hit as a Yankee, an RBI double, but he also preceded it with 4 outs in prior at bats. Maybe it was the combined pressure of trying to immediately live up to his big contract and being treated as a traitor by the hometown fans in Baltimore, but the Maryland-bred Teixeira is not off to a fast start. This is not a huge surprise for the notoriously slow starting Teixeira. Only once in his major league career has his April batting average been higher than the one he finished the season with.
Koji Uehara- BAL- Hot- Uehara battled some nagging injuries during the spring, but came through in his first regular season major league start. He threw 86 pitches in 5 IP, allowing 1 run on 5 this and a walk. Uehara didn’t record a strikeout, but his control was decent as he threw 54 strikes and only ran counts to 3 balls four times. Mindful of his problems in the Grapefruit League, manager Dave Trembley lifted Uehara after 5 innings with a 6-0 lead. He would have been able to go longer if the game had been closer. Pitching for the Orioles, Uehara will have trouble picking up a lot of wins this year, but if he can duplicate this type of performance, his other numbers will be a plus. One thing to note that could affect the fantasy value of players facing Uehara is that the Yankees swiped 3 bases while he was on the mound. If you have some lineup decisions to make and have a player opposing Uehara, give that player an edge if you need SBs.
Elvis Andrus- TEX- Hot- Elvis has left the building. If you’ve watched any highlight shows at all, you must have heard this already, since it’s the obvious line when describing Andrus hitting his first career major league homer. It was history making, as he is the first major leaguer named Elvis to go yard. In addition to fantasy baseball, I am also in a Strat-O-Matic league with liberal rules for draftees. I took Andrus a few years ago, when he was still a Braves prospect and have hung onto him s his bat has developed, supplementing his natural defensive gifts. Defense is valuable at SS in Strat, unlike fantasy ball, but I don’t think that his bat will disgrace him. So far it hasn’t with a .375 average after 2 games. Andrus has yet to steal a base, but there will probably be plenty of then before the season is over. Andrus will get to celebrate last night’s game by taking the afternoon off. Omar Vizquel will get the start today. One of the reasons Vizquel is with the Rangers is that he is the type of player who they’d like Andrus to end up like. That’s not a bad bet to make. There is a good chance that Andrus will follow that career trajectory.