One of the mistakes owners often make is picking up any two-start pitcher in a weekly or head-to-head league to get more starts than an opponent. Sounds logical but many times a better pitcher making one start are more advantageous than a mediocre or below average pitcher making two starts. Take Justin Masterson from last night. I’m sure many people picked him up for two starts and while I did like him as a late-round pick before the season, I can’t start him with the way he’s been pitching. He has promise, but right now he’s anything but a master.
Masterson went four innings and allowed nine hits, five runs, walked two and struck out none to fall to 0-5. Masterson has been unlucky with a very high .405 BABIP and 64.1 percent strand rate. He has a 6.13 ERA and a 1.89 WHIP, but a 4.19 WHIP. The strikeouts are there with an 8.81 K/9, but a 4.98 BB/9 is a problem. Masterson is getting strikeouts and groundballs (60 percent rate), but he continues to struggle against lefthanders (.386 average). Masterson has the skill set to succeed, but right now he needs to be benched.
John Danks only went five innings because he threw 112 pitches, but he improved to 4-3. He allowed six hits, two runs, two walks and struck out five and has a 2.37 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.
Sergio Santos is becoming quite a story. He was a shortstop is whole career until he was converted into a pitcher and he struggled at several levels in the minors last season. All he has done is dominate this season out of the bullpen. In 17 1/3 innings, he has allowed 10 hits, one run, walked seven and struck out 21. He has a 0.52 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 18 games. His fastball averages 95.5 mph. In deeper mixed leagues and especially daily leagues with larger rosters, Santos is a good add.
Victor Martinez left yesterday’s game after fouling a ball off his big left toe. The injury doesn’t appear to be serious as x-rays were negative.
So much for David Ortiz being done. After hitting .143 in April, he is batting .304 with six home runs and 13 RBIs. He is hitting just .214 against lefthanders, so he could see less at-bats against them, but he’s at least fantasy worthy again.
Adrian Beltre went 3-for-4 with an RBI and is batting .335. The average will likely decrease considering he has a .390 BABIP. He has three home runs and 27 RBIs. When healthy, he usually hits around 25 home runs. The home runs are down because he has a 49 percent groundball rate and just a 29 percent fly ball rate. It’s a small sample, but expect the power to increase and the average to go down.
Brett Cecil was excellent in his first four starts before allowing eight runs in two innings against the Rangers and he was likely dropped in many leagues. He has bounced back with two more good starts, including a win over the Angels last night. He threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits, two walks and struck out three. The lefthander is 4-2 with a 4.10 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and a 33/12 K/BB ratio in 41 2/3 innings. He’ll have some bumps pitching in the AL East, but he has good skills.
Aaron Harang hasn’t had a great season statistically for fantasy teams, but I still think he can improve. At least he is halfway to his win total of last season after getting win No. 3 against the Pirates last night. In 6 1/3 innings, he allowed eight hits, four earned runs, walked two and struck out three. The problem for Harang is the long ball as he has allowed at least one home run in 8 of his 10 starts and pitching in Cincinnati doesn’t help. The fly ball rate has decreased to 34 percent, but the HR/FB ratio is 17 percent, above his 11.2 career mark. A 7.36 K/9 and 1.99 BB/9 are encouraging.
Stephen Strasburg allowed his first earned run in Triple-A last night. He has a 0.39 ERA in four starts at Triple-A and will start Saturday against the Yankees Triple-A team. The highly touted righthander could make his Nationals debut June 4.
Brett Anderson made his first rehab start Monday and pitched three innings, allowing six hits and two runs. He threw 57 pitches. He could return the first week of June.
Mike Cameron was activated from the disabled list and is in the lineup tonight.
The Rockies signed Kaz Matsui to a minor league contract.