Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 6/23
Andrew Heaney (@PHI, vs. OAK)
Yeah, it was the Mets, but I really liked what I saw from Heaney in his big league debut. The one walk over six innings was very encouraging, as it shows that he has successfully carried over his stellar control to the big league level. I mean, how many times have we seen young pitchers struggle to consistently throw strikes upon their first promotion to the Majors? These are by no means easy matchups, but Heaney is the type of talent that deserves a spot in your active lineup regardless of the opponent, at least until he proves otherwise.
Bartolo Colon (vs. OAK, @PIT)
After getting roughed up by the Yankees on May 12th, Colon has been on quite a roll, going 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 0.92 WHIP over his last six starts. The A’s are the highest scoring team in the Majors but they aren’t quite as good on the road, where they have posted a .709 OPS, this compared to a .796 mark at home. Plus, Colon boasts a 2.34 ERA through five starts at Citi Field this year. As for the Pirates, despite making some headway offensively this month, they still rank in the middle of the pack in runs scored.
Drew Smyly (@TEX, @HOU)
Even though he has been very up and down this year, Smyly has now turned in three straight excellent performances. High pitch counts have been an issue at times, but efficiency is a skill that he could easily improve upon as he gains more big league starting experience. Facing the Rangers in Arlington is no easy task, but somewhat surprisingly, Texas ranks in the bottom half of the Majors in runs scored at home this season. Regardless, Smyly has the type of stuff that can baffle any lineup when he’s on his game. While the Astros offense is no longer a laughingstock, we’re not exactly talking about a run-scoring machine.
Wei-Yin Chen (vs. CHW, vs. TB)
Chen might seem like the riskiest of my four Pitch recommendations, but in four starts since the calendar turned to June, he’s 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. In seven home starts this season, he’s 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. The White Sox and Rays both rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored this month. What’s not to like?
Aaron Harang (@HOU, @PHI)
What can I say, I simply don’t trust this guy. And now is as good a time as any to jump off the Harang bandwagon (my condolences to those of you who pitched him for his last start). On paper, these matchups seem decent, but Harang will go up against a Phillies team that lit him up just a few days ago and an Astros lineup that is not nearly as inept as last year’s version. Harang owners would be wise to cash in their chips now before it really gets to be too late.
Marcus Stroman (vs. NYY, vs. CHW)
Stroman certainly has a bright future, but as his last start against the Yankees demonstrated, growing pains are a part of the game for any young pitcher. The six walks over 28 innings is a great sign. The 38 hits? Not so much. A solid week here would get Stroman back into my good graces. But for now, in a 12-team mixed league, I’ll take a wait and see approach.