Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Moving Parts

Friday, July 20, 2012

Francisco Liriano has been utterly dominant over his past two starts, notching 25 strikeouts over 14 innings while allowing only eight hits. Since returning to the bullpen in late May, he has posted a 2.84 ERA and 77/28 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .171 average.

His value may never be higher, which is why there's a good chance he won't make it through the next week in a Twins uniform. Minnesota is 12 games out in the Central and set to sell, and certainly there are plenty of contenders who could take an interest in the hottest pitcher in baseball.

Another two-start pitcher in position to potentially switch teams is Zack Greinke. He's set to return Tuesday after skipping a start, and with a hot trade market there's no guarantee he'll stick around in Milwaukee for his second start on Sunday, although it seems there's increased reluctance from buyers at this point.

Wandy Rodriguez and Clayton Richard are other two-start guys whose names have hovered on the trade market with the deadline approaching.

There's no telling whether the team acquiring any of these hurlers would keep them on regular rest, so their two-start statuses carry an asterisk.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Felix Hernandez: NYY (Garcia), KC (Smith)
Jeremy Hellickson: @BAL (Chen), @LAA (Wilson)
Francisco Liriano: @CWS, CLE (Jimenez)
C.J. Wilson: KC (Chen), TB (Hellickson)
Hiroki Kuroda: @SEA (Millwood), BOS (Doubront)

Decent Plays

Roy Oswalt: BOS (Doubront), CWS
Bruce Chen: @LAA (Wilson), @SEA (Millwood)
Doug Fister: @CLE (Jimenez), @TOR (Cecil)
Justin Masterson: BAL (Hunter), @MIN (Deduno)
Ubaldo Jimenez: DET (Fister), @MIN (Liriano)
Tommy Hunter: @CLE (Masterson), OAK (Colon)
Wei-Yin Chen: TB (Hellickson), OAK (Blackley)

At Your Own Risk

Brett Cecil: OAK (Blackley), DET (Fister)
Kevin Millwood: NYY (Kuroda), KC (Chen)
Travis Blackley: @TOR (Cecil), @BAL (Chen)
Will Smith: @LAA (Williams), @SEA (Hernandez)
Felix Doubront: @TEX (Oswalt), @NYY (Kuroda)

National League

Strong Plays

Gio Gonzalez: @NYM (Dickey), @MIL (Greinke)
Jordan Zimmermann: @NYM (Young), @MIL (Wolf)
Adam Wainwright: LAD (Kershaw), @CHC (Samardzija)
Ryan Vogelsong: SD (Richard), LAD (Kershaw)
James McDonald: CHC (Maholm), @HOU (Harrell)
Roy Halladay: MIL (Wolf), @ATL (Minor)
R.A. Dickey: WAS (Gonzalez), @ARI (Saunders)
Zack Greinke: @PHI (Lee), WAS (Gonzalez)
Clayton Kershaw: @STL (Wainwright), @SF (Vogelsong)

Decent Plays

Joe Kelly: LAD, @CHC (Wood)
Clayton Richard: @SF (Vogelsong), @MIA (Johnson)
Erik Bedard: CHC (Samardzija), @HOU (Rodriguez)
Chris Young: WAS (Zimmermann), @ARI (Kennedy)
Josh Johnson: ATL (Minor), SD (Richard)
Wandy Rodriguez: CIN (Latos), PIT (Bedard)
Mat Latos: @HOU (Rodriguez), @COL (Pomeranz)
Jeff Samardzija: @PIT (Bedard), STL (Wainwright)
Ian Kennedy: COL (Guthrie), NYM (Young)
Joe Saunders: COL (Pomeranz), NYM (Dickey)

At Your Own Risk

Randy Wolf: @PHI (Halladay), WAS (Zimmermann)
Lucas Harrell: CIN (Leake), PIT (McDonald)
Drew Pomeranz: @ARI (Saunders), CIN (Latos)
Jeremy Guthrie: @ARI (Kennedy), CIN (Cueto)
Mike Minor: @MIA (Johnson), PHI (Halladay)

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Nick Nelson is a frequent contributor to Rotoworld's baseball coverage and regularly blogs about the Minnesota Twins at Twins Daily. Follow him on Twitter @NickNelsonMN.
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