No album or band recommendations today, back to pure baseball.
On today’s agenda:
1. Jayson Werth to the disabled list
2. Garrett Jones‘s night at the plate
3. Adam LaRoche‘s hitting streak
4. Kyuji Fujikawa returns to action
Jayson Werth to the disabled list
It has been more than a week since Jayson Werth last appeared in a game and the Washington Nationals appear to be ready to move him to the 15-day disabled list. With a move retroactive to the May 3, the club anticipates that Werth would most likely return as soon as May 18, thus missing the minimum amount of time. Werth has been hitting in various spots throughout the top half of the lineup, but prior to this hamstring strain he was most recently hitting clean up. If he continues to hit fourth expect a boost in RBIs against his rest-of-season projections one he is back.
Garrett Jones‘ night at the plate
Yesterday Garrett Jones went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run, tallying three RBIs for his efforts. He is now hitting a robust .301/348/.534 on the season and has launched five home runs and nine doubles. He is in the top 25 in the National League in RBIs and wOBA and given that the vast majority of his playing time has come while hitting clean up, expect more RBIs to follow. Jones’ .342 BABIP is sure to come down, but after a 27 home run, 28 double season last year, Jones has continued to hit the ball hard this season. He shouldn’t be a fantasy cornerstone, but he does offer value in almost any format or league. From this point forward expect an average around .260 with 50+ runs and 60+ RBIs. Add in 15-20 home runs and you have a good, cheap player who is first base and outfield eligible. He is owned in 77% of ESPN leagues but under 40% of both CBS and Yahoo! formats.
Adam LaRoche‘s hitting streak
Continuing the theme of NL East hitters, Adam LaRoche had two hits yesterday and now has hit safely in seven straight games. His seasonal line is still a dismal .208/.298/.321 — mostly due to brutal 1-for-36 slump prior to this hitting streak — which can best be described as a “back up catcher” level of offense. In addition to the hits, LaRoche has six walks (including one IBB) against five strikeouts over his past seven games. One nit pick is that as one can see from his slugging percentage, the extra-base hits have largely eluded LaRoche thus far. Despite the early power outage, LaRoche has hit either fourth or fifth in the lineup every game save one this year, and he should be secure there. If the Nationals didn’t overreact to his early season struggles and move him down, he should have no problem accumulating his traditional counting numbers now that he is hitting the ball.
LaRoche is a notoriously slow starter, as his career March/April numbers come to a .307 wOBA against a career .348 wOBA overall. His cumulative .328 first half wOBA pales in comparison to his .375 second half wOBA. Arbitrary end points known as months and the All-Star break aside, LaRoche seems to have gotten past his typical early season struggle. One should feel comfortable trading for him or even picking him up, as he is available in over 40% of CBS leagues and 50% of both ESPN and Yahoo! formats.
Kyuji Fujikawa returns to action
The Chicago Cubs activated Kyuji Fujikawa from the 15-day disabled list yesterday. He pitched one inning, gave up one hit and struck out one. As he eases back into action, Fujikawa will initially pitch in middle relief as Kevin Gregg is the current closer, but Gregg owners would be wise to handcuff Fujikawa or saves hungry fantasy managers could grab Fujikawa and hope the Cubs make a change. For now, expect holds and high leverage outings from Fujikawa, as well as getting the nod as the next closer in line should Gregg falter or be unavailable. One can find Fujikawa available in over 60% of leagues from the three major sites.
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