Super Tuesday has come and gone and baseball fans across the globe were treated to a glimpse into the future. The future might just be developing in the NL East.
Florida Marlins former 2nd round pick, Mike Stanton (FLA-OF) made his debut Tuesday night against the Phillies, going 3 for 5 while batting 7th in the order. Stanton was sadly 2nd place on this Tuesday. The real spotlight burned brightly in Washington.
Washington Nationals 2009 first overall pick Stephen Strasburg (WAS-SP) lived up to the hype and some with a sparkling seven inning performance where Kid K struck out 14 Pirates while walking none. His overpowering fastball clocked in regularly from 96-99 MPH with a few pitches sizzling out at 101 MPH. His hard, tight rotating curveball clocked in around 80-83 MPH with late, breaking action had the Pirates believing this wasn’t just another pitcher. Combine his overwhelming stuff with impeccable command and the legend of Stephen Strasburg will continue to grow. His next start comes on Sunday against the lowly Cleveland Indians where Cleveland is apparently reaping the benefits of the Strasburg phenomenon.
The Indians expect the Sunday game against the Nats to be the 2nd largest crowd in Cleveland since Opening Day.
“It’s creating a fan buzz around baseball,” Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio said. “It’s something we’re excited about, to be able to play host to the young man’s first road start.”
Unfortunately, not every fantasy owner owns the keys to a brand new Strasburg. For those of you looking for some help in the rotation, here are a few quality pitchers owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! Leagues.
Percentage of players available taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball leagues
Ian Kennedy (ARI-SP,RP) 35% owned– Former Yankee prospect turned 11 starts of three runs or less baseball in his first 13 starts while supplying a bountiful 14 Ks in his last 13 innings of work. Kennedy sparkled in his last start, throwing seven innings of three hit baseball against the Atlanta Braves while striking out 6.
Ted Lily (CHC-SP) 47% owned- Someone score some runs for this man! Six straight starts of three runs or less but poor run support hooked Lily with an 0-2 record over that straight. Proven veteran lefty pitchers owned in less than half of leagues are hard to find. Scoop him up and pray for runs.
Gio González (OAK-SP) 30% owned- Gio turned in a beauty against the Twins, spinning seven useful innings in limiting the Twinkies to two runs on six hits. Through 12 starts, González has limited opponents to three runs or less in 10 of those starts with 61 Ks over 73 innings of work.
Brett Cecil (TOR-SP) 41% owned- After Cecil served up beach balls in Texas on May 14th by allowing eight runs on eight hits in 2.2 innings of work, Cecil has been spiking the competition since. In his last five starts, the Jays lefty has tossed 36.1 innings of 6 run ball, going 5-0 during that stretch. His June 5th performance against the Yankees (8 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 5 Ks) is reason enough to become a believer. Cecil is on fire and brimming with upside that would make Strasburg blush.
Team Name of the Week: Borbonic Plague
Thus far, getting people to trade of pick up Julio Borbón (TEX-OF) has been harder than cleaning up BP’s mess in the gulf. The team name is referencing the crippling effects the young Texas outfield has had in a largely disappointing season to this point.
However, owners struggling to get over their case of the Borbonic plague will be pleased to find out that speed demon is beginning to show signs of life. Borbón is currently riding a eight game hitting streak with four multi-hit games scattered through the streak including a 3-3 effort Thursday night against the Mariners. The speed numbers aren’t showing yet (8 steals) but that was due in large part to his inability to get on base.
Borbón has been widely neglected by the Yahoo! Community and sits at a lofty 29% owned clip. If you’re looking to add some speed to your lineup, Borbón can heal the wounds if he can continue his stellar streak.