Spot D'jour: Your Daily Pitcher Pickup...for Tomorrow

Dan Israeli Contributor IIIJune 5, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 6: Pitcher Kelvim Escobar #45 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Cleveland Indians on September 6, 2007 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.   (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Kelvim Escobar (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) @ Tigers. RHP. 22 percent owned

Stat potential: ERA

Risk factor: Moderate-High

While this is a "spot start" blog, I want to open things up today with my two cents on the newest prospect call-up in baseball, Rockies' OF Carlos Gonzalez.

Yet another big name hitter from the minors has gotten the call, and like McCutchen and Beckham, he's expected to play significantly. After a little hesitation, I scooped Gonzalez in my 14-man mixed league, simply because his Triple-A stats have been off the charts this season (.333 BA, 10 HR, 59 RBI in 49 games).

With McCutchen already plugged into my starting lineup, I was reluctant to add another rookie with no MLB track record (granted Gonzalez had 302 at-bats with Oakland last year). Still, with both on board, I'm increasing the probability of having a stud-rookie breakout, since there's a good chance one of them will. My minute worth of mulling, was over Christian Guzman of all people, currently riding my bench.

My point is, if you have players worth dropping, then jump on guys like Gonzalez. A player like Christian Guzman offers little upside, while Gonzalez is displaying all the tools of a five-category phenom (he also has double-digit speed potential). If you're in 12-man plus leagues, it's best to be heavily active on the waiver wire.

Moving right along to Kelvim Escobar, who will come off the DL tomorrow and make his first big league start since 2007. Escobar is also being activated from a number of fantasy disabled lists, however, the numbers don't lie, and the righty is currently available in 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

There's a lot to like with Escobar, a proven starting pitcher from a few years ago, with mid-nineties heat and a full arsenal of secondary stuff. While he struggled during his last Triple-A start on Monday, Escobar has pitched well overall during his rehab assignment, hitting 95 on the gun, with no setbacks over the last month.

Tightness in his shoulder originally setback Escobar from joining the rotation in April, but after missing two months now, the report out of Anaheim is a clean bill of health for Kelvim. This is a guy who won 29 games from 2006-2007, before a shoulder tear led to season ending surgery last year.

Escobar will face the Tigers tomorrow at the pitcher friendly Comerica Park. Detroit may be without Miguel Cabrera, making a decent lineup significantly weaker. I own Escobar and plan on throwing him to the fire immediately, since he'll likely be on a pitch count, meaning less of a risk he'll stub his toe late into the game.

He may not be a prototypical stream option (for that, 13 percent owned Nick Blackburn visits the lowly Mariners), but Escobar is still a great pickup considering his hold potential, and the fact that he may finally be healthy.

Nothing is certain until he starts pitching quality innings, but given his recent career success, and Anaheim's tradition of strong defense, Escobar makes for one solid acquisition.