Nick Nelson

The Week Ahead

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Red Hot Meds

Friday, August 31, 2012

Forty and two-third innings. Three runs allowed.

What Kris Medlen has managed to do since rejoining the Braves rotation in late July is nothing short of incredible. He's been absolutely lights-out and somehow he keeps getting better and better, as his latest start – 8 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 9 K in San Diego – may have been his most impressive yet.

The 26-year-old right-hander's return from Tommy John surgery has gone about as well as one could possibly imagine, and he'll look to extend his current 24-inning scoreless streak as he makes a pair of starts in The Week Ahead, where he's slated to take on the Rockies at home and the Mets on the road.

Here are a few notes on some other pitchers included on the two-start block:

* Joe Saunders struggled in his debut for the Orioles, coughing up six runs in 5 1/3 innings at home against the White Sox, and I'd stay away again this week with tough match-ups against the Blue Jays and Yankees on deck.

* Jeff Samardzija is a sneaky good play with the Nats and Pirates scheduled. He's been stellar in his past two turns, posting a 17/2 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, and hasn't issued more than three walks in a start since July. Shark is currently available in about 50 percent of leagues.

* I like Tommy Hanson, but I just can't recommend him at this point. He has completed six innings only once in his past seven outings, and there's a chance he might be wearing down. He's thrown 141 innings after totaling 130 last year.

Going Twice…

American League

Strong Plays

Matt Harrison: @KC (Guthrie), @TB (Cobb)
Yu Darvish: @KC (Chen), @TB (Shields)
CC Sabathia: @TB (Moore), @BAL (Britton)
Phil Hughes: @TB (Cobb), @BAL (Saunders)
C.J. Wilson: @OAK (Griffin), DET (Sanchez)

Decent Plays

J.A. Happ: BAL (Saunders), @BOS (Matsuzaka)
Alex Cobb: NYY (Hughes), TEX (Harrison)
Jason Vargas: BOS (Buchholz), OAK (Griffin)
A.J. Griffin: LAA (Wilson), @SEA (Vargas)
Jeremy Guthrie: TEX (Harrison), @CWS
Bruce Chen: TEX (Darvish), @CWS (Sale)
Anibal Sanchez: CLE (Kluber), @LAA (Wilson)
Samuel Deduno: @CWS (Axelrod), CLE (Kluber)
Dylan Axelrod: MIN (Deduno), KC (Guthrie)

At Your Own Risk

Corey Kluber: @DET (Sanchez), @MIN (Deduno)
Joe Saunders: @TOR (Happ), NYY (Hughes)
Zach Britton: @TOR (Villanueva), NYY (Sabathia)

National League

Strong Plays

Edwin Jackson: CHC (Raley), MIA (Turner)
Ross Detwiler: CHC (Samardzija), MIA (Nolasco)
Matt Harvey: @STL (Kelly), ATL (Hanson)
Michael Fiers: @MIA (Nolasco), @STL (Westbrook)
Johnny Cueto: PHI (Cloyd), HOU (Keuchel)
Jeff Samardzija: @WAS (Detwiler), @PIT (Burnett)
Kris Medlen: COL (Chatwood), @NYM (Young)
Patrick Corbin: @SF (Zito), @SD (Werner)

Decent Plays

Joe Kelly: NYM (Harvey), MIL (Marcum)
Andrew Werner: @LAD (Blanton), ARI (Corbin)
James McDonald: HOU (Keuchel), CHC (Raley)
Shaun Marcum: @MIA (Turner), @STL (Kelly)
Jacob Turner: MIL (Marcum), @WAS (Jackson)
Ricky Nolasco: MIL (Fiers), @WAS (Detwiler)
Joe Blanton: SD (Werner), @SF (Zito)
Tyler Cloyd: @CIN (Cueto), COL (Pomeranz)

At Your Own Risk

Barry Zito: ARI (Corbin), LAD (Blanton)
Tyler Chatwood: @ATL (Medlen), @PHI (Worley)
Drew Pomeranz: @ATL (Hanson), @PHI (Cloyd)
Dallas Keuchel: @PIT (McDonald), @CIN (Cueto)
Tommy Hanson: COL (Pomeranz), @NYM (Harvey)

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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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