Here is the latest update to Week 4 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.
Pitchers not listed on last update:
F. Hernandez, Liriano, Young, Nova, Lannan, Maholm, Litsch
Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Dickey, Colon, Bedard, Blackburn
Of the new pitchers let’s look at Jesse Litsch. Earlier this season, Litsch got caught up in a numbers game and was sent to the minors because he had an available option while Jo-Jo Reyes did not. Litsch had been in three starts before the demotion and pitched well in two of them. He made just one appearance for Triple-A Las Vegas and was pulled after only three innings to make sure he was available to pitch early this week for Toronto.
Litsch is not overpowering but he throws at least five pitches, generally has good control and gets lots of ground ball outs. In his three appearances in the majors this year, he’s even fanned 16 in 17.1 IP, although he’s allowed more walks than he usually does. But with his ERA below his career average, and his FIP and xFIP both below his current ERA, it’s a tradeoff that has worked well for Litsch, assuming he can keep it up.
He’s throwing strikes early, with an F-Strike% of 60.5 percent, which is a career best. Also, Litsch is setting a personal record with a 10.7 SwStr%. He’s done this with a change in his pitching pattern. Litsch has almost completely abandoned his curve ball, throwing more sliders and change-ups, instead.
Litsch rejoins the Blue Jays in time to make road starts in Texas and New York. It’s not the ideal way to get back to the majors and it is hard to recommend putting him in your lineup this week. But Litsch is a pitcher to monitor going forward. Check his peripherals in these two starts and see if he’s still getting ground balls and strikeouts.
The Yankees and the Rangers rank 1-2 in the American League in runs per game. Therefore, Litsch could give up a lot of runs this week and still be a pitcher worth adding if he holds his spot in the rotation and pitches well in other regards.
Last week’s Sunday night look was Wandy Rodriguez. He had 14 IP, 5 ER, 13 H, 16 Ks and a 1-1 record with a QS.