In this edition of NL Starting Pitchers, we go with players returning from injury and those who are directly affected by it.
Mat Latos | San Diego Padres
Latos made his triumphant return from the DL on Monday, and he pitched well against the Cincinnati Reds. Latos struck out seven while walking only two in six innings against the Reds, throwing 93 pitches, 58 of which went for strikes. Latos’ fastball sat around 93 miles per hour on Monday, which is a little slower then where we was last year. Not to worry, though, as this was just his first start back, so he could have better things in store once he gets in the swing of things. If not, a fastball of 93 mph is nothing to complain about if you’re one of his fantasy owners. Assuming Latos stays healthy, he’s an absolute fantasy stud. He won’t be available in your league, but that doesn’t mean you should sit idly by without at least making a trade offer for the young righty. The Padres’ have been rolling with four starters for the first week-plus of the season, so the move to bring Latos back into the rotation won’t mean anyone will be losing starts.
Jair Jurrjens | Atlanta Braves
Another NL starting pitcher who began the year on the disabled list, Jurrjens will reportedly be back with the Braves to start a game this Saturday. Jurrjens had a moderately successful rehab start in Triple-A on Monday, striking out three batters in six innings while walking two. Jurrjens was feeling good in the start, so it’s possible that his injury is behind him. Even when he was healthy last year, Jurrjens wasn’t particularly impressive, and his ground ball rate dropped below the 40% mark after sitting just below 43% the year before. If I were you, I’d see how Jurrjens performed in an MLB start or two before I made a move for him.
Mike Minor | Atlanta Braves
With Jurrjens rejoining the rotation, it looks like Mr. Minor will be out of a gig. Minor wasn’t impressive in his first start, and we knew his promotion was likely to only be temporary, so a trip back to the minors shouldn’t be a big deal. Keep an eye on him as the season progresses, as he could be a useful asset later in the year.