10 Stories From 06/26/14 Box Scores: A Look At Some Solid Performances From Lower-Tier Pitchers

by Will Overton

Pitching was the name of the game yesterday, though it always seems to be. There were several solid pitching performances and a lot of them came from guys who are under the radar like Tom Koehler and Vance Worley. What does it all mean for fantasy owners…allow me to give my opinion.

  1. Need Power? Don’t Sleep On Matt Dominguez

This isn’t the kind of guy you run to the waiver wire with excitement to grab, but he should really be getting a closer look by fantasy owners. Dominguez was 1 – 3 last night with 2 R, 1 HR and 3 RBI. The homerun was his 11th of the season and he has 37 RBI and 30 runs scored to go along with that. We know that power isn’t readily available on the waiver wire, so Dominguez should be a consideration. Dominguez hit 21 HR’s last season and should reach that mark again, if not more. You don’t love the average or the strikeouts, but if you want power off the wire you can’t be picky and I like Dominguez more than his teammate Chris Carter at this point.

  1. The Angels Will Trade For A Closer…Right?

What a mess the Los Angeles Angels have on their hands right now in terms of closing games. The Angels went into the ninth inning up by five runs yesterday. Ernesto Frieri, who was just recently removed as closer, came into the game and promptly loaded the bases. Now a save situation, Joe Smith came in and gave up a double to Joe Mauer that cleared the bases. Smith then got the final out of the inning and his seventh save. Smith has been ok in the role so far, but I don’t think the Angels have much confidence there and neither do I. Grab Smith if you can for now, but don’t expect to be getting save from him after the trade deadline.

  1. Albert Pujols Bat Is Heating Back Up

Between the end of May and the beginning of June we saw Albert Pujols go on about a three week long slump where he hit .155 and we started wondering if old man Pujols was coming back. He’s put an end to those doubts as he is hitting .347 over his last 12 games and he also has 9 R and 11 RBI in those games. Pujols was 3 – 4 last night with 2 R and 2 RBI and even a rare stolen base. After seeing his average dip to .245 at one point he is now back up to .262 and I do think it’ll continue to rise.

  1. Vance Worley May Have Some Value, At Least As A Spot Starter

Last night Vance Worley made his third start since being called up by the Pirates and it was his third quality start. Worley stifled the Mets last night with a line of 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 2 BB and 3 K. Worley has now allowed only four runs in 20.2 innings in his three starts. It’s encouraging to see a guy who once had a 3.01 ERA for the Phillies. Keep expectations in check though as his three starts are against Marlins, Cubs and Mets. Worley isn’t a big strikeout guy though he did get 7 – 8 K/9 with Philadelphia back a couple years ago. In deep leagues or as a streaming option in standard leagues, Worley has fantasy value, I wouldn’t go much further than that.

  1. Gregory Polanco: Showing Up And Showing Off

The Pirates highly touted rookie outfielder had another impressive, eye catching performance last night. Polanco was hitting leadoff as usual and went 2 – 3 from the plate with 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI and 1 SB. We haven’t seen the power show up yet too much, last night’s homer was only his second overall and third overall extra base hit in 16 games so far. Polanco however has been getting on base often, .338 AVG and .416 OBP, and he’s making things happen when he gets on base, 14 runs scored and four stolen bases. Polanco is absolutely the real deal, the power will come in time and until then he’s still giving you value.

  1. Consistency Isn’t The Name Of The Game For J.A. Happ

Last night J.A. Happ was one of the best pitchers in the league taking the mound. Happ shut the White Sox out for 7.2 IP, allowing just four hits and racking up eight strikeouts. The strikeouts were a season high total for Happ. Two starts ago Happ looked just as good when he shut down the Orioles, in Baltimore. In between the starts though he got blown up by the Cincinnati Reds. Happ has only strung together back to back starts of three runs or less one time this year, and that was misleading as he only went 3.2 IP in one of those games. Happ can be good, but he can’t seem to string anything together which makes him hard to own.

  1. Are We Giving Anthony Rizzo Enough Credit For What He’s Doing?

At this point can anyone argue that Anthony Rizzo has not been a top six first basemen so far this season? I’m pretty sure the answer is no to that one. Rizzo went 3 – 4 at the plate last night, his third time in four games getting multiple hits and his third time in eight games getting three hits. Rizzo is 14 for his last 32 at the plate and despite playing for the Cubs he is racking up the numbers. Rizzo has eight runs scored and six runs batted in through his last eight games. Part of that has to do with the fact that Starlin Castro is hitting so well behind him. Rizzo is putting it all together and I don’t think the fantasy world is paying enough attention.

  1. The Career Year Of Rick Porcello Continues

This has been a strong year for Rick Porcello, and it got even better last night in what might have been his best performance so far. Porcello threw a complete game shutout against the Rangers and he did it in Texas. Porcello allowed only three hits and three walks while striking out six. The shutout gave him his 10th win of the season. Porcello now has 15 innings straight of no runs allowed and an ERA that has dropped to 3.41. It had looked like his hot start was just that, a hot streak, but Porcello looks to be showing there may be more to it. He still doesn’t get a lot of strikeouts, but he can help you out in your ratios and he’s getting the wins.

  1. Could There Be Fantasy Value In The Arm Of Tom Koehler?

Early on this season Tom Koehler of the Miami Marlins had emerged on the radars of fantasy owners after he had a 1.99 ERA eight starts into the season. Koehler cooled off after that hot start, but the last couple of games he’s looked like he might be regaining some of that early season form again. Last night Koehler held the Phillies to just two runs over six innings for a no-decision. He struck out six in the game and even more importantly he didn’t walk any. That’s significant because control issues was his downfall in his recent struggles. Earlier this week I wrote an article on strikeouts available on the waiver wire, Koehler should probably be included on that list. Koehler now has 30 K’s over his last 29.1 IP and has recently been getting almost a full K per inning.

  1. Is There Any Use For Ryan Wheeler In Fantasy Leagues?

Last night prospect Ryan Wheeler was manning third base for the Rockies and had a great night hitting a Grand Slam. Wheeler had two hits total including the grand slam, his second start in a row in which he has gotten two hits. The Rockies have been juggling third basemen with Nolan Arenado on the DL, but Wheeler looks like he might be the best option and he might have bought himself a couple more starts. Arenado will likely be back in another 10 – 14 days from his DL stint, so it’ll only be short term value. Still, Wheeler has real power and in Coors Field he could be a good for a couple more homeruns in the next week before Arenado is back.


  1. LanceCT says:

    Thanks for your great website: advice for a pickup, I have werth heyward calhoun marte bruce rasmus. Thinking of adding jd martinez, khris davis or c dickerson. How would you rank these nine players going forward? categories are avg h r hr rbi sb. THANK YOU!

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I would drop Rasmus for any of the three on waivers in a heartbeat. To me, the five we need to rank are Calhoun/Rasmus/Martinez/Davis/Dickerson, so here we go:

      1. Khris Davis
      2. Dickerson (there is the risk of regression given his BABIP)
      3. Calhoun
      4. Martinez (he’s more of a platoon player, given the splits)
      5. Rasmus

      Considering the guys that are out there, I’d add Davis/Dickerson immediately. Doubt there will be a rush on Calhoun

  2. Adam says:

    Due to his recent struggles, and news today about him dealing with a knee issue, Justin Masterson was dropped in a 16-team H2H points league. Do you think he’s worth a flier roster spot over a guy Jamie Garcia or Jeff Locke? And do you think he’ll turn things around in the second half?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      Considering Garcia is back on the DL with a shoulder injury, I’d def. take the flier on Masterson. As to if he’ll turn it around? If it’s the injury it’s tough to say, but I’d think he would be better.

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