So fine, you're not a big believer in the Tampa Bay Rays. Even though they're 25-19 and trailing Boston by only one game, your skepticism is understandable. The franchise has not covered itself in glory.
But that doesn't mean you can't own individual Rays for fantasy purposes. Several of them are severely under-owned in Yahoo! leagues, despite their performance to date. This week we'll look at a few of them. We begin with Andy Sonnanstine.
Actually, we begin with what is apparently Sonnanstine playing ping-pong...
Note the parallels between his ping-pong and his pitching. He's not overpowering, but he'll annoy and confound you with movement and variation.
You'll find an excellent look at Sonnanstine's pitching approach here, in a feature from the St. Petersburg Times. You should also check the notes on his player page:
Sonnanstine improved to 5-0 with a 2.98 ERA over his last six starts, and is 6-1 with a 4.53 ERA in nine starts overall.
He's basically had one rough start, one brilliant start, and a bunch of useful outings. Sonnanstine has beaten the Yankees, the Cardinals, and the first place White Sox so far, and he hasn't been unusually lucky on balls in play. His opponents' BABIP is .301.
The guy has 127 career Ks and only 37 walks. He was 25-10 in four minor league seasons with a 2.56 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 463 Ks in 495.2 innings.
If Sonnanstine pitched for anyone else, he'd be more than 9.0 percent owned. His next start is Wednesday at pitcher-friendly Oakland. That's a good day to test-drive him in mixed leagues.
- Andy Sonnanstine