Kerry WoodÂ Â will apparently announce his retirement today after a career filled with amazing highs an agonizing lows. Abused as a youngster â€“ he racked up insane pitch counts as a high schooler…
Trevor Bauer is inching closer to his 2012 big league debut. After dominating batters in Double-A with 60 strikeouts an a 1.68 ERA over 48 innings, he was promoted to Triple-A Thursday. It’s conceivable that the Tim Lincecum clone could be called up to the bigs in June, and if he does he should, if nothing else, immediately become a significant source of punchouts.
Erik Bedard picked up his fifth loss of the year Wednesday night. Still, a 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 44 Ks in 41 innings this season paint him as a hurler who has been much better than that sickly 2-5 record would indicate. I’d go so far as to say that if Bedard can make 30 starts this year that he’s still going to end up being a pretty darn solid 5th starter in mixed leagues â€“ even if he remains with the Pirates all year.
As expected, the Rays have decided to recall Alex Cobb to take the vacated rotation spot of Jeff Niemann who is likely to miss at least two months after suffering a broken fibula. This move leaves Wade Davis in the bullpen dampening his AL-only value, but it will give Cobb a chance to gain some serious momentum in AL-only leagues. Cobb went 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA and 1.33 WHIP last season in nine starts, solid totals to be sure, but there just wasn’t a spot for him in the crowded Rays’ rotation. Cobb has made eight starts at Triple-A this year, and though his record is just 1-4, he has continued to show his dominance with a 9.58 K/9 mark continuing his trend of being a strikeout per inning arm in the minors, something he was not able to transition to the big league level last season (his K/9 mark was 6.32). Cobb is well worth a look in single leagues, and 15 team mixed leaguers could certainly do worse for the last staff arm.
Through eight starts Aaron Harang is doing what he seemingly always does â€“ he’s pitching well but nothing he’s doing is really exciting. Harang has a 3.83 ERA and 1.30 WHIP for the Dodgers though at least he has 40 Ks in 49.1 innings. He has been particularly effective at home with a 1.08 WHIP and .200 BAA, though it’s only been three starts so there’s still a story to be written there.
Felix Hernandez has looked awful in his last two outings, about as bad as he’s ever looked in his career actually. In the two loses he’s allowed a whopping 21 hits and five walks in 10.1 innings as he’s also allowed 10 earned runs to balloon his ERA to 3.02. His career mark is 3.23, and his WHIP of 1.20 is also just below his career rate of 1.22. Obviously he’s been pretty solid overall but when two starts add more than a run to your ERA â€“ it was previously 1.89 â€“ you have to be a bit concerned.
Mat Latos is starting to make me a bit nervous. He’s shown a propensity to improve as the season wears on, his worst monthly numbers come in April, but through eight starts with the Reds he has a 4.63 ERA and 1.52 WHIP, numbers that are completely out of place for a guy who owns career marks of 3.49 and 1.19. He’s still striking out batters with more than eight per nine, but the 4.23 walks per nine is a big concern for a buy who was under 2.90 walks per nine each of the previous two seasons. When he starts to locate his pitches better success will obviously follow as not only will his walk rate regress but you’d have to also figure that batters ability to hit the ball on the screws would also regress. Currently Latos has a line drive rate of 22.6 percent which is a sky high number for a guy who owns a 16.6 percent career rate. His BABIP isn’t really to blame, that .318 mark is a bit high but by no means crazy, so it’s likely got a lot more to do with Latos just not hitting his spots with his pitches.
I could wait no longer in the one league in which I drafted Roy Oswalt, so I had to let him go last week due to mounting injuries. Many might say I should have made the move a long while ago. Well, I bet those people are about ready to head to the waiver-wire and see if Mr. Oswalt is available after he recently threw bullpen sessions for the Phillies and Red Sox. Within the last week he’s tossed pitches for both clubs, and though no signing is immanent, it certainly sounds like he’s on the cusp of signing with some club which could mean that he will be able to return to action by late June. Forgotten about by many, don’t be one of the masses. Oswalt was â€śbadâ€ť last season and still posted a 3.69 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and 2.82 K/BB ratio showing that the old fella still has plenty left in the tank to at least be considered an average major league starting pitcher.
J.J. Putz continues to be an adventure for the D’backs. His ERA is 7.50 and his WHIP 1.58, so the natural inclination is to say that he stinks. I’d say that isn’t quite accurate. Putz has still struck out better than a batter per inning this season, and through 13 outings he’s yet to walk a single batter. The blame rests sorely in two spot. First, his BABIP is .405. When a guy owns a career mark of .282 you know what to think about a number over .400 right? Hint: it will come down. Second, Putz has never been prone to the big fly like he has been this year. The last four seasons Putz has never allowed more than four homers in a single season. This year he’s already give up four bombs in 12 innings. Expect the homers to decrease, along with the hits, and then watch the ratios also plummet.
Clayton Richard continues to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At home he has a 2.30 ERA, 0.91 WHIP an a 3.67 K/BB ratio. On the road he has a 7.99 ERA, 1.77 WHIP and 0.90 K/BB. For his career he has a 2,.67 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 176 Ks in 216 innings at Petco. Pitch him there every time, but avoid him on the road like you avoid triple fudge sundae’s when you’re trying to lose weight.
Kerry Wood will apparently announce his retirement today after a career filled with amazing highs an agonizing lows. Abused as a youngster â€“ he racked up insane pitch counts as a high schooler â€“ Wood burst on the scene in 1998 and less than a month later he tied the major league record with a 20 strikeout game (no man who has ever lived had better stuff than Wood did that day. It’s amazing that the Astros were able to manage a single hit). Wood finished his rookie season with 233 Ks in 166.2 innings, 12.58 per nine, the third highest mark in baseball history in a season of 162 innings (Randy Johnson at 13.41 in 2011 and Pedro Martinez at 13.20 in 1999). Wood then had Tommy John surgery, returned to win at least 12 games in three straight seasons (2001-03) before injuries start to mount up. Eventually he moved to the bullpen and saved 20 games in two seasons (he had 34 in 2008). All told he failed to throw 1,400 big league innings but he will always be remembered for the heat and curve ball that led to a 10.31 K/9 mark for his career. Via con dios mi amigo â€“ you were a joy to watch.
Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87 from 5-8 PM EDT, Monday through Friday. Ray’s baseball analysis can be found at BaseballGuys.com and his minute to minute musings can be located at the BaseballGuys’ Twitter account.
Tags: Alex Cobb, Fantasy, Fantasy Baseball, Kerry Wood, MLB, Trevor Bauer