Friday, August 17, 2012

Gearing Up: August 20-26


Rising Up
Roberto Hernandez (2% owned last week; 4% this week@SEA
So wait, let me get this straight. You're telling me I can grab a pitcher that has never whiffed over six batters per nine as a starter and has only had an xFIP under 4.00 just once in his big league career as a free agent? And that he's not 28 years of age but really 31? And his minor league "rehab" consisted of strong results in A ball; middling results at AAA, and a big league start where he allowed eight runs (five earned) in six innings with two home runs allowed and no strikeouts? Wow! It's like winning the lottery and being granted eternal life all at the same time! Hernandez might be adequate, but this is a gamble I wouldn't take, even in A.L.-only and even with the favorable match-up this coming week in Safeco.

Will Smith (2%/4%) @TB, @BOS
A borderline prospect heading into 2012, Smith's greatest attribute was/is that he throws strikes. His stuff has been described as adequate/nothing special, so when the Royals promoted him right after the All-Star Break I paid Smith no mind. Since then he has been...well, not great, but solid. In six starts since then, Smith has three wins, a 3.69 ERA, and a little under six strikeouts per nine innings. Smith strikes me as a pitcher who is going to be on the razor's edge every time he pitches, but right now he's pounding the zone and getting outs. He's a streamer in A.L.-only, but I'd avoid for the two-start Tampa/Boston week coming up unless you really, really need wins.

Off the DL
Will he or won't he close? That's the big question if Bailey's a free agent in your mixed league and you're considering adding him. Marc Normandin reported that Bailey looked fine during his minor league rehab, but now Bailey hasn't pitched since a two batter appearance on Tuesday. I wasn't expecting Bailey to pitch back-to-back-to-back right off the DL, but I'd sure like to see him get more innings before adding him. In mixed, Bailey seems like a desperation play at the moment. Even in A.L.-only, if you've got salary cap concerns (and who doesn't have salary cap concerns in August?) then you won't want to take a guy with a $20-30 salary and stick him on your roster if he's just going to stay in middle relief.


Rising Up
Jason Marquis (10% owned last week; 14% this week) PIT
Marquis is a match-up pitcher mostly due to the powers of Petco, but even Petco hasn't done all that much to make him better. The ERA in Petco is much lower (3.72) than it is everywhere else (5.97) but Marquis is just about as prone to the long ball in San Diego as he is everywhere else. This makes him an OK streaming option, not a great one. He gets the Pirates this week in Safeco. Feel free to start Marquis in deeper mixed leagues if you don't have a better option. He might defy the odds and put up a strong outing in any venue (like he did in Pittsburgh a few starts back) but I'm not a fan of Marquis' body of work.

Tyler Chatwood (1%/3%) @NYM
Maybe there's something to like about Chatwood in the long-term. But in the Majors he has been a low strikeout pitcher with a penchant for giving up home runs. Yes, Chatwood generates the ground balls, but he's still too hittable for my taste. The Rockies' 75-pitch limit also makes any Rockies starter a poor wins candidate regardless of whether he's pitching at home or on the road. I suppose Chatwood is a "safe" enough pitcher in Citi Field this week, but I just don't like Chatwood for Roto.

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