Everyone is happy when one of their pitchers is scheduled for two starts in a week. But that is not always a good thing. Here are five pitchers you may be on the fence about (or should be on the fence) putting into your lineup for Week 22.
Jorge de la Rosa – Last time out against the Braves, de la Rosa allowed just 1 BB in 7 IP. He’s allowed 11 BB in 30.2 IP in his 5 W and 16 BB in 23.1 IP in his 4 L. The key to de la Rosa is his control. This year he has allowed 20 BB in 26.2 road innings and he has road starts this week against the Giants and Padres. So, while de la Rosa has pitched well recently, the matchups do not favor him, especially as the Padres have the fourth-highest walk total in the National League. So, put him on the bench if you can.
Brian Duensing – After starting the season in the bullpen, Duensing moved into the rotation the third week of July. In seven starts this year, Duensing is 4-1 with a 2.66 ERA. Additionally, he has allowed just 8 BB in 47.1 IP. With two home starts this week, get Duensing into your lineup.
J.A. Happ – Since arriving in Houston, Happ has posted a 3-2 record with a strong 7.96 K/9. But that strikeout rate is over a full K higher than his career average. Happ has also been lucky with his HR rate, which is 4.7 percent for the season and 4.9 with the Astros. It adds up to an xFIP of 4.90 for Happ. With starts against the Cardinals and in Arizona, give Happ a seat on the bench this week.
Randy Wolf – In his first 21 games, Wolf was 7-9 with a 5.20 ERA. But since then he’s gone 3-1 with a 3.23 ERA in 39 IP. In that span, he has 29 Ks and 10 BB and only 2 HR allowed. That ability to limit the long ball will be tested this week with road games against the Reds and Phillies. If Wolf can keep the ball in the park, look for him to come away with a win this week.
Carlos Zambrano – It has been a roller coaster ride for Zambrano this season but he has been pitching well since moving back into the rotation August 9th. In four starts he is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA. Zambrano had trouble with his control (15 BB in 24 IP) but in his last outing allowed just 1 BB in 8 IP. With home starts against the Pirates and Mets, make sure Zambrano is active.
Other scheduled two-start pitchers in Week 22 are listed below. Please remember that these are projected pitchers and changes can and will happen between now and next week.
Halladay, F. Hernandez, Carpenter, E. Santana, Hughes, Wilson, Cahill, Beckett, Jurrjens, Kuroda, Buehrle, J. Sanchez, Niese, Minor, Cecil, LeBlanc, Saunders, Davis, Matusz, Mazzaro, Bailey, Kendrick, Masterson, Galarraga, Moseley, Maholm, Talbot, Sanabia, Davies, Marquis, Pauley, Misch.
Now I want to provide some accountability and check in and see how previous recommendations turned out. There needs to be a two-week lag, since last week’s pitchers have not completed their second start yet. So here are Week 20 pitchers and how they fared.
Arroyo – Advised to start. 2 W, 2.51 ERA, 11 Ks, 1.047 WHIP (2 starts)
Braden – Advised to start. W, 2.77 ERA, 8 Ks, 0.846 WHIP (2)
Niese – Advised to start. W, 1.50 ERA, 10 Ks, 1.083 WHIP (2)
W. Rodriguez – Advised to start. 2.08 ERA, 16 Ks, 1.154 WHIP (2)
Zito – Advised to sit. 9.35 ERA, 3 Ks, 2.077 WHIP (2)