Here’s what the Reds face the upcoming week. It’s actually a little favorable for them.
Monday: San Francisco – Mike Kickham (0-2, 10.57 ERA)
Tuesday: San Francisco – Tim Lincecum (4-8, 4.64 ERA)
Wednesday: San Francisco – Barry Zito (4-6, 4.53 ERA)
Thursday: San Francisco – Matt Cain (5-4, 4.29 ERA)
Yes, the Reds will miss King Felix…thank goodness!
Notes for position players:
Shin-Soo Choo: The Giants will start two lefties (Kickham and Zito) in their series at GABP, and more and more there is chatter about Choo’s splits. Doesn’t mean he won’t start, but it could mean Dusty chooses to start Derrick Robinson in left and have DRob leadoff.
Joey Votto: Nothing need be said about Votto’s fantasy status. Much like how Dusty does, play him everyday.
Jay Bruce: Seems to have cooled a little, but returning to GABP, an extremely favorable park for him, makes starting him almost as much a no-brainer as Votto.
Xavier Paul and Derrick Robinson: The road trip took its toll and their batting averages suffered. DRob is now at .266 and Paul is at .253. Knowing who to start could be a simple as looking at the opposing pitchers. Robinson will start against the lefties and Paul will start against the righties.
Chris Heisey: When Heisey was activated from the DL, Baker said Heisey would have to earn his playing time because the three-headed monster of Paul, Robinson and Donald Lutz had held down the fort. With no DH, Heisey might get a start in center on one of the games where a lefty starts against them.
Devin Mesoraco and Ryan Hanigan: Mes got the bulk of the playing time on the road as Hanigan is dinged once again (ankle), but Mes has been dealing with his own knee soreness. Hani is supposed to return on Monday.
The Reds suffered an offensive drought on the their recent road trip, scoring less than 3 runs a game (23 runs in 8 games). GABP should – I stress, should – see a couple of bats come back to life.
Four definites to start: Votto, BP, Choo and Bruce. The others may be a roll of the dice. Of course, that’s provided you already own them.
Consider Cozart and Frazier with Zack getting a little more look.
Reds starting rotation:
Leake and Latos were the only starters that produced positive results last week. Not sure how much of last year’s NLDS will still be in Leake’s head, but if they way he’s been pitching as of late is any indication, I would say that he’s over that…by a lot.
Realistically, at this point of the season, Latos and Leake are the most reliable starting options. Latos will get the strikeouts and, as of late, Leake won’t hurt your ERA or WHIP.
Arroyo and Homer each have a pair of starts this week. With Bailey, he should certainly help your strikeouts total for the week. Two starts should be at least 15 K’s. Both could help with a W, but lack of consistency could make you think twice about starting them on their first start of the week.
Al Melchior of CBSSports.com believes both are starts, but be a little more conservative with Arroyo.
See last week’s recommendations except take out the bit about Tony Cingrani.
I will add that it’s unlikely you will see either Sean Marshall or Jonathan Broxton return to action this week. I’ll guess you’re not carrying either of them at this time and that’s no shock. Unless you’re in an NL-only league and need bullpen options other than closer, you’re not going to have them anyway.
Keep an eye on the news regarding Marshall. According to Mark Sheldon, he’s coming along better than Brox.