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Bits: J.J. Hardy still a good buy-low option

5/7/2012

Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy homered twice among his five hits Sunday, raising his batting average from .187 to .217. Hardy remains a good buy-low option; he has six home runs on the season, after hitting 30 in 2011. With a .182 BABIP entering Sunday, the batting average will go up as well. Hardy enjoyed a big Sunday, he just wasn't the winning pitcher.

Boston Red Sox right-hander Clay Buchholz struggled again Sunday, allowing seven hits, four walks and five runs in 3 2/3 innings. His season ERA rose to 9.09, his WHIP to 2.02. Yes, Buchholz was terrific in 2010, winning 17 games with a 2.33 ERA, but he's not worth owning like this, not with more walks than strikeouts. He has allowed 10 home runs in five starts, one more than he allowed in 28 starts in 2010.

Cincinnati Reds outfielder Drew Stubbs homered among his three hits Sunday, scoring three runs and stealing his fifth base. Stubbs remains an enticing power/speed contributor, even as he hurts fantasy owners in batting average, and we can live with his current .262 mark. Stubbs also homered Friday and he drew a pair of walks this weekend, a third of his season total, hopefully a sign of better things.

Cleveland Indians right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez tossed seven shutout innings against the mighty Texas Rangers on Sunday, stopping a two-game losing streak. While it was nice to see Jimenez strike out six, it came with five walks. His season WHIP is 1.60. Jimenez might leave ESPN's most-dropped list soon, but he doesn't come recommended as a fantasy addition, not with control issues.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig homered and drove in three runs Sunday. Craig started four games this week after coming off the disabled list, knocking in runs in each game, seven in all. With Lance Berkman nearly ready to return from the DL, Craig will lose playing time, but he's still worth owning in deeper formats in case Berkman gets hurt again.

New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings Sunday. In two starts over the past week, Hughes fanned 13 against two walks, though he continues to give up home runs. Ignore Hughes in 10- and 12-team mixed leagues for now, but keep an eye on him if he continues to improve.