Apparently there were some shootie-hoops games yesterday. Given my bracket had half of my elite eight teams eliminated opening weekend, I think I’ll just stick to baseball.
Ryan Braun’s thumb injury
By now it should be no secret that Braun’s right thumb is giving him discomfort. An inflamed nerve has been giving him pain for over a year now, though recently it has been causing numbness in the thumb. Braun resisted surgery on the thumb last year during his suspension and continues to resist it now. While speaking to reports, Braun admitted that his frustration is growing and “The analogy is like, if you touch a hot stove, no matter how badly you want to keep your hand there, the natural reaction will be to take your hand off of it. That’s kind of what happens every time I make contact when it gets bad. No matter what I want to do or try to do, I can’t keep two hands on the bat.” After hearing him speak like that, those hoping for a big bounce-back season from Braun may have to wait until 2015.
Thoughts on Michael Pineda
Making his first major league start since 2011 and his first in a New York Yankees uniform, Pineda hurled six innings of quality baseball. He only needed 83 pitches and threw 58 of them for strikes, including 11 of the swinging variety. His slider was particularly strong and he relied on it often — throwing 33 of them (as per Brooksbaseball.net) and generating seven swings-and-misses on them. Pineda didn’t allow a walk and scattered five hits while limiting the Toronto Blue Jays to one run. Expect Pineda to be picked up quickly after this start, as his ownership rate is below 30% and and 60% in ESPN and Yahoo! formats respectively. If you play in a CBS league, expect him to be already owned in your league as he only available in 10% of leagues there.
Taijuan Walker’s soonish return
Lasting 4 1/3 innings while throwing 74 pitches, Walker was able to fan seven batters and allowed just one walk. Sure it was a rehab start and he was facing High-A hitters, but the results are still encouraging. He’s scheduled to go 85-90 pitches next time and after that his shoulder will be re-evaluated. If Walker is cleared, he could join the Mariners as soon as 10 days from now. Walker can be picked up in just 17% of CBS formats but is available in 50% of Yahoo! leagues and 90% of ESPN formats. He should be a good source of strikeouts and figures to post solid ratios in a pitcher friendly home park.
The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: Jered Weaver — $9,400
Most warm bodies facing the Houston Astros are a good bet.
Starting Pitcher: A.J. Burnett — $9,200
The season is young, but the Chicago Cubs haven’t been shy about striking out. Their 25.4% mark is the fourth highest in baseball and that bodes well for a pitcher that can miss bats like Burnett.
Infielder: Carlos Ruiz — $3,300
A great value pick here as Ruiz isn’t flashy, but he isn’t reluctant to take a walk and is a solid overall hitter. He’ll also be facing someone that made an appearance out of the bullpen three days ago and threw 1.1 innings in Carlos Villanueva.
Outfielder: Matt Holliday — $4,600
Another player who can work a walk, Holliday is squaring off against Edison Volquez, not someone known for his pinpoint control.
Other Hitter: Paul Goldschmidt — $5,700
Call it “phoning this one in” if you want, but Goldy in Coors Field makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
Remaining Budget: $17,800
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