Tag Archives: Erick Aybar

Brandon Webb: 9-1

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)
(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

The Marlins ended Brandon Webb’s perfect season Wednesday, raising his ERA to a somewhat-more-human 2.69 in the process. The Marlins — without their slumping star shortstop — scored three runs on seven hits and a suicide squeeze. For his part, Ricky Nolasco held the Diamondbacks to one run on four hits, three coming from J.D. Drew’s younger brother (BJ Upton’s younger brother and Chris Young both went hitless).

Elsewhere

Baltimore at New York: Darrell Rasner pitched seven shutout innings against the Orioles. He is now 3-0 since being called up at the beginning of the month, the rest of the Yankee rotation is 3-7. Hank Steinbrenner proved he’s not the man his father was, as (at least publicly) he had nothing but nice things to say about Lester’s no-hitter.

Kansas City at Boston: Bartolo Colon — who I most often cite in barroom arguments about why I wouldn’t give Sabathia a 5 year deal — won his first game since June 2007. Two runs in five innings against the Royals isn’t exactly exhilarating, but he did win a Cy Young just three years ago, so he’s worth watching.

New York at Atlanta: The Braves took their third in two days against the once-again-struggling Mets. Jair Jurrjens pitched another great game (I love him), Mark Teixeira is 7-for-10 this series, and two Mets outfielders are down — Ryan Church with a concussion, Moises Alou with more leg trouble.

Los Angeles at Toronto: Speaking of down, how scary is it to play infield for (Los Angeles of) Anaheim right now? First Howie Kendrick went on the DL (hamstring), then Chone (hamstring) joined him, both suffered repeated setbacks, and now Erick Aybar dislocates his right pinky finger. Figgins returned to action Wednesday, but any lingering discomfort will kill his fantasy value, as his value rests entirely on those speedy legs of his.

Texas at Minnesota: The combined records of Livan Hernandez (who starts tomorrow for the Twins) and Sidney Ponson (who won today for the Rangers) is 9-2. I don’t really know what to say. Be skeptical.

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Spring Fever

It’s that time of year when warming weather and flowering trees (and maybe my accompanying allergy headaches) do something to a girl. Casual flirtations escalate into something deeper, and my statistics-based strategies become overshadowed by my burgeoning emotional attachments to players.

A few weeks ago Matt Kemp was just a young outfielder for the Dodgers, cute with raw talent and making a good case for a starting job in a crowded outfield. Conor Jackson was a very sexy once-hyped first baseman that was probably drafted as a backup in your league. Curtis Granderson and all his 20-20 talent (and 30-30 potential) was on the dl. Carlos Marmol was just the guy most likely to step in if and when Kerry Wood went down. It’s just over a month into the season now, and my fondness for these guys, and others, has turned into deep affection. Every new 2-for-4 day from Kemp breaks my heart, because he’s forever trapped on the-team-that-does-not-trade. Every time Marmol comes in and strikes out 3 or 4, only for Wood (or sometimes Howry) to blow it in the next inning, I want to whisper into his over-sized ears, “your time will come.”

Flings — Stay with them as long as they keep things interesting, but know when to let them go

Erick Aybar 2B/SS Angels (.313, 17 R, 5 SB) With injuries to first HowieKendrick and now Chone Figgins, Aybar has found himself with a regular job. He’s certainly worth owning as long as he keeps hitting.

Ryan Church OF Mets (.330, 4 HR, 22 RBI) The Mets have been playing lazy, uninspired baseball — with the exception of Ryan Church, who’s been hitting an unreal .404 with runners on. Maybe he’ll cool off when Beltran heats up, but with an average this high after a month of play, he deserves a roster spot.

Crushes — They’ll make you happy, if you can get them

Matt Kemp OF Dodgers (.327, 22 RBI, 7 SB) The most balanced hitter in the Dodgers outfield, Kemp could be a breakout star. If someone wants to sell high, buy him. He does need to cut down on the K’s though.

Conor Jackson 1B Diamondbacks (.350, 5 HR, 25 RBI) He’s on fire right now along with the rest of the Diamondbacks lineup. He’s not quite this good, but with that lineup and a hitter’s park, I expect him to hit .300 and drive in around 100. Not bad.

True Love — You always knew they were something special, but now you can’t live without them

Curtis Granderson OF Tigers (.297, 4 HR, 12 R in 10 games) The sampling is a little small, but the Tigers’ offense did heat up right when he joined them 2 weeks ago.

Carlos Marmol RP Cubs (1.29 ERA, .129 BAA, 28 K in 21 innings) Maybe love is a strong word for a setup man, but with so many teams having bullpen issues, Marmol must warm the hearts of Cubs fans. Pick him up just for the ERA and WHIP, and if he ends up closing, that’s icing.

Chase Utley 2B Phillies (.369, 13 HR, 26 RBI) He’s in a class of his own right now and a real pleasure to watch. I can’t imagine he can be obtained in a trade for less than 2 top-tier players right now, so just appreciate his beautiful swing. He, too, is rotting in my keeper league on the-team-that-does-not-trade, so I will just have to love him from a distance.

Honorable mentions: Geovany Soto, Jair Jurrjens, Adrian Gonzalez, Ervin Santana, Carlos Quentin, Edinson Volquez, Zack Greinke

Coming soon: Max Scherzer — first start tomorrow vs. Phillies!

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