Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/6
Here’s the latest installment of my two-start pitcher notes for all you weekly leaguers. Remember that these are mostly geared towards 12-team mixed leagues. Be sure to check out today’s podcast as we’re joined by the one and only Ron Shandler! Cory and Ron will go over many of these two-start options in addition to answering a bunch of listener questions.
Andrew Cashner (vs. MIA, @TB)
Since making the move from the bullpen to the starting rotation a couple weeks ago, Cashner has been maddeningly inconsistent. At times, he has looked like a dominant strikeout machine, but he has also battled some control issues. His most recent outing, on the road vs. the Cubs (4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K), was by far his worst one, so it’s hard to fully trust him heading into next week. But the strikeout upside is real and the vs. MIA matchup is extremely appealing. And it’s not like the Rays (10th in AL in runs scored and 12th in AVG) are offensive juggernauts. Pitch.
Jarrod Parker (@CLE, @SEA)
There’s no denying that Parker has been a colossal disappointment so far, but his latest performance (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) was somewhat encouraging. Still, you can’t possibly like the 2.01 WHIP and 18-to-16 K/BB ratio. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’d take a chance on him next week as these matchups are far from scary. But if he fails to get the job done here, it might be time to consider cutting him in standard mixed leagues.
Bronson Arroyo (vs. ATL, vs. MIL)
Arroyo is a guy who on any given day could either toss a gem or turn in a disaster outing, and there’s simply no way to predict which Bronson will show up. For the most part, the good Arroyo has shown up this season, as he’s posted four quality starts in six tries. These matchups aren’t particularly unfavorable but they aren’t great either and Arroyo pitched significantly better on the road than at home last season. I guess the bottom line is that he makes me too nervous and I’d rather have someone else deal with the headache. Ditch.
James McDonald (vs. SEA, @NYM)
Another guy who frustrates his owners to no end, McDonald is sometimes nearly unhittable but sometimes has no idea where the ball is going. In 12-team mixed leagues, I’ll take the conservative route and ditch, and there’s a decent chance that he won’t even be making the @NYM start as the returns of Francisco Liriano and Charlie Morton might bump him out of the rotation. The Pirates will need to choose between McDonald and Jeff Locke for their fifth starter spot and Locke has been the far more effective pitcher so far.
Jorge De La Rosa (vs. NYY, @STL)
I’m bullish on De La Rosa going forward and he is 4-for-6 in quality starts, but the Dodgers roughed him up pretty good on Tuesday and the reality is that he missed nearly the entire 2012 season. Let him work out the kinks first before pitching him in mixed leagues. Oh yeah, and I don’t like these matchups at all. But keep an eye on him as he could resurface on the mixed league radar fairly soon.
Nick Tepesch (@CHC, @HOU)
Tepesch did a fine job in the Minors last year and has gotten off to an equally impressive start in his first big league season, registering a 3.54 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 18-to-5 K/BB ratio over his first five outings. And on paper, these matchups are very favorable. In a 12-team mixed, I’d understand if you’re a bit hesitant to pitch him due to the limited track record, unless you’re the gambling type, but in a 15-teamer and of course an AL-only, I think I’d give it a shot.
Brandon McCarthy (@LAD, vs. PHI)
On today’s podcast, Cory and Ron said to pitch McCarthy, and while I understand their reasoning, I need to preach what I practice (I think that makes sense?) and say that if I owned McCarthy in any league (and I don’t), I would not feel at ease starting him. Zero quality starts in six tries so far and an OK but not great strikeout rate. Both the Dodgers and Phillies have been erratic offensively but both lineups have the ability to put plenty of runs on the board. I just don’t have a good feeling about this.
Zach McAllister (vs. OAK, @DET)
I’m a fan of McAllister and he’s certainly gotten off to an exceptional start this year, but it’s been too exceptional. I think a stat correction is in order, and I think it’ll happen next week. The Tigers boast one of the more dangerous lineups in baseball and these aren’t your older brother’s Oakland A’s. They can actually hit now. I’ll follow the same approach with McAllister as with De La Rosa. Ditch but monitor closely.