Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Let me start by saying I never thought I'd be recommending Jeremy Guthrie under any circumstances this season.
But September calls for drastic measures, especially in head-to-head leagues.
Guthrie is just one of several pitchers who can help owners this month. September isn't about the long haul. It's about the small sample size, and lesser talents can get the job done in small doses. Don't be afraid to cut a struggling established starter loose for one of these guys (Obviously, I'm not talking about cutting aces like Jered Weaver (1 W, 6.14 ERA in the last month and currently dealing with right shoulder tendinitis), but C.J. Wilson, Ryan Vogelsong, Jordan Zimmermann and James McDonald are fair game for owners trying to scratch and claw their way to the next round).
Jeremy Guthrie, Kansas City Royals - Guthrie was the worst pitcher on the planet earlier this season, but escaping Colorado apparently did the trick for the right-hander. Since he joined the Royals, Guthrie is 4-3 with a 3.70 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in nine starts, compared to 3-9 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.69 WHIP with the Rockies. Guthrie is still prone to meltdowns like the one he had against Boston on Aug. 25 (2 2/3 IP, 6 ER), but he didn't allow an earned run in a three-start stretch from Aug. 8-19 and he's been quality in six of his last seven turns.
Zach Britton, Baltimore Orioles - Britton started out his big league career 5-2 with a 2.35 ERA in 10 starts last season, but he finished 6-9 with a 6.25 ERA and had his 2012 season delayed by a shoulder impingement. However, he's been untouchable in his last four starts, going 4-0 with a 0.94 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP.
Kyle Kendrick, Philadelphia Phillies - Kendrick has been around for awhile and it's clear he's nothing special. However, he has been a rotation mainstay since the team traded Joe Blanton and he's turned in five straight quality starts. In that span, he's 4-1 with a 1.45 ERA.
Eric Stults, San Diego Padres - Stults had a 3.19 ERA before a lat injury robbed him of a month and a half of the season. But since he returned to the rotation on Aug. 6, Stults is 4-0 with a 1.66 ERA. He has allowed one run or less in five of six starts in that span.
Andrew Werner, San Diego Padres - The Padres signed Werner as an undrafted free agent, but that doesn't mean he can't help fantasy teams down the stretch. The lefty has allowed two runs in six innings in each of his first three starts while recording a 17/5 K/BB ratio. San Diego plays 15 of its final 24 games at home, so Werner will have a few more starts at Petco Park.
Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves - Many owners are still judging Minor based on what he did in May. The left-hander's ERA reached 7.09 on May 16 and stood at 6.20 at the end of June, but since then Minor is 4-4 with a 2.58 ERA and a 52/13 K/BB in 69 2/3 innings. He's only allowed 51 hits in that span, including one in seven innings Wednesday. Here's a fun fact: Minor was the second pitcher taken in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft to reach the majors. The first? Stephen Strasburg.
Hishashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners - Iwakuma came over from Japan this season and started out in Seattle's bullpen, but he's pitched like an ace since he joined the rotation in early July. In 11 starts this season, Iwakuma is 5-2 with a 2.42 ERA and a 57/24 K/BB in 67 innings. Iwakuma has allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of 11 and has a 1.74 ERA in his last nine.
Ross Detwiler, Washington Nationals - Detwiler started the season in the rotation but he was only keeping a spot warm for Chien-Ming Wang. Wang returned from and injury and subsequently underperformed before getting injured again, so Detwiler found himself back in the starting five. Since rejoining the rotation, Detwiler is 5-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 78 innings over 13 starts. He has allowed three runs or less in 10 of 13.