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.