We’re only nearing the end of April and the list of both starting pitchers and relievers currently on the DL is growing. With SP such as Cliff Lee, Daniel Hudson, Michael Pineda, Chris Carpenter, and Ryan Dempster that need to be replaced, here are some alternatives to consider filling their slots with:
1. Philip Humber-SP-White Sox- Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past several days, you would know that Humber just pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history last Saturday. The former 1st round, 3rd all around pick of the N.Y. Mets was traded to Minnestota as part of the deal for Johan Santana in 2008. He’s a year removed from his first full season in the majors going an unremarkable 9-9 with the White Sox with a 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. In his first 2 games this season, he has struck out 16 and walked just 3. Not a strike out pitcher in his young carerer, his control has been exceptional. Look, the guy already just pitched a perfect game. How much better can he get? He’s available in in around 65% of leagues.
2. Ross Detwiler-SP,RP-Nationals-Another former 1st round pick of the Nationals in ’07, Detwiler beat out John Lanan for the fifth spot in the Nats rotation and has continued to prove management right by making this decision. He’s pitched in three games this season and has only given up one earned run. He’s struck out 15, walked 4 and has Mariano Rivera post-season type numbers with a 0.56 ERA and 0.94 WHIP. The only question here is what happens to him once Chien Ming-Wang returns. Right now however, he is a must add and he’s only owned in 30% of leagues.
3. Bartolo Colon- SP-Athletics- This veteran, vastly approaching Jamie Moyer territory as far as age is concerned (he’ll turn 39 next month), seems to be getting better with age. He threw 38 consecutive strikes from the second pitch of the fifth inning to the seventh pitch of the eighth inning on Wednesday, the longest string of strikes in at least 24 years, which is as far back as the available data goes.
He’s sporting a 3-1 record with 19 K’s and just 2 BB. His 2.63 ERA and 0.80 Whip should make you take notice of the old timer and ride him as long as his current streak will take you; or at least until one of your starters returns from the DL. He’s been on five teams in the last five years so his services continue to be needed. Being in a pitcher friendly ballpark in Oakland doesn’t hurt Colon either. He’s currently owned in around 50% of leagues. A definite pick up in leagues of 12 or more.
As for relievers & closers, here are two to consider if you have lost one or more to the DL, such as Drew Storen, Andrew Bailey, Brian Wilson, or Kyle Farnsworth, to name a few…
4. Henry Rodriguez-RP-Nationals-He and Brad Lidge have been sharing the closing duties until closer Drew Storen returns. Friday vs the Marlins, Rodriguez picked up his fourth save in his fourth opportunity. He reached at least 100 mph on six pitches in that game which explains why his ERA in 7 1/3 innings pitched so far this year is 0.00. He has 9K’s over that span and a WHIP of 0.95. I can’t see how much better he has to pitch before he’s given the closer spot exclusively and Lidge becomes the set-up man or closes when Rodriguez needs a rest. He’s owned in just over half of most leagues so if you need saves grab him if you can in all leagues.
5. Luis Perez-RP-Blue Jays- If this 27 year old in just his second major league season continues to impress, there should be some consideration for him to take over the closer spot on a team that named Francisco Cordero the closer after Sergio Santos (right shoulder inflamation) went to the DL on 4/21. Even Santos who only had 2 saves before his injury also had a high 9.00 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP. The rest of the relievers have 2 saves, combined!
Perez has the best ERA 0.00 and WHIP 0.71 of all the other Blue Jay relievers. He also has 12 K’s and 4 BB in 11 innings of work. In contrast, Francisco Cordero has a 4.50 ERA, Casy Janssen 5.68, and former Blue Jays closer Jason Frasor 5.68. We recommend you taking a flier out on Perez in most leagues and keep in mind that in deeper leagues he can help in ERA, WHIP, and K’s and perhaps an occasional save.