Photo credit: By Keith Allison on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
There’s some big news in the pitching world, and also some not so big news, but first I’ll share a bit of personal news. I am now a contributor to Today’s Knuckleball, and you can find my first column for TKB here. I will be writing Fantasy analysis pieces in addition to some columns on the Mariners. It may be a 10-hour drive from Bozeman to Seattle, but they are now my “local” team. I am looking forward to writing about Fantasy for TKB and also doing some analysis that will allow me to focus more deeply on a single team. I’ll provide links to my work at TKB in this blog.
I’ll still be writing on Fantasy here as well. And one of Friday’s biggest Fantasy developments was the Dodgers naming Jose De Leon as their starter for Sunday. Now that we know the Dodgers’ top pitching prospect will be making his long-anticipated debut against the Padres, Fantasy owners have to decide whether to add De Leon to a roster that could already be stretched by late-season surgers and other September callups.
There is nothing in De Leon’s minor league stat line to pick on, as he got whiffs at a 13.6 percent rate and threw strikes at a 68.7 percent rate (per StatCorner). If there is a concern, it’s that De Leon has posted high flyball rates at each of his stops in the minors from Class A on up. That probably won’t be a problem when facing the Padres, and it would be even less of a threat if he takes another turn in the rotation next week at the Marlins. If you can’t find a two-start pitcher to your liking, you might as well stash De Leon and see if you can use him next week.
However, you should be able to find a viable two-start option for Week 23. Some combination of Tyler Anderson (vs. SF, at SD), Matt Wisler (at WAS, vs. NYM), Matt Boyd (at CHW, vs. BAL), Luke Weaver (at PIT, vs. MIL), Brandon Finnegan (vs. NYM, at PIT), Zach Davies (vs. CHC, at STL) and Chad Kuhl (vs. STL, vs. CIN) should be available on waivers in standard mixed leagues, and all are worth starting.
Deep-leaguers who can’t get any of these pitchers or De Leon should take note of a journeyman suddenly on the rise. After ineffective stints as a reliever over the last two seasons with the Indians, Braves and Rangers, the Athletics have made Ross Detwiler a starter again. The lefty is coming off good back-to-back starts against the Cardinals and Astros, and those were on the road. Detwiler was made to pitch in O.co Coliseum, given his propensity to allow flyballs and his improving control. He has scheduled home starts this week against the Angels and Mariners, a pair of teams that have not hit for much power over the past month. Detwiler is not a bad arm to have around in deeper formats, and he should be particularly helpful this coming week.