Pickups of the Week: Pitcher update

James Russell=

Third time could be charm with Russell

James Russell (RP) Chicago Cubs
We all can admit the Cubs are an abomination. Futility, an all too real feeling on the North Side, is again at the forefront. Still, they will be involved in many tight games, making Russell, the club’s latest closer, a highly desirable reliever that needs to picked up ASAP in 12-team mixed formats. Undeterred in consecutive high-leverage situations versus the Padres, he has the mentality and likely the stuff to get the job done. His combination of unsavory walks (3.86 BB/9) and fly-balls (49.3 FB%) isn’t ideal, but he will get every opportunity to slam the door, for now.

  • Y! % 14%
  • Y! rank (L14)214
  • IP23.1
  • ERA1.54
  • WHIP1.37
  • S1
  • W2
Kevin Millwood

Long thought dead, Millwood resurfaces in Seattle

Kevin Millwood (SP) Seattle Mariners
Quietly, the seemingly 900-year-old veteran continues to twirl superb outings in Starbucks City. Over his past four appearances, all against powerhouse offenses (Texas (2), Colorado and the New York Yankees), he surrendered a measly two earned runs, emerging victorious three times. His 3.41 BB/9 is a bit unpalatable, but he’s generating a ton of groundball outs while missing more bats than usual. With matchups against San Diego and Oakland this month, he’s worth an audition.

  • Y! %9%
  • Y! rank (L14) 10
  • IP60.2
  • ERA3.56
  • WHIP1.29
  • K/96.23
  • W3
Trevor Bauer

Reno continues to house biggest little prospect in the world, for now

Trevor Bauer (SP) Arizona Diamondbacks
It’s not a matter of if, but when Bauer makes his big league debut. Arizona management is satisfied letting the prized prospect fine tune his skills in the PCL, but with the Dodgers running away with the NL West, a move might be precipitated. During his brief stint with Triple-A Reno, Bauer has dominated. Through 19 innings, he’s punched out 24 and allowed only four earned. If Wade Miley and Joe Saunders continue to pitch well, he’ll continue to shuck corn on the farm. However, one major injury or a string of poor performances, and the Snake will strike. Stash him now.

  • Y! %11%
  • Y! rank (L14)--
  • IP19.0 (AAA)
  • ERA1.89
  • WHIP1.11
  • K/911.37
  • W2
Andrew Cashner

Thayer’s unraveling could open the end-game door

Andrew Cashner (RP) San Diego Padres
In his past two appearances Dale Thayer stepped on a grenade, giving up seven earned in 1.2 IP. Bud Black hasn’t hinted at a change, but the hard-throwing Cashner could be one implosion away from netting save chances. Huston Street is slated to begin a rehab assignment Friday. If all progresses smoothly, he’ll return to the ‘pen in two weeks. Still, if an opportunity presents itself, Cashner would be immediately acquirable. He’s always possessed closer stuff. Watch this situation closely.

  • Y! %4%
  • Y! rank (L14) 408
  • IP23.1
  • ERA3.86
  • WHIP1.54
  • SV0
  • W2
Stephen Pryor

Saves speculators need to dig deep for mitt-popping rookie

Stephen Pryor (RP) Seattle Mariners
Promoted earlier this week to help bolster the M’s’ struggling bullpen, the gun-smoking righty has all the tools to develop into a frontline closer. At 6-foot-6, 225-pounds he’s a hulking figure on the mound who backs up his Sasquatch size with a lethal arsenal. He boasts a mid-to-high 90s fastball, diving curveball and filthy cutter. Prior to his promotion, he logged nine saves whiffed 39 in 28 innings between Double and Triple-A. Not yet added to the Y! game, he’s worth using a high waiver priority on in deep mixed leagues.

  • Y! %0%
  • Y! rank (L14)--
  • IP12.0 (AAA)
  • ERA0.00
  • WHIP1.00
  • SV2
  • W0

Brad "The Big Noise" Evans Yahoo! Fantasy Sports Columnist/Bracketologist Expert contributor on Emmy Nominated Webcast "Fantasy Football Live" Every NFL Sunday at 9 AM PT/11 AM CT/Noon EST