Let’s first start with results:
Week 1: 1-3, 30 IP, 3.00 ERA, 5.4 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.13 WHIP (Kevin Slowey, Ubaldo Jimenez, Joe Saunders)
Week 2: 2-3, 25.1 IP, 5.69 ERA, 6.8 K/9, 2.4 K/BB, 1.74 WHIP (Joe Blanton, James McDonald, Eric Stults)
Week 3: 1-2, 32 IP, 3.66 ERA, 7.9 K/9, 3.1 K/BB, 1.22 WHIP (Wade Davis, Carlos Villanueva, Patrick Corbin)
Week 4: 2-1, 22 IP, 6.14 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 2.1 K/BB, 1.95 WHIP (Julio Teheran, Jason Hammel, Garrett Richards)
Week 5*: 1-1, 18.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, 4.9 K/9, 1.4 K/BB, 1.09 WHIP (Scott Diamond, Nick Tepesch, Andrew Cashner)
Total: 7-10, 127.2 IP, 4.16 ERA, 6.6 K/9, 2.3 K/BB, 1.41 WHIP
Last week got pretty ugly, though the strikeouts were certainly a welcome addition in light of what this crew has accomplished so far this week.
As an aside, I did get a complaint/note that these pitchers aren’t going to do anything for you in ‘really good’ leagues. Well, that’s sort of the point. This is more or less for deep leagues, and/or low ownership (sub-50%). That’s quasi self-imposed, but also what Eno and I discussed before I started doing this about a year ago. No, I can’t recommend any superstars, but hopefully we can steal an extra win or a few strikeouts in a tough match-up. Thanks for reading.
This week’s selections, with a special thanks to twitter pal @jakeallen47 for his assistance:
Justin Grimm – 31.3% ESPN/17% Yahoo! – @OAK, v. DET
Breaking down Grimm, nothing really jumps off the stat sheet as to why he’s fanning nearly 10 batters per 9 innings. His WHIP is 1.43, and his fastball velocity isn’t extraordinary either (91.2 miles-per-hour). But the biggest thing for the 24-year-old righty has been the curveball. Grimm throws it a lot — 142 curves versus 244 heaters this year — and with a 15.5% SwStr%, it’s little wonder why.
Like many pitchers, Grimm is at his best when he can rely on his offspeed stuff, as he’s allowed wOBAs in the .270s on his offspeed offerings, versus .328 on his fastball. But its also the improvement to his fastball — .473 wOBA last year/.328 this year — which seems to have allowed him to take a step forward so far this season. Let’s not overreact; he’s less than 30 innings into the season, but he’s backed by a good Rangers offense and he’s available in a ton of leagues.
Juan Nicasio – 0.3% ESPN/1% Yahoo! – @CHC, v. SFG
I’ll be brief: The only reason you’re starting Nicasio over Bud Norris is that Nicasio’s backed by the No. 2 offense in baseball (by wOBA), and he’s facing the 20th- and 21st-ranked teams by that same measure. Nicasio is 3-0 despite underwhelming K rates — especially for throwing 92.0-plus — and bad walk rates. He’s been battered by the home run ball (1.8 per 9), overly lucky with his BABIP (.243), and is averaging less than five innings per start (4.9) over seven of them.
But I still think he’s got a better shot than Norris versus Detroit and Pittsburgh. Le sigh.
Hector Santiago – 3.4% ESPN/12% Yahoo! – @MIN, @LAA
Santiago’s got a nice chance to be a nifty little find for the White Sox as a fireballing lefty. He throws a legit 92-93, mixes in a split, a change, a slider, and a cutter. A pitch mix like that seems to deserve a shot in the rotation, and it looks like he may just get that this week. I’m admittedly reading between the lines here, but he seems to be in the good graces of Robin Ventura and company, especially with injuries striking the White Sox rotation down quite seriously this season.
The club also seems to think he’s better suited for the rotation than Dylan Axelrod, so he’s got that going for him. As far as matchups go, the Twins and the Halos are two middle-of-the-pack offensive clubs, so I think there’s a chance Santiago can handle them well enough to be an asset this week as a two-start guy.