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THE UTILITY LEAGUE (ID# 65396)
  • Ruiz smacks game-winner, has 6 XBH in series
    Carlos Ruiz closed out a great four-game series against the Dodgers by reaching base all five times up and cracking a game-winning, two-run double in the ninth off Brian Wilson in a 7-3 Thursday win.

    Advice: Ruiz finished 3-for-3 with two walks, two doubles and two runs scored. The 35-year-old entered this series with an ugly .204/.328/.286 slash line, but went 7-for-14 with four walks, four doubles, one triple, one homer, five runs scored and four RBI as Philly took three of four in Los Angeles. By the way, it only took four games for Ruiz's slash line to blow up to .270/.395/.476. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 10:52 pm
     
    6:40 pm @   Ari
  • Uribe goes 3-for-4 with a 2-run homer
    Juan Uribe finished 3-for-4 with a two-run homer in Thursday's 7-3 loss to the Phillies.

    Advice: One of Uribe's singles was a freebie, with Freddy Galvis inexplicably putzing around on a routine grounder to short and throwing late. After a hot start to the season that featured literally zero walks, the veteran third baseman entered play this evening in a 1-for-17 slump. Uribe still owns an atrocious 22/2 K/BB rate, but his .333/.344/.563 slash line has been a nice early surprise. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 10:50 pm
     
    7:10 pm vs   Col
  • Ten hits doesn't sink Kendrick vs. Dodgers
    Kyle Kendrick coughed up 10 hits but escaped serious danger in allowing two runs over 5 2/3 innings Thursday in a no-decision victory against the Dodgers.

    Advice: The right-hander whiffed two and walked one. Los Angeles wasn't impressed with Kendrick's stuff, but the 29-year-old danced around flames effectively (and, of course, had Jacob Diekman do it for him with two runners in the sixth). That is, outside of Juan Uribe's two-run homer in the fourth. Kendrick, 0-2 with a 3.52 ERA through five starts, will be looking for that first victory against the Mets on Thursday. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 10:48 pm
  • Haren logs another quality start on Thursday
    Dan Haren surrendered three runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and two walks over six innings in a no-decision Thursday against the Phillies.

    Advice: The 33-year-old struck out seven in continuing his strong opening month. Haren has collected quality starts in four of his first five outings for the Dodgers. Los Angeles, which made a reasonable $13 million bet on Haren this winter, is 5-0 in those starts. The veteran Haren, now 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA, should conclude an eye-opening April on a positive note Wednesday in Target Field against the Twins. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 10:47 pm
     
    7:10 pm vs   Col
  • Donaldson's two homers power A's to victory
    Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with two walks, a double, and two home runs as the Athletics routed the Astros 10-1 on Thursday.

    Advice: A monster game for Donaldson, who broke out as one of baseball's best-hitting third basemen last season. He took a Brett Oberholtzer pitch out to the train tracks at Minute Maid Park for a two-run shot in the first inning, and then victimized Anthony Bass with a two-run blast in the seventh inning. Donaldson now has six home runs and a .910 OPS in 105 plate appearances. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 9:08 pm
     
    5:10 pm @   Hou
  • Callaspo goes yard for the 3rd time as As win
    Alberto Callaspo went 1-for-5 with a two-run home run as the Athletics defeated the Astros on Thursday.

    Advice: Callaspo took Brett Oberholtzer deep in the third inning for his third homer of the season. Callaspo has finished with 10 home runs exactly in each of the last three seasons, so his three in the early going is a nice surprise for the A's. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 9:05 pm
  • Lowrie's big game adds to A's scoring surge
    Jed Lowrie went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and an RBI as the Athletics beat the Astros on Thursday.

    Advice: Lowrie has been an on-base machine to start the season. In 99 plate appearances, Lowrie's on-base percentage is a cool .439. Though he didn't draw any on Thursday, his 18 walks tie for the third-most in baseball. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 9:03 pm
     
    5:10 pm @   Hou
  • Kazmir improves to 3-0 with six sharp innings
    Scott Kazmir improved to 3-0 after allowing one run over six innings in Thursday's start against the Astros.

    Advice: Kazmir had some first-inning control issues, but was otherwise sharp. The lefty allowed five hits, walked two, and struck out seven in the effort. He has a 1.62 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, and has five quality starts in as many opportunities to start the season. Kazmir will face the Rangers in his next outing. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 8:55 pm
  • Brendan Ryan (back) a week away
    Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday that Brendan Ryan (back, hamstring) is about a week away from being activated.

    Advice: Ryan has been playing in extended spring training games for a week, though he had a mini-setback earlier this week when his hamstring tightened up on him. However, it sounds like he's back on track and will rejoin the Yankees in early May. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 6:19 pm
     
    Disabled List
    4:05 pm vs   LAA
  • Chase Headley leaves with right calf injury
    Chase Headley left Thursday's game against the Nationals with a right calf strain.

    Advice: It's the same injury he dealt with for nearly a month during spring training. The severity of the strain isn't known yet, but it sure seems like something that will probably send him to the disabled list. Alexi Amarista took over at third base for Headley on Thursday. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 4:51 pm
  • Chase Headley exits with possible knee injury
    Chase Headley left Thursday's game against the Nationals in the second inning with a possible knee injury.

    Advice: Headley appeared to tweak his knee as he came out of the box during a flyout in the top of the second inning, and he didn't take the field for the bottom of the frame. The Padres should provide an update on the third baseman's status before long. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 4:30 pm
  • McGowan will remain in rotation
    Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Thursday that Dustin McGowan will make his next scheduled start.

    Advice: McGowan gave up six runs in four-plus innings Wednesday against the Orioles and now holds a 6.88 ERA through four starts. The oft-injured 31-year-old has admitted that he's dealing with a bit of fatigue, so he might not be long for the rotation if he continues to struggle. On a related note, Gibbons has considered the possibility of using a sixth starter to give the rotation some extra rest. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 1:41 pm
  • Daisuke Matsuzaka picks up first save
    With Kyle Farnsworth getting the day off, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched a perfect ninth for his first major league save on Thursday.

    Advice: Matsuzaka had no problem maintaining the Mets' three-run lead in the ninth. It was his second ever save, the first coming back in Japan in 2000. He's allowed one run and two hits in 5 1/3 innings since his callup last week. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 1:29 pm
  • Starling Marte goes 0-for-4 in loss
    Starling Marte went 0-for-4 with two more strikeouts Thursday in the loss to the Reds.

    Advice: Marte leads the majors with 35 strikeouts, which is pretty ridiculous for someone with such modest power. On the plus side, he has walked more, with eight in 23 games so far. Last year, he had a 138/25 K/BB in 135 games, yet he was still a productive leadoff hitter anyway. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 12:53 pm
     
    5:15 pm @   StL
  • Billy Butler goes hitless from third spot
    Shifted in the lineup yet again, Billy Butler went 0-for-4 as the Royals' No. 3 hitter in Thursday's loss.

    Advice: To put it mildly, Ned Yost's latest attempt to juggle the lineup didn't have a quick payoff. Norichika Aoki, Eric Hosmer, Butler and Alex Gordon all went hitless from the top four spots in the lineup. Omar Infante, who had been batting second in between Aoki and Hosmer, went 1-for-3 and scored the team's lone run from the fifth spot. Butler's average tumbled back down to .196. He's still without a homer in 77 at-bats this year. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 11:41 am
     
    4:05 pm @   Bal
  • Billy Hamilton not in Reds' lineup Thursday
    Billy Hamilton is not in the Reds' starting lineup on Thursday afternoon versus the Pirates.

    Advice: Chris Heisey is getting the start in center field. Hamilton has hit safely in seven of his last eight games, tallying seven stolen bases in that span. The 23-year-old speedster should be back in action Friday in Atlanta. Rotoworld.com
    Yesterday, 7:10 am
     
    4:35 pm @   Atl
  • Dustin McGowan gives up six runs to O's
    Dustin McGowan was tagged for six runs in four-plus innings by the Orioles on Wednesday.

    Advice: McGowan says he's healthy, but he talked after the game about hitting a wall after 60-65 pitches. If it continues, the Jays might figure they're better off with him in the bullpen. He's currently carrying a 6.88 ERA through four starts. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 8:32 pm
  • Hamilton has two more hits in Reds' win
    Billy Hamilton went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored as the Reds defeated the Pirates on Wednesday.

    Advice: The Reds attempted five stolen bases against Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton and catcher Chris Stewart, but Hamilton was shockingly not part of the attack. Hamilton has now hit safely in seven out of his last eight games as he attempts to put his early-season struggles behind him. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 7:58 pm
     
    4:35 pm @   Atl
  • Collins: 'no question' Dice-K could close
    Mets manager Terry Collins said there's "no question" Daisuke Matsuzaka could close games for the Mets if needed.

    Advice: It's not needed at this point, as Kyle Farnsworth appears to be alright, but it's interesting to know his name could be in the conversation should Farnsworth falter. Matsuzaka has been pitching in relief since being recalled on April 16, allowing one run over four innings while striking out six. He's a long way from finishing games for the Mets, but he's at least a name to keep in the back -- the very back -- of your mind. Rotoworld.com
    Wednesday, 3:16 pm
  • Headley's homer gives Padres extra-inning win
    Chase Headley's 12th inning home run helped lead the Padres to a 2-1 win over the Brewers on Tuesday.

    Advice: The third baseman finished the game 2-for-4 with a walk. Facing Alfredo Figaro in extra innings, Headley deposited a pitch well over the right-center field wall to give his club the lead and, eventually, the win. Despite the heroics, it was just Headley's second home run of the year, and he has only seven RBI through 18 games. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 9:29 pm
  • Butler, 2-for-4, continues climb out of slump
    Billy Butler went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored in Tuesday's win over the Indians.

    Advice: Butler was ice cold to start the season, but has picked it up as of late, with three multi-hit games in his last four outings. If he keeps it up, it won't be too long until his OPS gets back over .600. He's at .538 now. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 8:16 pm
     
    4:05 pm @   Bal
  • Hamilton swipes his eighth bag of the season
    Billy Hamilton went 2-for-5 with a run scored and a stolen base as the Reds defeated the Pirates on Tuesday.

    Advice: Much was made of Hamilton's early-season struggles, but he had hits in five consecutive games prior to Monday's 0-for-5 performance. He's also up to six stolen bases in as many attempts in his last six games. Rotoworld.com
    Tuesday, 6:59 pm
     
    4:35 pm @   Atl
  • Ruiz busts out of slump with homer, 2 doubles
    Carlos Ruiz broke out in Monday's win against the Dodgers, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, a homer, two runs scored and four RBI in a 7-0 win.

    Advice: Between Cliff Lee's eight shutout innings and Ruiz's Mike Piazza impersonation in the cleanup slot, Philadelphia didn't need more than their battery duo to dispatch the Dodgers easily. Ruiz entered this contest with an ugly .204/.328/.286 slash line. In those 49 at-bats, he'd managed zero RBI, four doubles and zero homers. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 10:25 pm
     
    6:40 pm @   Ari
  • Billy Butler goes 0-for-4 in loss
    Reintroduced to the cleanup spot, Billy Butler went 0-for-4 in Monday's loss to the Indians.

    Advice: It probably doesn't matter much; Salvador Perez, who was batting cleanup in Butler's place, went 0-for-4, too. Maybe the Royals really should bat Alcides Escobar fourth. OK, no, not really, but Butler has looked terrible and Perez is in quite a funk now, as well. Rotoworld.com
    Monday, 7:25 pm
     
    4:05 pm @   Bal
  • Donaldson homers among three hits in victory
    Josh Donaldson went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in the Athletics' 4-1 win over the Astros on Sunday.

    Advice: Donaldson hit a two-run blast, his fourth home run of the season, in the first inning. He followed with two doubles in his next three at-bats, including an RBI double in the ninth inning. The 28-year-old scuffled to start the year, but he's proving that his breakout 2013 season was no fluke with his recent hitting. Rotoworld.com
    Sunday, 5:13 pm
     
    5:10 pm @   Hou
  • Jed Lowrie scores twice in win over Astros
    Jed Lowrie went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in Sunday's win over the Astros.

    Advice: Lowrie scored the first and last runs of the game, giving him 14 on the year. That's good for fifth in the American League. Lowrie also walked in the game, giving him 16 through 18 games. When healthy, Lowrie is proving to be one of the better offensive shortstops in the game. Rotoworld.com
    Sunday, 5:02 pm
     
    5:10 pm @   Hou
  • Billy Butler expected to move back to cleanup
    Billy Butler is expected to move back to the cleanup spot in the Royals lineup on Monday.

    Advice: While Butler has struggled to the tune of .213/.286/.230 on the season, he does have three hits in seven at-bats since being demoted in the lineup, so the shakeup appears to have done some good. Salvador Perez has gone hitless in two games since the switch though and doesn't look comfortable in the fourth slot, which could be the reason for the switch back. Rotoworld.com
    Sunday, 2:39 pm
     
    4:05 pm @   Bal
  • Carlos Ruiz getting the day off
    Carlos Ruiz is not in the Phillies' lineup Sunday.

    Advice: It's just a routine day of rest. Wil Nieves will catch Roberto Hernandez on Sunday. Rotoworld.com
    Sunday, 9:18 am
     
    6:40 pm @   Ari
  • Brendan Ryan (back) suffers setback
    Brendan Ryan (back) was limited to six at-bats during a simulated game Saturday due to a tight hamstring.

    Advice: Ryan was playing in his first game since March 4. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it was "a little bit" of a setback for the infielder and seemed skeptical Ryan would be activated by the end of next week as originally hoped. "I don't know now," Girardi said. "We'll see how he feels next week. For that to happen, we'd have to push him a little bit. But we'll see." Rotoworld.com
    Sunday, 7:08 am
     
    Disabled List
    4:05 pm vs   LAA
  • Scott Kazmir returned to action on Saturday April 19. Rotoworld.com
    Sunday, 12:32 am