SEATTLE: Starter Philip Humber #41 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Mike Leake leads the list of most-dropped this week, as he hasn't found much success in 2012. Rick Porcello has given up 13 runs in his last two starts, totaling 7-2/3 innings pitched thanks to lasting just one inning against the Rangers in Detroit. Both of these starters are somewhat fringe in mixed leagues to begin with, so if you've lucked into say, a Lance Lynn in place of one of them, by all means, get with the cutting.
As for this week's adds...
Philip Humber, SP (68 percent owned, +41 percent): This is almost entirely due to Humber throwing a perfect game, but in all honesty he was a decent option before then, too. Don't take his getting smacked around by the Red Sox as a terrible sign, as, even in their weakened state, scoring runs has not been an issue for them. In his 182 innings with the White Sox, Humber owns a 3.85 ERA (110 ERA+) along with 6.8 strikeouts per nine and a 2.9 K/BB. Those aren't the most fantastic starting pitching numbers for fantasy you've ever seen, but it's much better than spending your time with someone like, oh, Mike Leake or Rick Porcello. (If you want to read about Humber and his transformation into a productive starting pitcher, it's a topic I covered in more detail at Baseball Nation earlier this week.)
Jason Hammel, SP (61 percent owned, +37 percent): Hammel has had trouble staying healthy, and has also had to deal with Colorado the last few years. He's started out pitching great in 2012 while with Baltimore, and has looked more like the 2009-2010 version of Hammels. That's a solid pitcher, and if he can stay healthy, is a solid bet for fantasy production.
Of course, he's with Baltimore, and isn't likely to keep racking up Ws. Combine that with the fact he hasn't thrown 200 innings ever, and he's definitely not a guarantee to produce. You'll be taking a risk by picking him up, but if you want to try to ride it out as long as possible, he's still available in plenty of leagues.
Jarrod Parker, SP (40 percent owned, +19 percent): The Athletics called up Jarrod Parker, one of their top pitching prospects, and he didn't disappoint: 6-1/3 innings, five strikeouts against one walk, and only one run allowed. Rookie pitchers are always a bit sketchy, and it's not clear yet whether Parker is going to stick around very long in the majors, even if he succeeds. The A's, as usual, have roughly 97 different young starting options for the rotation, and just the five spots to fill.
He's not a bad stash if you have the room and can pick him up cheap, but just don't expect him to start another 30 games in 2012 just yet.
Cody Ross, OF (58 percent owned, +19 percent): Ross isn't great against right-handed pitchers, but he's in a deep lineup, and playing every day. Not to mention that he gets to hit in Fenway in his home games, a park that seems as if it was built specifically for his swing. He should continue to pick up RBI with doubles and homers, and while he's certainly not elite, in leagues with five outfielders, he's a must own for someone. Ross is dealing with a little knee soreness at the moment, and while it's not considered significant, the Red Sox are being cautious given their other outfield injuries.
A.J. Burnett, SP (44 percent owned, +17 percent): Burnett's start to the season was delayed by an eye injury suffered in spring training, but he could see just fine in his first appearance of the year. He struck out seven in seven innings, and walked just a pair. Burnett is by no means a guaranteed success, but the list of reasons why he's worth looking at is lengthier than it's been in years. He's out of Yankee Stadium, he's out of the AL East, he's in the easier league for pitchers, he's in a park that cuts down on homers, etc. Wins will be harder to come by, but the rest of his numbers should improve. He's a gamble, but there's upside here, even for this known quantity.
Pedro Stropp, RP (10 percent owned, +10 percent): Stropp is getting some opportunities to close with Jim Johnson out. It's a temporary position for him, but if you're desperate, you might snag a few saves out of him before he goes back to setting up.
Kevin Correia, SP (9 percent owned, +4 percent): Correia would only be useful in an NL-only, as he isn't much of a strikeout pitcher and is a Pirate. He's shown bouts of usefulness in the past, but mixed with inadequate seasons, so you're rolling the dice if you pick him up.
Who are you most likely to pick up this week?
Philip Humber (3 votes)
Jason Hammels (16 votes)
Jarrod Parker (55 votes)
Cody Ross (22 votes)
A.J. Burnett (32 votes)
128 total votes