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Jose Fernandez and Patrick Corbin fared decently in their first starts coming off Tommy John surgery, while Matt Moore fizzled in his first two starts back. This Saturday, we may get to find out which group Brandon Beachy belongs to.
With Carlos Frias (back) on the 15-day disabled list, the Dodgers will need to find a starter for Saturday's game against the Brewers, and Beachy is a candidate to get the call. He has made five rehab starts -- four at Triple-A Oklahoma -- so whether it's this weekend or after the All-Star break, it shouldn't be long before Beachy is taking turns in the Dodgers' rotation.
As we have seen with Moore, banking on a pitcher who is coming back from Tommy John surgery is no sure thing, but a healthy Beachy could be a useful Fantasy option, just as he was in his 2011 rookie season. He could be worth a whirl in standard mixed leagues, though the safe move is to stash him at first. In anything deeper, though, he is a must-add and worth starting once he is active.
Then again, if you're more interested in pitchers who have an actual 2015 track record, here are three hurlers whom you may be considering.
Kyle Gibson, SP, Twins (45 percent owned)
Gibson has shaved well over a run from last season's 4.47 ERA, and if not for a couple of rough April starts, it would be even lower. Since April 26, Gibson has is 6-4 with a 2.56 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and nine quality starts in 14 tries. Despite those gleaming numbers, owners in the majority of CBSSports.com leagues have deemed that they can do without Gibson.
A 6.1 K/9 ratio only confirms our perception of Gibson as a contact pitcher, and that surely has much to do with owners' indifference about him. Yet over the last month-and-a-half, Gibson has been getting more swings-and-misses, particularly on his slider. Not only has he posted a respectable 3.09 ERA over that nine-start span, but he has compiled an 8.2 K/9 ratio and an 11 percent swinging strike rate. He hasn't sacrificed his ground ball tendencies; in fact, they have grown stronger during this recent stretch. With the possibility that Gibson sustains this growth into a full-blown breakout, he needs to be added in standard mixed leagues where owners could use an upgrade to the back of their rotation.
Matt Cain, SP, Giants (64 percent owned)
Not so long ago, Cain was a staple of Fantasy rotations, but his previous two seasons were marked by lackluster performances and health issues. In his 2015 debut, delayed by forearm issues, Cain was hounded by the long ball yet again, as the Marlins scored four of their five runs against him off a pair of home runs. Things went better for Cain in his second start, as he blanked the Mets over six innings with seven strikeouts.
It's easy to discount Cain's success by citing his matchup against the Mets as the key factor. Then again, the Marlins haven't been an offensive powerhouse either, especially with Giancarlo Stanton out of the lineup. The difference may have been that Cain threw 57 percent of his pitches for strikes against the Fish while boasting a 69 percent rate against the Mets. According to BrooksBaseball.net, Cain also threw his fastball more than 1 mph harder on average in his second start. These are encouraging developments, raising hopes that Cain just might be a top 50 starter over the rest of the season.
Manny Banuelos, SP, Braves (24 percent owned)
Banuelos didn't seem like the type of pitcher who would spend eight seasons in the minor leagues before reaching the majors, but between having Tommy John surgery in 2012 and eroding skill indicators, it took the lefty that long to make his big league debut. The change of scenery provided by his trade from the Yankees to the Braves this offseason seemed to help, as Banuelos started to throw more strikes over his 15 starts with Triple-A Gwinnett. Still, with a 4.1 BB/9 ratio in the International League, Fantasy owners couldn't be blamed for having modest expectations.
In each of his first two starts, Banuelos failed to complete the sixth inning, but that had more to do with him not getting to throw many pitches than with a lack of control or efficiency. He has allowed a combined seven hits and one run in outings against the Nationals and Brewers for an 0.82 ERA. Granted, Monday night's start in Milwaukee was less impressive than last week's debut, as Banuelos notched only one strikeout to go along with three walks, but the overall result of one run allowed -- on a Jonathan Lucroy solo shot -- was still good.
It might be tempting to add Banuelos after two starts that look good on the surface. However, his second start, in which he allowed eight baserunners over 5 1/3 innings, is more in line with the sorts of performances he had in the minors. Banuelos has yet to strand a baserunner, but of course, that can only last so long. Not only should you not bother to add Banuelos, but if you have already added him in a mixed league, it may not be long before you consider dropping him.