As some people requested, let’s take a look at a few Pitch or Ditch options for Monday through Thursday this week. Remember, all of these pitchers carry an inherent danger, so don’t take this as a guarantee that they will pitch well.
(On a side note, please let me know if this is something that you want to see continued on a regular basis or not. If it is, we’ll continue running it once or twice a week.)
Livan Hernandez vs. Pittsburgh
He’s posted a 3.00 ERA over his past three starts and he faces a team that ranks 23rd in the league in runs scored. I don’t think anyone would consider him a pitcher worth using long-term, but for this start it certainly makes sense.
Bartolo Colon vs. Oakland
Like Hernandez, he’s a pitcher that I would not consider using for more than a week or two, and even that’s a stretch. He is just not a pitcher that I can trust at this point in his career. He was great in his last start, however, giving up just 1 earned run on 4 hits and 0 walks over 6.1 innings. He has posted a 3.80 ERA overall this season and is facing one of the worst offenses in the league.
David Hernandez vs. Seattle
Young pitchers are tough to get a read on, but he was great in his first start, giving up 1 earned run on 5 hits and 4 walks over 5.2 innings. Don’t get too caught up in the walks, as I’ve said before he had just 13 in 43.1 Triple-A innings prior to his recall. He also had 60 Ks, so the potential is there as well. It may not come in this start (Seattle is near the bottom in Ks this season), but they also are dead last in runs scored. Considering he’ll be squaring off against Ryan Rowland-Smith, I like this match-up.
Jeff Niemann vs. Kansas City
I know he’s struggled at times this season, but over the past two weeks he’s posted a 2.65 ERA and 1.12 WHIP over 17 innings. That’s certainly the type of trend you’d like to see, though I’m not going to say he is a “safe” option. He has the potential to get bombed at any time, so tread carefully with him.
Anthony Swarzak vs. Cleveland
Another young pitcher who has the potential to struggle in any start, Swarzak has been solid in his first two starts, giving up just 3 earned runs over 13 innings. Those two starts were not against bad offenses, either, having squared off with the Brewers and Red Sox. He had posted a 2.25 ERA in eight Triple-A starts prior to his recall, but had just 32 Ks in 44 innings. If you are looking for a potential big strikeout game in a spot start, he is not your man.
Clayton Richard vs. Oakland
He has been tremendous since taking a rotation spot (3 ER over 20 IP and 2 W) and I’ve already talked about the low-powered Athletics offense. Again, as I’ve said with the prior two options, young pitchers can struggle, but this combination seems to be like a solid bet.
Honestly, after looking at the schedule, there is no match-up that screams “great pitch or ditch” to me. I think you are better off gambling earlier on in the week as opposed to anything here.
What do you think? Which of these pitchers do you think is a good gamble? Which would you avoid?
To read the previous article, click here.