This article was written and submitted by Cary James. Time to trim the fat! This week’s Dead Weight focuses on pitchers you may hate yourself for still owning during the stretch run for your playoffs. Take a long hard look at your rosters and make sure you’re optimizing your production. Every last walked batter counts these days!
Brian Fuentes (LAA)
His goose is cooked. Mike Scioscia has been talking about Fuentes splitting time with Kevin Jepsen for some time now. Fuentes blew another save last night. Light a candle for Fuentes and don’t expect anything more than three saves from here on out. Jepsen is a great speculative add for saves by the way, although if I know Scioscia, he’ll have Erick Aybar or Maicer Izturis saving games for them instead of Jepsen. Howie Kendrick gets it.
Andy Pettitte (NYY)
He’s old, getting more grizzly every day. Plus, he’s sitting out a start with a tired arm. A tired arm? I’d like to sit out a week from my desk job with a tired buttocks. You can afford to drop him in a 12-team Head-to-Head league and grab someone who could actually help you. Pettitte was shut down around the same time last season with the same tired arm. Coincidence? Pettitte says it’s not the same thing. I say, “Meh. Gimme someone who’ll actually throw more than 5 innings a start from here on out.”
Roy Oswalt (HOU)
As I’m writing this article, I find that Roy has been shut down for the season. Drop him and replace him. It’s the circle of life, as young Simba learned and Elton John sang. A potential staff ace has a disappointing season and is hampered by injuries (or he just hangs out with Mike Hampton too often). Next season he is severely undervalued. If you can get him cheaper next season, Oswalt should improve on his 16 no-decisions and plus-4.00 ERA at a wonderful value.
Joba Chamberlain (NYY)
Do you know who’s owned in more leagues than Tommy Hanson? Joba Chamberlain is owned in 82% of Yahoo leagues, while Hanson remains available in 26% of these leagues. If you wish to remain competitive throughout the rest of the season, drop Joba. His pitch limit has affected his confidence, and now they plan on ramping up his workload. Terrifying. No thanks.
Yovanni Gallardo (MIL)
With his team out of contention, there is nothing left for Yo to pitch for. The Brewers recognize this, and rumors are circulating that he could be shut down for the season. Gord Ash says so, and anyone with a name that sounds like a super-hero’s alter ego should be trusted. But Yovanni’s having none of it, even insisting he will make his final three starts. Who will win this battle of the wills? Tune in next week for the next episode of Gord Ash: The Ninja Surfer.
Replace the Dead Weight with…
Ryan Rowland-Smith (SEA)
What’s not to like? Soft-tossing lefty? Wears rec specs? Has a sub-3.80 ERA and sub-1.15 WHIP? Five quality starts last month and he’s only 6%-owned in Yahoo leagues? There is a lot to like here, and after he spun an 8-inning gem against the fading White Sox he should get snatched up. World, meet the new Jarrod Washburn.
Paul Maholm (PIT)
I feel like I’ve written about this guy before, but either way he can help you down the stretch. Faced with a delectable match-up versus the hapless Padres this week, Maholm should make a tidy turn for your modest investment. Now if only we can get him out of the modest investment that is the Pirates and onto a team with actual morale and a solid future. A sub-2.50 ERA and 3 QS should tell you that the horrific streak that ruined most of this season is in his rear-view mirror.
Vicente Padilla (LAD)
Strange to think of this fellow as a Dodger, but a Dodger he is. He therefore gets to benefit from moving from the American League to the National, also known as the Penny-Lee Effect. In his last 22 innings, Padilla has struck out almost a batter an inning. He also has a 2.01 ERA and 1.16 WHIP with 3 wins and 2 Quality Starts. He faces the San Francisco Hackers, the Arizona Diamondhacks and the San Diego Sob-dres as his final match-ups. Only 7% owned in Yahoo leagues, he’s a must have.
Jake Peavy (CHW)
This is a case of common sense. Ace hits DL. You either stashed him or dropped him. If dropped, he was picked up and stashed. He gets the Kansas City Royals. He should give you 4 to 5 very competent, tobacco-juice filled innings with some Ks. He could do better than that. But he should not be available in 10% of leagues. Universally own that guy. He’s good.
Luke Gregerson (SDP)
3% owned in Yahoo leagues, he has 82 Ks in 67.1 IP. Couple that with Heath Bell’s utter collapse at the end of the season, and you have some speculative saves. Either way, you should enjoy wonderful ratios from this gentleman from the year on out. In his last 10 games he hasn’t allowed a run. A vulture save or two would be appreciated, Luke.
Thanks again for reading, and happy statistical gathering!
R.J. White is a fantasy blogger at the sports site FanHouse. Check out his work both here and there, and feel free to talk to him in the forums, where he posts under the name daullaz.
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