Jake Westbrook - Why aren't people making a bigger deal about one of MLB's ERA leaders hitting the DL? Oh, right, because it's Jake Westbrook. The Cardinals are saying Westbrook will only miss a couple of starts with a minor elbow injury, but it shouldn't really matter to anyone outside of NL-only leagues. Westbrook is not a good pitcher by any stretch of the imagination, and his ERA/xFIP discrepancy (1.62/4.43) is one of the largest in baseball. Westbrook gets a lot of groundballs, but the kind words stop there. His control is below-average, and his strikeout ability is worse than that. That Westbrook is unowned and wasn't even picked up as a spot-starter against the Cubs last week in both of my mixed expert leagues says a lot about the quality of pitcher he is.
John Gast - Gast will be called up to replace Westbrook in the rotation this week and is slated to face the Mets and Brewers before he's likely to be sent back down. If you haven't heard of Gast before, don't feel bad; he's an afterthought of a prospect, especially in a system littered with elite hurlers like those kicking around St. Louis' system. His pitchability is good, but his stuff should be described as no better than solid. He's a backend starter at best, and with one good and one bad matchup this week, he can safely be left on the waiver wire in all but deep NL-only leaguers where starts themselves have value.
Tim Lincecum - Lincecum's struggles are storied, but he finally turned in an effort that fantasy owners can be proud of last night, going seven shutout frames while striking out seven and allowing just two hits... and against Atlanta, no less. He's underperformed his peripherals for over a year now amidst a myriad of concerns--declining velocity, diminished command, possible mechanical issues, among others--but the smart money is still in believing Little Timmy is at least a 3.75 ERA pitcher. I may live to regret it, but I'd advise buying Lincecum off of whatever owner drafted him hoping that he'd return as the $25 stud he was just two seasons ago.
Justin Ruggiano - Ruggiano went 2-for-4 with a solo homer in a losing effort to Los Angeles last night, but the bigger story is the quietly effective campaign Ruggiano is putting together to follow-up a breakout 2012. On draft day, pundits were split between thinking Ruggiano was the real deal or a flash in the pan after organization-filling for the better part of a decade. He has good raw power, though, and his seven home runs to date hardly seem like a mirage. There was no way his .401 BABIP was going to carry into 2013, but his current .259 mark seems far too low given his history of high BABIPs in the minors and his ability to drive the ball. I'd expect his average to settle in somewhere in the .260-.270 range, making him an undervalued asset for mixed leaguers given his power/speed combo.
There are over 100 player news blurbs posted in the member area each morning. Members can read the rest of today's player news by clicking here. Not a member? Join today.