It’s been awhile since fantasy pitching staffs have experienced this much rotisserie carnage in such a short time frame: Lance McCullers, Mike Bolsinger, Vincent Velasquez, A.J. Burnett, Chris Young and others have lost their rotation spots for one reason or another. Let’s look at some arms that might patch these holes in your NFBC team’s rotation.
Keyvius Sampson features an average fastball sitting 90-92 mph, topping out occasionally at 93 with decent command. A changeup from 85-86, and wild breaking ball coming in at 75-78 mph were on display Sunday at Great American Ball Park. A glaring sun might have played into the rookie’s five strikeouts in the first couple of innings. Early on, his four-seamer was flat, and appeared very hittable. Towards the third inning, it started to flash a little run just before hitting his battery mate’s mitt. I would stay away unless your staff is pretty thin. In a hitter’s ballpark and lacking command of off-speed pitches, this Redleg is too wet behind the ears to make him a worthy investment.
Daniel Norris comes to the Motor City from the Blue Jays with some disappointing numbers to this point. He flashed his potential in the spring before struggling once the games started to count. His 41 walks in just 90 innings at Triple-A Buffalo are a concern, and yet when you see his stuff, it is difficult not to get excited about what he could do if he were to recapture the command he had at the end of 2014. In his first game in a Tigers uniform, his fastball topped out at 93, but seemed to explode out of his hand and finish with late life. There is risk here and I might treat him more as a stash and hold than an immediate start depending on your depth, but he’s a lottery ticket with some upside in the American League Central.
Chris Bassitt is a 6’5” right-hander with a great 12-6 curveball and a very good fastball, which at times has late life that should induce a lot of weak contact, breaking away from lefties or jamming right-handed hitters. Obviously, wins may be a problem with Oakland’s anemic offense, but not for lack of quality starts. After establishing his four-seamer early on, he mixes speed, location, and action. Opposing hitters will see offerings ranging anywhere from 69 mph (curve) to 94 mph, so disrupting hitters’ timing should not be a problem. The Coliseum will produce a few more popups than average with its spacious foul territory. He’s probably taken in larger leagues, but the former White Sox hurler should still be available in a few 12-team formats.
Aaron Brooks posted a 43.88 ERA and 5.63 WHIP last year with the Kansas City Royals. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he’s a little bit better than that. The sophomore’s changeup comes in 10-11 mph slower than this straight fastball, which also comes in towards the plate in a nice downward plane. Nice if you’re an Athletics fan that is. His breaking stuff doesn’t have much movement, so command of his changeup is crucial. The former Royal doesn’t give away many free passes, and the large ballpark in Oakland is certainly a plus. He has an interesting 75 mph curve that he used only rarely. If he worked it in just a little bit more, but not enough that hitters could sit on the pitch (it is hittable if you know it’s coming), it would add more depth to his repertoire and keep hitters off balance.
The hype train that has preceded Luis Severino has been loud, so you don’t need me to tell you he’s good. FAAB is essentially a crapshoot in the NFBC. It’s unpredictable with no discernible patterns. About the only thing you can be sure of is that the hotshot Yankee rookie will be Sunday’s highest priced FAAB commodity. Bring your wallet if it’s not already empty. Keep in mind, however, that he is a right-hander, so he’ll have to face some tough lefties in Yankee Stadium who will welcome him to the show just like David Ortiz did last night. Of course, that’s nitpicking a bit.