In our daily fantasy baseball news and notes column, we'll be discussing hot topics in the fantasy baseball world, as well as offering up tidbits of information to help you set your lineup. Comments are welcome below.
Michael Pineda is a terrific pitcher, as evidenced by his 1.83 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, but he's also a brazen cheater. On Wednesday, Pineda was ejected from his outing against the Red Sox after the home plate umpire investigated the sticky goo smeared on his neck, which of course turned out to be pine tar. This comes only a few weeks after it appeared that he had pine tar on his hand against this very same team, which means that Pineda is either pretty new to this cheating thing or is the most flaunting cheater in recent memory.
Either way, it's not the greatest time in the world to be a Pineda owner. Not only did his owners only get 1.2 innings from him last night, he's likely going to be suspended for a start or two.
Still, Pineda owners need to be strong here. Ryan Braun and David Ortiz were also caught cheating, and those are guys are certainly beneficial to have on your fantasy team. It's going to require some patience to stick with Pineda while he's not doing anything for a couple weeks, but he's a terrific enough pitcher that he's worth rostering, suspension or not. And if he should be waived over the next few days, don't hesitate to make the add.
Again, he may be a cheater, but when he's not getting caught on live television, he can be a difference maker on your fantasy team.
For your consideration
• Don't look now, but Mike Moustakas may actually be turning his season around. The Royals third baseman hit a home run in his second straight game, and his fourth in eight games. His average still sits at a hideous .159, and it increasingly appears that that's a category you're going to have to disregard if you want to own him. Still, he has tantalizing potential, and while he might not be worth plugging in and playing just yet, he could rapidly be approaching that status. If you have a spot on your bench available, Moustakas makes for a justifiable flier right now. (And, of course, if he hits more home runs this weekend, it might be time for all standard leaguers to make the add.)
• Michael Morse went two-for-four with a pair of home runs and four RBI against Colorado Wednesday night, which was good to see after not doing much during the last two weeks. He still possesses better-than-average power, and you shouldn't sacrifice much in the way of batting average with him, making him a worthwhile play in mixed leagues.
• I'm not sure what happened to the real Aaron Harang, but the symbiotic organism going by the name of Aaron Harang had yet another unbelievable line on Wednesday. He went six innings, allowing only one run and striking out 11. Through five starts, his ERA sits at 0.85 and he has 33 strikeouts in 31.2 innings. We keep expecting the crash to happen, but Harang keeps rolling -- and he should keep rolling through his next start, against the Marlins. There's no reason for him to be sitting on your waiver wire.
• Ernesto Frieri blew a save against the Nationals, and his status as the Angels' closer is in serious jeopardy. He's allowed at least two base runners in each of his last five appearances, and his ERA and WHIP sit at a brutal 9.35 and 1.96 respectively. Mike Scioscia isn't one to jumble his bullpen, but his hands may be pressed unless Frieri starts pitching better. Joe Smith, who's pitched four straight scoreless innings, appears to be the next man in line for the job, and should be added pronto if Frieri can't pull himself together.
• Pedro Strop coughed up a run and failed to record a save for the Cubs against the Diamondbacks. Manager Rick Renteria has consistently asserted that he wants Jose Veras in the closer's role, and Strop isn't doing much to change that. His run as their interim ninth inning man is looking like it's going to be brief, rendering the whole situation a confusing mess that you're better off ignoring. (Hector Rondon, the one guy in their bullpen who could possibly excel in the closer's role, still hasn't gotten a chance to do it in the ninth inning.)
• Kyle Seager went 2-3 with a pair of home runs and 5 RBI. Seager has gotten off to an absolutely horrendous start, but he's a talented player who averaged 21 home runs and 78 RBI over his past two years, which aren't bad numbers at all from a third baseman. Hopefully his surge on Wednesday will help him return to respectability.
You can follow David Pincus on Twitter @Reetae_.