Got a pair of back-end starting pitchers for you this week, one young and one old…
Anthony Bass | SP, RP | Padres | Owned: 26% Yahoo! and 16.9% ESPN
The Padres currently have four starting pitchers on the disabled list including three of their Opening Day rotation guys, forcing them to use retreads like Jeff Suppan and Eric Stults. Bass, 24, is the one replacement who doesn’t qualify as a retread. The right-hander owns a 2.89 ERA and a 3.29 FIP through eight starts and two relief appearances, and only once has he allowed more than three runs in an outing.
Mike Podhorzer identified Bass as a SwStk% leader just this morning, noting that his big league peripherals — 8.66 K/9 (23.9 K%) and 3.06 BB/9 (8.5 BB%) — do not line up with his minor league performance. I see a pitcher with a) a strong ground ball rate (52.9%) who should benefit from the departure of Orlando Hudson‘s statue at second base, and b) a favorable upcoming schedule. Bass will start at the Mets later this week before lining up for dates at the Cubs, at home against the Giants, at the Mariners, and then at the Athletics. You can’t expect many wins given his supporting cast, but choose your spots wisely and your rate stats will get a nice boost.
Andy Pettitte | SP | Yankees | Owned: 24% Yahoo! and 17.0% ESPN
Pettitte officially made his comeback with a so-so start against the Mariners last weekend, but he bounced back to dominate the Reds his next time out. He held Cincinnati to four singles, one walk, and zero runs in eight innings last Friday, striking out nine. Obviously you can’t expect that every time out, but it was a sign that the effective Andy Pettitte still exists even as he approaches 40 and after a year of retirement.
Pettitte’s fantasy value has never really lined up with his real life value because he’s not a huge strikeout pitcher, will put guys on base, and generally pitches to an ERA in low-4.00s. The Yankees offense will win him some games despite their recent slump though, and pitching coach Larry Rothschild has a reputation for helping his staff improve their peripherals. The Yankees hired Rothschild a few weeks before Pettitte’s retirement, so he never got a chance to work with him. His next few starts will come at home against the Royals then on the road against the Angels and at home against the Rays. Not the best matchups, but he’s someone worth keeping tabs on as the season progresses.