Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 4/10/12

Every morning we recap the previous night’s games, news and notes so that you’re up-to-date on everything baseball. As always you can follow us on Twitter (@BaseballProf) and like us on Facebook to get updated, fantasy-relevant news, tidbits and analysis.

1. To say that Tom Milone pitched to contact last night would be a massive understatement. His line was 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 K and it took just 93 pitches. Along with the zero strikeouts, Milone induced just three swinging strikes (3.2%) the entire game. That’s as many as Yoenis Cespedes‘ first at-bat. The good news is that he has a spacious home park to keep the ball in play and has great control of the strike zone. He should be a nice spot start pitcher this season. 

2. I am going to attribute Yu Darvish‘s rough first inning to nerves and stop overanalyzing the numbers. He settled down a bit after the 42-pitch inning and actually lasted long enough to record his first Major League win. His slider was by far his best pitch, going for strikes 65 percent of the time with a 30 percent whiff rate. I’m still buying that he can be a top-25 pitcher this season.

3. Barry Zito must be smoking some really good weed because apparently he thinks it’s still 2003. His 113-pitch complete game marked his first nine-inning complete game since August 30, 2005 and his first nine-inning complete game shutout since April 18, 2003. Zito walked none, struck out four and allowed just four hits. Why the success? Well, his average fastball was just 84 mph, the same as last year, but he threw his cutter 12.4 percent of the time (versus 4.8% last year). His cutter was pretty terrible last year, rating as -5.23 runs above average per 100 cutters thrown, but for his career it’s his best pitch on a per-100-pitches scale (1.00 RAA). I’m taking a chance on Zito in deep leagues. Maybe he’ll change the way he pitches, and that could yield success.

4. Cole Hamels finished with an interesting line Tuesday: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 9 K. It’s not very often pitchers mix extreme hittability (8 H) with swing-and-miss stuff (9 K). The start doesn’t change the way you should value Hamels in the least. If anything it’s actually kind of encouraging. Zero walks and nine strikeouts in just over five innings? Sign me up!

5. Let’s go to our fifth pitcher, Brian Matusz. While I’m not terribly worried that he struggled against the Yankees, I am worried about his pitch selection. His changeup is normally his best pitch and he only threw it eight times last night (8.3%). As a result, he left everything up in the zone. Maybe he didn’t have the feel for it as it only went for a strike 25 percent of the time, but if he’s going to be successful that changeup will have to be more involved in his repertoire.

6. Let’s talk hitting shall we? It’s not like I think you should rush to add Omar Infante after his two-homer game, but he’s always been a sneaky valuable middle infielder with a good batting average. There’s value there in deeper leagues, but for standard 10-team leagues he just doesn’t do enough.

7. Sell high candidate: Try shopping Cespedes out there and see what kind of interest you get from your leaguemates. Despite all the hype about the home runs, he’s still only 4-for-16 with nine strikeouts. Yes, that’s a 56.2 strikeout percentage. He’s Wily Mo Pena with job security.

8. Mat Gamel was showing off the wheels yesterday with a triple and a stolen base. Of course, Gamel went 0-for-2 against a proven MLB pitcher in Chris Volstad, but 2-for-2 against Shawn Camp and Lendy Castillo (combined 29.2 IP in MLB). Seeing as Gamel has never had a problem mashing minor league pitching I’m not rushing to call this a breakout performance.

9. Ian Kinsler does this every year; he’s great to start and great to finish as long as he’s healthy. Injuries can happen to anyone so I hate trading an injury prone player for a potentially “safer” one, but this is the time to find out if an owner is willing to pay top dollar.

10. Just to continue the wacky start to the season, Drew Storen suffered a setback and will now visit Dr. James Andrews (noooooooo) to get a second opinion. While it doesn’t seem like Tommy John surgery is in his immediate future, he could still miss around half the season to remove bone chips in his elbow. Either Brad Lidge or Henry Rodriguez would be in line for the saves, but there hasn’t been any indication on exactly who is the front-runner.

11. With Sergio Santos blowing his second save in as many chances, don’t be surprised if the Blue Jays turn to Francisco Cordero soon. If you have the bench spot or are desperate for saves, pick him up.

12. Go get B.J. Upton now. I said it in the preseason and I’ll say it again, but there’s nothing like a contract year to motivate a 27-year old who has all the talent in the world. You don’t think the Dodgers will shell out the big bucks if Upton can put together a big season? Upton is targeting a return around April 20-22 so start offering trades now.

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