Everyone is happy when one of their pitchers is scheduled for two starts in a week. But that is not always a good thing. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week Three.
Homer Bailey – Long touted as one of the top young pitchers in baseball, Bailey is having the same struggles early in 2010 as he has had throughout his career in the majors – too many walks and trouble with gopher balls. Bailey has a 5.23 BB/9 and has allowed 2 HR in 10.1 IP this year. Bailey has two starts this week at home, where he has allowed 16 of his 25 homers. While neither the Dodgers nor Padres are big HR teams, Bailey at home for two starts is still a good recipe for disaster. Making things even worse is the slow start offensively for the Reds, who are 15th in the NL with an average of 4.30 runs per game.
Brandon Morrow – The good news for Morrow is that his xFIP is half of his ERA. The bad news is that his ERA is 12.00 after two starts. Control has always been an issue for Morrow and he has allowed 6 BB in 9 IP this year. Adding to his problems are that his velocity is down, which may be contributing to the troubles this year with his changeup. His change is already 2.5 runs below average. Morrow is trying to compensate by throwing more curves, but that pitch sits at 1.8 runs below average. Even with a home start against the Royals, put Morrow on the bench until he shows something better than he has so far this season.
Brett Myers – To the dismay of my Razzball team, Myers has been decent so far this season, including a tough loss to the Cardinals in his last outing in which he allowed 1 ER in 7 IP. His fastball velocity still sits below 90, but Myers has cut way back on the number of times he has thrown his heater, down to throwing just 40.5 percent fastballs. Instead, he is now an off-speed pitcher, throwing his curve nearly 32 percent of the time and his slider over 24 percent. The result has been more swings out of the strike zone and more ground balls, two positive changes. Try riding Myers in his home starts this week against the Marlins and Pirates. With the Astros finally winning a game, anything is possible now!
Mike Pelfrey – Before the season started, I thought Pelfrey and his one-pitch repertoire was destined for the bullpen. Instead, he has been the best pitcher for the Mets the first two weeks of the season, with a 2-0 record and a 1.38 ERA. In his last outing against the Rockies, in which he threw seven innings of shutout ball in Colorado, Pelfrey threw five pitches. He threw 13 sliders, 10 curves and 7 changeups according to PitchFX. And 65 percent of his pitches were strikes, including 21 of his 30 off-speed pitches. He gets home starts this week against the Cubs and Braves. It feels like bizarro world recommending both Myers and Pelfrey.
Kevin Slowey – Uncharacteristically, Slowey has had trouble with walks so far this season. After three straight seasons of BB/9 rates under 1.50, Slowey has a 5.23 mark so far this season. But he faces two teams that are below average in the American League in drawing walks, including the 13th-place Royals. Slowey is also a notorious fly ball pitcher, his 0.69 GB/FB mark is the 12th lowest in baseball, and the concern is that he will get roughed up with some home runs. But the Indians are tied for 12th in fewest homers hit. The matchups look good, so make sure Slowey is active.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 2 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Haren, Lackey, Hanson, Cain, de la Rosa, Billingsley, Zambrano, Price, Vazquez, Porcello, Penny, Kazmir, Wells, Niemann, Masterson, Pineiro, G. Gonzalez, Cook, Lewis, Volstad, Wakefield, Richard, Willis, Bush, Niese, Bannister, Bergesen, Kendrick, Fister, Olsen, Morton, Stammen.
Check back Sunday night for an update of two-start pitchers.