UPDATE: Ricky Nolasco is starting Sunday and is no longer eligible. We’re rolling with Chris Tillman (v. NYY, v. OAK) instead.
The torrid pace with which we’ve started the season has tempered. Like a step dad, I’m not exactly mad about the early-season results, just disappointed. Here’s where we are through half of Week 3:
87.2 total innings
Here’s the link to the spreadsheet if you’d like to check it out.
On to this week’s recs (with opponents’ team wRC+ in parentheses):
RHP Ricky Nolasco – 9.7% ESPN – @HOU (108), @CWS (90)
It feels about as clunky as the George W. Bush “fool me once” quote, but Nolasco feels like a decent enough recommendation based on his solid start. Through four starts he’s got plenty of whiffs (7.8 K/9) especially compared to walks (1.0 BB/9), is inducing grounders at a rate he’s never come close to (48.7%), and in part is riding the wave of a flukishly-low BABIP to a four-game solid stretch to start the season. Still, I’m enthused by how he’s attacking the strike zone; his first-pitch strike rate of 59.4% is his highest as a Twin, and his 51.3% zone rate is the highest he’s had since 2008. He’s healthy and he’s finding the strike zone with so-so stuff, propped up by a pretty good slider. He’s not a mixed-league year-long difference maker, but if that’s what you’re looking for you’re in the wrong place. I think he’ll give you enough in the short term here; I also think that’s what the Twins are hoping for between now and say a certain date in late July…. Read the rest of this entry »