Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 4/14
The theme for next week is simple. If you don’t already own a viable two-start pitcher candidate, don’t stress over finding one on the waiver wire, because there aren’t a whole lot of appealing options.
Now that I’ve hammered that point home, let’s take a look at some of the borderline calls.
Tim Lincecum (vs. LAD, @SD)
I own Lincecum in one of my leagues, and I’m already regretting it. Yeah, the strikeouts are nice, but the former Cy Young award winner is just too inconsistent from one start to the next, and he’s already served up four homers. I guess I can give him some slack as both of his starts this season have come against the Diamondbacks, a club that can score runs in bunches, but would you really feel comfortable starting Tiny Tim next week against the Dodgers? The @SD matchup is tempting though, and I’d pitch him for that one in a daily lineup league. But in a weekly, I’d play it safe and ditch for this pair of starts.
Jake Odorizzi (@BAL, vs. NYY)
Although owners in deeper mixed leagues and AL-only formats should have Odorizzi on their radar due to his stellar minor league track record and strong showing in limited big league action last season, I wouldn’t trust him yet in a 12-team mixed league. We’ve seen one dominant performance and one terrible outing from him thus far, and next week’s matchups are not favorable to say the least. Ditch Odorizzi for now, but don’t forget about him.
Brandon Morrow (@MIN, @CLE)
By now, it seems like we’ve been waiting forever for Morrow to break out, but a lot of the blame for his disappointing career can be attributed to injuries. The last time he pitched close to a full season (2011), Morrow racked up 203 strikeouts. The problem was that those 203 strikeouts were tied to a 4.72 ERA. Since converting to a full-time starting pitcher back in 2010, Morrow has posted a sub-4.00 ERA just once. His first two starts this season have been OK but not great. Like Odorizzi, Morrow is a guy who mixed leaguers should monitor closely, and I might even pitch him @MIN, but for the two-start week, I’m passing. I need to see a little more.
Jesse Chavez (@LAA, vs. HOU)
Two starts, a 1.38 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. What’s not to like about that? Chavez also pitched well for the A’s last year in a relief role, so the sample size is greater than 13 innings. I view Chavez as a must-add in AL-only leagues, and I’d even think about using him in a 12-team mixed. A stat correction is bound to happen at some point, but these matchups are promising, so I don’t think it will happen next week.
Wandy Rodriguez (@CIN, vs. MIL)
I’ve always been a big fan of Wandy, and although his stat line through two starts doesn’t look too good, let’s remember that he missed most of last season due to injury, so maybe this is simply a case of him shaking off the rust. The 11 strikeouts in 11 innings are encouraging, and despite the tough @CIN matchup, I’d pitch Wandy for the two-start week. Since 2011, Rodriguez sports a 3.38 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in four starts at Great American Ball Park.
Hector Santiago (vs. OAK, @DET)
I’m very optimistic about Santiago for this season, as he’s a 26-year-old lefty who has struck out a shade under a batter per inning through his first 234 big league frames. But he’s struggled with his control so far and his pitch counts have been way too high. He’s a sit until further notice, and next week’s matchups aren’t exactly inspiring.
Josh Beckett (@SF, vs. ARI)
I’ve taken a “your problem, not mine” approach with Beckett over the past couple of seasons, and it’s worked out quite well. He deserves somewhat of a pass for last year’s dreadful stat line, as he battled injuries throughout the season. But even when he was relatively healthy in 2012, he registered a 4.65 ERA, and he’s no longer a dependable source for strikeouts. Don’t be fooled by the name. Beckett’s days of dominance are long over, and he couldn’t even make it past four innings in his 2014 debut. He might earn mixed league relevance at some point this year, but not now.