Phantasy Philes: Starting Pitching

One of the Phillies' biggest strengths this season has been their starting pitching. With the exception of Brandon Duckworth, who was recently voted off the island, all of the club's starters have their ERA bellow 3.00 and double digit wins. This week in the Philes, we'll take a look at what's shakin' in the starting rotation, including the man chosen to replace Ducky, as well as who the closer of the day is. In addition to all that, we have our ever-popular non-Phillie of the week to discuss.

Alright everyone, let's begin by giving a big Philly Town welcome to Amaury Telemaco, the newest addition to the pitching staff. Amaury, 29, comes to us from the Triple-A Scranton club where he did a fine job as a member of their rotation. Taking over as the fifth starter in the rotation, Telemaco shouldn't have too much pressure on him as he makes his first starts since his mediocre performance with the Phils in 2001. Amaury got off on the right foot last weekend with a great seven-inning performance, where he allowed just two runs and struck out seven. With some experience under his belt and a little more confidence, Tele just might turn out to hold some value in the eyes of fantasy owners down the stretch. If he can continue to pitch well, he'll certainly be worth a look from needy NL only clubs, as well as any team that spot starts in head to head leagues.

Post All-Star play hasn't been too kind to Randy and the Wolf Pack. Since the break, Wolfie has a miserable 4.99 ERA with just two wins and four losses in seven starts. Opponents have been hitting almost 70 points higher, including a significantly high number of home runs, off Randy than they did in the first half. His 7.17 ERA in August is almost double his previous monthly high this season, but fantasy owners shouldn't get too freaked out. Before this horrible August, Randy had been very consistent in his production all year, so in my eyes one really crappy month is excusable and should be expected from a still developing young pitching. Look for Wolf to sit down with Joe Kerrigan one day soon and work out the problems he is currently experiencing. Until then, fantasy owners with Randy should just sit tight while he works his way back to his pre All-Star form.

While Jose Mesa continues his effort to work out his issues both on the mound and in the clubhouse, the job of closer is still left up in the air to some degree. Mike Williams has pulled in two of the last four saves, with Plesac and Mr. Table notching the other two. Williams has been pitching much better of late, allowing zero earned runs in his last 10 outings, and is probably the odds on favorite to get any and all upcoming save opportunities as a result. If Mike is available in your league, he would make a good add right about now, while Jose Mesa is too busy pushing reporters around to care about improving his pitching.

This week's non-Phillie is most likely someone that fantasy owners have been marveling at for a few weeks now. Since the break, Reggie "Jackson" Sanders has turned into a home run bashing beast, with 14 homers in his last 117 at bats, including four in the last seven days. If you're in a league that has Reggie on the waiver wire, grab him ASAP. If you already have Sanders on your roster, now might be the perfect time to sell high, and trade him away for someone you know to be a bit more reliable.

Well, that'll do it for this week folks. If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to send them to qwaz21@aol.com with "PBN" in the subject line. Until next time, I'm out like a reporter on the business end of a Joe Table shove.


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