Starting Pitchers: June 14th

Let’s round up the latest rotation ins-and-outs from around the league…

Jake Arrieta | Orioles | 2% owned

The O’s turned to one of their top prospects last week, and Arrieta rewarded them with a solid effort and a win against the Yankees. I don’t like his long-term outlook as much as I like his teammate Brian Matusz‘s, but I think Arrieta can best his performance this year. He should be good for a low-to-mid-4.00’s ERA with close to 7.50 K/9 the rest of the way, so there’s value here in an AL-only or deep mixed leagues.

Matt Harrison | Rangers | 0%

Rich Harden hit the DL with a strained glute, which is fitting because opponents have been kicking it all year. Harrison is the leading candidate to fill in for him (start would be Saturday), but the team acknowledged that could change if they need him in relief before then. He’s posted a 4.97 ERA (4.65 xFIP) in six starts and three relief appearances this year, and (R) ZiPS projects a hideous 5.74 ERA with just 5.40 K/9 the rest of the way. Even with Saturday’s start coming at Houston, he’s not worth a roster spot. None of the other candidates sound appetizing either.

Jesse Litsch | Blue Jays | 1%

After missing most of last season with Tommy John surgery, Litsch returned to the mound last week with a pair of mediocre-at-best outings against the Tigers and Twins. He massively outperformed a dreadful strikeout rate in 2007 (3.81 ERA, 5.09 xFIP, 4.05 K/9), and we can’t expect that luck to continue after elbow surgery since command is usually the last thing to come back. Despite the sexy past ERA’s, I wouldn’t risk it even in deep leagues.

Brad Lincoln | Pirates | 2%

David Golebiewski already introduced us to Lincoln last week, so I’ll just send you that way. I guess all I have to add is that yes, he still has a job.

Joe Martinez | Giants | 0%

Martinez takes the place of the injured and ineffective Todd Wellemeyer, and will start on Tuesday at home against Baltimore. He owns a ~3.41 FIP in Triple-A this year, aided by a stellar 58.5% GB%. CHONE projected a 5.27 ERA in 21 starts before the season, though it doesn’t look like he’ll pick up that much playing time. I like him as a sneaky spot starter against the lowly O’s, but not much beyond that.

Daisuke Matsuzaka | Red Sox | 41%

Dice-K came down with a forearm injury during warm ups on Saturday and was immediately placed on the DL just to get another arm for the bullpen. The injury isn’t believed to be serious and Matsuzaka should be back as soon as he’s eligible to be activated on the 23rd, in which case he’d only miss once start (because of the off day today). The Red Sox haven’t announced who will replace him on Saturday, but Michael Bowden (0% owned) lines up to start that day down in Triple-A. He’s got a ~5.58 FIP (6.2 K/9, 3.9 BB/9) in Pawtucket this year, and the only way I’d start him (against the Dodgers at Fenway) is if you’re so far behind in the ERA and WHIP categories that you’re just gunning for W and K at the end of the week.

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Mike writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues and baseball in general at CBS Sports.

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Those numbers are Litsch’s 2007 seson – in 2008, he put up 3.58 ERA in 176 IP, with a 4.29 FIP and 4.25 xFIP, despite the 5K/9..pretty solid, really.