Colorado Rockies southpaw Christian Friedrich has been nothing short of sensational in his first two big league starts. In 13 innings the 24-year-old has allowed a mere two earned runs for a 1.38 ERA. He has only yielded 11 hits and a pair of walks for a 1.00 WHIP.
Friedrich is not only getting outs, he is overpowering hitters, racking up 17 strikeouts (11.8 K/9) with impressive control (8.5/1 K/BB).
He won his Major League debut by holding the Padres to one run over six innings. He followed that performance up with a masterful seven-inning, one-run, ten-strikeout gem against the Giants, only to see his bullpen allow two runs in an inning of work.
Friedrich has been silencing righties (.184, .436 OPS), but will have to improve against left-handed batters. He has allowed four hits in ten at bats to lefties with a 1.200 OPS.
Friedrich's success is a little surprising based on his 4.04 lifetime Minor League ERA, though he had pitched well for Triple-A Colorado Springs prior to being called up. Christian was 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 27 strikeouts (four walks) in 30 innings.
Friedrich was once a top left-handed pitching prospect after a brilliant run at Eastern Kentucky. 2010 and 2011 were tough years, but he seems to have gotten the joke and is worth keeping an eye on as long as he is pitching this well and has a spot in the rotation. He’s a nice streamer candidate for his next start (Seattle).
Friedrich is barely owned in fantasy leagues, but that should change in the coming days. If he shuts down the Mariners on Saturday, which is a strong possibility, that number will jump dramatically.
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