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Week 9 Two-Start Pitchers Update

Here is the latest update to Week 9 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.

Pitchers not listed on last update: A. Sanchez, Hammel, Duensing, Guthrie, Lyles, Cobb

Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Happ, Sonnanstine.

Let’s take a look at Jordan Lyles, the top pitching prospect for the Houston Astros, who will make his major league debut this week.

The Astros selected Lyles as a supplemental first-round pick in 2008, awarded for the loss to free agency for pitcher Trever Miller. Lyles has risen quickly through the organization. Last year he skipped Hi-A, as the Astros thought he could handle the jump, plus they were not eager to have him pitch in the hitter-friendly environment of Lancaster.

He excelled in Double-A, where he had an 8.15 K/9 as a 19-year old. Lyles had a late promotion to Triple-A, where he got knocked around in six starts. He began this season back in Triple-A, although this time in a different city, as Houston’s top minor league franchise is now Oklahoma City, rather than Round Rock.

In 10 starts this year in Triple-A, Lyles is 3-3 with a 3.20 ERA. After posting a 1.86 WHIP in his first exposure to Triple-A, Lyles has a 1.24 mark so far this season. In his last three starts for the RedHawks, Lyles was 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA. In 20.2 IP, he allowed 0 HR and just 2 BB and fanned 10 batters.

Lyles is not overpowering but he has a deep repertoire and he throws strikes. It’s always impressive when a pitcher makes it to the majors at age 20. But you have to wonder if he is mentally ready to take on major league hitters and if Lyles will trust his stuff enough to thrive.

The matchups are not overly favorable for Lyles, either. He has two road starts and has to go up against Carlos Zambrano and Mat Latos. The tendency among fantasy players is to gobble up rookies when they get called to the majors, hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. Without dominating stuff, Lyles seems unlikely to be a fantasy stud in his first exposure to MLB.

Last week we looked at Carlos Villanueva. In his two starts, Villanueva picked up a win with a strong outing against the Yankees, where he allowed just two hits and one earned run in five innings. But his second start was a disaster, as he gave up 5 ER in 5 IP and was fortunate to come away with a no-decision.