Band of Boxscores 5/5

All is fair in love and fantasy baseball. If you’re new to the game, the only hope you have is to accept the fact that you’ve already lost. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you’ll be able to function as a manager is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. Winning depends upon it. Arm yourselves and be ye men of valor; for we few, we happy few, we band of brothers shall embark upon a land of bullets, triple slashes and pulled hamstrings.

Brett Gardner stole his 13th base. He went 1 for 3, which actually lowered his AVG to .346. He was ranked 16th (Yahoo!) among all players coming into the game today and is only owned in 60% of leagues. He’s not going to continue hitting for such a high AVG, but he has taken more Walks, cut down on the Strikeouts and is hitting the ball into the ground more than ever so he can hit .290 or better. Considering he already has 52 SB in 175 career games, it’s safe to call Gardner a poor man’s Jacoby Ellsbury. He should be owned in a lot more leagues. I shouldn’t have traded him.

The 1% owned Trevor Cahill pitched 5 Innings at home vs TEX today. He didn’t allow an Earned Run while scattering 5 H, 3 BB and striking out 4 K, getting the Win. The 22 year old has the ability to get strike outs, limit walks and induce ground balls with his sinker. He isn’t necessarily great in any one area (yet), but he is still getting better and has a lot of potential. The data is only for one start, but Cahill’s fastball is up 1.2 mph which would put him in line with the improvements he made as the season went along last year. I think Cahill is bound to improve his strike out numbers from last season and catch up on some of the ground lost to the once often compared Brett Anderson. He isn’t quite standard league starter worthy yet, but he should be owned in more than 1% of Yahoo! leagues.

Cahill’s Avg Fastball Velocity
88.0 mph Mar/Apr 09
89.2 mph May 09
89.8 mph June 09
90.1 mph July 09
90.9 mph August 09
90.8 mph Sept/Oct 09
91.0 mph Mar/Apr 10

José Contreras [0.58 WHIP, 1.04 ERA] came in with a four run lead and finished the game for PHI. The gun on TV said he was hitting 97 mph and his pitches had good movement. He hasn’t allowed a walk yet and has struck out 14 batters in 8.2 Innings. I have been on the receiving end of a Contreras hot streak (I know the cheat code), some may remember his 18-1 record from August 05 through June 06. I don’t believe he will steal many, if any, Saves from Brad Lidge, but there are Contreras supporters out there. Some even believe Contreras will end the season with more Saves than Lidge. There are a lot of Ryan Madson backers out there who are wandering, lost, waiting for a Brad Lidge Blown Save to unite under the José Contreras banner. With McNabb and Iverson (again) out of town, all the crazies will have their attention focused on Lidge. Anyway, Contreras should be picked up in most leagues, he is rostered in all 6 of my leagues, but is owned in only 6% of Yahoo! leagues.

Kris Medlen will start on Saturday in place of the injured Jair Jurrjens. That game is in PHI so the matchup and location are not desirable situations, but Medlen is solid and worthy of a roster spot in more than 2% of Yahoo! leagues. Medlen has used his Curve less this year and is favoring his Fastball and Changeup more often. His K Rate was taken a small hit, but his control has shown significant improvement. His F-Strike% is up 2.6%, his Zone% is up 4.6% and his BB/9 is down to 1.62. Medlen was a well hyped prospect who could be a nice post hype sleeper. Watch list material for standard leagues (for his first start), worth grabbing now in deeper leagues. Start him @PHI at your own risk, he’s been beat up by the Phils in the past.

Call in the Reinforcements Chris Perez [1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K] was credited with his second Loss and Blown Save because of the CLE defense. Francisco Cordero blew his second Save, giving up a run on two hits. This was his third straight appearance (took the Loss yesterday). Alfredo Aceves got the one out Save for the NYY. Mariano Rivera was ready to return, the Yanks didn’t appear to need him with a 4 Run lead heading into the Ninth. Matt Capps finally has a blemish on his record, he took a loss vs ATL by allowing 2 hits and an ER in 2 Innings. Brian Fuentes gave up a solo HR to Adrian Beltre with his team already behind BOS. The 4% owned Juan Gutiérrez (0-4) took another loss for ARI, his ERA is 7.30 and can be dropped in all leagues. Edward Mujica blew a Save… in the 6th Inning. Franklin Morales walked two without getting anyone out, Manny Corpas threw 2.2 Inning in extra frames for the Win. It won’t be long until Corpas is getting Saves in COL.

Body Count CLE is hopeful Asdrubal Cabrera (quad) can return on Friday. George Laird says he is ready to play after fouling a pitch off his shin on Tuesday. Jason Heyward left the game in the second inning with a sore groin, “I don’t know what I did. I couldn’t tell you, to be honest,” Heyward said. “When I got back to my position, it felt sore.” Heyward is day-to-day. Jair Jurrjens (hamstring) was put on the 15 Day DL. Milton Bradley is out indefinitely with emotional issues.

Mercenaries: soldiers for hire (less than 60% owned)
59% Iván Rodríguez 2/5, RBI, 2B, .405 AVG
59% Rajai Davis 1/3, R, SB(12), 6 game hit streak
56% Garrett Jones 2/4, 2 RBI, 2B
55% Casey Blake 1/5, RBI
53% Nick Swisher 1/3, HR(5), R, RBI, BB
50% Nate McLouth 1/4, RBI, 2B, BB, CS(2)
49% David Ortiz 2/3, HR(4), R, RBI, BB
47% Todd Helton 2/6
46% Andruw Jones 1/4, HR(9), R, 3 RBI, BB
46% Alberto Callaspo 2/4, RBI(17), .303 AVG
41% Orlando Cabrera 3/5, HR(3), R, 2 RBI
36% Johnny Cueto 6 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 8 K
33% Mark Teahen 2/4, RBI, 2B
31% Juan Pierre 2/5, 2 R, SB(15)
30% Orlando Hudson 0/3, 2 R, BB
28% Chris Snyder 1/2, 2 BB, .269 AVG
27% Nolan Reimold 2/3, HR(2), R, 2 RBI, BB
27% Cliff Pennington 1/3, R
21% Clint Barmes 3/5, R, 3 RBI, 2B
18% Alcides Escobar 1/2, R, RBI, 3B, BB, CS
13% Aubrey Huff 1/3, BB, .280 AVG
13% Kyle Blanks 2/5, R, 2 RBI, 2B
13% Gerardo Parra 2/4, 2 RBI, 2B, 3B
13% Jason Kendall 2/3, 2B, .292 AVG
12% Dexter Fowler 2/5, R, SB(3), BB
12% Brandon Morrow 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 9 K
12% José Bautista 1/4, R
10% Nick Johnson 3/3, HR(2), 2 R, RBI, 2B, 2 BB
10% Ian Desmond 1/5, HR(3), 2 R, RBI
9% Kevin Kouzmanoff 1/3, RBI, BB
9% Carlos Gómez 1/5, 2 R, .276 AVG
8% Aaron Rowand 1/5, HR(3), R, 2 RBI
8% Casey Kotchman 1/4, R, 2B
8% Randy Winn 1/3, R, SB
7% Adam Kennedy 1/3, R
6% Travis Snider 1/4, RBI
6% Daric Barton 2/3, R, RBI, 2B, BB, .292 AVG
5% Gaby Sánchez 2/4, RBI, batted 2nd in lineup (may stay)
4% Brett Myers 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K
4% Travis Hafner 1/3, HR(3), 2 R, RBI
4% Troy Glaus 1/4, R, RBI, BB
4% Matt LaPorta 2/3
4% Ronnie Belliard 2/3, BB, .289 AVG
4% Jerry Hairston Jr. 1/5, R, RBI
3% Brandon Wood 1/3, HR(2), R, RBI
3% Seth Smith 1/3, RBI, 3B
3% Omar Infante 2/4, HR(1), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
3% Nate Robertson 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, BB, 3 K
2% Mike Aviles 2/4, R
2% Mike Fontenot 1/3, RBI
2% Ramón Hernández 1/4, RBI
2% Jonny Gomes 2/4, HR(3), 2 R, RBI
2% Reid Brignac 1/1, R, RBI, 2B
2% Ángel Pagán 3/4, R, SB(3), BB
2% Matt Diaz 2/5, R, RBI, 2B
2% Chris Getz 1/4, RBI
1% Alex Avila 2/3, 2 HR(2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
1% Fred Lewis 3/5, R, 2 2B, .273 AVG
1% Luis Valbuena 1/3, RBI, 2B
1% Julio Lugo 3/4, R, BB
1% Ryan Church 1/4, HR(2), R, RBI
1% Rodrigo López 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, 4 K
1% Kyle Kendrick 7 IP, 0 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K, Win
1% Freddy García 6 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 0 BB, 4 K, Win
1% Dioner Navarro 1/3, 2 R, 2B, BB
0% Roger Bernadina 2/4, 2 R, 2B
0% Brett Carroll 1/3, R, .297 AVG
0% Bobby Crosby 2/4, R, 2B, CS
0% Matt Downs 2/2, R, 2B, 2 BB
0% Eric Patterson 1/3, HR(2), R, RBI, SB(2), BB
0% Tommy Manzella 1/3, HR(1), R, 2 RBI
0% Charlie Morton 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 3 K, Win

Universal Soldier Awards
Jean Claude Van Damme Miguel Cabrera 3/3, 2 HR(7), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB
Dolph Lundgren John Lackey 7 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K, Win
Andre Arvloski Matt Garza 8 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, 5 K, Win