Zach’s Two-Start Pitcher Notes – Week of 5/4
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Aaron Harang (@ATL, vs. NYM)
Prior to his shaky outing on Wednesday, Harang had opened the season with four straight quality starts, including 21 strikeouts across 26 1/3 innings, and he is coming off a solid 2014 campaign. Considering that he sports a career ERA of 4.19 and a career WHIP of 1.35, his current 2.51 ERA and 0.96 WHIP are bound to rise significantly. But I don’t think we’ll be seeing the stat correction next week. Harang has already made one start each against the Braves and Mets this season, and he’s allowed a combined one run over 14 innings. The Braves offense has performed much better than expected, but from a pure talent standpoint, this is still a sub-par lineup. After a red-hot start to the season, the Mets have lost five of their last seven games. In mixed leagues of 12 teams or more, Harang is certainly worth a shot.
Jesse Chavez (@MIN, @SEA)
Chavez wasn’t overly impressive on Thursday in his second start of the season, but he did perform well in his first start and proved last year that he can succeed as a starter. With Kendall Graveman now out of the picture, Chavez has a rotation spot secured for the foreseeable future, and he will be a popular Pitch or Ditch pick going forward, thanks in large part to his career 8.0 K/9. Both the Twins and Mariners rank in the bottom third of the AL in runs scored, making Chavez an intriguing two-start option, even for those in 12-team mixed leagues.
Jesse Hahn (@MIN, @SEA)
Same team, same opponents and same first name. What else is there to say? Hahn has made it through six innings in just one of his four starts, which is a bit unsettling. But at just 25 years of age, he still has plenty of time to improve his pitch efficiency. If he’s available in your league, pick him up for this two-start week and don’t be surprised if he remains on your roster through the end of the season. Being that Hahn struck out 70 batters in 73 1/3 innings last year, it’s safe to chalk up his current 4.5 K/9 to a small sample size.
Shane Greene (@CHW, vs. KC)
We all knew the stat correction was coming, but 8 1/3 IP, 15 ER over a two-start stretch? Now that’s ugly. Greene did strike out eight in his last start, but that’s about the only positive thing we can say about him these days. Overall, he hasn’t been a reliable source of strikeouts, and with such a limited big league track record, it’s tough to have a lot of confidence in him going forward. He’s a back end of the rotation guy in 12-team mixed leagues. The White Sox rank dead last in the Majors in runs scored but the Royals rank 2nd, so you’re better off playing it safe by sitting Greene next week. If he continues to struggle, it might be time to think about dropping him.
Clay Buchholz (vs. TB, @TOR)
I’ve never been a fan of Buchholz, and his maddeningly inconsistent start to this season proves why. Two great outings, one poor outing, one horrible outing and one outing in which he somehow gave up only two runs despite allowing 11 hits. At this point, Buchholz should not be started regardless of the matchup and especially in a two-start week when one of the matchups is on the road against the Blue Jays. No thanks.
Mat Latos (@WAS, @SF)
I actually liked Latos quite a bit heading into the season, figuring that he would greatly benefit from a move away from Cincinnati to a pitcher-friendly park in Miami, so I’m very surprised by his rocky April. But the bottom line is that he’s just not getting the job done, allowing 28 hits across 21 innings to go along with a mediocre 17-to-9 K/BB ratio. A hamstring strain forced him to leave his last start after only five innings, so there’s a chance he might not be able to make these starts next week. But even if he does, Latos should be relegated to your bench until further notice. That said, I haven’t given up on him yet. He’s still worth a roster spot in the majority of 12-team mixed leagues.