by Jimmy Hascup
Despite the shortened Monday schedule, there were many baseball stories to talk about. Is Luis Atilano for real? Would Tommy Hanson be able to tame the high-scoring Milwaukee Brewers? What about Andre Ethier? Would he continue his torrid early-season pace? Let’s look at some of the stories from yesterday’s games:
Bronson Arroyo (7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K): There’s a reason his ERA is north of five. While Arroyo can certainly string along some solid starts, his propensity to implode certainly doesn’t warrant his usage in fantasy leagues. Plus, these were the Pittsburgh Pirates he faced, not exactly a formidable offense. Arroyo is typically a better pitcher after the break, so that’s when I’d recommend using him, only if you’re truly a desperate owner. The Reds host the Cardinals during Arroyo’s next start, so I wouldn’t expect another outing like this against Pujols and the Cards.
Luis Atilano (5.1 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K): At this point, with three wins in his first four starts, Nationals ownership has to think that starts like this are just icing on the cake. The Mets have been striking out a ton lately, but don’t think that Atilano is a strikeout pitcher by any means, as a 4.8 K/9 in the minors would indicate. He’s hot now, but to me he’s merely one of the placeholders (between Livan Hernandez) until the young phenom, Stephen Strasburg, arrives. Don’t be fooled by his fast start – new pitchers always hold the advantage at the onset, but Atilano really doesn’t offer much in the way of upside for fantasy owners.
Tommy Hanson (8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K): From the looks of his peripheral stats – an 81 percent strand-rate leading the way, there’s no way that Hanson should have a 2.30 ERA right now. Still, that doesn’t mean he’s not a fantasy ace already. Hanson is just filthy and at age-23 has already started to put together two better freshman and sophomore seasons than Tim Lincecum has. In his first year in the bigs, 24 starts, Lincecum amassed a 4.00 ERA with over a strikeout per inning. Hanson had a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts with just over eight strikeouts per nine innings and this season he has improved across the board (albeit in a month-and-a-half) with more strikeouts and fewer walks than last season. Hanson is just a notch below Lincecum but he’s progressing like someone you want on your fantasy team for the long haul. Read more