No. 10 – Not many 35-year-old catchers turn in a career year, but that is exactly the direction that A.J. Pierzynski is headed. Pierzynski has put up solid numbers from the catching position on the season and built on that with a five-hit game Tuesday. He used those hits to drive in three runs and also scored twice in the Chicago White Sox’s loss to the Detroit Tigers.
No. 9 – The Atlanta Braves virtually drove Derek Lowe to Cleveland this offseason and dropped him off. The early returns have been fantastic for Lowe. Lowe pitched a complete game shutout Tuesday afternoon, running his record to 6-1 on the season. His earned run average and
walks plus hits per inning pitched
(WHIP) are top-of-the-fantasy-rotation stuff, but he has had a hard time registering strikeouts this season. While elite pitchers flirt with a strikeout per inning, Lowe is only getting a little over a strikeout and a half per start.
No. 8 – On the other hand, Cliff Lee was equally impressive on Tuesday, punching out 10 Houston Astros, but didn’t figure in the decision. Despite a sub two earned run average and a
walks plus hits per inning pitched
below one, Lee only has a 0-1 record due to poor run support. Some impatient, quick triggered owner might be inclined to trade Lee. Scan their roster, identify a need and pounce!
No. 7 – After a rocky 0-6 start to the season, Ervin Santana has been impressive in his last two starts. Santana pitched in to the eight against the Oakland Athletics, striking out nine while earning his second straight win. A quick letdown is certainly possible, but the Santana of late is much more typical of the expectations entering the season.
No. 6 – Rickie Weeks has been a disappointment thus far this season. He has been banged up with a wrist injury, but returned to the lineup Tuesday and hit a home run, showing no ill effects of the injury. You likely drafted Weeks too early to warrant dumping him now. Hopefully he regroups and starts to hit as he was expected to soon.
No. 5 – He has managed to fly under the radar, but Tampa Bay’s Elliot Johnson has quietly contributed as he has gotten more opportunity in the absence of Evan Longoria. Johnson has hit in the last seven games and figures to continue to get significant playing times if he continues to hit as he has. Keep an eye on Johnson if you need help in the middle infield and can use a scrappy hitter who will steal you some bases.
No. 4 – In a “battle of the highly touted youngsters,” Mike Trout and Bryce Harper both performed well again on Tuesday. Harper hit his second home run in as many days and appears to be getting on track. Trout was even better, tallying three hits, including a home run. Don’t underestimate the capabilities of young players when you are looking for pickups in your league.
No. 3 – Bartolo Colon’s luck was sure to run out eventually given the number of hits that he has typically given up. Tuesday he allowed the Los Angeles Angeles 12 hits and four earned runs and took the loss. Colon hasn’t registered a win in nearly a month. You should look for starts from someone different.
No. 2 – Zack Greinke followed up his 11 strikeout game with a scoreless seven-inning, seven-strikeout win Tuesday. Greinke has been impressive, running his record to 4-1 on the season and is once again a must-start each time he takes the mound.
No. 1 – For all the pundits who said this was the season that Paul Konerko’s production would take a nose dive, it might be time to adopt the “Wait ‘til Next Year” mantra. Konerko is hitting well better than .300 with seven home runs. He hit number seven on Tuesday, and his production is on track to again be among the best at his position.