Wednesday, April 17, 2013

HIRED ARMS: The Dynamite Mine

Felipe M

We've discussed pitchers to keep tabs on the waiver wire because despite their struggles, their offseason projections or abilities are worth a second look.  

We've also looked at the pitchers that have seen a big increase in ownership in the last week or so and try to decipher if they're early success is based on luck or true capabilities.  

The following list are pitchers that are owned in less than 30% of CBS fantasy baseball leagues.  We explained that a lot of these pitchers may not be worth picking up on your team, but are worth a longer look as their cheap price may turn into a big value.  Sometimes looking for treasure requires a lot of digging.  The following list of pitchers may prove to be real diamonds in the rough:

Jose Quintana--Chicago White Sox--31% today; 25% yesterday:  We've been suggesting to keep an eye on Quintana since the spring.  Well, now would be the time to get on the bandwagon.  As much as I wanted to hate on him for being a finesse pitcher in 2012, his Minor League numbers and spring training performance persuaded me to give him another chance.  Despite a disastrous 1st start against the Seattle Mariners, he bounced back at Cleveland, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 7 batters.  So far, he's accrued 10 K's in 11 innings pitched and has a WHIP of 1.00.  It's early, but now would be the time to roll the dice on the lefty.

Miguel Gonzalez--Baltimore Orioles--30%: After winning his first start of the season, he struggled mightily with control against the New York Yankees.  He proved to be a flyball pitcher with some concern with the long ball, but his track record in the Minors shows that he has good control and can post decent strikeout totals.  His numbers look terrible so far in 2013, but based on his 2012 campaign, he's definitely worth scouting some more.

Jorge de la Rosa and Juan Nicasio--Colorado Rockies--25% and 14%, respectively: Both pitchers have pitched 16 innings each, but one pitcher has pitched well, but is only 1-1; the other pitcher is 2-0, but has not been impressive so far this season.  A look back at our Rockies' pitching preview will show that I had higher hopes for Nicasio, but soured on de la Rosa.  Well, the complete opposite has occurred as de la Rosa has pitched fairly well, especially in his last two starts, sporting a 7.2 K/9 and a WHIP of 1.16.  It feels like 2011 again!  

On the other hand, Nicasio has been inconsistent, but has done enough to be 2-0 so far this season.  He has been laboring with control and command issues, but even more discouraging is his his low 9 strikeouts.  However, his projection numbers and potential to post high strikeout totals make him work monitoring.  Furthermore, Nicasio has not gotten into a rhythm after 3 starts as he's been pitching every 6 or 7 days, heretofore.  I still would like to see how he performs with a more ideal routine for starting pitchers. 

Wily Peralta--Milwaukee Brewers--24%: Peralta received a lot of hype coming into this season as he was a highly touted prospect (Brewers' #1 prospect per Baseball Prospectus) who pitched pretty well in 2012.  Despite the high praise, he still was coming off a 2012 season full of control and command problems.  Those problems have followed him this year as well.  However, he's worth monitoring because of his pedigree and potential to rack up the K's.  

Eric Stults--San Diego Padres--18%: I was not a fan of a single pitcher for the Padres entering this season, but Stults has pitched well so far this season.  A 5:1 K:BB ratio, he still has a high WHIP of 1.44 due to the 20 base-hits he's allowed in his 3 pitching starts.  He is a flyball pitcher and has given up 2 homeruns all ready, but his Minor League numbers show that he's capable of posting good strikeout numbers.  Again, if it wasn't for the high WHIP, his ownership rate would be a lot higher than 18%, but that might change drastically if he's able to best Barry Zito and the Giants in his next start on Sunday.

Zach McAllister--Cleveland Indians--19%: Another pitcher who I was down on earlier this spring, McAllister has done very well in his 2 starts this season.  He has yet to give up a walk and has only given up 3 earned runs.  The strikeout rate is low, but is pretty much on par with his Minor League numbers.  But he has pitched well enough to be 2-0, having to face Matt Moore in his first start and getting the best of Chris Sale in his second start. He is a flyball pitcher, but has yet to give up a homerun, but judging by the low strikeouts, he has solidified his reputation as a pitch-to-contact hurler.  His next two starts are scheduled against Jon Lester and Chris Sale so you may want to hold off on McAllister.  But if you believe he can continue to sustain this much control, by all means.  

Carlos Marmol--Chicago Cubs--30%: I have been hating on Marmol for the last couple of seasons or so, but has pitched better since being demoted from the closer's spot.  In his last 4 innings, he has yet to give up a run.  He is still struggling with control and has allowed two hits in that same time span, but that's a lot better than what we saw in the first week of the season.  The overall numbers are still bad, but there is a glimmer of hope that he may start turning his season around soon.  

Like I mentioned before, these pitchers are not guaranteed to turn their seasons around, but based on past performances and how a lot of owners have ignored them at this juncture of the season, these guys are the ultimate sleepers and their progress should be monitored.  

More MLB content is available here

No comments: