Desperate for pitching in your deep league? Of course you are! So that means that this is your lucky day as I feed you a spoonful of starting pitcher options for your consideration.
Nathan Eovaldi | MIA SP | 10% Owned
A Miami Marlins starting pitcher? Ughhh. Not so fast. With the return of both Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison, this offense isn’t spectacularly bad anymore. It’s still far from a powerhouse, of course, but it’s not the guaranteed near shutout each game out like they had been. That’s good news for starters as wins will be a little less difficult to come by. Eovaldi returned last week from shoulder inflammation that kept him on the disabled list for two and a half months. Usually we correlate shoulder issues with a loss in velocity. Eovaldi scoffs at such an assumption, as his fastball velocity is up over two miles per hour from last year. And his velocity was already impressive at 94.0 mph!
In his first two starts since rejoining the rotation, he has averaged 97.0 and then 96.6 mph. That currently tops all of baseball among starters in velocity. The weird thing is that he still threw hard last year too, yet his strikeout rate was just 5.9, while his SwStk% was below the league average. That’s what you might expect from a soft tosser with good control or an extreme worm burner. He has shown neither of those abilities so his raw stuff hasn’t matched up with his strikeout rate yet. The good news is that in the tiny sample size of 12.0 innings, his SwStk% this year is up to 11.2%. That’s more like it!
With only 166.0 innings under his belt and a less than inspiring minor league track record, it’s hard to get excited about Eovaldi’s fantasy prospects. But then again, it’s hard not to when you watch him pump 99 mph fastballs through the zone.
Taylor Jordan | WAS SP | 8% Owned
Who? Yeah, don’t feel bad. I had no idea who this guy was just two days ago either. Dan Haren‘s shoulder injury that landed him on the DL finally freed me and allowed me to easily drop him from all the teams I had still owned him in. Feel free to make fun of my excruciating patience in the comments, I’m strong. So speculation is that Jordan gets the call to replace Haren in the rotation and the 24-year-old gets mentioned in his first FanGraphs article. His mom must be so proud.
Jordan skipped Triple-A to get to the Majors (assuming he does indeed get the call) and endured Tommy John surgery back in 2011. His strikeout rates have been unexciting, but he has two other things going for him — excellent control and lots of ground balls. His BB% has never been above 6.4% and he has only allowed 10 homers in 337.2 minor league innings. While he’s unlikely to dominate, his skills remind me of a Tim Hudson type.