Friday, September 21, 2012

Gearing Up: September 24-30

Got the Call
The Orioles called up Bundy for bullpen insurance after their 18-inning marathon against the Mariners on Tuesday. The key word here is insurance, as Bundy hasn't pitched yet and probably won't unless the O's get into another long game. He doesn't turn 20 until November and has thrown all of three games at Double-A. If everything broke his way Bundy could crack the Orioles rotation out of Spring Training, but I think mid-2013 is his best case ETA and 2014 might be a more realistic timetable. He's dynasty/A.L.-only material right now in leagues where you can stash.

Rising Up
Jake McGee (4% last week; 6% this week)
McGee is having a terrific year and is a great guy to stash in A.L.-only as a cheap middle relief option if he's available and if you can get him at a cheap salary. Fernando Rodney has a super favorable club option and is a mortal lock to be the closer again in Tampa next year, but 12 months ago the Rays owned a super favorable club option on Kyle Farnsworth and he seemed like a mortal lock to close in 2012. I doubt Rodney is going anywhere, but McGee is a worthy closer-in-waiting, and as we all know closers not named Mariano Rivera can go from stud to dud in the blink of an eye.

Rising Up
Kyle McPherson (0%/2%) @NYM, CIN
McPherson often gets lost in the shuffle because he's part of a pitching-rich pipeline with Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon, but McPherson is a solid pitcher in his own right. The Pirates shut him down to start 2012 due to shoulder inflammation, so McPherson didn't make his season debut until June. As he has done throughout most of his professional career, McPherson put up solid/strong results before getting the call in late August. The Pirates were using him out of the pen but McPherson made his first MLB start on Wednesday with iffy results. The gun said he was throwing 88-91 MPH. That's low for him, but it's the end of the season and McPherson could be tired. Or he could be gassed from moving from the rotation to the pen back to the rotation. I wouldn't judge him too much off of this one start. If you're playing for this year, this is a risky two-start pick-up. If you're playing for 2013, McPherson probably has a shot at cracking the Pirates' rotation but isn't a keep at $10.

Got the Call
I mentioned Familia almost in passing at the beginning of the month, but now there's a lot of chatter - on Rotoworld and elsewhere - that Familia might get a save opportunity or two before the season ends and could even be looked at as a closer for 2013. If you've been reading me on a regular basis you know my lukewarm feelings on speculating on future closers, but Frank Francisco is a shaky option (which is putting it extremely kindly). If you're going to speculate on a closer in waiting, at the very least do it in a weak/unsettled bullpen. If you have a spare FAAB dollar or two in N.L.-only, Familia is worth a throw. Of course, Familia's results in the bigs this year suck, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

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