Starting Pitchers: May 10th

Updates on three rotation spots from around the league…

Derek Holland | Rangers

Matt Harrison is on the disabled list with a biceps tendon issue, so Texas is turning to Holland to fill his rotation spot. The 23-year-old posted an unsightly 6.12 ERA with a 1.50 WHIP in 138.1 IP for the big league team last year, though his 4.38 xFIP is a bit better. He was extremely homer prone, surrendering one long ball for every 5.1 IP, and it wasn’t just a function of Texas’ ballpark either (1.25 HR/9 on the road). Holland is still one of the brightest young lefties in the game, absolutely destroying the hitter friendly Pacific Coast League before his promotion (2.16 FIP, 8.6 K/9, 5.3 K/BB). His next two starts are at home, so the homers might continue to be a problem, but he’ll face the A’s (.308 wOBA) and Angels (.317 wOBA), hardly offensive powerhouses.

Holland is owned in just 2% of Yahoo! leagues, but he should be a nice boost for your team over his next two starts, if not more.

Kris Medlen | Braves

Jair Jurrjens, a fantasy darling last year because of a 2.60 ERA and 14 wins, is on the disabled list with a bum hammy, leaving his starts to the 24-year-old Medlen. He held the Phillies to one run over 4.1 IP in his first start over the weekend, and overall he’s got a snazzy 6.33 K/BB and 3.38 xFIP, albeit in just 22 IP. Medlen’s somewhat limited track record suggests that he can miss bats (9.8% career SwStr%), keep the ball on the ground (41.4 GB%) and thus limit homers (0.60 HR/9), but he’s still a bit of a roll of the dice. His next start comes against the Diamondbacks, and it sounds like Jurrjens will be back shortly after that. Despite sexy ERA and WHIP totals, I consider him non-rosterable in anything but the deepest of deep leagues.

Ross Ohlendorf | Pirates

Back spasms kept the former Yankee on the disabled list for the last month, but he’s set to return to the Buc’s rotation later today. Ohlendorf’s sparkling 3.92 ERA last season hid some poor peripherals – 5.55 K/9, 1.27 HR/9, .265 BABIP – so it’s tough to expect him to maintain a similar ERA going forward. Following today’s start against the Reds, he’ll take on the Cubs in Wrigley, so they aren’t the best of matchups. In a deep mixed or NL-only league, Ohlendorf has a smidgen of value as a matchup 6th or 7th SP. He’s still available in 97% of Yahoo! leagues, but I wouldn’t rush out to get him. Not until he shows he’s over the back issues and is somewhat serviceable, anyway.

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

10 Responses to “Starting Pitchers: May 10th”

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  1. Brian says:

    Bonus points for having Ross Ohlendorf on your team — he went to Princeton and majored in Operations Research! He wrote his senior thesis on the amateur draft, amazing!

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  2. ander521 says:

    Medlen started Saturday, so to pitch against Milwaukee, he would have to go on only 3 days rest. Right now they might skip his turn in the rotation with a day off on Thursday, otherwise, I think he would pitch againg Arizona at home.

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  3. Dan says:

    Kris Medlen
    “I consider him non-rosterable in anything but the deepest of deep leagues.”

    Ross Ohlendorf
    “I wouldn’t rush out to get him”

    Whats the point of mentioning these guys? How deep of leagues are people in?

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    • Mike Axisa says:

      Knowing who not to add is just as important as knowing who to add. Both are owned in my league, actually, but it’s a 20 teamer.

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  4. I’m rostering Medlen in a 12 team H2H mixed keeper, with 23 roster spots. I have 9 starting pitchers, so I could do a lot worse than a kid with his kind of potential.

    Didn’t start him against Philly, but I might throw him against AZ, depending on how my team is doing.

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  5. Coleman says:

    Are you nuts? Medlen has a ton of potential and in my old fashioned NL Only with 12 teams and every player counting at all times – he is a gem. I think you will be exposed as not knowing what you are talking about to suggest Medlen is not roster-able in all but the deepest of leagues.

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  6. JK says:

    I’m not sure what type of leagues some people play in, but Medlen is owned already in any league of some depth, and is a definite get in any keeper league he’s not owned in yet. He could be an excellent starter, and may be the closer next year.

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  7. JH says:

    JK, I agree with you. Medlen has been owned in both of my NL only leagues since last year. He’s a gem in a keeper league.

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  8. Southsider says:

    Have to be pretty impressed with Holland’s debut, by most accounts terrible pitching conditions (strong wind blowing out, ask the A’s staff) but he more than held his own.

    Holland is a 2010 sleeper rest of the way, I’d say worth the risk.

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