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Week 2 is over. What have we learned so far? Not much… Nate McLouth remains the #1 ranked player in Yahoo! leagues and the resurrected Ben Sheets is the #1 pitcher. Anything can and will happen in this rollercoaster of a season. Remember people, it’s been 2 weeks, remain tempered to those hot and cold starts. The dumbest trades are always made in April.
Raul Ibanez (OF), Seattle Mariners: Over the past week, Ibanez has 10 hits, 4 home runs, and 11 RBI. Not a bad way to start the season. It may appear streaky but, over the last two seasons, Ibanez has averaged 28 HR and 114 RBI, so the power and production is real.
Mark Reynolds (3B), Arizona Diamondbacks: The #2 ranked player in Yahoo baseball. Reynolds had 3 HR, 9 RBI, and a stolen base in the past seven days. His season total is now 5 HR and a league leading 15 RBI. There is no way he will keep this up, so I say sell high if you can.
Carlos Pena (1B), Tampa Bay Rays: Pena only had 5 hits this past week. So why is he getting mentioned? Well, four of his hits were home runs. Pena now leads the majors with six home runs. I still stand by my statement that he was just a fluke in 2007.
Joe Crede (3B), Chicago White Sox: Does the decision to send Josh Fields to the minors seem stupid now? Like Pena, Crede also had 5 hits this past week. However, he also only played in 5 games. Crede had 3 home runs and nine RBI to tie for the major league lead with 15. The average (.341) won’t stay, but it won’t be horrible at season’s end. He is legit.
Ryan Ludwick (OF), St. Louis Cardinals: Probably the quietest performer of the week. Ludwick homered in three consecutive games and drove in seven. Don’t think the power is legit? Well, all the home runs he hit were on the road against the Giants at AT&T Park. Odds are he is still available in your league, so grab him if you can.
Wandy Rodriguez (SP), Houston Astros: Rodriguez gave up just one earned run in 14.1 innings while striking out 13 batters. Both starts were at home. Do not let these starts fool you. Look at the numbers from last season. At home, Rodriguez had an ERA of 2.94 as opposed to on the road where his ERA was 6.37. In his only start away in 2008, Rodriguez gave up four runs in five innings of work. Only start him when he is at home!
Brian Bannister (SP), Kansas City Royals: After making a case for AL ROY in 2007, Bannister has come charging out of the gate. He got two wins last week including a complete game shutout over the Twins. He is already 3-0 on the season.
Cliff Lee (SP), Cleveland Indians: I bet you don’t remember that this guy was an 18 game winner in 2005. After falling into relative obscurity over the past few seasons, Lee is trying to establish himself as a legitimate threat. Last week he had a line of 8IP, 2H, 1ER, and 8K to give himself his 2nd win of the season. He has shown flashes of brilliance in the past, so take a risk if you feel lucky.
Tim Lincecum (SP), San Francisco Giants: The rocket-armed righty dazzled with 12 innings of work and an amazing 18K’s. Will his arm hold up all season long? As long as he is reporting no problems, then I see no reason why he can’t be a dominant force in the NL West.
Huston Street (RP), Oakland Athletics: After a very rocky start (12.27 ERA in 3.2 IP), Street bounced back with 3 saves and no runs allowed to lower his ERA to 6.43. Hey, these things take time, be patient.
Sports of Boston Friends and Family League
Ohhhh, Ted Lilly is killing my team. I am not dropping him yet though. He will get better. Francisco Liriano made his 2008 debut for my team, and proceeded to get hammered for 4ER in 4 IP. I lost my match up 15-8 and dropped to 8th in the league. The silver lining? Evan Longoria has been called up to play 3B everyday for Tampa Bay.
Dev falls to 5th place after losing a close one 12-11. Poor pitching was his downfall despite Aaron Harang and Zach Grienke giving 16 strong innings. SoB’s KC stays in first thanks to strong performances by Ian Kinsler, Justin Upton, and Javier Vazquez.
Recent pick ups made by managers include: Kevin Millwood, Luke Scott, Corey Patterson, Edwin Jackson, Ryan Dempster, and Gabe Kapler.