Let’s take a look at a pair of two young AL East players that can provide a quick boost for your team down the stretch…
Wade Davis | SP | Rays | Ownership: 13% Yahoo!, 21.3% ESPN
The Rays haven’t had a high-end starting pitcher prospect completely flame out since Dewon Brazelton, but I think it’s very fair to say that Davis has been worse than expected since landing a full-time gig last season. He pitched to a 4.07 ERA and a 4.79 FIP (118 FIP-) in 2010, and has followed that with a 4.36 ERA and 4.57 FIP (117 FIP-) this season. Granted, life for a 25-26 year old starter in the AL East is not easy, but that performance still leaves you wanting more.
Anyway, Davis returned from a forearm strain in late-July and had rough starts (5.1 IP, 6 R and 6 IP, 5 R) in his first two outings back. He’s rebounded and pitched quite well since then though, posting a 3.78 ERA (~3.80 FIP) with improved strikeout (6.84 K/9) and walk (2.88 BB/9) numbers in seven starts. That ERA is also slightly inflated by a 4.1 IP, 6 R disaster against the Blue Jays a few starts ago (2.96 ERA in the other six starts). Davis’ last three starts line up against the Orioles (road), the Yankees (road), and Jays (home). Tampa is playing very well at the moment, there’s a chance to steal a win or two here.
Jesus Montero | C | Yankees | Ownership: 27% Yahoo!, 18.5% ESPN
Given all the trade talk, I’m not sure many people actually thought Montero would wear Yankee pinstripes this season. They called him up as soon as the calender flipped to September, at first using him as their DH against left-handers. A week and a half later, Montero has essentially taken over the DH spot full-time and has been hitting fifth thanks to nagging injuries to Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez.
ZiPS absolutely loved Montero coming into the season, forecasting a .276/.334/.503 batting line is basically a full season’s worth of plate appearances. That seems quite optimistic, but the 21-year-old has already shown the one tool that had everyone raving: his power. His first two career homeruns came off Orioles righty Jim Johnson, who’d allowed just one homer to a RHB all season before Montero got him twice in the span of four innings. He also took Jered Weaver deep a few days ago. Yankee Stadium is a good fit for his opposite field power (both homers off Johnson were oppo shots), and that lineup will give him plenty of runs scored and RBI opportunities. Plus … catcher eligibility!
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