Spot D'jour: Digging Doug Davis

Dan Israeli Contributor IIIJune 9, 2009

PHOENIX - MAY 30:  Starting pitcher Doug Davis #49 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the major league baseball game at Chase Field on May 30, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Doug Davis (Arizona Diamonbacks) vs. Giants, LHP, 13 percent owned

Stat potential: Strikeouts, ERA, WHIP

Risk Factor: Moderate

Yet another first-round draft pick got the "big call" today, as the White Sox promoted LHP Aaron Poreda from Double-A, likely to replace Bartolo Colon in the starting rotation.

The franchise's top pitching prospect, Poreda, has been dealing at Double-A Birmingham this year, and will now be asked to boost a struggling White Sox rotation. While his potential is high, Poreda is only two years removed from the 2007 draft, and will now bypass Triple-A for the AL Central.

Along with Gordon Beckham, a 2008 draftee, the White Sox appear to be rushing their top prospects, which will likely hinder any immediate fantasy value. Beckham has already struggled out of the gate (0-13), so while Poreda is worth a pickup in deeper leagues, it's probably wise to bench his first start, whenever that may be.

Moving onto Doug Davis, who brings a 3.36 ERA and 1.27 WHIP into his matchup with the Giants tomorrow night. Not a lot of offense should be expected in a battle of two of the league's worst hitting teams, although this game will take place at the homer-friendly confines of Chase Field.

It's worth noting that Davis has fared better at home this season (3.11 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, .229 BAA), even though the Diamondbacks haven't been too helpful in the area of run support. Davis has pitched better than his 3-6 record suggests, allowing two runs or less in eight of his 12 starts.

Davis is prone to the occasional rough outing, one of those coming against the Giants on April 24 when he gave up five runs in six innings. Six days prior to that start, however, he pitched eight scoreless against the Giants at San Francisco, who likely wanted payback.

While his career averages don't impress, Davis is a tough pitcher, a year removed from being diagnosed with cancer. He has bounced back rather nicely since his return last season, and is definitely a good option in preferred matchups.

With Justin Upton out for tonight's game, I simply cannot endorse Arizona's offense, even with Barry Zito on the hill for San Fran. While a win should be a crap shoot, Davis is in position to post good ERA and WHIP averages, only if he limits the long balls to a couple of solo shots.


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