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Sixth Pitchers Soon to Get Chances

Justin Masterson, Red SoxSixth starters don’t help your club much, but always seem to get a shot at some point during the season as rarely does a team have five starting pitchers stay healthy in today’s game.  Sure, they might get a start if there’s a doubleheader caused by a rainout, but for the most part, they tend to toil in long relief and don’t do much for your fantasy baseball stats.  They are normally the proverbial mop-up man.

There are a few sixth starters, however, who may get an opportunity to start sooner than later and these guys should be considered for deep leagues or as situational starters in daily waiver leagues.

  • J.A. Happ, Phillies – It surprised a lot of Phillies fans when (pronounced “Jay”) Happ lost the sixth starter role to Chan Ho Park.  It looked like Park was just brought in to add emergency depth and may not even make the club when the defending champs broke from Clearwater, but Park won the job in spring training.  It’s doubtful the ailing Phillies staff will stay with Park too much longer.  He struggles against left-handed hitters and hasn’t been terribly effective the past several years.  The problem with the young Happ, 24, is facing opponents’ right-handed laden lineup with that short left field porch at Citizens’ Bank Park.  After all, nobody expects J.A. Happ to have the stuff that Cole Hamels has.
  • Justin Masterson, Red Sox – Masterson earned nine starts last year for the Red Sox and would probably be starting on most teams.  He has a highly unusual sidearm delivery that finishes way across his body.  His ERA last season was just above 3.00 and he’s done a good job out of the bullpen.  He has been given a chance to start with Dice-K out with a shoulder injury and should get other chances this season with Boston.
  • Yusmeiro Petit, Diamondbacks – Petit got a shot to start when ace Brandon Webb went down early with a shoulder injury.  Last July, Petit got a chance to start six games in the rotation and he had an impressive 5.3 strikeout to walk ratio and a 2.48 ERA.  His first start against the Dodgers was solid.  Petit gave up 3 runs in 5 IP and fanned 6.  You can probably pick up Petit for just a buck in salary leagues so he could offer great value.
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