On a day with a number of solid pitching performances around the league, Roy Halladay‘s six-inning one-run effort stands out among them all. Typically, a quality start from a former Cy Young winner would fall short of news-worthy, but in the fantasy community, Halladay’s fall from grace has been a hot topic among owners. Just about everyone has been jumping off the Halladay bandwagon after his first two starts of the season, but Roy has something to say about that: not so fast.
Following his effort on Wednesday, Halladay has now allowed just four earned runs in his last 21.0 innings pitched. His ERA for the season still sits at 5.08, but a solid 1.09 WHIP and 28:11 strikeout-to-walk ratio shows a pitcher who is finding his grove.
Halladay’s velocity remains down a bit, but the command of his breaking pitches was much improved Wednesday night and the 34-year-old hurler is proving that he has a little something left in the tank. Halladay’s ownership rate dropped slightly over the past couple weeks and it might not be a bad idea to see if this guy is sitting out on waivers.
Moving forward, Halladay looks to be back to that every-week start group of pitchers, but we’d caution not to get too carried away. While it’s great that Halladay appears to have learned how to attack batters with his diminished skill set, it is difficult to expect those elite number that we have seen from Halladay in the past. With his velocity down, we could still see Roy getting hurt from time to time when he loses command of his offspeed stuff and there will be some bumps along the road. Still, Halladay is back in consideration as a top-30 starting pitcher and if he’s still available on the cheap in your league, now may be a good time to scoop him up from an owner not believing in this bounce-back effort. All told, we may never again see the Halladay that has been dominating batters around the MLB for the past decade, but the is no reason he can’t be a solid No. 3 for your fantasy team.
Around the League
- Pitching was the name of the game on Wednesday as Jeff Samardjiza and Mat Laos got things kicked off in an afternoon pitchers duel. Latos tossed seven shutout inning to pick up the W and Samardjiza struck out eight over six innings of one-run ball. Both are top-30 starters.
- Yu Darvish was also strong on Wednesday, striking out 11 batters in just six innings while bumping his record to 5-1 on the year. Darvish walked two and allowed three hits while lowering his ERA to 1.65 on the season.
- In Tampa, Alex Cobb continues to build on the solid performance he showed down the stretch last season. Though he couldn’t quite complete the game, Cobb gave owners a very solid line: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
- White Sox hurler Jose Quintana is making a case to be owned in more than 29% of leagues. The two earned runs he allowed Wednesday afternoon are the first two he has allowed in his last 18.2 innings pitched. Quintana has alos struck out 17 over that span and is looking like one of the top starters available on the waiver wire right now.
- On the offensive side of things, Matt Kemp got his power stroke going with a long ball on Wednesday, his first of the season. Concerns over the offseason shoulder surgery sapping his power in the early going will subside with each passing day and Kemp is certainly beginning to heat up at the dish. Over his past five games, Kemp has posted three multi-hit efforts while going 9-for-21 (.428) with a homer, three steals, three runs scored and four RBI. If you can still buy low, go do it!
- Stephen Strasburg‘s record dropped to 1-4 after a loss on Wednesday, so it’s time to panic, right? Hardly. Strasburg has posted a 3.16 ERA in the year with a solid 28:8 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 31 innings pitched. He’s spun four quality starts in five turns, but has suffered from a bit of poor defense and some lousy run support. Four of Starsburg’s 15 runs allowed on the season have been unearned and it appears that his Nats’ teammates have been letting down their ace in April.
- In a game where his team got waxed 10-3 by the Astros, the ever frustrating Dustin Ackley collected three hits in four at-bats. His average is sitting at a poor .230 for the season, but over his past ten games, Ackley is swingin well with a.351 average (13-for-37). iT’s a bit concerning that he has not drawn a walk over that span, but there’s now reason that the Ack Attack can’t hack his way to fantasy relevance with upside for double-digit power and double-digit speed
- Tigers’ reliever Jose Valverde got the call to the big club and was immediately inserted into the closer role. So far so good for Papa Grande as he converted his first opportunity.
- It appears to be about time that we stop noting every save from Cardinals’ close Edward Mujica who collected his fourth on Wednesday. Mujica is looking rock-solid in the role and has built himself up a bit of leash as the Cardinals’ stopper.
- Similarly, Jim Henderson has been solid in Milwaukee, but the Brewers have indicated that they would still like to get John Axford back into the role. The Ax-Man has been less-terrible in a setup role and after making a similar move last season, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Axford got another shot in the coming weeks. Owned is just 49% of leagues, Axford makes an intriguing pickup for the saves-needy while Henderson is looking like a strong sell-high candidate.
- Craig Kimbrel and Brandon league both blew saves on Wednesday, but we’re not concerned with either.
- Owners waiting on Yoenis Cespedes (hand) and Erik Aybar (heel) to return may not be waiting much longer. Both players are looking likely to be activated from the DL over the weekend.
- While the timetable is a bit murkier, we got some positive reports on Aramis Ramirez (knee) and Curtis Granderson (wrist) as well. Ramirez finally began running on that injured knee and is eyeing a return around May 8. Granderson is also on target for an early May return barring any setbacks.