After an 11-baserunner, 4-earned run debacle against the Nationals in his last start, Tommy Hanson made the Milwaukee Brewers pay.
Hanson struck out eight in eight shutout innings and allowed just five baserunners (one walk) in a convincing Braves win.
Hanson dropped his ERA to 2.30 and his WHIP to 1.14. He’s a top-13 fantasy pitcher so far this year and has shown no signs of extreme good luck in the process.
His performance was the best on a less-than-stellar fantasy day. Here are nine other performances, most wouldn’t be Top-10 worthy on another day:
Ivan Rodriguez — Went 4-for-4 with one RBI. He’s been lucky so far this year, but his line drive percentage is closer to his career average than it’s been since 2006. He’s still available in 39% of Yahoo leagues and as the third-best catcher in fantasy baseball this season, that should be 0%.
Adam Kennedy — Went 1-for-3 with a solo homer two walks and a stolen base. That’s a little something for every category there. Kennedy is only hitting .247. In his last six games, Kennedy is batting .352 (6-for-17) with four walks and five runs scored. He also qualifies at 1B, 2B and 3B. Decimated by injuries? Did your sleeper fail? Kennedy could be worth playing for a stretch. Last season, at age 33, he hit .289 with 11 homers and stole 20 bases.
Nyjer Morgan — Went 2-for-5 with two stolen bases. He hasn’t been able to keep up with Brett Gardner or Juan Pierre in the steals department and his .275 isn’t matching his 2009 output either. Remember, he didn’t turn it up until after the All-Star break last year (.350 average, 24 steals in July and August in 2009). That means three things for your fantasy team: 1. He could blast off once the summer months kick in; 2. He has the potential to spit out double-digit steals in a month; 3. You could probably acquire him for a half-eaten piece of dry toast right now.
Martin Prado — Grand slam among his two hits and drove in another run. Prado’s gaudy early-season average has leveled out around .315 and that was only his second homer. He doesn’t get enough counting stats (runs, homers, RBIs, SBs) to be a top-tier fantasy play, but his tri-eligibility (1B, 2B, 3B) means he’ll always have a roster spot in fantasy leagues.
Carlos Ruiz — Went 4-for-5 with 2 runs, 2 RBI and a solo homer. Ruiz was a first-round pick in one of my leagues — the guy’s a crazy Phillies fan. It was too early to pick him, but he is a top-6 catcher so far. Guys who are trying to be as good as Carlos Ruiz in 2010: Joe Mauer, Jorge Posada, Bengie Molina, Victor Martinez, Matt Wieters, Ryan Doumit, Russell Martin, Brian McCann and Kurt Suzuki.
Joel Pineiro — Suffered a no decision despite 6.1 shutout innings and only six baserunners (one walk). He struck out seven and has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. I hope nobody is surprised that Pineiro hasn’t been able to match the performance of his career in 2009. His K rate is up, but so is his BB/9 and his HR/9.
Shane Victorino — Went 2-for-4 with three runs and three walks. He’s hitting .250 this season. A career power pace (7 homers and 25 RBI) has pushed his average down. He’s hitting more fly balls than he ever has (45% in 2010, 35% in his career). He’s also hitting them out at almost twice the rate he normally does (13.5% to 7%), which is probably coercing him to uppercut a little more. So we all paid for his steals and average and instead we’re getting homers and RBIs (he’s on pace for roughly 35-125). How do you feel about that? Discuss in the comments.
Seth Smith — Went 3-for-5 and fell a homer short of the cycle. He scored three runs. Smith’s bat has been scorching hot in the last four games he started (he went a PH 0-for-1 on Sunday). He’s 8-for-19 (.421) with 6 runs, a double, 2 triples and 2 RBI. He doesn’t play — and when he does, he doesn’t hit well — against lefties. If you can handle a platoon hassle on your fantasy team, or if you are in a deep NL league, Smith is available in 98% of Yahoos.
Jason Giambi — Doubled and drove in three runs in a 3-for-4 day. The three hits broke an 0-for-7 and Giambi was just 2-for-22 in 2010 before that. He has more than two at-bats in only three games, including the start in place of Todd Helton on Monday. The three-RBI day pushed Giambi past Hall of Famer Duke Snider on the All-Time RBI list. Giambi is in 84th place with 1,334 RBIs.