Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"Miranda Warnings": Big (Papi) Loss for BoSox

Welcome to Week #10 of "Miranda Warnings", your weekly guide to what's happening in the world of Major League Baseball, from a fantasy baseball perspective. Every Wednesday, throughout baseball's regular season, "Miranda Warnings" will appear on I'm your host Michael Miranda.

American League East: The Red Sox attempt to win back-to-back world championships was dealt a huge blow when DH David "Big Papi" Ortiz (pictured above) landed on the 15-day DL with a partially torn tendon in his left wrist. Best-case scenario has Ortiz in a cast for 2-3 weeks. If the tendon heals properly during those 2-3 weeks, Ortiz can return to the Red Sox soon thereafter. Worst-case scenario has Ortiz undergoing season-ending surgery! Stay tuned!... Yankee P Joba Chamberlain (2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 62 PC) made his starting debut Tuesday versus Toronto. If you have him on your fantasy team or are thinking of acquiring him, your expectations must be realistic. Although Joba was a starter in the minor leagues, he hadn't started a baseball game in almost one year, prior to facing the Blue Jays! He'll be on a strich pitch count for the foreseeable future. You must be patient as Joba transitions to being a starting pitcher... Toronto 2B Aaron Hill is still feeling the lingering effects of a concussion suffered this past weekend in a collision with SS David Eckstein. Monitor the situation closely as a players' return from a concussion can be tricky. Don't rule out a DL stint... Baltimore P Daniel Cabrera (6 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) was beat up pretty good in Wednesday's loss to the Twins. Although Cabrera has a ton of upside, he has been mostly inconsistent in his career. Despite being impressive thus far in 2008, this might be a good opportunity to see-high on DC... The Rays suffered a huge loss when they placed 1B Carlos Pena on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. Pena has a fractured left index finger. Pena, who had a monster 2007 (.282 BA, 46 HR's, 121 RBI's), is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.

American League Central: Cleveland C Victor Martinez continues to battle hamstring soreness. He went 1-for-4, with two RBIs and two runs scored in Wednesday's victory over the Indians. He's still hitting for a high batting average (.287), but two months into 2008 Martinez has, unbelievably, yet to hit a HR. If you have V-Mart, you must consider selling high... Speaking of selling-high, the window to sell-high on Kansas City P Zack Greinke is closing. Greinke has been battered in two of his last three starts (19 IP, 17 ER). Ouch! With KC's anemic offense and Greinke struggling, wins will be few and far between for the young hurler... Detroit (24-35) stinks, plain and simple. They were swept in three games by Oakland this week and just don't have enough pithing to get back in the AL Central race... Twins closer Joe Nathan is having another Joe Nathan season. Nathan pitched a perfect ninth inning to collect his 16th save Wednesday against Baltimore... Don't be blinded by Chicago 1B Paul Konerko's two-run walk-off homer in Wednesday's victory over the Royals. It's just his second homer in the last 107 at-bats. Konerko is hitting just .202 overall.

American League West: LA Angels OF Vladimir Guerrero missed his third straight game Wednesday with a jammed right knee. Guerrero jammed the knee sliding into third base against Toronto this past weekend. Vladdy left the Angels in Seattle to pay a precautionary visit to Dr. Lewis Yocum. Considering how many injuries the Angels have had in 2008, don't be surprised if Vladdy has a DL stint in his future... Oakland mega-prospect OF Carlos Gonzalez, acquired in the off-season for P Dan Haren, is someone to keep an eye on. Gonzalez is playing due to OF Ryan Sweeney's injury (bruised foot). However, Gonzalez could see regular AB's even after Sweeney returns, if Gonzalez lives up to his lofty expectations... Seattle 2B Jose Lopez went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs on Wednesday. Lopez has been red-hot lately, homering in each of his last three games to give him five homers in 2008. If you need infield help, get Lopez while he's hot. He's available in most leagues... Speaking of hot, Texas OF Milton Bradley is red-hot. Bradley went 2-for-3, including his 12th homer, two runs scored, three RBIs and a stolen base in Wednesday's loss to Cleveland. Bradley will eventually land on the DL, as he always does. But, for now, he's a must-have!

National League East: Mets P Oliver Perez is awful! Perez (1/3 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 2 BB) was battered by the Giants (yes, the Giants!) on Monday. Ugh! Perez has surrendered 15 earned runs and 14 walks in his last 11 2/3 IP's! His overall numbers are absolutely ghastly! Despite four wins, Perez has a 5.70 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP! Perez faces the light-hitting Padres next. If you have Perez and he stinks again, you have to consider cutting him from your fantasy team... Atlanta P John Smoltz will undergo season-ending surgery (possibly career-ending surgery) on his ailing right shoulder. It's time to cut him in all leagues... Marlins SS Hanley Ramirez is heating up. Ramirez smacked two homers, scored three times, had three RBI's, walked twice and stole a base in Wednesday's win over Atlanta. Ramirez leads all shortstops with 48 runs scored, is tied for the lead with 11 long balls and ranks second with 14 steals... The Nationals placed 3B Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day disabled list because of a slightly torn labrum in his left shoulder. Zimmerman hurt the shoulder while sliding headfirst against the Orioles on May 18. If surgery is necessary, Zimmerman could miss the remainder of 2008... Phillies SS Jimmy Rollins went 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two stolen bases on Tuesday versus Cincinnati. The reigning National League MVP entered Tuesday's game stuck in a 2-for-21 slump. The Phillies, their fans and Rollins' fantasy GM's hope that this multi-hit effort will get Rollins going.

National League Central: As we prepared for D-Day 2008, Houston C J.R. Towles was a much sought-after catcher. Towles is hitting .145 after going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts Sunday. Ouch!... Milwaukee OF Corey Hart was 2-for-4, with his seventh homer, and a season-high four RBIs in Wednesday's win over Arizona. The big game snapped a 1-for-13 mini-slump... Thanks to OF Ryan Ludwick's hot-streak, St. Louis demoted OF Chris Duncan. Duncan is a talented hitter who should turn things around eventually... Chicago Cubs P Carlos Zambrano permitted three earned runs in the first inning versus San Diego Monday, then held them scoreless for the next four, while earning his eighth win. Zambrano has been impressive in 2008 (8-1 record, 2.51 ERA)... Give Pittsburgh closer Matt Capps lots of credit. Playing for the Pirates means that Capps' save opportunities are few and far between. Yet, despite being used sparingly, Capps has 11 saves and 2.45 ERA... "Wow!", just about sums up what Cincinnati OF Jay Bruce accomplished in his first seven major league games. Bruce looks like a very special player.

National League West: San Francisco P Matt Cain is only 2-4 in 2008. Don't give up on him though as the Giants offense has shown some signs of life lately. Cain's 4.67 ERA and 1.41 WHIP are decent, and his 68 strikeouts in 79 innings give him with plenty of value in fantasy leagues that count strike outs... Arizona 3B/1B Chad Tracy hit his second homer of the year in Sunday's win over the Nationals. He'll continue to see regular at-bats at first base with Conor Jackson injured (quad). When Jackson returns, expect Tracy and 3B Mark Reynolds to platoon at 3B... Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw (5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K) suffered his first major league loss on Wednesday against Colorado. If P Jason Schmidt (shoulder) doesn't suffer any setbacks in his rehab, expect Kershaw to be sent to the bullpen or back to the minors... San Diego P Jake Peavy (elbow) pitched off the mound for the first time since going on the 15-day disabled list May 14. Peavy threw 45 pitches in a pain-free bullpen session. If Peavy doesn't suffer any setbacks, he could return to the Padres' rotation by mid-June... Colorado C Chris Iannetta hit his fifth homer of 2008 in Tuesday's win over the Dodgers. Iannetta is starting about two to three games a week, although he wasn't expected to see this much playing-time heading into 2008. Iannetta is a decent #2 fantasy catcher.

See you next week!

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