Matt Garza and Other Notes: NL Starting Pitchers

Today’s look at NL Starting Pitchers is nutrient dense.

Matt Garza, Chicago Cubs
Prior to a 15-day stay on the DL, Garza looked like a bona fide ace. His strikeout rate was at an all-time high and was backed by a nice SwStr%, and he was getting more ground balls then ever before. You may not have realized it, but Garza’s FIP was below 2.00 below he got hurt.

After his DL stint, Garza returned to the Cubs on Monday and faced off against the Cincinnati Reds. His basic numbers from his first start back don’t exactly inspire confidence — he walked as many batters as he struck out — but his fastball velocity was right in line with what we’ve come to expect from the 27-year old right-hander. When we take the time to look a little deeper, Garza did just fine against the Reds, as he induced nine grounders (compared to five balls in the air) and nine swinging strikes in only 81 pitches.

It looks like Garza may be back in a big way, so don’t be afraid to pull him right off the DL if you already own him, or try to buy while the price may be low if you’d like to acquire him.

Various Notes On NL Starting Pitchers

  • After shellacking the Dodgers on Monday, Cliff Lee now has five starts with 10-plus strikeouts and one walk or less. If we want to go slumming it a little, he has six starts with 10-plus strikeouts and two walks or less. Color me impressed. Damn impressed.
  • During the early portion of Monday’s draft, Buster Olney mentioned on twitter that Trevor Bauer, chosen third overall by Arizona, could potentially see the big leagues this season if the Diamondbacks are in the hunt for a playoff berth. While I respect Olney’s skills as an information gatherer, I doubt we’ll see Bauer make his debut in 2011. I’d suspect Bauer sees the majors in May or June, 2012.
  • Before last night’s start, I was just about done with Tim Stauffer. His home ballpark is a big plus, but he was starting to walk guys and get hit around. When you’re a pitcher relying on control and command, you just can’t afford to be walking guys or missing your spots. Like I’ve mentioned before, I had a chance to watch him and was not impressed. Not in the least. I was getting ready to drop him, but he bounced back with eight strikeouts and only one walk against the Rockies. You’ll have to keep your eye on him ,but this was a great sing.

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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.

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