This week we get to say welcome back to a few veterans that are resurrecting careers, or at least they and all us fantasy baseball owners can only hope for that scenario. A nice number of youngsters to choose from, too. Let's take a gander, shall we?
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Scott Diamond MIN vs PHI Joe Blanton
Vin Mazzaro KC vs MIL Shaun Marcum
Kevin Millwood SEA vs SD Edinson Volquez
Barry Zito SF vs HOU Wandy Rodriguez
I don't think the Twins could really ask more from Diamond (great baseball name, ain't it?) than he has provided. He has been the ace of the staff since his call up. Why don't you put him on your roster and reap some of the benefits before the other owners in your league beat you to the punch? Mazzaro has a tenuous hold on a rotation spot, but it's hard to justify removing him from the rotation while he continues to win, last start excepted. He's pitched well enough to give him a chance at home against Milwaukee, especially in an AL-only league. Millwood continues to surprise me, although his status for this week is questionable due to the groin strain he suffered while no-hitting the Dodgers in his last outing. If you want to roster him, check the injury reports on Wednesday or Thursday morning. Well, well, well, where was this outburst hiding, Mr. Zito? He's been helped by the Giants' offense showing some extra pop this season, although he watched the Rangers demonstrate what they can do to less than stellar pitching his last appearance. He has pitched well at home this season, and should rebound against the Astros.
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Bruce Chen KC @ StL Kyle Lohse
Drew Hutchison TOR vs PHI Vance Worley
Francisco Liriano MIN vs MIL Michael Fiers
Chen is not someone you want to start if you seek Ks, but if you like a control pitcher that relies on fly ball outs, he's your guy. His K/BB ratio is nice, demonstrating his ability to provide a decent WHIP, even if his ERA is usually north of 4.40. More of an AL-only option. Hutchison has raised some eyebrows with his performance in Toronto, especially since he wasn't exactly lighting it up in the minors prior to his promotion. Although he took a loss in his last decision, he hurt himself with 2 HRs, but otherwise pitched his consistent stuff. Right now, an AL-only option, or someone to target in deeper mixed leagues. The stint in the bullpen seems to have been the tonic Liriano needed to start pitching well again. He was hurt in his last start by the Cubs in one inning, but that is often enough all it takes. I am not buying in fully yet, as Francisco has burned me too often these last couple of years. If he can string together 3 QS, then maybe he ends up on my roster.
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Joe Kelly StL vs KC TBA (Probable Jonathan Sanchez)
Slim pickings for a Saturday. Kelly looks to be the replacement for Garcia in the Cards' rotation for the time being. Not a lot to go on with only one MLB start, and his minor league numbers until this year at AAA don't scream ace, but he should hold down a rotation slot until Carpenter comes back from his DL stint. Nice first outing, but don't get too excited, let's take a wait and see attitude for now.
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Alex Cobb TB vs MIA Josh Johnson
Randall Delgado ATL vs BAL Wei-Yin Chen
Kyle Kendrick PHI @ TOR TBA (Probable Henderson Alvarez)
Garrett Richards LAA vs ARI Ian Kennedy
Chris Young NYM vs CIN Johnny Cueto
Cobb's hit sort of a rough patch after being very good for his first two starts. He continues to show good control, and is backed up by a capable lineup, so his prospects are good for a rebound. Delgado has been inconsistent this season, pitching well for a stretch, then struggling. He's only 22, so that can be expected. Part of his problem is that his control isn't great, as evidenced by his 54:36 K/BB ratio. I am not sold on him, although I do generally like Atlanta starting pitchers. Kendrick has been unlucky, at least until his last start when he gave up 5 ER to the Dodgers. Before that, in his previous 4 games he allowed 5 total ER, but only had 2 wins to show for it with one loss. The strikeouts aren't exceptional, but he is serviceable in spot starts with decent match ups, but since we don't know for sure who he faces in Toronto, be careful. Richards has a bad match up here, but he's been having success filling in for Jared Weaver. As the Angels' offense ignites, look for him to be not only an AL-only option, but a usable mixed league SP as well. The return of Chris Young to the majors was interrupted by a paternity leave, but with the Mets playing well, he makes an intriguing option to pick up off of waivers. The talent has always been there, it is the durability that failed him. He should slot in nicely to the Mets' rotation, a rotation which I confess I wrongly maligned this preseason. Mea culpa. Live and learn.
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