The Orioles appear on the brink of calling up one of their future aces. The Cubs got back their ace after he battled an arm injury for months. The Angels might have found themselves an arm that could be a part of their rotation for the rest of the season. Those are the three stories that will be highlighted today, as well as a dating tip that you fellas can use on your next first date.
KEVIN GAUSMAN TO BE CALLED UP
The Orioles have two of the best pitching prospects in the game. The top guy, Dylan Bundy, is on the shelf right now for another couple of weeks. Shutdown in late April with a forearm/elbow issue, Bundy received the old PRP injection and should be fine without any surgical intervention (they hope). His call to the bigs could come in the second half if he proves to be physically sound. The other Orioles ace-in-waiting is Kevin Gausman, an it appears that we are on the cusp of his major league debut.
The 4th selection in the 2012 draft, Gausman is an elite talent. He throws a fastball that can sit in the mid 90's with significant movement, has a dominating change up, and that slider of his is pretty darn impressive as well (all of his pitches possesses serious movement, and he's done a good job keeping all the offerings down in the zone this year with a better than 51 percent ground ball rate). Standing 6'3” and weighing in at about 190 lbs, the 22 year old righty went to Louisiana State and he's been carving up professional hitters like he was still in school this season with his vaguely Roy Halladay reminiscent delivery. Through eight starts he has a 3.11 ERA with 49 strikeouts and just five walks over 46.1 innings. On the down side he's thrown a total of 61.1 innings as a professional, and no matter how talented you are, I'd personally like to see more time honing ones craft than that in the minors. Oh well.
Regardless, reports are circulating everywhere that Gausman will be called up to start Thursday for the Orioles (there is an opening in the Orioles' rotation with Wei-Yen Chen on the DL with a strained right oblique muscle). Therefore, Gausman is a must add in just about every conceivable format based on talent alone. If he continues to keep the ball on the ground, and avoid the free pass like it was a case of bubonic plague, then there is little to stop him from having success at the big league level. Just be careful that you don't go expecting a Stephen Strasburg like debut from the Orioles righty.
Over at Fleaflicker.com folks are just starting to note that Gausman will be called up. Make sure you beat it over to the waiver-wire and add him immediately.
MATT GARZA SHARP
I've been receiving questions about what my thoughts are with Matt Garza for weeks now. My answer has usually been something like 'I love the guy, he's as consistent as they come, and I would want him in virtually every format IF he's healthy. I just don't know where his health is at right now.' Well, if we use one start to give us the answer about his health, then he's good to go.
Garza hit 93 mph in his first start of the season, and he tossed a no-no into the 5th inning against the Pirates. In addition to the velocity, his location was spot an and his breaking balls were sharp and clean. So if you ask me the question again today, what do I think about Garza, my answer is – he's worth adding in virtually all formats now that he looks healthy.
JEROME WILLIAMS WORTHY OF AN ADD?
Jerome Williams has won his last two decisions for the Angels. He's gone at least 6.2 innings in his last three starts. He's allowed a total of four runs while walking just three batters in those three outings. What do you know, he 3-1 with a 2.53 ERA and 1.08 WHIP through 46.1 innings this season. There's also a growing feeling that he will remain in the starting rotation for the Angels as Joe Blanton just cannot seem to get on track this season (0-7, 6.62 ERA, 1.97 WHIP with an obscenely high .369 BAA) once Jered Weaver returns to action (Weaver could start for the Angels within the week if his appearance in extended Spring Training goes well Wednesday).
The upshot is that Williams is looking like a fantastic AL-only play at the moment, and one that you might consider streaming in mixed leagues as well. But let me offer a dose of reality.
Williams is 36-38 in his career. His ERA is 4.16. His WHIP 1.32. Only once since 2005 has he thrown 50 innings in a big league season.
Even this year he isn't missing any bats, his 5.63 K/9 marks is spot on his career 5.69 mark, and after 5-straight years with a HR/9 mark over one it's currently sitting at 0.58.
You can add Williams in a mixed league if you need a boost, he is pitching well right now, but you need to keep your expectations reasonable to avoid being disappointed (it's what I tell women all the time on our first date... I'm a great guy and you'll love me, as long as you don't expect me to be anything special that you'll want to introduce to your folks).
By Ray Flowers
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The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.
- Calvin Johnson unlikely to play
- Donald Brown hasn't cleared concussion protocol
- V-Mart seeking 4-yr contract in free agency
- Lincecum's MRI clean, available Friday
- Wainwright underwent surgery Friday
- Vereen "questionable" for Sunday
- Jimmy Graham likely to play Sunday
- P. Thomas & K. Robinson ruled out for Sunday
- Marquis Teague has been traded to the 76ers
- Aldridge (groin) will not play Friday night