MLB In Full Bloom - Peralta Looks Promising - 4/17/2014

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Wily Peralta held the division-rival Cardinals to one earned run over 6 1/3 innings to help Milwaukee avoid a three-game sweep and remain atop the National League Central standings with a surprising 11-4 record. Peralta used both his off-speed pitches (splitter & slider) to induce 11 ground outs from the dangerous Cardinals lineup and he wound up fanning three batters in the Brewers’ 5-1 win. Peralta is now 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA through three starts this season and he has an attractive fantasy match-up next week against the Padres. His past control issues could derail the progress, but Peralta should be owned in all standard fantasy leagues for the time being.

MLB NEWS & NOTES

  • Masahiro Tanaka made his best start in the first half of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader with the Cubs. Tanaka gave up just two hits and one walk over eight scoreless innings while striking out 10 batters in New York’s 3-0 win. Tanaka is now 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA over his first 22 big-league frames and will face the Red Sox in his next outing, which will obviously be significantly more difficult than what he faced Wednesday against the Cubs.
  • Julio Teheran dominated the Phillies' lineup on Wednesday's night, shutting them out in a complete game effort to earn the win. Teheran allowed three hits (all singles), walked none, and struck out four. The Phillies made very weak contact against him all night long. Teheran has allowed two or fewer earned runs in each of his first four starts of the season, picking up where he left off in 2013. He'll face the Marlins next.
  • Cliff Lee was dominant in Wednesday's start against the Braves, but earned a loss despite allowing one run in a complete game on Wednesday. Lee's only mistake was an Evan Gattis solo home run in the fourth inning. Lee struck out 13, allowed 11 hits, and walked one and finished the game having thrown a career-high 128 pitches. He'll face the Dodgers in his next start.
  • Jose Fernandez bounced back from a rough outing by striking out 10 Nationals and posted a quality start on Wednesday, but he went without a decision after allowing three runs on four hits over seven innings. He left the game with the score tied 3-3 only to watch the bullpen let the game slip away. Fernandez cruised through the first five frames before Jayson Werth touched him up for a game-tying three-run shot. He'll face the Braves on the road in his next start.
  • Hanley Ramirez was not in the Dodgers lineup today against the Giants. This comes as no surprise after Ramirez was after being struck on the hand by a pitch in Wednesday's game. X-rays taken on his hand came back negative, but the extent of the setback remains uncertain, so he could miss additional time moving forward. Justin Turner got the start at shortstop in Ramirez's place. Fantasy owners need to continue to monitor Ramirez's status and be ready to get him out of your lineup this weekend. Stay tuned....
  • Chase Headley is day-to-day with a mild right biceps strain. He was scratched from the Padres' lineup Wednesday, and now we know why. Yonder Alonso was seen taking grounders at third base before the game, but Alexi Amarista started at third base on Wednesday.
  • Clayton Kershaw (back) threw a successful 35-pitch bullpen session on Thursday afternoon. He should begin facing live hitters by early next week and is on track to rejoin the Dodgers around mid-May.
  • Joe Kelly (hamstring) was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left hamstring strain. Kelly suffered the injury Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park while trying to leg out a ground ball to first base in the top of the fifth inning. He was sent back to St. Louis for an MRI and we should know the results of that test soon.
  • Jose Reyes (hamstring) is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays on Saturday in Cleveland. The weather does not look good for Friday's series-opener with the Indians, and the Jays don't want to risk Reyes returning to a cold and muddy infield.