Summary Judgment: Fantasy Baseball Recap for May 31, 2013

This is the inaugural edition of a new feature here at Fantasy Judgment appropriately called Summary Judgment.  In the legal arena, summary judgment is a procedural device used in civil litigation when there is no dispute to the material facts of a case and one party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.  In the fantasy baseball arena, I will define it as a format to make conclusive observations about various players each day.  It will be short, sweet and to the point (in other words, the complete opposite of civil litigation).

1. Domonic Brown is for real.  After winning last week’s NL Player of the Week, Brown finished off an incredible month with two more homeruns giving him a league-leading 15 for the season.  It took a little longer than expected, but Brown is fulfilling his potential that has been projected for years.  He has clearly become the biggest force in the Phillies lineup and could put up 35 homeruns by the end of the season.

2. Be concerned about Cole Hamels, but do not sell low.  Hamels lost to the Brewers on Friday night to drop his record to an abysmal 1-9.  After signing a lucrative $144,000,000 contract in 2012, Hamels has been a disaster in 2013 despite occasionally being victimized by shoddy defense and poor run support.  However, his ERA ballooned to 4.86 and he just gave up the most hits he has ever surrendered in a game.  In his defense, he was victimized by four infield hits and he didn’t walk a batter.  There is much to be worried about, but don’t trade him just yet because his value is at an all-time low.  There is still plenty of time for him to turn things around so be patient.

3. Fragile phenoms.  Both Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper are dealing with injuries which is of great concern for the Nationals.  Harper has been dealing with a knee injury since last weekend and has yet to start in a game all week.  After missing Friday night’s game against the Braves, Harper could land on the DL.  In that same game, Strasburg was removed after two innings with an oblique strain.  The severity of that injury is still unknown, but it is highly likely the Nationals will continue to treat their star with pitcher with kid gloves and shelve him for a few weeks.

4. Bronx returns.  Coming off an embarassing four-game sweep at the hands of the Mets in the Subway Series, the Yankees had a complete change in fortunes on Friday night against the Red Sox.  C.C. Sabathia pitched a gem after struggling mightily for most of the season.  He struck out 10 batters for the first time in several years which is great news for fantasy owners.  Mark Teixeira finally made his season debut after missing the past several months with a wrist injury.  Despite going hitless with a couple strikeouts, Teixeira should provide a boost for fantasy owners who have stashed him all season. 

5. B.J. going down?  Get your minds out of the gutter.  Braves’ manager Fredi Gonzalez has indicated that it is internally being discussed sending outfielder B.J. Upton down to the minors to work out his hitting woes.  After signing the richest contract in Braves’ history, Upton has made Ike Davis look like Wade Boggs.  After being a heralded prospect, Upton never really has fulfilled the promise he once had.  But he certainly isn’t really this bad, is he?  Upton has no business being in a fantasy baseball starting lineup because he cannot even crack the Braves’ lineup right now.  But, do not drop him.  He had a strong second half in 2012 so there is some hope he can provide some value later in the season.

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