In the last column before the baseball season started I wrote a piece on players who had minimal value in most fantasy leagues, but could have some impact at some point during the season. One of the players I talked about was Astros righthander Felipe Paulino and after he began the season 0-7, laughter was certainly an appropriate reaction.
But, he wasn't as bad as the record indicated. Over the last few starts, you can see why I had him on the radar. Paulino picked up his first win of the season Friday night with eight innings of one-run ball where he allowed five hits, two walks and struck out seven against the Cubs.
On April 22, Paulino had a 5.94 ERA and he has trimmed it down to 4.01. Over his last four starts, he has pitched 28 innings and allowed 18 hits, five earned runs, walked 14 and struck out 20. Paulino has also cut down his home runs after allowing 20 in 97 2/3 innings last season. He has allowed just two so far.
Paulino's fastball averages 95 mph and he's used his curveball more frequently. His HR/FB ratio is a very low 2.8 percent, so he's been fortunate. The control is still shaky with a 4.81 BB/9. Paulino has a fielding independent pitching ERA of 3.41, so there is some upside.
The run support has been awful, which is one of the reasons for a 1-7 record. Paulino is someone to consider in deeper mixed leagues as well as someone to keep on the radar, especially if the control improves.