59° Good Afternoon
59° Good Afternoon

News, notes, and a deep sleeper

Matt Harrison had another impressive start Saturday with a win over the Orioles to improve to 2-0. In 14 innings, he has allowed seven hits, walked three, and struck out 11 with a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. Harrison saw his velocity improve last season and it has carried over to this season. He throws four pitches and gets ground balls at a good rate. Don’t expect many strikeouts, but Harrison is an intriguing pickup.

In 13 innings, this pitcher has allowed nine hits, no runs, walked four and struck out 14 in two starts. It is Brewers lefthander Chris Narveson. He finished strong last season and is someone to consider in deeper mixed leagues. He doesn’t throw hard, but throws a curve in the low 70s and keeps hitters off balance.

If you read this blog or listen to my Sirius XM show, then you probably own Hiroki Kuroda. He’s off to a 2-0 start and came within one out of a shutout Saturday. He’s legit.

Jonathan Broxton hasn’t been dominant and has just one strikeout in 4 1/3 innings, but has converted all five saves.

Ryan Franklin blew his third save on Saturday, although it should have been a save. Colby Rasmus dropped the final out and it was somehow scored a two-run double. There’s no way it was a hit. We have been waiting for Franklin to lose his job the last two seasons and it doesn’t happen. He’s the best option for the Cardinals at the moment. Jason Motte isn’t pitching well. If you’re speculating on someone, go with Mitchell Boggs.

Justin Masterson didn’t get a strikeout over seven innings in his first start. He had nine in 6 1/3 innings Saturday against the inept Mariners offense and is 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with a 9/3 K/BB ratio in 13 1/3 innings. Masterson has the profile of a good pitcher with good K/9 rates and induces a lot of grounders. He needs to limit the walks and fare better against lefthanders, who have crushed him the last two seasons.

I targeted Alex Avila as my second catcher in two-catcher leagues because he has the every day job and has some power. He had seven home runs in 294 at-bats last season and already has three.

James McDonald allowed four runs in the first inning today, but pitched into the seventh inning. He allowed a two-out hit and the runner wound up scoring. McDonald has been shaky in the first two starts, but he missed time in the spring with an injury. I still like him.

J.A. Happ bounced back from a rough season debut to win with 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Marlins, who were without Hanley Ramirez. He walked four and that high walk rate is going to hurt him.

Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth inning to get a save today. Jordan Walden was unavailable after throwing 25 pitches Saturday night. Remember that Mike Scioscia never said Rodney lost the job and it was a temporary to take him out of the role. Walden has pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings with a 7/1 K/BB ratio so expect him to get the next save chance.

Aaron Harang doesn’t have the same stuff that he used to. Still, he’s a good pitcher especially when home at PETCO Park. He’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA.

I loved Matt Kemp this season and didn’t get him in any league. He already has six stolen bases.

With Erick Aybar on the DL, Maicer Izturis will see more at-bats. He’s eligible at several positions in many leagues and is a good add.

Don’t be surprised if Brandon Belt gets sent to the minors when Cody Ross returns from the DL. He’s hitting .161, but it has more to do with Aubrey Huff’s awful outfield defense and he will need to return to first base.

Look for Wilson Ramos to get more playing time at catcher for the Nationals.

Looking for a deep sleeper pitcher with two starts this week? Try the Rockies’ Esmil Rogers. In his season debut, he allowed four hits, one run, one walk, and struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings. He had solid peripherals last season, but had a very high .385 BABIP and low strand rate of 56 percent. He throws his fastball around 94 and gets a lot of ground balls.


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