Starting Pitchers: May 25th

A day late, but never a buck short…

Hisanori Takahashi | Mets | 6% owned in Yahoo! leagues

Brian Joura mentioned Takahashi as a potential waiver wire grab just yesterday, so let’s keep this short. The veteran Japanese lefty has secured a rotation spot for the foreseeable future given the injuries/ineffectiveness of Jonathon Niese, John Maine, and Oliver Perez, and his soft, softer, and softest offspeed heavy approach should continue to baffle hitters for the next few weeks.

Homer Bailey | Reds

Cincinnati’s somewhat enigmatic righty landed on the disabled list yesterday with shoulder inflammation, though the team has yet to announce his replacement. They did provide a list of candidates though, a list that did not include Aroldis Chapman. The best candidate is lefty Matt Maloney, who spent some time in the bigs last year (4.81 xFIP in 40.2 IP) and has a strong track record as a high strikeout (8.9 K/9), low walk (2.7 BB/9), and solid groundball (42.5%) pitcher in the minors. Sam LeCure and Travis Wood are the other candidates to take Bailey’s place, but neither offers the strikeout potential of Maloney.

All three line up to make Friday’s start (against the Astros!) at the moment, so pay attention to who starts for the Triple-A Louisville Bats tonight and Thursday (they’re off tomorrow) for the answer to who’s replacing Bailey.

Brad Penny & Kyle Lohse | Cardinals

St. Louis lost two-fifths of it’s rotation within the span of one turn, as Penny landed on the disabled list with a strained right lat and Kyle Lohse ran into a bout of “post-exercise inflammation.” The team is hopefully that Penny will only miss the minimum 15 days, but as Erik Manning notes, the Cardinals are overly optimistic when it comes to injuries. Righty P.J. Walters is all but guaranteed to make Thursday’s start at the Padres, and could use his knockout changeup to fashion a low-4.00’s ERA with decent strikeout totals during the interim.

Scott Olsen | Nationals

Olsen was pitching well before hitting the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, just the latest in a career full of shoulder problems. It’s extremely hard not to notice that Stephen Strasburg not only lines up perfectly to take Olsen’s spot on Saturday, but that he threw just 52 pitches in what could be considered a warm-up start last night. As much sense as it makes on the field, I have a hard time believing they would let him make his big league debut on the road (at San Diego) and miss out on all those extra ticket sales. Miguel Batista has been mentioned as a possible fill-in candidate, and in the name of all that is holy, stay away from him. Even with the lure of Petco, just avoid him at all costs.

After this weekend’s series with San Diego, the Nats head to Houston for a four game set, and Olsen’s spot would come up during the final game of that series. If you’re in Washington, pray for rain at some point in the next ten days. That would put Strasburg on target for a June 4th debut at home against the Reds, then five of seven potential starts before the All Star Break would be at home, with one of the away games right up the road in Baltimore. The Strasburg Era is very, very close my friends.

We hoped you liked reading Starting Pitchers: May 25th by Mike Axisa!

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Mike writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues and baseball in general at CBS Sports.

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StephenStrasburg
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StephenStrasburg

Which game in Baltimore would Strasburg start? Just wondering since I have a friend coming down from NY, and we’re going to one of the games.