Thursday, September 04, 2008

September Call-Ups: A.L. Pitchers

This is my second of a four part series looking at players who might be on reserve lists in deep A.L.-only leagues who are currently in the majors. I won't profile someone like David Price here, who might be up at some point, but will wait until he's called up and write about him in a FAAB log down the line.

Dana Eveland: After a quick run out of the gate, Eveland struggled mightily before the A's finally decided to send him down to Sacramento to work on his control and perhaps to allow him to build his confidence back up. Despite the high WHIP, Eveland's still a candidate to be a $10-12 pitcher next year in A.L.-only leagues and should be aggressively pursued by non-contenders in leagues where he's available. If you're contending, Eveland is probably a poor risk despite the solid numbers at Sacramento. Something has changed in his approach, as he isn't walking too many batters since his recall, but Eveland was very hittable tonight against a weak Royals line-up, and even a soft match-up isn't necessarily an automatic strong outing for Eveland going forward.

Keith Foulke: Is Foulke actually on the A's roster? Despite the team's overall struggles, their bullpen is pretty deep, and Foulke is currently buried behind a compliment of younger and more promising pitchers. Even in deep A.L.-only leagues, Foulke isn't worth it.

Dan Giese: Giese has put up some awesome numbers for the Yanks in his 39 1/3 IP to date, but the K/IP and G/F don't support his continued success. If you've seen Giese pitch, you'd be even more nervous about his chances going forward. Everything he throws is solid, but he doesn't have an out pitch and is likely to take a pounding sooner or later. He could wind up getting a spot start or two down the stretch and could be an OK wins play in a favorable match-up, but he's very, very risky.

Scott Linebrink: Linebrink was Ozzie Guillen's go-to guy behind Bobby Jenks before an injury put Linebrink on the DL; he was even mentioned as a fill-in closer while Jenks was batting back issues. At the moment, though, Linebrink seems like another face in the crowd in the crowded Sox pen. He could pick up a garbage win or two down the stretch, but with Jenks healthy and pitching well, I wouldn't count on Linebrink for anything more than decent ERA/WHIP numbers in limited innings.

Shaun Marcum: If Marcum's available in your league, it's because he's due to start on Saturday against the Rays in his first start back from the minors. Marcum is a no brainer to non-contenders but this is probably more of a reserve list vs. active roster decision in serious Roto leagues. I'd say keep Marcum reserved for now and try to find out how hard he's throwing against the Rays. If he's not at his sharpest, he's a homer-prone pitcher who is facing a good line-up and might get punished. When he's sharp, though, he's hard to hit - home runs or no - and is a potential Roto ace and probable Roto #2.

Dan Meyer: Meyer is written in as a spot starter tonight against the Royals. Even with the favorable match-up, Meyer shouldn't be owned. His command of the strike zone is poor, and it looks like he's never going to live up to the potential that got the A's so excited a long, long time ago.

Brandon Morrow: One of the most wonderful writers in the blogosphere that you've never heard of has a spectacular piece about what to expect out of Morrow's first major league start against the Yankees tomorrow night. If you read the piece, it will tell you what you already know: Morrow has potentially great stuff, and could be a poor man's Joba Chamberlain if everything shakes out right, but he's a work in progress making the tough in-season transition from relieving to starting. He's a high risk/high reward play that should be made if you're contending and desperate for ERA/WHIP while keeping in mind that the wins might not be there. If you're playing for next year, bid something to try and get him. He might not work out, but ate the very least he wouldn't be a bad chip to have this winter to dangle in trade to your youth-oriented opponents.

Troy Percival: Rotoworld speculated that the Rays lead in the wild card race is so big that they would have no problem simply handing Percival the ball in the 9th right away. I'm not so sure. Dan Wheeler's been effective and sometimes a manager simply wants consistency. I also think the Rays would prefer to win the division and get three games at home in the first round as opposed to two, since home field advantage is significant for this team. Working Percival into game shape for the play-offs in low leverage situations may very well be the priority here. He's worth grabbing, but keep in mind that he might not get the saves.

Ehren Wasserman: He's not worth owning in Rotisserie Leagues unless funky nomenclature is a category in your league.

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