Here is the latest update to Week 8 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.
Pitchers not listed on last update: Worley, Villanueva
Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Chacin, McCarthy, Ross, Litsch, Blanton.
Let’s take a look at Carlos Villanueva, who is getting his first starts of the season after making 13 relief appearances.
The Blue Jays acquired Villanueva from the Brewers for a player to be named later following the 2010 season. He spent his first five seasons with Milwaukee bouncing back between starting and relieving for the first four years. Last year he worked exclusively out of the bullpen and at one point seemed to be in the mix for the closer’s job which eventually went to John Axford.
Villanueva has a starting pitcher’s repertoire, with a four-pitch arsenal. However, he has fared much better in short relief, with an ERA nearly a run lower when he works out of the bullpen throughout his career.
The 27-year old has always done a good job of racking up strikeouts but has struggled in most other areas. He’s a flyball pitcher with an elevated HR/FB rate. His success early this year can be attributed to a HR/FB rate half of what it was in 2010. Of course a .148 BABIP doesn’t hurt, either.
Villanueva has a tough game in Yankee Stadium and follows that up with a home start against the White Sox. The Yankees lead the AL in HR by a comfortable margin and the White Sox are above average with 44 HR going into Sunday.
If Villanueva can keep the ball in the park, he has a shot, especially against a Chicago squad that has struggled to score runs in long stretches this season. But given Villanueva’s history, that is a pretty big if, especially with these being his first starts of the year.
Last Sunday week we looked at Kyle Davies, who ended up pitching just 0.2 innings before landing on the disabled list with a sore shoulder.