Good starting pitchers can be hard to come by in fantasy baseball, especially with the new 10-day DL rule. You could lose an arm for a scoring period, (or two), in the blink of an eye. To keep your fantasy MLB lineup ticking at full strength, you’ll need to scour the waiver wire to fill the void. In many leagues, the Miami Marlins Jose Urena shows a 90 percent availability rate. If you need a dependable replacement starter, you could do a lot worse.
First thing, prospective team owners should employ the old school theory of throwing out the worst test grade in the class. If you look at Urena’s performance against the Buccos on April 28, you’ll see where Pittsburgh smacked the 25-year old Dominican around pretty good.
Sure, he gave up a dozen hits to the Pirates, but he also generated a dozen groundballs, while only a pair of Pirates crossed the plate. That single performance sent his WHIP skyrocketing, but closer inspection shows it still sits at a very respectable 1.17 on the season. Right next to that encouraging stat is a 1.98 ERA, the most impressive number in Urena’s 2017 resume.
His strikeout numbers haven’t been all too compelling to start the season, but his minor league stat history shows he has missed bats enough to generate satisfactory K numbers. He seems to average somewhere in the neighborhood of a hit per inning, albeit the Pirate game not withstanding.
Digging deeper in his splits, Urena has pitched well against the Mets, a single earned run via the long ball issued in 10 total innings. This included his best start of the season a six-inning, 1-hit/1-walk performance two starts ago.
He followed that up last week against a reasonably potent Atlanta lineup, giving up a pair of earned run, while scattering a half-dozen hits. It that game he hit the 100 pitch mark for the first time in 2017, so it appears Marlins skipper Don Mattingly’s confidence in the young right-hander is on the rise. Time will tell, but from all indications, Urena is locked in as the number five starter in Miami.
There isn’t a huge sample size to rate Urena on the Major League level, but his career ERA is sub-4.00 and his current WHIP almost mirrors his 750 innings at the minor league level. He’s a serviceable starter, who should see a mild bump in strikeouts, plus he will start his home games in pitcher-friendly Marlin Park. With good starting pitching hard to come by in fantasy baseball, Urena should at least provide you with positive numbers and there is some sleeper potential there.