Wood pitched brilliantly at Philadelphia on Saturday, retiring the first 24 batters he faced (eight via strikeout) and carrying a perfect game into the ninth. The left-hander lost his no-hit/perfection bid on a Carlos Ruiz(notes) double, but he managed to complete nine scoreless innings against the defending N.L. champs … and he took a no-decision, because Halladay is a monster.
Halladay countered with nine shutout innings and nine Ks, per his usual. But fantasy-wise, he isn't the story. Wood's performance was the actionable event.
The Reds' rotation is about to get crowded, with Aaron Harang(notes) (back) and Edinson Volquez(notes) (elbow) expected back from the DL shortly, but it's tough to imagine Wood getting bounced following Saturday's effort. You'll recall that he battled Mike Leake(notes) for Cincinnati's fifth starter gig in spring training, delivering a 3.50 ERA and 17 Ks in 18.0 Cactus League innings. He was also spectacular across two minor league levels last year (13-5, 1.77 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 7.2 K/9), and he posted a 3.12 ERA and 1.08 WHIP at Triple-A earlier this season.
So the stats are there. Wood's fastball was better than advertised on Saturday (92-93 mph, perfectly located), and his secondary stuff (cutter, change, curve) did whatever he needed it to do. Check the highlights. In three appearances for the Reds, he's now struck out 17 batters in 20.2 innings.
On the chance that Wood could make two starts in Week 16 — Cincinnati will face the Nationals, then the Astros — I've made a few speculative pick-ups. But this is strictly an add-and-hope situation. There are no guarantees. Again: Wood isn't a lock to stick in the rotation. Harang and Volquez could mess this whole thing up (and Edinson just threw 7.0 one-hit innings for Louisville, striking out nine).
While you run the risk-reward analysis on your own rosters, please enjoy some refreshing bullets…
• Brad Lidge(notes) very nearly allowed the Reds to score in the tenth on Saturday, but he escaped following a messy inning (26 pitches, 1 H, 2 BBs, SB). Over the past month, Lidge has an 8.22 ERA and 1.96 WHIP. His manager is endlessly loyal, however. You'll grow old and bitter waiting for Lidge to lose his job.
• We should probably offer the option to ignore all Diamondbacks bullpen updates. Rest assured, we here at Roto Arcade don't want to write about Arizona's relievers any more than you want to read about 'em. But such is our fate.
On Saturday, Chad Qualls(notes) was handed the ball in the ninth inning with a three-run lead. He promptly committed an error, allowing the leadoff hitter to reach base, then gave up a double to Mike Stanton(notes) and a two-run single to Ronny Paulino(notes). Qualls was then replaced by Juan Gutierrez(notes), who converted the save.
There are really no good options in this 'pen. It's a situation to avoid, not to embrace — unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury.
When manager Kirk Gibson was asked about the decision to remove Qualls, he replied with this gem: "I had to. Come on. That's not even a question. He wasn't locating." Arizona is simply a team without a closer right now. Gutierrez could very well get the next save opportunity; he's struck out one batter this month and his season ERA is 7.18. I dare you to add him.
• Zack Greinke(notes) was scratched from his Sunday start due to "soreness in the back of his right shoulder." This is clearly a concern, but Greinke's manager reportedly said, "It's not anything serious." Here are a few details:
“He didn’t do it throwing,” Yost said. “It’s not a throwing injury. It was a sensation that he felt in his arm when he went to cover third base and jerked back. It effects the part of his arm back here (points behind shoulder) that is on the decelerating process. It’s not on the throwing process. It’s on the decelerating process.”
• Cliff Lee's(notes) Texas debut wasn't exactly a gem: 9.0 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 K, 3 HR. By now, everyone has reminded you that Lee didn't exactly win the home-park lottery when he was dealt to the Rangers. Let's not overstate the importance of his career stats in Arlington, however. (Lee shut down the Rangers at the Ballpark earlier this year, for what it's worth). If you're looking to deal him now that he's left Seattle, I'm willing to take him off your hands.
There's a chance that 21-year-old prospect Michael Pineda(notes) will replace Lee in the Mariners' rotation, and he'll be worth your waiver priority when he arrives. The right-hander is 10-1 across two levels this season, with a 2.72 ERA and 106 Ks in 99.1 innings. And Rob Steingall loves him like a pet. Here's Pineda in super slow-mo: