Friday, June 29, 2012

N.L. Gearing Up: July 2-8

There are a couple of repeats here from previous pieces (namely Bauer and Rizzo), but they are certainly worth talking about again!

Trevor Bauer.
Bauer has arrived.  The good news for Bauer is that he is here to stay barring a complete collapse.  The bad news for Bauer is that he lacked control and location in his first start, and pitched through a groin injury.  The reality is, however, that Bauer is a true prospect, and demonstrated his abilities in AA and AAA this year, going a combined 11-1 with 116 Ks in 93 IP.

Ultimately, the question with Bauer is whether he is worth picking up if you are a contender.  I think the short answer is yes.  I expect Bauer to have some struggles, but his K rates are very good for 5x5 players, and, worst case scenario in a keeper league, you can move him for something of value.

Anthony Rizzo.
Rizzo has re-arrived.  He lit up AAA with a 1.101 OPS in 283 plate appearance this year, and finally earned a place in the Cubs lineup.  So far, he is 3-8 in the major leagues, and the key statistic is this: 1 K.  If Rizzo keeps the strikeouts down and exhibits some plate discipline, the sky is the limit for him.  There is no question here; I think you need to get him in any format, though his hitting could suffer as the Cubs lineup goes through its expected transition over the next month.

Bobby Parnell.
Parnell earned his first save of the season last night.  While Parnall has closing experience, and while I think he is the favorite to get time closing while Frank Francisco is out, he has struggled with his control in the role, and he is unlikely to hold it once Francisco returns.  As a stop-gap measure, however, I recommend adding him to the roster this week.

Michael Fiers.
Fiers continues to impress, and if he is not already taken in your league, it is time to add him to the roster and ride the wave (of course, five starts in is never good timing, but, well, better late than never).  The 31/5 K/BB ratio is impressive, and while he is a fly-ball pitcher and has only given up two home runs, his control and location are winning the day.  Expect a bit of regression, but I think he needs to be rostered.

Honorable Mention:

Travis Wood.
I wrote about Wood a few weeks back.  His talent is always intriguing, but he seems to have found a way to fall out of fantasy favor.  He is putting up decent numbers right now (aside from his debacle against the Padres in his second start), and seems to have picked up a little bit of pitching acumen.  He pitches against Houston on Sunday, and gets Johan Santana and the Mets next Friday.

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