Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Jose Bautista out until Friday due to family matter

Tonight the Toronto Blue Jays were without right fielder Jose Bautista, who was excused due to a family matter.

"He has been excused from the club to attend to a family matter," [manager John] Farrell said, per Gregor Chisolm of MLB.com. "We do expect him back to rejoin the club when we open up in L.A. If for some unforeseen reason that were to change, hopefully he gets back to us sooner, but he is dealing with a family matter at this point."

With Bautista out tonight, Jayson Nix started at third base with Edwin Encarnacion moving to designated hitter. Juan Rivera was in right field.

Encarnacion, who has already made three errors this season, is expected to be "back at third base," according to Farrell.

Jordan Walden takes over as Angels' closer

Many people refuse to use high draft picks on closers in their fantasy baseball drafts.

Their primary belief is that many of the closers on opening day won't be the same guys closing for their teams by the end of the season, regardless of whether the loss of the role is due to injury, trade or poor performance. In other words , saves can be easily acquired by an astute owner that keeps a close eye on the league's waiver wire.

Less than one week into the 2011 season, we have Exhibit A in support of their argument: Fernando Rodney, now the Angels' former closer.

Rodney has been replaced by Jordan Walden as the team's closer and the move may or may not be temporary, according to manager Mike Scioscia.

"If it lasts all season and Jordan takes off and runs with it, fine," Scioscia said, per MLB.com's Lyle Spencer. "If it's Fernando, that's fine, too. We don't have to answer that today."

Appearing in three games so far this year, Walden, who is owned in roughly 30 percent (and rising) of Yahoo! leagues, has allowed no runs and struck out five in 2 1/3 innings.

Nelson Cruz hits home run in fourth straight game

Heading into tonight's game against the Mariners, Ranger teammates Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz each had a three-game homer streak to start the season.

Although Kinsler did not hit a home run tonight, Cruz did.

That means that Cruz joins Willie Mays and Mark McGwire as the only players in baseball history to begin a season with a home run in each of the first four games.

Last year, Cruz started hot as well as he hit a home run in four of his first five games to start the season.

Of course, the end of the season is more important than the start of the season for Cruz, who has missed a combined 88 games in the past two seasons.

Over the past two seasons, however, Cruz still managed to belt 55 home runs and steal 37 bases, which would be a 162-game pace of 37-25 as I noted in my fantasy outfielder rankings.