Pedro handled a pretty tough matchup against the Rangers offense with ease on Sunday, giving up just 1 ER over 6 innings on 6 hits and 1 BB while striking out 4. I mentioned last week that Pedro’s first couple starts off the DL were a bit misleading and the actual peripherals were better than the results would indicate. Pedro’s continued to throw strikes, walking just 4 in his 17 innings and throwing 63.4% of his pitches for strikes since his return. He’s also yet to allow a HR and has shown a solid K Rate, striking out 11 in 17 innings (.65). While Pedro certainly isn’t the old dominant version, he’s still pretty darn good. The strong control and solid K Rate will make Pedro a nice mid-rotation starter in traditional formats and a good #2 starter in NL only formats.
After a torrid start to the season that was largely luck-driven, Owings luck has completely reversed course. On May 3rd, our own Mike Leone, wrote about Owings good fortunes early in the season in both his BHIP% and his Strand Rate which was exacerbating some of the real improvements he had made early in the season and making him look like a Cy Young candidate (when in reality he’s just a much improved back-end starter). Since that start both indicators have gone in the complete opposite direction. Heading into yesterday’s start, Owings Strand Rate sat at .67 and his BHIP% was up to .292. This was before the dreadful outing in which Owings allowed 6 more 1B’s (8 hits in total) and saw 7 of the 10 base-runners he allowed, cross home plate. Owings has made legitimate improvements in his K Rate and all of his other peripherals look in line so expecting a bounce back in his ERA and his WHIP (thanks to some better luck) wouldn’t be out of line. The improvements aren’t drastic, but he should be able to post an ERA around last year’s 4.30 and a WHIP around 1.30. He reminds me a lot of John Maine, just pitching in a worse ball-park and he should be treated similarly. Now would be a good time to make a play for Owings, especially in deeper formats where he’s a nice #3 or #4 fantasy starter.
As a Cubs fan, I always have had a soft-spot for Ricky Nolasco as he was a pretty highly regarded pitching prospect in the Cubs organization before being shipped to the Marlins as the centerpiece of the horrible Juan Pierre trade. So when I saw Sunday’s line I had a hard time holding a smile back. Nolasco mowed down 12 Rays in 8 2/3 innings while allowing 2 ER’s on just 6 hits and 1 BB. Of course that smile was quickly wiped off my face when I saw that Freddy Gonzalez in all his genius decided to leave Nolasco in for 132 pitches! There’s likely to be some residual effects in Nolasco’s next start (which will come in Oakland) but long-term does Nolasco make much sense? Outside of yesterday’s outing he’s really not striking out a ton of batters (though the K Rate has steadily risen each month .51/.74/.85 and the BB Rate, which was one of Nolasco’s stronger suits in the minors .30, has finally come down in June (.25). In fact if you take out Nolasco’s two starts against the Braves, who really seem to have his number, he’s posted a 3.47 ERA on the season. Not bad at all. While I worry a bit about the residual effects of a 132 pitch outing, especially in Nolasco’s next start, I’ve always liked him as a prospect and felt he was a bit underrated. The steady progress in his peripherals suggests he might be “figuring it out” at the major league level. At this point he’s a bit of a speculative add in mixed formats but one that certainly warrants consideration as his improvements have also come against some strong offenses (PHI twice, TB, ARZ, NYM).
12 1/3 innings, 12 ER’s, 16 Hits, and a not-so-shiny 3:10 K:BB Ratio make it likely that Homer Bailey’s stay at the major league level won’t be an extended one. The timing of Bailey’s call-up didn’t help much as he was forced to face PHI, STL, and BOS, three of the more patient lineups in all of baseball, not exactly playing to Bailey’s strengths. As I mentioned a few times before his call-up and thereafter I’m not a big Bailey fan and have held off on adding him in any format in either of the last two years he’s come up. The hype and “stuff” hasn’t matched the minor league results and this year’s minor league results don’t show any improvement. Given the schedule and Bailey’s command issues this seemed like a call-up destined for failure.
With Omar Vizquel returning from injury, Burriss’ playing time has been limited. Despite the limited time, Burriss has made an impact for fantasy owners in need of speed in deep NL only formats as he’s already swiped 6 bags despite having only 82 AB’s. Speed is the main asset for this youngster who has just 62 AB’s above A ball in his professional career and his current GB Rate of over 67% is helping him utilize his best asset, helping him hit .296 with a .271 BHIP%. He’s shown good contact skills (93% Contact Rate) leading to a good EYE .83 and he’s letting his legs do most of the work for him by putting the ball in play on the ground. A lot of good things to like for those in deeper formats as Burriss looks like a 20 SB candidate in limited time. There won’t be anything else of value to his game as his BA in limited AB’s won’t make much of an overall impact on your team, but as a MI in very deep formats you could do worse than finding an additional 10-15 SB’s for the rest of the season.
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