Starting Pitchers: May 3rd

Here’s the latest on some young pitchers serving as injury replacements around the league…

Trevor Cahill & Vin Mazzaro | Athletics

I mentioned Brett Anderson‘s elbow issue last week, but it turned out to be a little worse than expected; he’s going to miss as much as the next six weeks with a forearm injury. If that wasn’t bad enough, the A’s lost Justin Duchscherer on Thursday when he left his start with pain in his twice-surgically repaired hip. They’ve been replaced in the rotation by Cahill and (unofficially) Mazzaro, both of whom saw plenty of time with the big league team last year.

Cahill threw 178.2 IP of 4.92 xFIP ball with just a 4.53 K/9 last year, when he jumped from Double-A to the show. Mazzaro approximately replicated that performance (5.10 xFIP, 5.81 K/9) in a much smaller sample (91.1 IP), though he had some Triple-A time under his belt. Both have some nice long-term potential, but neither offers much in the world of fantasy baseball at the moment. Oakland’s schedule is a little tough over the next few weeks (Rangers twice, Rays, Angels), so don’t run out to grab either. Avoid the temptations of future potential, they’re non-rosterable at this point.

Jhoulys Chacin & Esmil Rogers | Rockies

With Jorge de la Rosa and Jason Hammel landing on the disabled list, the Rockies turned to two of the best young arms their farm system has to offer. Chacin, who posted a 4.97 xFIP in limited action last year, one hit the Giants over seven innings yesterday while Rogers allowed five runs through four the night before. The former features a four-pitch mix and a knockout changeup that helps him neutralizes batters of the opposite hand while the latter struggles with his offspeed offerings at times and might end up in the bullpen long-term.

Colorado’s upcoming schedule includes dates at the Padres and at the Dodgers, so if nothing else they’re looking at a favorable matchup the next turn through the rotation. I’d definitely go Chacin over Rogers though, he’s got a slightly better track record of missing bats and generating ground balls at the higher levels. He’s owned in less than 5% of Yahoo! leagues, so he should be there for the taking.

John Ely | Dodgers

Acquired in the Juan Pierre deal (how’s that one working out?), Ely took the spot of the injured Vicente Padilla, and appears to have a firm grasp on it for the foreseeable future. In his relatively short minor league career (2007 draftee), he’s exhibited solid control of the strike zone (7.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9) and an ability to generate plenty of grounders (50.1% GB). Ely’s not a big stuff guy, but those skills generally portend good things. His next start will be against the Brewers on Thursday, then after that you’re looking at dates with the Diamondbacks and Padres.

In a standard 12-team league, there’s no reason to pay any attention to Ely. If you’re in a particularly deep league and are in a position to sacrifice some ERA and WHIP in exchange for a win near the end of the week, you could take a worse gamble.

Quick Notes

Javier Vazquez has been absolutely dreadful for the Yankees (9.78 ERA, 5.57 xFIP), but don’t expect him to lose his rotation spot anytime soon. Chances are he’ll have his next start skipped since it lands on an off day, and you should definitely keep him glued to the bench until he strings two or three good starts together. The potential for strikeouts and wins (hat tip: Yankee offense) is still there. Rick Porcello hasn’t been Vazquez bad, but he’s been pretty awful as well (8.03 ERA, 4.25 xFIP). Despite rumors of a minor league “get yourself straight” assignment, the Tigers are going to stick with him and hope he rights the ship. If you’re a savvy negotiator, now’s a great time to swoop in and try to buy low on Javy and/or Porcello, especially if the former is owned by a frustrated Yankee fan.




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


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