Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Top Pickups on the Mound- Week 6

Darrel Rasner

The veteran has been around for a while now, yet always finds it difficult to keep a job in the majors. In the past the injury bug has bitten him and that cost him time. This season he was the victim of circumstance, being apart of the Yankees organization who is was trying to rebuild their pitching staff on the fly by going with youngsters Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. All Rasner needed was a chance and he finally got it when Hughes went down with a broken rib and he was called up to replace him in the rotation.

Rasner is a solid pick up right now in all fantasy formats. He has had success whenever he has had the chance to pitch at the major league level. His issue has been staying healthy enough to remain in the rotation. He won't dominate a line up or strikeout 10 guys a game. What he will do is go 6-7 innings and give up 2-3 runs a game. Nothing great, but fine quality starts that will keep the high octane Yankee offense in the ball game.

FSE VERDICT- Go get him.

Justin Duchscherer

I don't like it. Struggled the last few seasons as a reliever because he was always battling injury and a bad hip. They compensated by making him an everyday starter this season, because they feel it will help ease the strain of his bad hip.

He has had good success early on this season with 14K in 15IP, to go along with an ERA of 2.40 and a whip of 1.27. The numbers look good, but you need to factor in a few things. 1) He failed to record a quality start in any of the games, 2) Two of the starts came against Cleveland and Seattle, two of the teams who have had the most offensive struggles this season, 3) None of this changes the fact that he has a bad hip and will most likely breakdown at some point in August or September, when you need him most.

Update- Last night (5/6) he went 7 innings, and gave up 2 runs, marking his season high for innings pitched. Despite his success, we still feel he is a sell high candidate.

FSE VERDICT- Get him now, sell high in June or July.

Jo-Jo- Reyes

Young pitcher on the Braves so he gets a lot of hype. I have done some reading that says he does not pitch too late into games because he throws a lot of pitches and runs his pitch count up early. That being said he seems to be the type of pitcher who thrives on that because he has had decent success in the majors doing it. This is the type of guy who can get by on that for a while, but sooner or later tendencies and scouting reports will catch up to him. Teams will start to lay off the pitches out of the strike zone and he'll get exposed.

FES VERDICT- Looks good now... get back to me in June.

Sidney Ponson



Shawn Chacon

For some reason I like him. He had good stuff with the Rockies and won the Rookie of the Year Award with them as a starter. The next season they made him a closer for no reason and it almost ruined his career. He went on to have stints with the Yankees and Pirates as a starter, long man, set up man and had varying degrees of success in each role.

He has resurfaced this season with the Houston Astros and has been one of the hotter arms in baseball to start the season. He is currently sporting an ERA in the mid-3.00s with a decent K to IP ratio. He is sporting a 0-0 record, but if he can continue to pitch well enough to keep the Astros in games he should be able to salvage a 10 win season by the end of the year. The numbers won't be dominating or spectacular, but they will end up being surprisingly respectable.

FSE VERDICT- Going with the gut here and not common sense, but I like him.

Greg Smith

He has been pitching over his head this season, but should finish off with some pretty solid fantasy numbers over all. Smith might actually be a microcosm of the Oakland A's season.
Not many people expect much early on, yet they have surprised many by playing over their heads'. His minor league numbers show that he should be a solid pitcher who will finish with a good amount of Ks and wins, to go along with about 13 wins.

He has been going well early but I can see him finishing up with a Mark Hendrickson type season. An ERA in the low 4.oos at about 1.40 and a record of like 13-9 does not appear to be totally out of the realm of possibility.

FSE VERDICT- Don't expect the early season dominance to continue, but a fine season should still be out there.

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