Stealthy Ninjas are back on time this week, and bringing a dose of San Diego pitching with them.
I’m referring to Kevin Correia, of course. Based on his ownership rates in Yahoo leagues you have no idea who he is.
Check out the statistical performance from his last five starts: 4-1 in 33.2 IP, 29:3 K:BB and he’s dropped his ERA more than a point from 5.37 to 4.23.
In case you were uncertain, I’m telling you to add Correia now. He could regress, but five starts is a good enough sample for me to turn into a believer.
As far as the Stealthy Ninja part of it, he won both starts last week, struck out 16 in 13.2 IP and K’d a career-high nine in his last start. Oh, and he’s available in 92% of fantasy leagues.
What other unowned commodities were impressive last week? Let’s take a look:
Your Stealthy Ninja hitters:
Adam LaRoche, 1B, Pirates (owned in 32%) Key stats: .381 average, 2 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, SB
- Advice: One of the few Pirates hitters you might have a reason to own, LaRoche nearly missed the cut last week. There are better 1Bs in baseball, but good luck finding any that are as available as LaRoche.
Jake Fox, OF, Cubs (owned in 8%) Key stats: .400 AVG, 3 R, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs
- Advice: The prospect is starting at 3B now, but according to MLB.com’s depth charts he’s also a reserve for both corner outfield spots and is a 1B by trade. If he keeps hitting like this they’ll have to find a spot for him when Aramis Ramirez returns from his injury. Dynasty leaguers take note.
Emilio Bonifacio, 2B/3B, Marlins (owned in 18%) Key Stats: .350, 6 R, 2 RBI, 3 SB
- Advice: It’s week one all over again! Actually, Bonifacio has stole a couple other bases since then. he’s got 15 steals in 20 tries this season, 40 runs scored and he’s hitting in the .250s. That batting average, up there is also a lie. He’s also a reserve but doesn’t qualify at SS. He’ll get you steals and runs, but there are probably better options.
Brett Gardner, OF, Yankees (owned in 7%) Key Stats: .370, 4 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB
- Advice: He’s not technically a starter, but got full-time at-bats last week and put up some awesome numbers. Gardner will be a fantasy contributor, but he’ll be held back until he’s a full-timer.
Casey McGehee, 2B, 3B, Brewers (owned in 10%) Key Stats: .310, 4 R, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB
- Advice: McGehee is not listed as a starter on MLB.com’s Brewers depth chart, listed behind Craig Counsel at second and third basemen Mat Gamel and Bill Hall. Gamel, McGehee and Counsel are all producing so whatever rotation their using works for now. But I like McGehee’s future potential as much as Gamel.
Ricky Romero, SP, Blue Jays (owned in 22%) Key stats: 14.0 IP, 2 W, 13 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP.
- Advice: The Blue Jays have some intriguing young arms. Romero, one of them, no-hit the World Champion Phillies for six innings on Friday. Definitely a spot-start candidate.
Joel Pineiro, SP, Cardinals (owned in 21%) Key stats: 9 IP, 1 W, 1 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP
- Advice: Pineiro returns for a second straight edition, but hasn’t pitched since the last Stealthy Ninjas. I’d tell you to proceed with caution, but Pineiro’s easy to read: He’s ground-ball pitcher so when he’s on he’ll keep his averages down, but he’s far more likely to give you a 1K in 9 innings than 4Ks in 9 innings.
J.A. Happ, SP, Phillies (owned in 31%) Key Stats: 9 IP, 1 W, 4K, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP
- Advice: Didn’t really want to, but dropped Happ in a mixed league to get Correia. Happ’s not going to get you a 9 K game. He is a decent young (i.e. unpredictable) pitcher who got the first complete game and shutout of his career. Own him in NL-only leagues, and deep mixed setups.
Felipe Paulino, SP, Astros (owned in 1%) Key Stats: 7 IP, 1 W, 9 K, 1.29 ERA, 0.43 WHIP
- Advice: He was hitting 97 MPH during his win against the Tigers, and struck out 9 in 7 innings. His previous ERA, WHIP and BAA numbers scream stay away, but he’s only got 17 total games and 12 total starts under his belt. The last game was his first back from a 15-day DL vacation for a problematic groin. He’s worth a spot-start, and if he has another solid outing I’d roster him for a while.
Randy Wells, SP, Cubs (owned in 32%) Key Stats: 13.2 IP, 2 W, 9 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
- Advice: Wells only has five decisions in nine games for the Cubs, but he’s only had one awful game all season — against the Twins: 4 ER, 7 H, 2 BB in only 3.2 IP. He has a 2.57 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and a .235 BAA this season. Another definite spot-start candidate who deserves rosterization in deep leagues.
What do you think? Is Paulino merely using mirrors to trick us? Are you drinking Emilio Bonifacio’s Kool-Aid again? What players have you targeted? Let us know in the comments, or visit our forums and start a conversation.