Jason Vargas- LAA- Hot- Vargas has now tossed two straight quality starts and appears over the blood clot issue that landed him on the DL earlier this season. He threw 7 shutout innings yesterday, allowing just 2 hits and 3 walks while striking out 7. Vargas has experienced some good luck this year, as his FIP of 4.05 is more than half a run higher than his 3.54 ERA. There may be some regression to the mean in his last starts, but his strikeout ratio is improving, which might mitigate it some.
Jake Odorizzi- TB- Hot- Odorizzi had thrown quality starts in each of his last two outings at AAA but he wasn't quite able to turn the hat trick at the major league level. He still had a solid outing, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3 in 5 IP. Odorizzi posted a 3.33 ERA at AAA Durham this season in 22 starts, not far from his 3.45 FIP. He struck out nearly a batter an inning in the minors this season. The Tampa Bay rotation is still in a bit of flux, and Odorizzi may not get many more chances to pitch. He will be in a competition for the fifth spot with Roberto Hernandez and Jeremy Hellickson. Regardless of what happens the rest of this year, Odorizzi will be in the mix for 2014.
Greg Holland- KC- Hot- Holland earned his 36th save of the year and 29th in a row yesterday afternoon. He has recorded at least one strikeout in each of his last 12 appearances and has a K/9 ratio of 14.37. Holland owns a 1.38 ERA that is actually higher than his 1.15 FIP. He has dropped his BB/9 ratio from 4.57 last year to 2.42 this season. That is the main thing that has propelled him into the prime closer ranks.
Taijuan Walker- SEA- Rookie- Walker will start today for the Mariners and may not leave their rotation for years. He has 160 Ks in 141.1 IP at AA and AAA this season. Walker just turned 21 a couple of weeks ago and has been one of the youngest players in his league the last couple of seasons. His control suffered a little after he was promoted to AAA and he had a 4.24 BB/9 in 11 starts. Walker is a very high level prospect and should be a target in keeper leagues. In other leagues he still could provide strikeout help in the fantasy playoffs.
Luke Putkonen- DET- Rise Value- Putkonen was put to the test immediately on returning to the majors. He passed, throwing 2 scoreless IP and keeping the game close enough for Detroit to win a walk off. He has pitched very well in AAA this season, posting a 1.91 ERA, 2.22 FIP and 9.08 K/9. He has performed well in his previous call ups to the majors this season, although benefiting some from luck,with a 3.05 ERA, 4.29 FIP and 7.40 K/9 in 20.2 IP. Putkonen has the possibility to handle a set up role and could get some more chances down the stretch. That will position him for a more permanent 2014 bullpen spot if he can produce like he did today.
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