It was the weakest day yet for the top 10, but a couple pitching performances made it worth the fight.
Ubaldo Jimenez‘s performance was the best of the day. Everybody knew the scoreless innings streak wasn’t going to last forever, but Ubaldo made sure the Padres paid for halting his plummeting ERA.
He struck out 13 batters while walking two in seven innings of work. Jimenez also allowed four hits and improved to 6-0. With an 0.87 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP, he’s the frontrunner for NL Cy Young and taking top fantasy pitcher honors right now.
Nine other noteworthy performances from Monday:
Brett Cecil — Struck out a career-high 10 batters in eight innings to improve to 2-1. Cecil allowed one hit, one earned run and walked two. Perfect through seven, the 23-year-old prospect is definitely worth rostering at this point. He has a 2.61 ERA and a 0.77 WHIP.
Jake Peavy — Earning his first win, Peavy struck out nine in seven shutout innings. He allowed five baserunners (one walk) and improved his disastrous ERA (6.31) and WHIP (1.60).
Rich Harden — Four consecutive pitching performances to start the top 10? Yes. The hitters were bad on Monday. Harden, however, was pretty awesome. He struck out nine in seven shutout innings and allowed only two baserunners, both on hits. His ERA is 3.52 and his WHIP is at 1.50.
Mike Lowell — As part of a Red Sox lineup that decimated the Angels on Monday, Lowell went 4-for-4 with two runs and four RBI to improve his batting average to .300.
J.D. Drew — A couple hot games and Drew’s average is up to a saucy (sarcasm) .247. Still, if you had him in your lineup for whatever reason, his 4-for-5, two-run, three-RBI day was a nice surprise.
Adrian Beltre — As if you needed more proof that everybody hit the Angels on Monday, Beltre blasted his first homer of the season. He went 2-for-5 with three RBI and three runs. He’s hitting .333.
Chris Young — In a three-for-five day, Chris Young drove in a trio of runs. He’s hitting .300 right now. That won’t last — his .351 BABIP tells us he’s lucky — but let’s enjoy it while we can.
David Freese — Hitting .358 with three homers and 19 RBI, Freese has really been better than I expected in the preseason. He’s going to regress, but as long as he pops out 2-for-5 days with three RBI and a run, like he did Monday, fantasy owners aren’t complaining.
Juan Pierre — I warned you the Top 10 was thin, right? I mean, it’s not like Young and Freese would have made any other Top 10 this season… So what does that mean for Pierre? Ahem, he went 1-for-4 on Monday. He scored twice and, more importantly, stole a pair of bases. Still, few fantasy owners were happy about a 1-for-4 out of a career .300 hitter.