An 11-32 record with a 5.11 ERA in 89 career games that includes 57 games started. Traded to the Rockies for Clint Barmes in 2010 and then outright sold to the Royals for cash in 2011. That is what Felipe Paulino had to show for his career heading into his start last night against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. On March 19, I wrote this piece about pitchers with BABIP and LOB fortune and misfortune. That story included this graphic that divided pitchers into four quadrants:
Paul takes a tour of the league's two-start pitchers to see which are worth using this week.
It’s been a shaky start to the two-start week for several of our American League options from last week. Drew Smyly and Max Scherzerwere both touched up in Chicago. Jeff Niemann had his leg broken and now sits on the 60-day disabled list. Ivan Nova and Jason Hammel were smacked around in an 8-5 slugfest against each other.
National Leaguers didn’t fare much better as Erik Bedard, Ryan Dempster, and Chad Billingsley were among the casualties in their first start. I should’ve known better with Dempster; I gave the reason not to start him within the article—he was facing St. Louis. They have become a team you must sit your non-star pitchers against.
Pitchers are starting to drop to like flies, making Value Picks even more important as they move from luxuries to necessities as replacements. Cory Luebke has a partially torn UCL, Jeff Niemann suffered a broken leg and hit the 60-day disabled list, Danny Duffy is likely set for Tommy John surgery, Vance Worley joined the DL ranks with elbow inflammation, and Joe Wieland (hardly a mixed league stalwart five minutes into his career), went down earlier this month with an elbow injury of his own.
Paulino, Dickey, Zambrano, and Ogando make the VP cut this week
We have seen a shift in recent years with dwindling offensive output giving way to more dominant pitching. At one point or another, each of the last two years has been dubbed the “Year of the Pitcher,” and 2012 is on the same path (though Matt Kemp and Josh Hamilton may have something to say about that). This can be seen as a boon to fantasy owners, as Value Picks remain plentiful. Heck, just a cursory look at the top 10 starters in fantasy this season shows a handful of VP-types like Lance Lynn, Jake Peavy, and Jason Hammel. In short, there will always be some arms out there being undervalued or on the cusp of breaking out. Let’s take a look at this week’s list.
Craig looks at Felipe Paulino's surprising resurgence and whether he can continue through the rest of 2011.
It’s not stretching the truth to say that Felipe Paulino was an afterthought heading into the 2011 fantasy season. “Afterthought?” you say. Okay, he was so far off the radar, he was in another universe. After bouncing between the rotation and the bullpen for the Houston Astros the last couple of years, you could be forgiven if you paid scant attention to the right hander. Traded to Colorado last November for Clint Barmes (Clint Barmes! How low can you go?), the Rockies ticketed Paulino for the bullpen despite lacking depth in the rotation.
Some veteran arms could be on the move, if not now then likely some time during the month of August. Which hurlers are likely to earn subsequent promotions?
The trade deadline is a bit of a hectic time for fantasy baseball players, especially as it pertains to starting pitchers. With so many rumors and so many players involved, it can be hard to follow at times. If you are not quick enough, you can lag behind the curve*. So, with the deadline nearly upon us, it is important to look at some of the candidates who could take the roles vacated by traded starting pitchers.
Value Picks discusses the return from injury of a very undervalued player.
Not much in the way of changes this week on Value Picks, as the portfolio mirrors the pool of available "underrated" players and remains fairly stagnant. While two major injuries to big middle infielders (Dustin Pedroia and Troy Tulowitzki) have infused new blood into the pool of available players, not many of these new names are all that interesting. Meanwhile, few catchers who are predicted to get more than 80% playing time from our Heater short-term projections are available in more than 80% of ESPN mixed leagues, meaning that most catchers are either taken or not good enough to be full-time starters for their real teams.
Which starting pitchers can bolster your fantasy roster going into the second half of the season?
Added to the list
Bud Norris: Norris will be activated from the disabled list and will make his first start on Monday against the Milwaukee Brewers. It is good timing as teammate Felipe Paulino has been placed on the DL. Essentially, the Astros are swapping high-strikeout, high-walk arms though Norris has slightly better swing-and-miss stuff. Norris, as with so many other pitchers who make the "Value Picks" list, was victimized by an unsustainably high BABIP (.400). That, of course, did not partner well with his poor control thus causing him to strand fewer than 60 percent of runners on base. Norris is virtually unknown as he is still available in over 99 percent of ESPN leagues.
Which starting pitchers can you pick up to give your team a boost?
Added to the list
Chris Narveson: Since joining the Milwaukee Brewers organization, Narveson has significantly increased his strikeout rate, and so far this year, he has been able to maintain it with the addition of a slider. He is averaging eight punch-outs per nine innings and has actually struck out batters at a higher clip as a starter than as a reliever (in a small sample of innings, of course). His 5.83 ERA is primarily due to a .353 BABIP and subsequent 66 percent strand rate, thus his 4.32 SIERA should come as no surprise.