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Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight 5/10: Who the Heck is Brennan Boesch?

Tue, May 11, 2010

Insiders Tonight

Image courtesy of: Tom Hagerty

After a brief Mother’s Day weekend break, Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight is back with everything you need to know from Monday night’s action…

HITTERS

Hitter of the day: Carlos Ruiz (4-for-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI)

• Lost in the potent Phillies lineup is the hot-hitting Carlos Ruiz. The 31-year-old catcher extended his hit streak to six games Monday night, going 4-for-5 with two runs, a HR and two RBI. Through 27 games this season, Ruiz is batting .350 with two homers and 12 RBI.

Ruiz’s unsustainable BABIP (.393) explains the inflated average, but his excellent plate discipline (21 walks vs. 16 strikeouts) suggests he can be useful in 14-team leagues this season.

• Mark Teixeira went 1-for-5 with a HR Monday night, his fourth in the last three games. After a lowly April which saw the Yankees’ first basemen hit .136, Teixeira has raised his average to .202 with six dingers and 22 RBI in 31 games this season. The window to buy-low on the perennial 30-HR, 100-RBI slugger has likely closed.

• Victor Martinez also appears to breaking out of his early-season slump, as the Boston catcher/designated hitter went 1-for-5 with three RBI Monday night. Through 10 games this month, Martinez is batting .275 (11-for-40) with two homers and 12 RBI. Don’t let his slow April fool you; 2010 should produce Martinez’s fourth career 20-HR, 100-RBI season.

• Brennan Boesch has been a pleasant surprise for the Detroit Tigers in place of the injured Carlos Guillen. With his 2-for-3, three RBI performance Monday night, the 25-year-old right fielder raised his batting average to .340 (16-for-47) with two homers and 14 RBI in 13 games this season.

Unfortunately for Boesch owners, Guillen is likely to begin a rehab assignment sometime this week. His return could force Boesch back to Triple-A, where he hit .379/.455/.621 with three bombs and 17 RBI in 15 games before his promotion.

• Alex Gonzalez continues to impress, as the Toronto shortstop went 2-for-4 with two runs Monday night against the Red Sox. In 34 games, Gonzalez is batting .270 with 10 HRs and 27 RBI, and has a hit in eight of his last nine games.

Gonzalez’s unreasonably high HR/FB rate of 18.2 percent (career 8.2 percent) explains his lofty HR total. This makes the 33-year-old an obvious sell-high candidate, as he owns a career .248 batting average and hasn’t topped 16 HRs in a season since 2004.

• Ivan Rodriguez continued his surpring start to the 2010 season Monday, going 4-for-4. The Nationals’ catcher is now batting .393 with 13 RBI in 25 games this season. Pudge’s batting average will falter as his current .400 BABIP evens out, but he should still remain a decent option in deep leagues.

• Nyjer Morgan owners were treated to two hits and two steals Monday night, as the speedy center fielder snapped his 10-game stolen base drought. He’s not the most efficient runner (57 percent this year, 68 percent career), but the 29-year-old  is a career .298 hitter, and is capable of approaching 90 runs and 40 steals this season with the Nationals.

• Rod Barajas leads all catchers with nine homers, but has flirted with the Mendoza Line all season. The 34-year-old backstop went 2-for-4 Monday night, however, raising his batting average to .244.

Barajas has proven pop in his bat (21 HRs in 2005, 19 HRs in 2009), but his ridiculous FB rate (71.1 percent) and HR/FB rate (16.7 percent) are unsustainable. He might finish the season with 20 homers, but that equates to less than three per month the rest of the way. Barajas is a decent sell-high option.

• Chris Coghlan is starting to show signs of life, as the 2009 N.L. Rookie of the Year recorded his first extra-base hit and his fourth steal of the season Monday night. He now has a hit in each of his last four starts.

• Alfonso Soriano extended his hit-streak to nine games Monday night with a three-hit, two-RBI effort against the Marlins. Fonzy is now batting .340 with 17 runs, seven homers, and 20 RBI, but will continue to receive routine days off as the Cubs try to find playing time for Tyler Colvin.

• Martin Prado’s recently quiet bat awoke Monday night, as the Braves’ second baseman went 2-for-5 with a HR and five RBI. Through 32 games this season, Prado is batting .315 with 20 runs, two homers and 12 RBI. He’s making a case to be considered as a top-10 player at his position.

• Casey McGehee went 2-for-4 with two RBI and his second homer in as many days Monday night. The 27-year-old third baseman is now batting .310 with seven homers and 30 RBI in 30 games this season.

While McGehee’s 162-RBI pace is unsustainable, he will continue to get plenty of opportunities batting fifth behind Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. It’s time to start taking this guy seriously, as he’s making a push for top-five status at a declining third base position.  

• Andre Ethier continues to tear the cover off the ball, as the Dodgers’ right fielder went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBI Monday night. The N.L.’s triple-crown leader is batting .393 with 10 homers and 34 RBI in 30 games thus far.

The 28-year-old, coming off a breakout season is very good, but he’s not thisgood. Ethier’s .373 BABIP and 29.4 HR/FB rate will gradually drop, making him a decent sell-high candidate. Even still, Ethier is likely to post his second straight 30-HR, 100-RBI season.

PITCHERS

Pitcher of the day: Tommy Hanson (W, 8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, BB, 8 K)

• Tommy Hanson dazzled the Brewers Monday night, tossing eight scoreless against the N.L.’s most potent lineup. The 23-year-old second-year pitcher allowed just four hits and one walk while fanning eight. Through seven starts (43 innings) this season, Hanson boasts a 2.83 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 46/16 K/BB ratio.

Hanson’s early success does not make him a sell-high candidate. In fact, he’s a buy-low option if anything, as the young hurler is only going to get better. A 3.00 ERA and 200 strikeouts are both definite possibilities this season.

• After receiving a pounding last week in his third career start, Luis Atilano bounced back with 5 1/3 shutout innings against the hot-hitting Mets Monday night. The 25-year-old birthday boy allowed five hits and two walks, lowering his WHIP to 1.57. His ERA after four starts, however, stands at a respectable 3.57.

Atilano is now 3-0, but his peripherals (12 strikeouts, six walks in 22 2/3 innings) serve as a warning to fantasy managers. Don’t add him in 14-team leagues just yet, as Atilano is scheduled to pitch at Colorado this weekend. If all goes well, you can then safely graduate him from “watch” status. (For more on Atilano, click here.)

• The Angels roughed up Matt Garza Monday night, scoring four runs on seven hits in Garza’s seven innings of work. The Rays’ right-hander struck out seven, improving his 46/15 K/BB ratio through 50 innings thus far. Despite Monday night’s outing, the 26-year-old sports a stellar 2.49 ERA and 1.07 WHIP. Garza has benefited from cupcake matchups thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see how he responds against tougher lineups as the season progresses.

• Joel Pineiro continued his roller-coaster season Monday night, shutting out the Rays on five hits and one walk in 6 1/3 innings. The 31-year-old, who owns a mediocre 5.58 career K/9, also fanned seven.

Pineiro has five quality starts this season in which he’s posted a 1.65 ERA in 32 2/3 innings. In his other two starts, however, he’s been tagged for 15 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings.

RELIEVERS

• Miguel Batista picked up his first save of the season Monday night in place of closer Matt Capps, who was unavailable after pitching on Saturday and Sunday. Capps should be back in action if needed Tuesday night against the Mets.

• The ninth-inning favorite following Franklin Morales’ recent struggles, Manuel Corpas was shelled Monday night, allowing four runs on two hits and a walk in one inning. Corpas has now allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings this month. Franklin Morales may get Colorado’s next few save opportunities until Huston Street’s expected return in two weeks.

Be sure to check back for Fantasy Baseball Insiders Tonight updates all season long!

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