Knocked around, battered and bruised just about sums up my fantasy pitching rotation. Where does yours stack up?
As we approach the Midsummer Classic, it is a good time to reflect on the pieces that have taken shape and the pieces that have fallen off the tracks.
The fantasy free-agency market should spark in the coming weeks, and so I have put together a few gems that were once tabbed as "trash" that have now turned into another man's treasure.
Hurry, because you don’t want to see wasted talent on the market hung out to dry.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies SP
Never assume, because it will always turn around and bite you. I learned from experience after parting ways with one of my top picks of the 2012 draft, Cliff Lee. Rather than suffering an elbow injury like I had speculated, Lee only wound up straining his oblique.
Once he returns, a top-five starting pitcher is back in business—reinforcing the fact that my rotation is headed off the deep end. His control and ability to keep the ball down in the strike zone offers the ground ball, which makes him a safety valve in the rotation.
If he is available, be sure to claim your prize.
Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees SP
Return of the Mack. Pettitte returns to the big leagues after the Yankees were forced to option rising talent Michael Pineda to the DL. Since Pineda went down, Pettitte is back in the thick of the fantasy conversation.
Pettitte has gone 3-2, surrendering an ERA of 2.81.
His stock has never really set sail, so I would suggest acquiring the veteran southpaw. He won't disappoint at the price you'll get him for.
Derek Lowe, Cleveland Indians SP
If you want a reliable innings-eater and a savvy ground-ball pitcher, Derek Lowe is your man for the taking.
The only problem is that Lowe is more than likely already owned in your league. So far, Lowe has posted a pleasant 7-4 record accompanied by his 3.72 ERA.
With 15 years in the majors, the timeless veteran appears to be returning to form in Cleveland. Sorry, Atlanta.
Stick with Lowe for a while longer, because he has the veteran star status that will propel him to greater heights for the remainder of the season. It also helps that Cleveland has one of the best infield defenses in the game.
If he’s available, the risk is worth the reward. Don’t spot-check his age—39 is correct. But if you're looking for quality innings and valuable wins down the stretch, go out and get him now.