Fantasy baseball pitcher stock watch

Fantasy baseball pitcher stock watch

By David Ferris
CSNChicago.com

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Wilton Lopez, RP, Astros: The ratios grab your attention first: 52 strikeouts against just seven walks, a 1.06 WHIP, tidy 2.24 ERA. And although Lopez is the closer for the worst team in MLB (by far), he still has a win and five saves over the last month. His handshakes are as good as anyone else's.

Jake Odorizzi, SP, Royals: The highly-touted KC prospect fashioned a 3.03 ERA and 130 strikeouts over 145 innings in the minors, covering two levels. The club wants to give him a cup of coffee in the show, so Odorizzi will get a shot against Cleveland on Sunday. That's a streamable turn to be sure, and Odorizzi might draw the same scuffling Indians the following week.

Andrew Werner, SP, Padres: He's been sharp in four of his first five turns, putting up three strikeouts for every walk and an acceptable 3.68 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. Most of the starts have come in offense-blunting Petco Park, but there's nothing wrong with trying Werner in San Francisco this weekend. The Giants hitters haven't seen him yet, either - advantage, Werner.

Martin Perez, SP, Rangers: He's one of the jewels of the Texas farm system, and he's getting a much-coveted start at Safeco Field this weekend. The Mariners couldn't touch Perez in a relief stint last week (4.1 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K); look for more of the same here.

Drew Smyly, SP, Tigers: Heads up if you need a Sunday fill-in - Max Scherzer (shoulder) might not be able to go, leaving Smyly as the Plan B. The opponent plays nice in this case: Minnesota is in town, with unheralded P.J. Walters throwing. Smile, you're at Mr. Smyly's.

Sell

Clayton Kershaw, SP, Dodgers: It's no sure thing he'll be able to start again this year - the team is being careful with Kershaw's sore hip - and even if the lefty does take to the mound, how confident can we be in his effectiveness? Roster spots have a currency at this time of year; if you need immediate reinforcements, you have our permission to drop Kershaw.

Tommy Hanson, SP, Braves: His walk and homer rates are heading in the wrong direction, and obviously a 4.33 ERA and 1.45 WHIP don't help anyone. Even with the best defensive outfield working behind him, Hanson can't keep the ball out of the gap (or in the park) consistently in 2012. He's been an overrated brand-name for years.

Hold

Phil Hughes, SP, Yankees: He finally conquered his Fenway Park phobia - perhaps someone gave him a good look at the current lineup card in the Back Bay - and the Blue Jays and Rays are also putting out skeleton lineups at this time of year. For once, we can chase after non-elite AL East pitchers and not feel guilty about it.

Edwin Jackson, SP, Nationals: A bloated ERA over the last month might have some gamers off the scent, but Jackson still offers an acceptable WHIP (1.31) and 35 strikeouts over 29.2 innings. Don't sweat the unlucky hit rate of late; stay the course with this underrated righty. We'll use Jackson through the end of the year, even in shallow mixers.

Bears QB Mike Glennon makes his role emphatically clear: ‘This year is my year’

Bears QB Mike Glennon makes his role emphatically clear: ‘This year is my year’

Mike Glennon stuck to an emphatic mantra during his first meeting with the media since the Bears drafted Mitch Trubisky last month: “This year is my year.”

It wasn’t a surprising line — what else was he supposed to say? — but it was telling in the sense that Glennon didn’t appear to be rattled by the presence of Trubisky, the franchise’s presumptive quarterback of the future. Unofficially, Glennon said some version of that line a dozen times in just over 10 minutes. 

“They brought me here to be the quarterback this year and nothing has changed,” Glennon said. “So in my mind, I have to go out and play well, and I know that, and that’s basically the bottom line.”

Will Glennon work with Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick and presumptive quarterback of the future? Yes. But is that his main focus? No. The job of developing Trubisky falls on offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterbacks coach Dave Ragone, not the guy who the Bears committed tens of millions of dollars to to play quarterback. 

Glennon said general manager Ryan Pace called him about 10 minutes after Roger Goodell announced Trubisky’s name in Philadelphia April 27 to reassure him that he would still be the Bears’ starting quarterback in 2017. Like most everyone — including Trubisky — Glennon was surprised the Bears made the pick, but the 27-year-old said he quickly re-trained his attention back on preparing for the upcoming season. 

“I’m not worried about the future,” Glennon said. “I’m not worried about the past. I’m worried about the present and right now this is my team and that’s where my focus is.”

Glennon’s three-year, $45 million deal is structured so the Bears could cut him after the 2017 season and absorb only a $2.5 million cap hit, $500,000 more than the team took on when Jay Cutler was released in March. His contract was set up that way before the Bears snuck into Chapel Hill, N.C. for a surreptitious dinner and workout with Trubisky — he’s a bridge quarterback with an opportunity to show he’s greater than that label. 

“Even if I were to (look in hindsight) I would still have came here,” Glennon said. “Like I said, this is my year. There are no guarantees in the NFL. The majority of guys in the NFL are playing year-to-year. I’m here to prove myself that I can me the quarterback this year and going forward. But right now my focus is on winning games this year.”

“… I can only say it so many times, this year has been fully communicated that it's my year,” Glennon said. “I’m not going to worry about the future. As long as I play well, it will all work out.’ 

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

In wake of first-round playoff sweep, Patrick Kane talks about the Blackhawks' 'reality check'

It’s been just over a month since the Blackhawks were eliminated from the playoffs in swift fashion. And as Patrick Kane told WGN Radio on Tuesday morning, the bitter taste hasn’t gone away.

“I think a lot of us didn’t figure we’d be in the situation we’re in right now,” Kane told Steve Cochran and Dave Eanet on Tuesday. “All of us can work this offseason to get better. It’s a long time to wait to get back to that opportunity to play in the playoffs again, so we’ll have a sour taste in our mouth for a while.”

The Nashville Predators, who made quick work of the Blackhawks in the first round, eliminated the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night to earn the first Stanley Cup Final appearance in franchise history. Kane told WGN he’s been watching the playoffs and said Nashville “has a pretty good system going.”

“They come at you, they play aggressive. I don’t think any of us would be a big fan of the way they defend in the neutral zone, just sitting back and playing that 1-3-1. But at the same time they come at you,” said Kane, who added that the Blackhawks “weren’t even close in that (first-round) series.”

“Maybe we had a chance in Game 3 when we were up 2-0, but it was a clean sweep and that’s probably how it should’ve been,” he said. “So now it’s time to regroup.”

When the Blackhawks had their wrap-up media session on April 22, general manager Stan Bowman was asked if some players, having won three Stanley Cups since 2010, had lost some of the hunger. Bowman didn’t buy that and neither did Kane.

“Four sounds a lot better than three, right?” he said. “It’s a long time away and a lot of work, but sometimes you go through those situations and you realize you won three Cups and it’s almost like you’re going to be there again. That’s where the reality check is for us now, realizing how hard it is to get back in that situation, how hard it is to win a Cup or go deep in this league. There’s a lot of work to be done.”