It's back! If you recall that Box Score Blitz used to be a regular feature of the site, you have an excellent memory but better yet, have been a long-time reader. I can't promise I'll do this every day, but as often as I can, I'll take a quick tour around the Majors with some thoughts from the previous day's games. The focus will be mostly fantasy - mostly.
Boston's bullpen is scary good, which should really help John Lackey as they can ease him in but also Felix Doubront as all he needs to do is go six innings.
If Ichiro continues to hit 7th versus all southpaws, his stats will take a bit of a hit
Attention all those playing daily games - historical hitter versus pitcher matchups mean nothing. The sample is too small, even for guys facing each other for several years. Joe Girardi was unaware of this as he started Jayson Nix against Jon Lester since Nix was 7 for 23 with 3 HR versus Lester. The result? Nix fanned twice stranding four runners.
Washington Nationals at Miami Marlins
Stephen Strasburg threw seven innings. That's the good news. The bad news is he only fanned three. I know, it's only one game, but as I have been saying all spring, the fact Strasburg will be capped around 200 innings and his K/9 is going to be lower than last season, he is going to have to have significantly lower ratios than Justin Verlander and Clayton Kershaw to be a better fantasy performer. I think those that had Strasburg as their top hurler will be disappointed.
Ricky Nolasco went six innings, allowing only one hit and no runs. Well, that's how he did against everyone but Bryce Harper.
It's early, but the fact Pittsburgh had Gaby Sanchez at first with Garrett Jones in right field and Travis Snider on the bench makes me sad. Snider was my choice as post-hype player to emerge this season.
Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers
John Axford scares me but there's no real alternative so his leash is long.
With Rafael Betancourt getting on in years, it is important to track the reliever usage behind him. Matt Belisle came in first, then Wilton Lopez and Rex Brothers. This does not mean Brothers is the next in line but it will be interesting to follow. That said, Lopez got lit up.
Kansas City Royals at Chicago White Sox
It was important for Addison Reed to come in and close the door, especially after how well Chris Sale pitched.
James Shields pitched well too but got burned by his Achilles’ heel - a gopher ball.
Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins
The only thing I'm taking out of the bullpen management for Detroit is Al Alburquerque is low on the totem pole even if Jim Leyland plays match-ups.
Joe Mauer hitting second could get him a few more at bats and score a few more runs but his RBI will take a hit.
Erick Aybar got the first start in the two-hole. Howard Kendrick would be a little more valuable if that was his spot, but he should do fine lower. If Aybar is dropped to the bottom, I'd be a little concerned.
Even though they're carrying only two catchers, Hank Conger will be some pinch-hitting opportunities has he's the only bench player with any pop.
Shin-Soo Choo did not look very smooth tracking balls in center. It doesn't mean much for fantasy, but it would not surprise me if Chris Heisey played the spot now that Ryan Ludwick is out, pushing Choo back to a corner where he's more comfortable. And no, I don't think Billy Hamilton is or should be coming up.
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Ben Revere leading off is huge for his fantasy value
I'll bet Cole Hamels doesn't surrender three more homers the rest of the month.