Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 8/12
Back with another installment of my weekly two-start pitcher notes. The special guest on today’s show was Steve Gardner of USA Today, so be sure to check out the podcast when it comes out later. Cory and JB will also discuss Car-Go, Wright and the Mets’ closer situation.
OK, onto my notes…
Miguel Gonzalez (@ARI, vs. COL)
Coming off two straight shaky outings, Gonzalez turned in a solid performance his last time out, on the road vs. the Padres, tossing six innings of three-run ball with eight strikeouts. These aren’t the greatest matchups in the world, but Miguel has been consistent enough this year (14-for-20 in quality starts) that I’m comfortable starting him in pretty much any two-start week.
Eric Stults (@COL, vs. NYM)
I don’t know, I still don’t fully trust Stults, but the results have been pretty darn good. Stults’ road ERA is more than two full runs higher than his home mark, and the fact that his road start next week comes at Coors Field is troubling. But the Rockies are without Car-Go and Stults actually pitched extremely well at Coors earlier this season (7 IP, 1 ER), which makes me feel a little better about this. And since he’s been lights out at home (5-2, 2.37 ERA, 0.93 WHIP), I think the Coors Field risk is worth it. Pitch.
Josh Johnson (vs. OAK, @TB)
Yeah, Johnson did a nice job in his latest start, on the road against the Mariners. But let’s face it, he only went five innings! Pitch efficiency has been an issue for him this season, particularly in his last few starts, and quite frankly, he’s been awful more times than not this year. These matchups are far from favorable, and to be honest, I’m at the point where I wouldn’t pitch Johnson regardless of the opponent. Let him be someone else’s problem. Ditch.
Hector Santiago (vs. DET, @MIN)
I’m a big fan of Santiago. I love the strikeout upside and overall, I view him as one of the more underrated pitchers in the game. Facing the Tigers is always a scary proposition, but Hector sports a quality 3.46 ERA in two starts vs. Detroit this year and has allowed three runs or less in nine of his last 11 starts. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, I’m definitely pitching Santiago. He’s a borderline call in shallower formats.
Danny Salazar (@MIN, @OAK)
We heard a lot about Wheeler. We heard a lot about Cole. But we didn’t hear much about Salazar prior to his big league debut. We probably should have, as through two starts (one made back in July as a rotation fill-in), Salazar has been awfully impressive. Two homers plagued him on Thursday night, but Salazar still whiffed 10 Tigers while pitching into the eighth inning. A 3.29 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and 17-to-2 K/BB ratio through 13 2/3 innings? What’s not to like? With one very favorable matchup and one so-so matchup on tap, I think you have to trot him out there. At least the @OAK matchup will be in a pitcher-friendly park.
Randall Delgado (vs. BAL, @PIT)
After piecing together back-to-back scoreless outings, Delgado has allowed four runs in each of his last two starts. He’s not a big strikeout guy, the vs. BAL matchup has blowup potential and the Pirates rank fourth in the NL in runs scored since the All-Star break. In deeper mixed leagues, maybe you take a chance on Delgado next week. But in 12-teamers, I’d rather play it safe. You would essentially be chasing wins here, and we all know how that usually turns out!
Jenrry Mejia (@LAD, @SD)
The schedule has been kind to Mejia thus far, but a 1.96 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 18-to-3 K/BB ratio are hard to ignore. He gets to pitch in a pair of favorable parks next week, and I love the @SD matchup. But the @LAD matchup is a bit too dangerous for my taste and Mejia’s track record is limited. To me, he’s a worthy NL-only play and borderline call in NFBC-style mixed leagues. In a 12-team mixed, I’d look elsewhere.
Garrett Richards (@NYY, vs. HOU)
I’m including Richards here because he’s allowed a combined five runs over his last three starts, spanning 18 innings, and because both of these matchups are promising. He’s a little risky, but as an under the radar play in deep mixed leagues, I actually like him slightly more than Mejia.