Quick rundown of the weekend Trolling picks…
Rubby de la Rosa (LAD v. SD) – de la Rosa is starting to round into form. His command is starting to show in these starts and he is going deeper into games. He was really struggling right around the fifth inning of most of his June starts, but looks like he might have turned a corner in the last two going seven strong in both allowing a total of four runs (2.57 ERA) striking out nine, but more importantly walking just three (1.9 BB/9). Let’s see if he keeps it going against a weak Padres offense.
Also, from a long-term standpoint, his place in the rotation is all but guaranteed barring a collapse as Jon Garland is now scheduled for slated for season-ending surgery next week. de la Rosa is a spot starter in most mixed league formats right now, but he could definitely play himself into a permanent role so if you have the open space and need a strikeout pitcher, you might want to start considering him for the long-term in mixed leagues with more than 10 teams.
Aaron Harang (SD @ LAD) – While his home-road ERA splits are egregious (3.28/4.84), his road peripherals are actually much better as he has posted 8.5 K/9 and 3.0 K/BB rates against 5.3 and 1.9 marks at home. I think both sides or at least either side of the matchup is worth a spot start.
Carlos Carrasco (CLE v. TOR) – His bombing against the Yankees has scared some back off of the bandwagon, but I’m pressing on. He had just ripped them in seven innings in Yankee Stadium so I’m chalking the thrashing up to just one of those games. He remains a useful spot starter.
He’s here!!! Today the Los Angeles Angels announced that Mike Trout will be called up to replace the injured Peter Bourjos. The stay could be temporary for the 19-year old from AA, but they will definitely give him some at-bats right away to see how their uber-prospect handles the jump. Trout tore through the Midwest and Cal Leagues last year as an 18-year old, skyrocketing up prospect boards in the process. His season of .341/.428/.490 with 28 doubles, nine triples, 10 home runs and 58 stolen bases landed him first or second on every board this preseason. Only Bryce Harper surpassed him on some boards.
That is the intro to my write-up on Trout over at RotoHardball.com and you can click here for the rest. Instead of parroting my thoughts verbatim, you might as well just head over there to read my take as well as catch up on all the other great content we have at the site.
The one thing I will add that didn’t format well over at RH was a chart of the 19-year old hitters who have come up in the last 20 years. This might give you an idea of what to expect from Trout.
As amazing of a prospect as he is, don’t be surprised if he doesn’t fare well right away, especially after skipping AAA. Look at the names on that list, except for Karim Garcia they are all star players and only Edgar Renteria did well. BJ Upton wasn’t awful, especially considering how much his fantasy managers would love a .258 average these days. Temper your expectations on the shiny new toy. Perhaps the best bet if you do get him is to flip him. If you’re in contention and you have him in a keeper league, you can fetch an absolute mint for him and severely improve your title hopes. Re-draft league returns won’t be as significant, but you can cash in the ticket for an improvement to your team. Sure it might pan out for that team, but you might also get something for a guy who could be back in AA or AAA by the time the All-Star break is over.
EDIT: It appears on Baseball-Reference.com has Renteria as debuting at age 19. They have his birth year as 1976 while every other outlet I have seen has him at 1975. Of course this only strengthens the point about 19 year olds struggling. When you lop of his debut, the remaining six have a .228/.281/.390 line in 825 plate appearances. Thanks to Paul Bourdett for pointing out the inconsistency of BRef & other outlets to me on Twitter.