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Week 17 Two-Start Pitchers Update

Here is the latest update to Week 17 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.

Pitchers not listed on last update: Hanson, Below.

Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Sabathia.

Let’s take a look at Duane Below. At the beginning of the year it seemed unlikely that Below would be a two-start candidate even in September, much less July. After all, he was coming off a season at Double-A at age 24 where he went 7-12 with a 4.93 ERA, having allowed 17 HR in 126 IP.

Below started the year in Triple-A where he posted a 9-4 record with a 3.13 ERA before getting the call to Detroit. In his last eight games, Below was 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA. With Phil Coke struggling as a starting pitcher, the Tigers were looking for a new arm to fill out the rotation.

He got a nice break in his major league debut, as he faced the Oakland A’s, who are 28th with an average runs per game mark of 3.56 in 2011. Below went five innings, allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, and got a no-decision. The outing was enough to keep him in the rotation and he is set to face off against the White Sox and Angels this week, the latter one a home start.

The lefty Below is not overpowering but he did induce a lot of groundballs in his start against the A’s. But even though he gave up just six fly balls, one of them went for a home run. His minor league numbers suggested a pitcher who had trouble with the gopher ball and that played true to form in his MLB debut.

Below got good results early with his curve and changeup but it’s important to note he didn’t generate many swings out of the strike zone (O-Swing% of 18.8) and his SwStr% was just 3.9. While it’s important to realize that it’s just one start, those are not numbers that inspire confidence for continued success in the majors.

The punsters and headline writers will no doubt enjoy the wordplay that a fellow who has an adverb/preposition for a surname offers them. But fantasy players should not share their enthusiasm and let others pick Below off of the waiver wire.