Undefeated and (relatively) Unknown

Carlos Silva has been spectacular in Chicago, with an ERA of 2.93 and a WHIP of 1.06.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Everyday, people are walking up to me and asking me about Carlos Silva. How is he 8-0? Where did he come from? Should I pick him up?

Well, I have the answers for you about Silva and a couple of other starting pitchers who are still undefeated as we head into the second week of June. By the way, there are also four relief pitchers who are at least 3-0 (Fernando Rodney, Billy Wagner, Casey Janssen, Jonathon Broxton), but that's a story for another time.

Today, we will look into whether these four starting pitchers can continue to pitch this well and whether you should use a pickup or make a trade offer for one of them.

Carlos Silva - Silva came up as a reliever with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2002 and after a couple of years was traded to the Twins who made him into a starter. He pitched to moderate success in Minnesota, totaling 47 wins against 45 losses over four seasons. After two disastrous seasons in Seattle he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Milton Bradley.

So far, Silva has been spectacular in the Windy City, with an ERA of 2.93 and a WHIP of 1.06. For the first time in his career, he's giving up less walks than innings pitched and striking out batters at a higher rate than ever before and the result is unmistakable. The big question for fantasy owners is whether the "roll" can continue? Unfortunately, history says its unlikely that Silva can keep going at this pace. If you are one of the 61% who currently owns him, does the phrase "buy low, sell high" ring a bell? Now would be the perfect time to trade him.

Jeff Niemann - Niemann is just another of the many first-round draft choices that the Tampa Bay Rays have stockpiled. He's 27-years old and in his second season as a starter. He went 13-6 last year in 30 starts with an ERA of 3.94, but a high WHIP of 1.35. Niemann has become a much better pitcher than when he was a young, hard-throwing, righthander for Rice University. There is no reason he can't continue to win a high percentage with the Rays and if he's available in your league I would certainly put in a waiver claim.

Mike Leake - Leake spent the last three years at Arizona State going a stunning 40-5 and was the No.8 overall pick of the Cincinnati Reds. Without throwing a pitch in their minor league system, Leake began the 2010 season with the "big club" and so far things have gone perfectly. He's not a fireballer, but he knows how to pitch. Leake has only given up more than three runs in one start this year and over the last 20.1 innings has yielded just two runs, one earned. Much less heralded than Cuban Aroldis Chapman, Leake is proving to be a fighter and a winner. He's only owned in 61% of all leagues and you should be picking him up, particularly in keeper leagues.

Carlos Monasterios - Monasterios, a Rule 5 draft pick of the Mets in 2009 was traded to the Dodgers organization and has made four starts this season, among 15 appearances. As a starter he is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.70 and a WHIP of 1.000. It's too early to determine if he will stay in the rotation all season long. His next start is scheduled for Sunday, at home, against Anaheim and then likely in Boston, so it won't be easy for him to keep his record unblemished.

Selected Undefeated Starting Pitchers

PitcherTeamWLIPRHBBKERAWHIP%OWN
Carlos SilvaCHC8067.2226012472.931.0661
Jeff NiemannTB5071.0225722452.791.1081
Mike LeakeCIN5073.0186525502.221.2361
Carlos MonasteriosLAD3039.2103111172.271.064


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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