Manny Parra, SP (MIL): I was e-mailed prior to the start of the season and asked if I thought Manny Parra was worth trading for early in the season. My original sentiment was that it would take him some time to get accustomed to the league and that he might have some value down the stretch. I still stand by those sentiments.
Parra is a guy that is worth a look, though. He's in the Jonathan Sanchez mold in the sense that he's worth starting at home but benching on the road.
Home: 3-0, 40.1 IP, 13 ER (2.90 ERA), 1.34 WHIP, .234 BAA
Away: 1-2, 22 IP, 17 ER (6.95 ERA), 2.05 WHIP, .352 BAA
His strikeout ratio is much better at home (34:19) and his strikeouts per nine innings is 7.6. I think he'll get better on the road, but for spot starts, Parra is a good investment.
Jonathan Sanchez, SP (SF): Jonathan Sanchez was in the start at home, sit on the road diet earlier in the season, but he looks to be gaining more confidence away from home. He's allowed only six earned runs in his last 19.1 innings pitched on the road, which is solid teamed up with his 2.74 ERA at home this season. Sanchez is ninth in strikeouts in the National League and has posted five straight quality starts. He's a solid add.
Derek Lowe, SP (LAD): If you were one of the people that wrote off Derek Lowe earlier in the season, you might want to double-check your assessment. Lowe has allowed only six earned runs in his last 29 innings pitched after surrendering 22 earned runs in his previous 21.1 innings pitched before that. During his current hot streak, Lowe has faced the Chicago Cubs twice and the St. Louis Cardinals, so it's not like he's been inflating his numbers against the San Diego Padres. After a rough month of May, Lowe is back on track.
Mike Gonzalez, RP (ATL): Just to update a situation that I've been keeping a close eye on, the Atlanta Braves closer role seems to be clearing up a little bit. Since I last mentioned the committee, John Smoltz has stepped down with a season-ending injury and Rafael Soriano has talked about a temporary paid leave of absence with some lingering elbow tendinitis - the same injury that landed him on the disabled list. Mike Gonzalez hasn't pitched in more than a year and is recovering from Tommy John surgery. He might only need one more rehab start before he's up with the Braves vying for closing opportunities. Manny Acosta is not consistent at this point, so Gonzalez could become the full-time closer fairly soon.
Brandon Morrow, RP (SEA): Not that Seattle is winning enough to get a ton of save opportunities, but it is worth noting that J.J. Putz left the game on Wednesday with a sore elbow. Morrow will step in immediately and close, but his value is only short term and he likely won't get a ton of chances.
Josh Banks, SP (SD): With Mark Prior out for the season, Josh Banks has become the favorite to suck up some innings for the San Diego Padres. Banks has become one of the most added players this week after allowing just one earned run in six innings pitched against the New York Mets. On the season, Banks already has a complete game, a 13:5 K:BB ratio, and has allowed only one earned run in 23 innings pitched. Given his mediocre minor league numbers (6.66 ERA in eight appearances), I would be surprised if he kept this up all season long. The Toronto Blue Jays waived him in early April and it wouldn't be the first time they gave up on a player too soon during the J.P. Ricciardi era.