Doug Fister’s rough return
In what was his Washington Nationals debut, Fister was torched for seven runs (five earned) and served up three home runs in 4.1 innings. He didn’t allow a walk but generated just four swinging strikes in 79 pitches. Fister’s velocity was solid as his fastball averaged 90 mph on the day. He is still someone I feel comfortable playing in almost every park and match up despite the tough first outing. It’s worth a shot emailing whoever owns Fister in your league as they may be frustrated with his injuries and his poor start. If his owner is willing to sell, make sure you’re ready to buy low on Fister.
A better return for Scott Feldman
Like Fister, Feldman was also activated from the disabled list yesterday, but he had a much different type of start. The Houston Astros hurler lasted six innings and struck out six while allowing two runs, both on solo shot homers. Feldman didn’t allow a walk and generated eight swings-and-misses on 88 pitches. Even with yesterday’s quality start, Feldman raised his seasonal ERA up to 1.69. As shiny and beautiful as that ERA is, his 4.25 FIP/4.43 xFIP paint a slightly different picture. Much of Feldman’s success can be attributed to his .196 BABIP and his subsequent 83.9% LOB%. He has fanned just 15 batters in 32.2 innings, equaling a 4.13 K/9. Feldman was never known as a strikeout machine, but that K-rate is low even for him. His ERA is sure to rise but his strikeout rate might not. You may be able to squeeze some value out of Feldman in the right match up, but in 12-team mixed leagues I’d leave him to the waiver wire. You could roster him in deeper leagues, but even then he’s a spot starter at best.
Drew Pomeranz up, Dan Straily down
The Oakland Athletics have shaken up their starting rotation, this time of their own doing and not due to injury. Yesterday the club sent Straily to Triple-A while Pomeranz, previously in the bullpen, will be moved to the rotation. Citing a lack of fastball command and a decreased velocity, manager Bob Melvin told reporters Straily will work on getting ahead of batters and spotting his fastball.
Pomeranz sports just 18.2 innings — with only five of said innings as a starter — this year to try and evaluate him, but the early signs are positive. His control and command, something Pomeranz has struggled with, has not been an issue yet as he has allowed just 2.89 BB/9. On the other hand his 48.7 F-Strike% is low, as is his .220 BABIP. I think it is a fair thing to say his 98.8% LOB% won’t stick for much longer either. I do like Pomeranz at home to keep the fly balls in the yard and he’s shown he can miss his share of bats. In standard leagues Pomeranz is still just RP eligible, but that just means he’ll be able to be plugged in there even on days he starts.
He is available in over 85% of the major three fantasy site leagues, but I’d wait to grab Pomeranz in standard 12-team mixed leagues. In AL-only formats or 14-team leagues I’d consider picking him up. The biggest thing holding me back is his lack of a third pitch. Pomeranz is basically a fastball/curveball guy, something opposite-handed hitters may take advantage of now that he can’t be used in a match-up role like out of the bullpen. If Pomeranz can utilize his changeup more often now that he is a starter, something Melvin mentioned several days ago, then I’d pick him up.
The Daily Five
Starting Pitcher: Sonny Gray — $10,800
Gray looks to get his strikeout rate back on track against the Nationals and their 22.3% (19th in baseball) strikeout rate against right-handed pitchers.
Starting Pitcher: Jeff Samardzija — $9,400
The Shark goes against the Atlanta Braves and their love of the strikeout against righties, 23.2% (25th in the majors) on the year.
Infielder: John Jaso — $3,000
The Oakland A’s favoritism continues! After spending so much on pitchers, I need to tone down the spending a bit. Jaso will have the platoon advantage against Tanner Roark.
Remaining budget: $19,300
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