To complement our recommendations for second half hitters to watch, here are some second half pitchers to watch for the 2012 season. Picking up these strong arms can help your stretch drive to getting the Yoohoo dumped over your head.
Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers — With the demotion of John Axford in Milwaukee, K-Rod is back as a closer and he’s just 6 saves away from becoming the 24th pitcher in MLB history with 300 saves. Learn who K-Rod’s mentor was here.
Sergio Romo, Giants — Sergio Romo is not the closer…yet. But, with Santiago Casilla having blown 4 of the last 6 Giants save opportunities, he may be soon. Casilla has 6 blown saves on the year and has seen his ERA baloon from 1.59 to 3.34 in the past 10 outings as he continues to struggle with a blister. Romo, on the other hand, sports a 0.66 ERA and 0.73 WHIP on the season.
Jacob Turner, Tigers — Jacob Turner got bombed on Tuesday night this week in Detroit’s 13-0 loss to the Angels. That means nobody in your league is targeting him. He’ll get the start on Sunday in place of Drew Smyly. If you play in a deep league, Turner could be the spot starter you need down the stretch.
Travis Blackley, A’s — If your league counts strikeouts, Travis Blackley may not be your man, but Blackley appears to have earned a regular spot in the better than anticipated Athletics rotation. Blackley is 3.36/1.07 on the season in 68 innings. He’s 2-0, 1.74/0.77 in his last six starts.
Michael Fiers, Brewers — Michael Fiers (pronounced “Fires”) tossed 7 shutout innings against the Cardinals on Monday this week. In 53.2 IP this year, Fiers is a strong 2.01/1.08 to go with a 3-3 record.
Carlos Villanueva, Blue Jays — Carlos Villanueva blanked the Indians for six innings earlier this week. Villanueva is at 2.68 on the year. He still walks too many, but we like his strikeout ratio — 57 in 50 IP.