Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/7

Zach here,

Welcome to the first 2014 season installment of my two-start pitcher series. Each Friday, in an effort to help out those of you in weekly lineup leagues, I’ll be discussing several of the following week’s two-start pitcher candidates before making a final determination as to whether you should pitch them or ditch them. Note that I will be focusing on the not so obvious options. I don’t need to advise you to pitch Max Scherzer next week or to ditch Brett Oberholtzer for his pair of starts @TOR and @TEX. Also keep in mind that my decisions are mainly geared towards standard 12-team mixed leagues.

Alright, let’s get started!


Jose Quintana (@COL, vs. CLE)

Quintana was decent in his season debut, as he whiffed eight and though he gave up five runs, three of those runs were unearned. The 25-year-old is coming off a very strong first full season in the big leagues, and I like him a lot for 2014. In fact, I like him so much that I’ll say pitch here, even though Coors Field will be the venue for one of his starts.

Tim Hudson (vs. ARI, vs. COL)

Hudson owners could not have possibly asked for anything more from the veteran righty in his season debut, as he blanked the D-Backs over 7 2/3 innings and even punched out seven. Now look, it would be silly to expect anything close to a strikeout per inning going forward, but another season of top-notch ratios would not at all be surprising. Even at 38 years of age, Hudson remains a highly effective big league pitcher, and at this point in his career, he is one of the most underrated and underappreciated hurlers in the game. With two home dates on tap for next week, he’s an automatic pitch. Actually, I see him as an automatic pitch regardless of the matchup, at least for the time being.

MLB: Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles

John Lackey (vs. TEX, @NYY)

Lackey was without question one of last season’s biggest starting pitching surprises, as he triumphantly returned from missing an entire season due to Tommy John surgery to post the lowest WHIP of his career and his lowest ERA since 2007. At 35, he’s getting up there in age, but he can handle any lineup when he’s on his game. Lackey will face a tough challenge next week, but I think he’s up for the task.

Dan Haren (vs. DET, @ARI)

Haren is a longtime personal favorite, so I made sure to draft him in multiple leagues this year. After a brutal start to last season, he settled down in the second half, and I consider the Dodgers to be a great fit for him. Sure enough, he dominated in his season debut, though @SD is a very favorable matchup. These matchups aren’t too friendly, and in a shallow mixed league, I’d totally understand if you opt to take the conservative route and sit this out. But in a 12-team mixed, I’ll roll the dice on Haren in hopes that the 2014 version is closer to the pitcher who registered a 3.52 ERA and 1.02 WHIP following the All-Star break last year than the pitcher who toiled in mediocrity for much of the 2012 season and the first half of the 2013 campaign.

Bartolo Colon (@ATL, @LAA)

This one is a tough call, as Colon was rather shaky in his inaugural outing as a Met, notching a quality start but serving up two homers in the process. The good news is that he continued to display his pinpoint control, not issuing a single free pass in his six innings of work. Honestly, I don’t know what to expect from Colon this year. He should remain a quality mixed league option, especially in light of his move to the NL. On the other hand, he will turn 41 in May. These matchups are a bit scary but I’d lean towards pitching Bartolo, as control guys tend to perform well against any lineup as long as they effectively pound the zone. But Colon is my least confident Pitch.


Tyson Ross (@CLE, vs. DET)

Ross put forth a mediocre performance in his first outing of 2014, and I’m not crazy about the four walks in five innings. But the Dodgers’ lineup is a tough one to face, and at least he racked up seven strikeouts. I said pitch on Ross for the @CLE start, but the vs. DET matchup would scare me off for two-start pitcher purposes. Outside of very deep mixed leagues or NL-only formats, I’m ditching.

MLB: Spring Training-Philadelphia Phillies at Baltimore Orioles

Ubaldo Jimenez (@NYY, vs. TOR)

If you’re thinking about chasing strikeouts by pitching Ubaldo next week, forget it. Though he was decent against the Red Sox on Wednesday, this guy is way too combustible to trust outside of very favorable matchups. And these matchups are far from favorable, even if the Jays’ lineup is a lot less intimidating without Jose Reyes.

Tanner Scheppers (@BOS, vs. HOU)

Making his first career big league start this past Monday, Scheppers received a rude awakening as the Phillies lit him up for seven runs over four innings. Fresh off a dominant season as a late-inning reliever, he certainly carries plenty of upside, and the move to the rotation could work out just fine. But for now, I’m benching Scheppers unless the matchup is particularly appealing. The vs. HOU matchup is particularly appealing. The @BOS matchup has disaster written all over it.


10 team H2H 15×15 unlmtd keeper – Need pos.plyr ; which SP would you drop;
(SP & Fangraphs stats).Thanks in advance,RK ……..James Paxton (2013+2014 Pitch Type Totals; FB% 66.7% (94.9), CUT% 2.9% (90.1), CB% 16.6% (82.4), CH0.86% 9.9% (87.4) and 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 2.44 & 2.00 ) ;……..Zack Wheeler (2013+2014 Pitch Type Totals; FB% 50.9 %, SL%15.9 %, CB% 10.0% (77.5), CH% 3.6% (86.9) and 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 1.30 & 1.00 );……..Danny Salazar (2013+2014 Pitch Type Totals; FB% 65.7 %, CUT% 0.1 %, SL% 11.5 %, CH%, 18.0 % and 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 0.86 & 0.44 );……..Matt Moore (2013+2014 Pitch Type Totals; FB% 64.5% (93.5), CB% 18.0% (81.4), CH% 17.5% (84.8) and 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 0.93 & 1.00 )………..Current WAR; James Paxton 0.8, Zack Wheeler 0.6 , Danny Salazar 1.1, Matt Moore 4.6. On WAR Moore seems safe but I read he had a lucky 2013 BABIP so expect regression, Whats your take?

Oops, 1st comment messed up ……………….10 team H2H 15×15 unlmtd keeper – Need pos.plyr ; which SP would you drop;.James Paxton, Zack Wheeler, Danny Salazar, or Matt Moore…Thanks in advance,RK….(Fangraphs stats)……James Paxton (2013+2014 Main Pitch Type Totals; FB% 66.7% (94.9), CB% 16.6% (82.4), CH% 9.9% (87.4), 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 2.44 & 2.00);……..Zack Wheeler (2013+2014 Main Pitch Type Totals; FB% 71.2% (94.4), SL% 15.2% (87.1), CB% 10.0% (77.5), 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 1.30 & 1.00 );……..Danny Salazar (2013+2014 Main Pitch Type Totals; FB% 68.7% (95.9), SL% 10.4% (86.7), CH%, 20.9% (85.3), 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 0.86 & 0.44 );……..Matt Moore (2013+2014 Main Pitch Type Totals; FB% 64.5% (93.5), CB% 18.0% (81.4), CH% 17.5% (84.8), 2013 &14 GB/FB Ratios 0.93 & 1.00 );………..Current WAR; James Paxton 0.8, Zack Wheeler 0.6 , Danny Salazar 1.1, Matt Moore 4.6. ……. On WAR Moore seems safe to exclude but I read he had a lucky 2013 BABIP so expect regression. Whats your take on all this?….(and a delete own comment button w/b helpful)


I’d drop Paxton. I just don’t consider his upside to be as high as the other three. He also still needs to cut down on his walks.


So…guess it’s time to put Kemp back in the lineup huh? Yowzer! I’m also a Strasburg owner who is a little bit worried, mainly because I drafted David Price last year. If you remember, Price struggled early, went on the DL, and didn’t give me anything until the second half after destroying my ERA and WHIP. Because of that I’m nervous. Maybe I’ll set Strasburg down for a start to see if he gets better?

I never bench my aces. It’s a longstanding personal rule.


10 tm, h2h, i need a CI now that Will Middlebrooks is on the DL. Is me giving up Greinke for Rizzo sound like a fair deal?

My Sp is Cobb, Wood, Liriano, Bumgarner, Sale, Wilson, Greinke, and Salazar. Plus there are a lot of Sp on the wires like Tillman and so on. Also, thoughts on Eovaldi?

Is Greinke worth teading for Carlos Santana?


You certainly have enough SP depth to swing a deal, but if you’re trading an ace like Greinke, I think you can do better than Rizzo, who carries a ton of potential but is still rather unproven at the big league level. Liriano or even Cobb for Rizzo seems like a better (and fairer) deal for you.

I like Eovaldi. I think he has the potential to soon become a mixed league worthy SP who you can feel comfortable pitching in most matchups.


I received two offers involving my 2B Dustin Pedroia. The first trade I am giving Pedroia and Starlin Castro for Troy Tulowitski. The second trade I am giving up Pedroia for Hanley Ramirez. Its a 12 team H2H league. My team consist of:

Jonathan Lucroy Mil – C,1B
Víctor Martínez Det – 1B
Dustin Pedroia Bos – 2B
Evan Longoria TB – 3B
No new player Notes
Starlin Castro ChC – SS
Casey McGehee Mia – 1B,3B
Matt Holliday StL – OF
Austin Jackson Det – OF
No new player Notes
Mike Trout LAA – OF
Brett Gardner NYY – OF
Will Middlebrooks Bos – 3B (DL)


I like the Pedroia for Hanley trade. Not a fan of the first deal though.


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