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Tuesday's Roto Roundup: Is Josh Johnson a Top 5 SP?

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Josh Johnson allowed only 1 earned run in 7 innings yesterday. He struck out 7 and lowered his ERA to 1.86 on the season, and only allowed 2 earned runs in his last 6 starts (42 IP total). The Marlins signed him to a very team friendly contract at the beginning of the season, so he's not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon. Based on the way he has been pitching, could he finish the season as a top-5 starting pitcher?

Time for another Player A/B comparison, but with a bit of a twist with Players C and D as well:

Player A: 8 Wins, 53 K, 2.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP
Player B: 4 Wins, 60 K, 2.88 ERA, 0.93 WHIP
Player C: 6 Wins, 64 K, 3.24 ERA, 1.01 WHIP
Player D: 5 Wins, 59 K, 3.13 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

If you could have 2 out of this group, which two would it be?

Well, if I were to give you the names instead of the numbers, invariably you would tell me you wanted Player B (Cliff Lee) first and probably then Player D (Johan Santana). But both Player A (Carlos Silva) and Player C (Mat Latos) are having excellent seasons as well. Further proof that there is variance from season to season in pitching. Granted, Lee has missed time so far this season, so his numbers would be higher. But it is interesting to see how he compares to some of these pitchers, as Latos, Lee and Silva all have had similar innings totals to this point.

Chad Billingsley was put on the disabled list on Tuesday with a minor groin injury. To me, Billingsley is another one of the high risk high reward types. He has struck out 69 batters so far in 76 2/3 innings pitched, but has posted a 4.34 ERA and 1.40 WHIP while doing so. Hopefully he will only be needing the minimum 15 days.

Conor Jackson was traded to the Athletics yesterday, and frankly this had me scratching my head. The A's already had too many outfielders (Crisp, Sweeney, Davis, Patterson, Cust, Carson), a problem which they had originally had at the start of the season, and it looks like they want to add to it again. He's probably going to get into a majority of games at this point, so I have to imagine that both Eric Patterson and even Rajai Davis may see some loss of playing time as well over the long term.

Pedro Alvarez ALERT: As we mentioned previously, it sounds like Pedro Alvarez could be called up as soon as Saturday. I went and picked him up in an NL-only league I am in, and I think he could be an immediate play in deeper leagues (14 or more teams), and all NL-only leagues. Andy LaRoche is now hitting a robust .232, and was lifted for a pinch hitter late in the game last night.

Mark Reynolds continued his attempt to break his own single-season strike out record, as he struck out 3 times in 4 at bats against the Red Sox. He is now hitting .218/331/.477 with 15 homeruns. He's been playing through a quad injury, but I'm wondering at what point the Diamondbacks decide to put him on the DL for a stint and see if he can get healthy that way instead.

David Price won his 10th game of the season, and struck out 7 batters along the way. I'm wondering how long Price is going to keep is numbers as low as he has to this point. He has a 2.31 ERA, but FIP of 3.97. Still a solid number if he regressed to that point, but I think his value is being a bit inflated by the win total.