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Cullen: Notes on Sabathia, Wieters, Belt, LaRoche, more

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Scott Cullen
5/12/2014 2:53:43 PM
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The Yankees' starting rotation is a mess; Scott Cullen has notes on Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Matt Wieters, Brandon Belt, Adam LaRoche and more.

INJURIES

- Good thing for the Yankees that their Japanese pitchers, Hiroki Kuroda and Masahiro Tanaka, have been able to stay healthy. The rest of the starting rotation has already hit the DL. With Ivan Nova alread out for the season, RHP Michael Pineda was suspended for that whole Pine Tar thing, then suffered a strined muscle in his side that will likely keep him out until some time in June. Adding to those troubles, LHP CC Sabathia found out that he has fluid on his knee, requiring him to go to the DL too.

RHP David Phelps has already joined the rotation, delivering mediocre results (4.35 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 4 K, 10 1/3 IP) in a couple of starts. Journeyman RHP Alfredo Aceves (1.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 14 K, 13 2/3 IP at AAA) is a decent bet to get a chance as a starter and, checking out their other options at Triple-A, 24-year-old RHP Chase Whitley (3-2, 2.49 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 32 K, 25 1/3 IP) has been really good and might be ready for a look.

- Orioles C Matt Wieters is out with a strained right elbow, opening up room for Steve Clevenger to see more action for the next couple weeks. Clevenger has a .778 OPS in 46 plate appearances this year, but his major league career consists of 1 HR, 23 RBI, .213 AVG (.578 OPS) in 268 AB. Not much to get excited about at this point.

- Giants 1B Brandon Belt was off to a nice start (9 HR, 18 RBI, .264 AVG, 18 R, 3 SB, .820 OPS), but has suffered a broken thumb that will keep him out six weeks. With C Buster Posey available to play first, that leaves more playing time for C Hector Sanchez and veteran utility man Joaquin Arias.

- Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez has a strained hamstring, which is resulting in Mark Reynolds moving across the diamond to third, and Lyle Overbay taking over at first base for Reynolds. Since the start of 2013, Overbay has hit 15 home runs with a .240 batting average in 513 at-bats.

- Rangers 2B Donnie Murphy has landed on the DL with a strained neck and with Jurickson Profar already out, top prospect Rougned Odor gets the call for Texas. Odor is just 20-years-old, so this may be just a chance to get a taste of the big leagues, but he has hit .293 with 12 home runs and an .825 OPS in 263 Double-A at-bats since getting promoted last season. Right now, he's just a player to watch.

- Nationals 1B Adam LaRoche has gone on the DL with a strained quad, and the Nats have brought Tyler Moore back from the minors. Moore has shown some power (16 HR, 53 RBI, .236 AVG, .713 OPS) in 356 careerat-bats, and destroys Triple-A pitching (19 HR, 72 RBI, .306 AVG, .975 OPS, 281 AB), so the chance to play regularly could provide some decent results.

GOOD ADDS (Available in at least 40% of TSN leagues)

Alcides Escobar, SS, Kansas City - 2 HR, 15 RBI, .276 AVG, 18 R, 127 AB (Available: 51.4%)

Jedd Gyorko, 2B, San Diego - 5 HR, 19 RBI, .262 AVG, 11 R, 136 AB (Available: 51.5%)

Gerardo Parra, RF, Arizona - 4 HR, 13 RBI, .275 AVG, 24 R, 160 AB (Available: 81.8%)

A.J. Pollock, CF, Arizona - 3 HR, 7 RBI, .278 AVG, 14 R, 5 SB, 108 AB (Available: 98.6%)

Seth Smith, LF, San Diego - 3 HR, 14 RBI, .330 AVG, 14 R, 106 AB (Available: 93.0%)

Dillon Gee, RHP, N.Y. Mets - 3-1, 2.73 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 33 K, 52 2/3 IP (Available: 41.8%)

Josh Beckett, RHP, Los Angeles - 0-1, 2.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 34 K, 35 1/3 IP (Available: 73.2%)

Tom Koehler, RHP, Miami - 3-2, 1.99 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 29 K, 45 1/3 IP (Available: 76.0%)

CLOSER NOTES

- Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman returned to action, with 100 MPH fastballs, to close out Colorado Sunday, so Jonathan Broxton returns to the eighth inning role for the Reds.

- Indians RHP John Axford surrendered five earned runs in three innings over his last four appearances and he's been bumped from the closer's role, with the Tribe turning to a committee approach. RHP Bryan Shaw and RHP Cody Allen are the best options, with perhaps a slight edge to Shaw right now.

- Angels RHP Ernesto Frieri pitched well enough after losing the closer's role that he's now eligible for ninth-inning work again, splitting save duties with Joe Smith.

- RHP Jeurys Familia may be next in line to close for the New York Mets. It's been up in the air since Bobby Parnell was injured, but Familia may be able to usurp Kyle Farnsworth.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook.

CC Sabathia (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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