When you search the waiver wire and see a 5.23 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP, the inclination is to scroll down further. When you look at the peripherals closely and the recent performances, you see there is something good.
Those stats belong to Rockies righthander Jason Hammel, who I drafted in two leagues. It didn’t look good the first few weeks of the season. After four starts he had a 9.16 ERA and then went on the disabled list with a groin injury. Since his return, he’s been good. Hammel threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing six hits, three walks and three strikeouts in a win over the Astros Monday.
In five starts since the injury, Hammel has pitched 33 innings, allowed 32 hits and 11 earned runs with a 29/6 K/BB ratio. Even with the awful start Hammel has a 7.32 K/9 and a good 2.44 BB/9 for a 3.0 K/BB. Hammel has a high .347 batting average on balls in play (BABIP) and a below average strand rate (65.7 percent). He is inducing groundballs at 46.6 percent rate and has a fielding independent pitching (FIP) ERA of 3.72.
Hammel showed promise in the second half last season with a 4.23 ERA and 1.32 WHIP with a 72/21 K/BB ratio in 87 1/3 innings after the All-Star break. He is likely available in a lot of leagues and he should be picked up in deep leagues and considered in 12-team standard leagues. At least keep him on the radar.