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Bits: Wandy Rodriguez struggles again

3/28/2011

Welcome back to Box Score Bits, our collection of game notes from around the big leagues. Posted Monday through Friday, this blog is usually posted early in the day, with its goal being not necessarily to cover the biggest news of the previous night. For instance, Felix Hernandez might toss a two-hit shutout and fan 14 hitters in a 1-0 win, but "The King" is owned in every league. You know he's good, and his status doesn't change much by even that gem. However, perhaps the pitcher he outduels is Texas Rangers lefty Derek Holland, who nearly matches him pitch for pitch. Now that's who you'll see noted in Box Score Bits, along with injuries and changes in value. We'll keep it short and sweet, just a few notes per night.

Here are Monday's Box Score Bits from the weekend games. At this late stage, the spring training box scores can foreshadow starting lineups, platoons, etc. Soon enough we'll get the real box scores; the games begin Thursday!

&#8226 Houston Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez is established in fantasy circles, but Sunday's pounding against the Detroit Tigers left him 0-3 with an 8.04 ERA and 1.91 WHIP this spring. Rodriguez struggled last March as well, and in May and June, but his second half bounce-back (2.11 ERA) proved his worth. Get him at a discount if possible.

&#8226 Trying to analyze the home run leaders of the spring? Jake Fox of the Baltimore Orioles and Michael Morse of the Washington Nationals each have nine. Nobody else has as many as seven. Fox and Morse prove why spring stats mean only so much. Morse has a starting job. He would have one even had he hit only two home runs. He's definitely standard league-worthy. Fox, meanwhile, is a reserve with little mixed-league value.

&#8226 Oakland Athletics closer Andrew Bailey is headed to the disabled list, and it could be a lengthy stay. Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour are likely to see save chances (in that order, based on experience). If you need saves, don't assume you can sign Fuentes as a free agent in May. He might have eight saves by then, with Bailey's return still questionable.

&#8226 After torturing fantasy owners -- and the Kansas City Royals -- for years, it looks like Alex Gordon could blossom. Gordon's home run on Sunday was his fifth of the spring; he's hitting .365 with 22 RBIs. He even has stolen four bases in seven attempts. I know we've been here before, but I've moved Gordon, an outfielder, into mixed-league consideration.