April showers bring May flowers, and April injuries bring May inquiries. Despite that being the lamest twist on an old poem (yes, that’s right it’s a poem) the saying is very true in fantasy baseball.
2010 is shaping up to be no different.
But one of the more difficult aspects about waiver wire prospects is just who, is real deal and who is just a wolf in sheep’s clothing. More often than not, owners go after the hottest player for that week or two thinking they’re gonna reap the benefits of their hot play, only to get burned and become jaded little Monkies.
Today I want to make a look at two pitchers that are getting a lot more recognition than they should just because of a couple of good outings, and then follow that up with a quick take on some waiver wire fodder.
Livan Hernandez – SP – WSH: Any self respecting Mets fan would probably chime in right about now and say “Leave Hernandez alone for crying out loud…” and rightfully so.
Suddenly there is nothing but hoopla surrounding Hernandez after Saturday night’s shutout and his overall 2-0 start, 0.00 ERA and 0.875 WHIP.
But fantasy owners need far more out of a pitcher than just a couple of sexy stat categories, they need substance, they need dependable quality; in essence they the total package.
Hernandez is more like a fancy envelope.
Despite Hernandez having two very good outings and changing his arm angle to afford him a better delivery, he is still the same old unpredictable, unreliable, Hernandez. The guy historically is a 5.6 SO/9 pitcher (he hasn’t eclipsed 6.5+ SO/9 since 2004 as a member of the EXPOS), with a career 4.42 ERA and relies on a tricky curveball with very little heat.
The reason for this mention is this: some fantasy owners make look at Hernandez’s hot start AND THEN look at the next three matchups for the Nationals (Rockies, Cubs, Braves) and think to themselves they might have a nice option to pluck, but it isn’t going to happen:
- Colorado is 5th in team BA, 5th in hitting
- The Cubs are tied for first in the National League with 16 team HRs
- The Braves…well the Braves stink right now when it comes to hitting and dingers, but you get the point.
Low strikes, unreliable week in and week out, mostly good competition coming up translates into a guy you should simply leave alone while you continue to shop.
Jamie Garcia – SP – STL:
Jamie who? That’s right this little known pitcher rounding out the back edge of St. Louis’ rotation is starting to cause a stir, and to be honest he is someone to keep a sharp eye on.
Through two starts this year, Garcia’s line looks very impressive:
0.69 ERA, 0.769 WHIP, 10 SO, 5 BB, 5 H, a single run scored, a single earned run with a 6.9 SO/9 rate.
But Garcia has some qualities that resemble a wolf in sheep’s clothing as well, and it starts with his previous competition.
First off, not to take anything away from the kid, but the Mets, and The Brewers are not exactly what I would call “well hitting teams”, and when you only post 5 strikeouts per game against the bottom dwellers, there isn’t much to get all hot and heavy over.
In the same vein, his next three starts will be against The Giants (3rd in NL avg, 4th in hits), The Braves (bottom dweller in team average and hits) and The Phillies (2nd in team avg, 3rd in hits).
Aside from the Braves, the next month or so is not favored towards Garcia, and he could struggle more than produce.
But don’t give up on the kid just yet.
He has a great fastball with some movement and an excellent curveball that comes off the plate in a very deceptive manner, and a changeup he will use as an out-pitch which gives him the ability to strike batters out, while keeping the gopher in the hole so to speak.
In the minors he was an 8.3 SO/9 pitcher, and in 2010 he is getting close to that rate at 6.9.
Noteworthy news from around the league.
- Alex Gordon is finally back in the lineup at third base with Chris Getz getting banged up and could be a good source of plug and play hits for those of you looking for a temporary injection. If Gordon plays well, Getz may be platooned altogether.
- Aaron Rowan is set to go on the DL making Eugenio Velez a hot two-week grab in nearly all formats. Velez is being scouted as the better bat with a ton of speed, and could help you in multiple ways while Rowan heals. He is a must grab if you’re in the market for a dual qualifier (OF, 2B).
- Fred Lewis was picked up by the Toronto Blue Jays earlier this week, and if it weren’t for some travel issues, he would have started Friday reports Jordan Bastian on Twitter. Considering Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista aren’t really setting the world on fire, Lewis could be a good player to watch in the coming weeks.
- Atlanta Braves catcher Kelly Shoppach seems to be headed towards the DL and may require knee surgery reports The Tampa Tribune. The point of interest here is that Dioneer Navarro will become the everyday guy with John Jaso filling in here and there.
- Jaso is an interesting guy that you should watch since he is hitting .667/.750/1.333 so far this year. His line in Triple-A Durham last year was .266/.362/.366 with 5 HR and 30 RBI. Atlanta faces the Red Sox and White Sox on the road before coming back home to face the Blue Jays, A’s, and Royals.
All stats and rankings are current as of Sunday morning April 18th, 2010.