You only get one chance to make an introduction. Unless you write a weekly column.
Eddie Butler, SP, Rockies
News broke fairly late last night that Butler will replace Franklin Morales in the Rockies rotation in short order, and this is a very good thing for fantasy owners. Butler will already be owned in dynasty leagues, of course, but in deep leagues with shallow rosters or no minor league rosters, there’s a decent chance he’s unowned. Despite the fact that Butler is a pitcher who will call Coors Field home, that should change immediately.
Butler has been quite good in Double-A so far this season, posting a 2.49 ERA through 68.2 innings pitched. His strikeout rate is a bit low at just 14 percent, but that’s uncharacteristic of how Butler has performed throughout his career. Plus, part of the reason Butler projects as a successful pitcher in the majors despite his unfavorable home park is his ability to generate ground balls, and that skill has still been readily apparent this year. Butler lacks any Triple-A experience and doesn’t have many contextual factors in his favor, so there’s a decent shot that his first taste of the majors doesn’t go exactly as planned. But while I may preach caution in shallower leagues, he’s a must-add for deep leagues, as his upside is as a legit no. 4 fantasy starter this year.
Rubby De La Rosa, SP, Red Sox
Speaking of talented pitchers with unfavorable contextual factors, De La Rosa made a triumphant return to the major leagues this week, throwing seven innings of shutout ball with eight strikeouts against the Rays. While we can’t expect RDLR to be that dominant moving forward, he’s been moderately successful as a starter in Triple-A this season, and the Red Sox are now reaping the rewards of their decision to leave De La Rosa in the rotation.
With Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront both theoretically eligible to return from the DL later in June, there’s a chance that De La Rosa’s stint in the Boston rotation is relatively short-lived. For that reason, I can’t advocate blowing a ton of FAAB on him, as there’s really no guarantee he makes mores than five starts this year. That being said, if you really need pitching help he’s a nice gamble, and if you’re looking to pick up some extra starts this month, you could do far worse than to turn to the talented right-hander. If he demonstrates the ability to dominate in the major leagues as a starter on a consistent basis, he’ll have increased his long-term value, too.
Jesse Hahn, SP, Padres
Hahn made his major -eague debut for the Padres last night, and thought he started off very strong he finished with a pretty ugly line, lasting just 3 2/3 innings and giving up four earned runs. I like Hahn as a potential back-end starter in the long run, and any pitcher with a pulse is somewhat interesting in Petco, but I’m going to advocate holding off on Hahn in deep leagues unless he’s going to cost you next to nothing right now.
Hahn has performed quite well in Double-A this year, posting a 2.20 ERA in 33.2 innings. That’s all the experience he has above the High-A level, though, and that doesn’t convince me that he’s ready for the major leagues at this point. Hahn has a chance to appear on the back-end of some top-200 lists next year if he doesn’t exhaust his prospect eligibility. But this isn’t an elite prospect, and he’s not one with the MiLB track record to suggest he’ll experience immediate success. I never thought I’d end up advising you to pick up a Rockies pitcher and hold off on a Padres arm, but here we are. 2014 is a weird year for baseball.
Deep League Streamer of the Week: Jacob deGrom, Mets
I covered deGrom in more depth three weeks ago, describing him as “not exciting, but potentially useful.” He’s outperformed up to such lofty praise to this point, earning a 2.42 ERA in 26.0 innings through four starts, striking out nearly a batter per inning. Do I think he’ll keep this up? No. But do I think there’s reason for optimism when he faces the Cubs on Thursday? Yes. Yes I do. I wish this start was in New York and not in Chicago, but I’ll still take deGrom’ against the major’s fourth-worst offense.
Twitter Question of the Week:
— 1nter (@1nter) June 3, 2014
It was a pretty weak week for questions on Twitter, and that’s how we come to this insane trade proposal. Don’t get me wrong, @1nter — you should absolutely make this deal if you’re playing in a league with someone in Josh Hamilton’s immediate family. But you’re not going to get three top-100 fantasy prospects for an oft-injured outfielder coming off of a terrible year. I think Hamilton has a bit more left in the tank than do some other fantasy prognosticators out there, but this is an insane ask or him. But don’t feel bad — this would be the third most-reasonable trade so far in TDGX.