After a week that has seen a perfect game and Albert Pujols’ first home run of the season, we enter into week six with three types of recommendations; a couple of starting pitchers that have re-invented themselves, a new one that is off to an amazing start, a probable new closer on the horizon, and a true baseball icon. Here they are…
Chris Capuano-SP-Dodgers- We know it’s early but when you consider that Capuano’s numbers rival those of Justin Verlander, you need to ask yourself if Verlander is just being Verlander or is Capuano turning into a stud and performing over his head? In either case, Capuano should be owned in all leagues until and if we see a correction in his stats. He has twice as many wins as Verlander 4 vs 2, a better ERA 2.21 vs 2.38, and just six less strikeouts 36 vs 42. He is a perfect trade high candidate as the 33 year old has a 61-64 career record as well as a 4.31 ERA and 1.35 WHIP. The K’s are legit and we would understand if you hung on to him just for them, but he hasn’t had one year when his ERA was less than 4.00. He is available in 50% of leagues.
#35 Chris Capuano, who was with the N.Y. Mets last season is off to his best start in Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Kersey/Getty Images North America
Gavin Floyd-SP-White Sox-Another Chris Capuono type pitcher, Floyd too has been pitching over his head, so to speak, which would make him another hurler to trade high, but part of his success might be responsible for pitching coach Don Cooper, who has also been instrumental in turning Jake Peavy’s career around as well. Floyd who has one more strikeout than Capuano, 37, has been averaging almost a K per inning. His ERA is almost a point power than his career average and he has a miniscule WHIP of 0.96. As with Capuano, if you’re in need of K’s, you should wait until at least Thursday when he’ll face Kansas City. Floyd is owned in 43% of leagues.
#34 Gavin Floyd, under the tutelage of coach Don Cooper has averaged a K per inning and is available in over half of leagues. Photo: Brian Kersey/Getty Images North America
Drew Smyly-SP-Tigers-This 22 year old who was a late season call up last year, has been impressive so far this season. He should have a 3-1 or 4-0 record had he received more timely and adequate run support. He hasn’t given up more than 2 runs in any of his five starts, and that happened just once. He has over a strikeout per inning and boasts an ERA of 1.61 and a 1.18 WHIP. Smyly has already faced some pretty stiff competition as he’s drawn the Yankees, Tampa Bay, White Sox and the Rangers. Over his next three it’ll get a bit easier for him as he’ll go up against weaker opponents in Seattle and Pittsburgh, with the White Sox wedged in the middle. A definite SP pickup for those in 12+ leagues, Smyly is only owned in 28% of most leagues.
#33 Tiger Drew Smyly has recorded 29 K’s against 9 BB and should have a better record than he does. An up and coming young southpaw! Phoro: AP
Ernesto Frieri-RP-Angels- Frieri, who was quite a serviceable reliever during his two full seasons in San Diego, was just traded on Friday to the Los Angeles Angels for two minor leaguers; infielder Alexi Amarista and pitcher Donn Roach. They have had their problems with their closers in L.A. with Scott Downs and LaTroy Hawkins both injured and Jordan Walden struggling with an inflated ERA of 6.75 and just 1 save. Frieri has 22 K’s in just 13 innings and sports an ERA under 2 with a WHIP at 1.10. If you are desperate for saves, Frieri will be afforded opportunities in the upcoming days and if he performs well, could possibly take over the position altogether. If you have a place to stash him in deeper leagues, consider doing so. He is currently owned in about 12% of most leagues so he is widely available.
#48 New Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri, newly traded from San Diego, could be in store for save opportunities. Photo: The Associated Press
Chipper Jones-3B-Braves- This is a good news/bad news entry this week. The 19 year veteran, all with Atlanta, is currently tied for 12th in the leagues in RBI with 21. He has five dingers and has scored 14 runs. His batting average, .318, rivals his career BA which stands at .304. Jones, turned 40 last month, and was just accused of stealing signs while Jamie Moyer, who is pushing 50, was on the mound. Really, what information could he have relayed to the batter? That Moyer will throw a 77 mph ball instead of 81? Really? Anyway the bad news concerning Chipper is his well documented battle with injuries. So if you pick him up you should be mindful of this. He is available in 50% of leagues if you want to pick up a bit of nostalgia…
Atlanta Braves icon Chipper Jones is off to another quality season with 5 HR and 21 RBI as of Sunday. His RBI total puts him in 12th place in the league. Photo: Associated Press/David Goldman