With pitchers being shut down to prevent injuries, there are a few pitchers (< 50% ownership rate) looking to coming back this season. Last week, I looked at 2 of the pitchers, Scott Baker (20% owned) and Johan Santana (8% owned). They would have the same opportunity of contributing as the two pitchers listed today, but with a better chance of being available in a league
All owned numbers are from ESPN.
Clay Buchholz (back- 43% owned) – Clay is making progress for a return back to Boston. With the current disrepair of the Red Sox pitching staff, I could see them making a larger than normal push to get Clay back into the rotation.
He is just beginning to throw from the mound, so a return is still up in the air. I see him getting one or two starts to see if he is ready for the post season. He may be a source of a win or two with the help of Boston’s offense.
His talent level will be tough to predict for just a couple of games. He put up around 6.4 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 during the time he has thrown this season. I would not be surprised to see his K’s down a bit because of being rushed back into pitching and his back, which don’t heal easily, was the spot of injury. Depending on the risk an owner is willing to take, he may be an option over the last week or so.
Francisco Liriano (shoulder – 41% owned) – Francisco is trying to come back to pitch a bit this season. No exact return time has been reported, so when or if he returns is still unknown. Like Buchholz, his ability to help much over the last few games is limited. His best usage may be for a team in the finals of a H2H league that has lost some starting pitching recently.
Before going on the DL, he average 7.4 K/9 and 5.0 BB/9. These numbers are off from 2010 when he had 9.4 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9. It seems his ERA/FIP/xFIP follow his fastball speed:
2005 (94.8 MPH): 5.70/3.32/1.99
2006 (94.7 MPH): 2.16/2.55/2.38
2008 (90.9 MPH): 3.91/3.87/4.25
2009 (91.7 MPH): 5.80/4.87/4.48
2010 (93.7 MPH): 3.62/2.66/2.95
2011 (91.8 MPH): 4.84/4.55/4.47
If he makes one start, an owner may look to see where his fastball stands. If it is averaging less than 92 MPH, you make look at other options. If there is any report from the minors of his speed, I would subtract 2 MPH from it. Usually only the top speed is reported, so the average will be less.
Liriano may or may not be heading back to the Twins. I would not consider him a top SP candidate, but he could be one of the few options left this late in the season.