Fantasy Baseball: Is J.A. Happ Back?

Ryan LesterSenior Writer IApril 18, 2012

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 15:  J.A. Happ of the Houston Astros pitches during a game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on April 15, 2012 in Miami, Florida. Both teams wore the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Houston Astros starter J.A. Happ struggled mightily in his first full season with the club, going 6-15 with a 5.35 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. After posting a 3.27 ERA in his first 289 innings, that wasn’t what they expected from Happ when he was the key piece in the Roy Oswalt trade.

Perhaps he didn’t deal well with being dealt from a yearly contender to one of the worst teams in the game. At 29 though, there are still plenty of opportunities to turn things around.

That’s what he has done so far in his two starts on the young season. He has faced a tough schedule with the Braves followed by the Marlins, but he has held his own. Happ sits at 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The good news for fantasy owners is the fact that he has racked up 13 strikeouts in 12 innings.

His early 9.8 K/9 ratio is much better than his 7.16 K/9 career mark. Given his track record versus his small 2012 sample size, I expect that number to regress back to the norm.

Happ is readily available in most fantasy leagues. He is owned in less than five percent of Yahoo! and ESPN leagues. Should you run out and add him to your fantasy rotation?

Not just yet. When his matchups are favorable, feel free to throw him out there as a streaming option. Until then, just keep an eye on him. He has the ability to get the job done, but given the state of the Astros, I’d suggest making him prove it more before picking him up and hanging onto him.

Also check out: