Aprilish Reactions: Pitchers Edition

Somehow Clayton Kershaw is the 135th ranked overall player on Yahoo! After only 3 starts…which is somehow higher than Stephen Strasburg, Cliff Lee, and Madison Bumgarner. I know Kershaw is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but come on, he hasn’t been the one of the most valuable players in the fantasy game when he’s been sidelined for most of it. Give him at least a couple more starts before we crown him the prince of baseball again.

Masahiro Tanaka’s has started the year 5-0 and I honestly think he could go undefeated. I feel like every Japanese pitcher can throw a nasty splitter, the pitch of choice on the true east coast. I want to say I drafted him everywhere and ignored the fact that he pitches in the AL East and hadn’t thrown a single pitch in the majors, but I didn’t. He’s looking really good and outside of his high LOB% he currently holds, everything else looks filthy and legit. If he can maintain a K/9 above 10 and a BB/9 under 2, then he’ll have a shot at being the best pitcher in baseball. The only thing I see working against this guy is that the Yahoo! Staff published an article that was basically “haha told you so” to all the people, mainly ESPN probably, who thought their Tanaka ranking in the preseason was too high. If there’s one thing you don’t do is taunt the fantasy Gods. Tanaka’s career is as good as over.

mad maxI liked Mad Max going into the season, but I expected regression. Well all he’s done is pitch just as good as he did during his Cy Young winning season. I’m mad at Max… Looks like he’s doing everything he can to earn that big contract next season, this is how you’re supposed to play during your contract year Kung Fu Panda! I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Mad Max in NY or LA next year as all the teams I’m referring to seem to have an endless supply of money. Not the Mets though!

This is just what Kyle Lohse does. He’s done it for 4 years and people will never believe in him. Plug, yawn, and appreciate.

Tim Hudson gets another year older and another year better… I honestly thought he was going to retire last year after he broke his leg in that unfortunate run in with Eric Young Jr. but he looks just fine now.Actually, I think he may actually be so undervalued that you can still buy him relatively low. I can’t explain Tim Hudson’s success, but I’ve always hated him! Okay I can explain him, he control artist that induces a lot of ground balls in friendly ball parks with good defenses behind him. It’s not all the defense behind him, he also controls his walks and restricts HRs very well. Yeah he’ll never get you those elite K rates, but he’ll help your team ratios a good bit and maybe get wins. I can’t predict wins. Yeah, buying low on a guy ranked as a top 5 SP is possible because no one wants to believe in a AARP card holder.

I was high on Yordano Ventura going into the season, and I still am! I’m prettay sure I was the only person high on him too. I’m a genius!

I wrote in the preseason that I liked Kazmir, but I was afraid that he was going to get injured. Not smart to predict injuries. Before yesterday I would have said that Jose Fernandez was one of the safest pitchers to bet on, and now he’s likely done for the year. Kazmir is legit and pitching in Oakland is great for him.

Jeff Samardzija has had 8 starts to the season, but has no wins. What a bum! I was totally justified in avoiding him in all my drafts…It looks like the Cubs will be able to get some good value from the guy at the trade deadline.

James Shields is pitching well, who cares about that Wil Myers guy anyway! I feel like he’s been giving up a bunch of hits every game and he did get blessed with 6 unearned runs against the Twins, so I think his ERA is a tad lower than it should be. Otherwise I’d expect this kind boring reliability from my ace for the rest of the season.

I knew the Brewers pitching couldn’t be as bad as they were last year, but I also wasn’t expecting Wily Peralta to be their best starter. He has one of the fastest fast balls in this fast paced game. Fast! He’s pretty much a fastball/slider guy, but both pitches are doing well. His walks are down and I wouldn’t be surprised if he finished as the most valuable starter for this team. Usually when a guy throws this fast and has a nasty slider he gets more strike outs, so more should come…probably.

Yovani Gallardo is pitching better than he did last year! He usually has slow April’s too, so this is a good sign. At the same time, I haven’t had less confidence in a guy pitching so well. Meanwhile Marco Estrada, a guy who has always had an elite BB rate, but his K rate has fallen 3 years in a row now and he’s always had trouble with allowing too many HRs.

Yu+Darvish+Texas+Rangers+Introduce+Yu+Darvish+b0C_eXCaBmXlYu Darvish has been great outside that Oakland start. Good thing they aren’t in his division or anything! I’m honestly not sure what Billy Beane is doing to get his hitters to do so well against Yu, but it’s something more than walks! Yu had his 2nd no hitter/perfect game broken up in the 8.2 innings mark. I thought the error call was probably right, but then again baseball does have some silly rules and that probably wouldn’t have been called an error in most other games. Still, rookie 2B Rougned Odor fielding was…stinky. It cost Darvish the perfect game, but it’s only a matter of time until Yu gets one. It’s good to see Yu pitch so well, but it’s odd that he’s so reliant on his fastball this year when he was so many other pitch type options. Okay then, no more cutters for him…

Joakim Soria has gotten very few save chances for the Rangers because the entire team has been a pretty big disappointment so far. He could be a top closer, and he didn’t even cost you a high draft pick.

Dan Haren has been on my fantasy ban list for a while, until last year where I drafted him everywhere because, you know, I love my NL East pitchers. If he couldn’t do well in the NL East I still have a hard time believing he can do well anywhere else. I’m not buying, and this is coming from a guy who believes in Tim Hudson and Jesse Chavez!

Adam Wainwright has been amazing and no one should be too surprised. I was a little worried about his workload going into this season, but I should have known the Cardinals magic would have prevented anything from happening. Also it’s probably a little silly to predict injuries for a player that has been fine outside that one Tommy John surgery. Everything seems Wainright with Wainwright.

Alex Cobb is on the DL. No! I myself prefer to have my cobbs on the grill and eat them from top to bottom. Those horizontal eaters are weirdos.

Tony Cingrani is on the DL, but he was walking a ton of guys before he went there. To say the least, I’m worried about him. Things have not been looking good for the Reds this year, the curse of Dusty Baker!

Stephen Strasburg seems to always have a rough 1st inning, but at least his K rate has been better than last year. I thought that Strasburg would win the Cy Young this year, but watching him this year, what was I thinking past me?! He has all the talent to put up a Cy Young caliber season, but he’s still missing that something. Or maybe that something was just media hype and this is the best we’re going to get, which is still really good! Obviously I still think he’ll be fantastic, but the last time the Nationals won the MVP/Cy Young was never. So I’m sure just to have Stephen considered would be an honor. Next year I’ll set the bar lower so I don’t disappoint myself.

John Lackey is pitching really well. This is the one Boston pitcher I wish I owned! If you can get him from a manager that doesn’t believe in him, I’d try and pounce. Lackey has around a 9 K/9 rate and below a 2 BB rate. His ERA and Whip are right around where they should be, maybe even a little better actually. I love me some old pitchers this year. Good thing I only drafted young guys.

King Felix is still good, but I wish he were better! Shut up whinny Felix owners.

Glen+Perkins+5bnMfY8UBRmmGlen Perkins may be the best pitcher that the Twins have, nothing against Perkins, but this isn’t a good thing. Phil Hughes has pitched better of late, good for him, but he’s been the one bright spot in that starting rotation, if you can even call his performance a bright spot. And whatever happened to Mike Pelfry? He was one of their big offseason signs! I’m just saying when you can’t even pitch for the Twins…well you had to be atrociously bad. The Twins have had a few pleasant surprises on offense, but this pitching…it hurts.

Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee are pitching well! I liked both of these guys in the preseason and I still do! I got a little worried about Niese’s injury in spring training and didn’t draft him though, but I was able to add him in most leagues when he came off the DL. Niese and Gee don’t have overpowering stuff so they’re always overlooked, but they both had pretty dominant ends to the seasons and it looks like they carried that over. I still like Zach Wheeler’s potential, but he throws too many pitches in games. Obviously he’s still a hold, but I think Niese and Gee could have more value than him for the rest of the season. It’s also really fun to say their names. Niese… Gee… Niese… Gee. I would say that every starting pitcher on the Mets is rosterable, just avoid that bullpen. Except former starter Mejia…

Cliff Lee is not pitching so well. I know he’s getting up there in age, I think he turns 36 this year, but keep in mind he doesn’t have that much mileage on his arm either, he broke out really late. All his numbers seem in line with his career norms, but his BABIP is sitting at .352, which makes sense because hitters having been crushing his offerings. Lee you’re better than this! His xFIP is 2.70, which is supposed to be closer to a pitcher’s real ERA. I think there’s a chance you can buy low on this guy, as in a small discount. I’m not concerned, but maybe you can convince some worried managers that he’s getting too old to play. Buy this top 10 arm for a discount if you can, just remember to keep reminding the other owner how old he is.

Garret Richards throws really fast, but also has walked at least 2 batters every game he’s started this year. He’s more of an upper 3s low 4s ERA guy, but that K upside makes him worth owning.

Alex Wood is being sent to the bullpen, before you start panicking, this isn’t terrible news. I know the Harangutan is pitching way over his head right now and Gavid Floyd is nothing special either, but somehow Mike Minor is the worst pitcher in the Braves rotation… I know it seems the Braves are able to turn everyone into an ace, how can you not hate that?!, but sending Wood to the bullpen may just mean that he’ll be around deeper into the season. Remember how Tony Cingrani was yanked in and out of the rotation last year? Well I see a pretty similar situation for Wood this year. Injuries happen, and Wood’s the 1st guy they’ll go to. He should be held in most leagues. (6-8 teamers you can pretty much do whatever you want)

Rick Porcello’s only 2 bad starts came against the Twins and the Padres…okay then. He’s had a very cushy schedule and I’d love to see what he can do against some of the better teams, his only tough team was against the Angels, but that was before they heated up. His K/9 leaves a lot to be desired, but his BB/9 rate seems to have gotten better. I’m cautiously optimistic about Portobello’s future.

Nathan Eovaldi is about the only guy I still believe in that Marlins rotation and I wish I owned him everywhere. Good thing I recommended him as a sleeper in my pitcher round up before the season started! One share isn’t enough…

Start Tyson Ross at home and never start him on the road. You’ve been warned!

Andrew Cashner pitched a complete game gem against the Tigers, many saw this as things to come, I heard many people say that the Padres won the Anthony Rizzo trade, not so fast. Cashner has pitched good, but I think we’re all expecting more that brilliant start against the Tigers. And Rizzo has taken it as a personal grudge to prove everyone wrong and earn Theo Epstein’s love. I thought that Cashner’s K/9 would be a little higher than 7, but I think I a healthy Cashner can achieve greatness…please don’t get injured.

aaron-harangAaron Harang was pitching for the Mets at the end of last year and, well, he wasn’t that good. Actually that’s a little unfair, he pitched like Aaron Harang, which has always been not that good. For his entire career Aaron Harang has never had a K/9 above 8.48, and that was way back in 2007. Spiderman was still Toby McGuire back in 2007, Harry Potter had just entered his 5th year at Hogwarts in 2007, and Juno made it’s debut in 2007. His K/9 rate is now 9.68 Okay, actually his K/9 has hovered around 6 the past few years and his ERA has averaged in the high 3s, tiptoeing in the 4s as well, but now he sports a sub 3 ERA, most likely due to his extremely low 3.8% HR/FB rate. He’s pitching in the NL East now, but he’s been pitching in the NL his whole career, you know I love a guy from the NL East, but his numbers shouldn’t increase this drastically. The weird thing is his BABIP and LOB% are actually pretty normal, so he hasn’t been too lucky. And if we take out his one start against Miami at home, he’s been even better. I don;t know what’s happening this year, but if you decided to draft the likes of Aaron Harang, Tim Hudson, and Mark Buehrle, you’d own some of the best pitchers in baseball right now…I give up!

Cole Hamels just threw a 137 pitch game against the Mets after coming back from SHOULDER TENDONITIS. I don’t want to say that Sale went on the DL right after he threw 127 pitches…or that pitchers are dropping like flies, but please for the love of Christ Phillies organization, keep my Boss safe. Also he didn’t technically beat the Mets, this is why I love you so much Colbert!

Sonny Gray still gets carded for R rated movies, along with half the Marlins team, but he’s been pretty dominant so far, but hey he’s no Tim Hudson. His BB/9 is a tad worrisome, but the A’s see them as their ace and he’s looked great so far. His K/9 was above 9 last year and I think he can return to that number again this year. It’s Always Sonny in Philadelphia Oakland when he pitches.

I can endorse a Gavin Floyd add. The Braves can do no wrong, unless you’re Mike Minor this year.

Ian Kennedy was a guy I kind of liked going into the year and in his last start got 12 Ks against the hapless Marlins at Petco. The Ks look legit, but his ERA should be in the mid 3s, but his K rate is up nearly 2 points, he’s more of an 8 K/9 guy, and his walks are down. He should be owned everywhere and you should be excited to own him.

Jered Weaver is hated by every analyst I read, well ESPN had him ranked 103 at the beginning of the season, but there’s no one really worth reading free there. His velocity is down and he always seems to support a below average BABIP and his ERA always does better than his xFIP. He’s the bane of most fantasy expert writers and sabermetric guys everywhere, but maybe this guy just has that it factor that ESPN loves to talk about, not in baseball, football only. Speed isn’t everything and he has been throwing his secondary pitches more.

RA Dickey was ranked near 200 on Yahoo and 100 on ESPN, so naturally I drafted him in a few Yahoo leagues. He’s been walking too many people and whoever’s catching for him is having a really tough time not letting those wild pitches get by. I want so badly for RA to be OK. As the weather gets a little warmer there should be a little more movement of his knuckleball, maybe if he didn’t pitch in that dome up in Toronto…maybe if I could somehow be the wind beneath his knuckleball…

liriano-21I’m still sticking by Liriano. His last starts have been… weird- it started down pouring out of nowhere in the inning he gave up a few runs (and they actually had a rain delay before he could finish the inning too), he was pulled with a flu symptoms after 2 innings, and I’m wasn’t watching the his other recent outing but I’m going to assume that something weird happened too. Liriano has had rough starts to the season in the last couple of years, maybe he was so good last year because he didn’t pitch in April! So I’ll give him a mulligan. Last year he was an ace, but his track record before then is pretty terrible, but that was before he was pitching in the NL. His career season numbers last year weren’t fluky either. He walks a tad too many guys, but his GB% is ideal in Pittsburgh and his K/9 is still right around 9. Yeah his 2011/2012 seasons were horrible, and uh, most of the seasons before that too, but this isn’t the same guy. He’s cut down on his fastball, which he threw 50% of the time before he came to Pirates, and has thrown more sliders and change ups, pitches that are working much better for him. I think the Pirate pitching crew made a big difference to his approach and I think that Liriano will be closer to his 2013 numbers than his previous years, and those are some ace numbers. This is a guy you can buy 50 cents on the dollar now because there is no faith in him. Besides mine of course. If you’re worried about a guy when you buy low, then that’s a true buy low!

Going into the season I thought that Shelby Miller and Michael Wacha would have pretty similar numbers, so I was a little confused when ESPN had Shelby Miller ranked about 50 picks higher than Wacha. I couldn’t explain that ranking then and I can’t explain it now. Wacha looks like the Cardinal to own. Shelby’s walks look troubling and his K rate is way down. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he doesn’t look like the guy that was lights out for a majority of last years season. People forget, but at this point last year was Shelby was looking better than Jose Fernandez is doing now, and last year at this point Fernandez was borderline streamable. It’s actually pretty amazing how much things can change over the course of a season. Wacha is looking really good though. I wasn’t a 100% confident that he could repeat that dominance he flashed at the end of last season and in the playoffs, and I’m still not sure!, but I’m more bullish of him now that I’ve seen him start a couple of times this year. He looks good, but he’s giving up a little to many strong hits. Also having Matt Holiday in LF isn’t helping anyone. Last year he was pretty much a one pitch guy, but he’s added a cutter to his reportare and upped his curveball usage. That’s 3 pitches! He still has a very good change up, but he still throws his fastball about 60% of the time, which ideal, but isn’t terrible either, especially with the amount of control he has with it. Wacha has Yadier Molina ready to receive and pitches in the NL, which somehow doesn’t help Miller too much, but it’s usually a positive.

Speaking of Cardinal pitchers, Trevor Rosenthal looks a little wild and I’m worried. He’s walking way too many guys and I don’t think his fastball is locating as accurately as last year. I’ve seen him throw this fastball pitch that should have soared over the head of a normally skilled catcher. He just doesn’t look as dominant as I thought he would be this year and I’m hoping he just goes on tear and regains his confidence. I ended up with Rosenthal on a bunch of my teams this year, why did I pay for a closer!, but he should have a relatively long leash, but I don’t think it would be too crazy to see the Cardinals using Jason Motte in the closer role when he returns. So huge speculative closer add in unholy deep leagues. It looks like Carlos Martinez won’t get a shot in the rotation because…I guess they want to keep him fresh for when they make the playoffs? Tyler Lyons will be getting the spot and he’s sporting a striking per inning and respectable ratios. He pitchers for the Cardinals…I would give him a shot in some deep mixers.

I said I wasn’t drafting Justin Verlander in any of my leagues and I didn’t. He’s walking too many players and his K rate has suffered because of it. I hate people that recommend selling players high because there are so many variables in a league, but I would fell a lot better about my team if Verlander wasn’t on it and another ace was.

David Price started off slow last year too and I attempted to buy on him low everywhere. This year I’m less confident, but then I looked at his numbers. His K rate has increased from last years dip, back to above nine for him, and he’s even lowered his walk rate. What seems to be the problem right now is he’s giving up too many HRs. He’s had a pretty tough schedule, but then again he does pitch in the AL East, albeit the best home park in the AL East for a pitcher…A lot of things have gone wrong for this Tampa team, but I still think that the Price is right for this ace (bet he hasn’t heard of that one before) and if you can, I would try to buy low.

Craig Kimbral went on the DL for a couple of days, but then the Braves willed him back to health. They couldn’t afford to lose another pitcher and create and ace closer out of thin air.

Corey Kluber had a little bit of a rocky start to the season, but now he’s sprinkled them with a couple of dominant performances, he even managed to get double digit Ks in a few starts. I think the Indians sport one of the worst defenses I’ve ever seen, and here I thought that having Yan Gomes as catcher could only improve this pitching staff, Carlos Santana on the field is still managing to do harm. Also this fangraphs article makes me feel a little better. The defense can’t be that bad forever right?! Right?! I was high on Kluber going into the season and I’m still high on him.

danny-salazar copySalazar on the other hand…well I know the defense hasn’t been that good, just look at his high BABIP, but I don’t think he’s been that unlucky. He’s giving up too many HRs and he’s actually relied a little too much on his fastball, and his fastball hasn’t been as dominant or as fast as it was last year. He’s throwing his slider, probably his best pitch, almost half as much as last year. Not good. He’s improved ove his last two starts, and was 1 HR away from throwing a gem against the Twins, but everyone should still be worried about him. He’s in the can’t drop but can’t start zone and I hate having players in that zone. If he continues to struggle I could see dropping him in 10-12 team leagues, but you have to give this guy some leash. I don’t know what to say, but I’m holding on to Slytherin for a good bit longer. “I don’t mean to brag, but I gave Snape a pretty long leash and that turned out okay!” – Voldemort (I don’t think Voldemort ever figured out that Snape was really on Dumbledore’s side…seriously does anyone know?)

Zack Grineke is another guy that I’ve never liked, but he’s been pitching fantastic so far. His numbers actually look better than they do when he won the Cy Young all those years ago when he was on the Royals. What different is that he got rid of his cutter and started throwing his slider again. That’s all it took to get back to this elite form. It’s not like he never had a slider before, it’s just that he started throwing a cutter in place of it during the past couple years because…well maybe he’s pulling a “New Coke” campaign where he tries something new, only to bring back “Classic Coke” and it’s that much more impressive compared to his cutter, but it’s actually just the same old him. I still think he’s pitching over his head K wise this year and I think it’ll fall back down once people realize they should start looking at his older tapes instead of last years…but I’m looking like a fool for dodging this Dodger this year. No ragrets!

Gerrit Cole hasn’t carried over that strong finish to the season. He was ranked a few rounds ahead of the other 2nd year pitching darlings, but he hasn’t lived up to promotion. Can someone tell him to stop pitching to contact and to start throwing to strike out? Maybe that comment was blown out of proportion by a lot of people, including me!, going into this season. I think he’s better than he’s shown, but I don’t think he’ll be much better than this. The next step in his development may not come as fast as we hoped.

So it seems like everyone is going in for Tommy John surgery, are we sure that Dr. James Andrews is the best surgeon? Are there any other Tommy John surgeons out there? Because I feel like this is the only guy people are going to… Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s somehow involved in some grand conspiracy to operate on these guys when they aren’t even injured, he’s performing surgeries when all these pitchers really need is some rest and an icepack, the remedy my elementary school nurse prescribed for everything! So good bye Matt Moore and half the Braves rotation, and Jose Fernandez…hopefully we don’t lose too many more of you this year.

Matt Cain got placed on the DL for cutting his finger when he was making a sandwich…looks like he’s been hanging out with Tim Lincecum too often. Are we sure pot isn’t legal in California yet? Cutting sandwiches diagonally is the only way to go.

Gio Gonzalez has strung together some very solid starts with some terrible ones. If only we could predict which starts he’ll bomb in!

Jordan Zimmermann, the better of the 2 Zimmer men, has just been pretty ordinary so far. He exploded against the Marlins one start, but otherwise has been solid. I’d expect him to continue to be better than Ryan for the rest of the year, just watch out for that potent Marlins offense.

chris-sale-landov2Did anyone else know that Chris Sale has a funky wind-up? Because if you’ve never seen him pitch or read anything about him then you’d have no idea as well. Chris Sale mysteriously went on the DL after pitching a career high 127 pitches in a game…hmmm, these two things may or not be related. I don’t know what to say about Sale, but I don’t think Sale’s funky delivery is the cause of Sale’s injury, I mean he’s only 24 years old, I don’t think that his pitching style would take him out after only pitching as a starter in the majors for 1 and ½ years, but I’m still worried about his current injury. At first he was supposed to come back last weekend, May 3rd, then the White Sox act excited when he’s only 2 weeks away. Ummm, was there a set back I just didn’t hear of? If you’re a Sale owner you can either sell low or hold on for dear life and hope everything will be okay. Honestly I feel like he’ll be okay, but you should still be worried.

Homer Bailey is on so many buy low lists that I’m starting to think he’s actually doing well again, but he hasn’t really turned the corner yet, I need at least 3 solid starts in a row before he has my full trust, right now he has…one. I know I said to buy low on Homer Bailey as well earlier in the season, but now I want to go against the grain. If everyone says he’s a buy low guy, is he still a buy low guy? He’s giving up too many HRs and his BABIP is ridiculous, but I don’t think Bailey will ever be a sub 2 ERA pitcher. If you drafted Bailey as your ace, well let’s just say enjoy your upper 3s ERA and slightly above average K rate! I’m not buying low on him, let that owner suffer with him and wait for the day that Bailey never breaks out. I don’t see Bailey as a top 20 starter, and I expect him to sport closer to his 2012 numbers than his breakout 2013 year. Bail on Bailey! Unless you have him. Then just hold.

Anibal Sanchez went on the DL with a blister, but I think Dave Dombrowski just wanted an excuse to call up his wunderkid Robbie Ray. “See! I told you I never make a bad trade! Take that Doug Fister lovers.” Dave D

Hyun Jin Ryu went on the DL, but apparently it’s not a big deal. I’ll believe it when I see him pitch well again! Meanwhile Hisashi Iwakuma returned from the DL and seems okay. I swear I’m not racist for writing about these guys in the same blurb!

Mat Latos is still on the DL. I was avoiding in the preseason because of his very real injury concerns, glad I did too. It’s never good to expect your aces to hit the ground running returning from injuries.

Koji Uehara has been pitching like an elite closer, but he’s no Francisco Rodriguez.

Greg Holland has been pitching like an elite closer, but he’s no Francisco Rodriguez.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Arizona DiamondbacksJohnny Cueto is pitching like the best pitcher in baseball. I didn’t draft him on any of my teams and honestly I didn’t think he was capable of being this good. Maybe it has something to do with Mat Latos not having two ‘T’s in his name while Johnny get’s two N’s, and an ‘S’! I don’t think I’ve ever owned this guy, I never liked his low strike out rate, his low BABIP, and I never liked his injury risk. Fangraphs says that he’s throwing the same amount types of pitches at the same frequencies this year, well I guess he added a whooping 3% to his curveball usage, but he’s relatively been the same pitcher. Of course I haven’t seen him actually pitch, I’m only looking at the stats, but I’ve heard he has a different wind up. Still, he’s left 99.5% batters on base. I’m almost shocked with how high this number is. So yeah he has been pretty lucky. His BABIP against has always been low, but .160 is clearly going to rise. It’s good to see that Cueto has increased his K rate by 2 points, so he’s sporting a 9.71 K/9 while maintaining a low 2.29 BB/9 rate. Obviously he’s going to regress, but the question is how much? I think where you drafted him means that he’s all profit, huge profit, at this point. I don’t know what you can get him for him by selling him, but he’s better than Homer Bailey, much better. His ERA should regress, but he’s taking a turn down elite lane. Just try and stay healthy all year! Although he’s only gone above 200 innings once in his 6 year career…

Julio Teheran’s career has been pretty interesting to get to this point. He was herald as one of the best prospects in the Braves farm system and one of the best pitching prospects in baseball in 2010. Then in 2012 he pitched terrible in triple A. I’m pretty sure his name was mentioned as the centerpiece in the Justin Upton, but the Diamondbacks decided to take Randal Delgado instead. Classic DBacks. Teheren made the 2013 starting rotation out of necessity more than merit. His numbers during April last year he had a 5.08 ERA and a 1.66 Whip. It looked like he wasn’t the pitcher the Braves thought he was. Then Chipper Jones sneezed on his arm or maybe people dropping him from their fantasy teams, and something clicked. He pitched great for the rest of the season, I guess he was just okay in September. Now this year he’s starting off with a 1.71 ERA and .81 Whip. He’s getting lucky yeah, low BABIP and low LOB%, and he has lost 2 points off his K/9 rate…but he has morphed back to around an 8 K/9 for his past 4 starts. His walk rate is elite and I don’t think that’s a fluke either. I’m not sure what to think about this guy, but he’s looking like the safest guy in the Braves rotation and he does pitch in the NL East…

Sergio Romo has 12 saves and 2 wins, but only 12 Ks! Good thing saves and wins are categories that totally predictable for the rest of the season!

Through 19 innings Francisco Rodriguez has 15 saves, 26 Ks, 0.00 ERA, and .63 WHIP. That’s ridiculous! Good thing I managed to add him in most of my leagues, along with Sergio Santos! Hey not every guy can take the job and run with it. Why couldn’t K Rod do this for the Mets?! This is why you shouldn’t draft closers too high and try to add as many closers as possible as well. The more the safer you saves get!

I was watching MLB network and they were talking about the Marlins, crazy right. Even crazier was that they were talking about how the Marlins had the best young core 3 in Jose Fernandez, Giancarlo Stanton, and Steve Cishek. One of these things is not like the other! I’d give them young core 2, but Cishek isn’t even on their level.

Jason Hammel is proof that moving out of the AL East and Coors Field can do wonders for your stats. Is he flying close to the sun? Yes, but at least his batters fly balls aren’t! I wouldn’t be too surprised for him to finish in the top 40 starters. This guy is legitish.

Ervin Santana was another guy I loved as soon as he landed on the Braves, and I still love him!

lesterJon Lester was a guy I avoided in almost all of my drafts because I felt like the Red Sox pitchers were playing over their head last year and he pitches in the AL East. It’s crazy how much one letter in a division name can change how I feel about a guy. I don’t why he turned down that contract extension with Boston when he stated before the season that he wanted to remain in Boston for the rest of his career, but I’m going to assume he wanted more money. I feel like Boston should have plenty of money after they signed no one this past off season, but either this guy’s a big fat phony when he said he wanted to stay in Boston, or they stopped allowing him to eat Popeyes in the bullpen. Or maybe they just really low balled him, but my gut says it’s about the chicken. I’m also hungry.

Mark Buehrle is a very good pitcher in real life, but not so much in fantasy. Of course he’s going to regress, but Buehrle could give you Tim Hudson like numbers with less Ks. Somehow that’s a good thing! You could probably get him after Buehrle has one rough outing for a sack of potatoes!

So Jesse Chavez has been a pleasant surprise, the 30 year old journeyman relief pitcher is now a starter for the Oakland A’s and he’s killing it. His K/9 is above 9 and his walk rate just around the 2 mark, those are elite levels. His BABIP is a tad low, but not outrageous, and his LOB% is normal too. So he hasn’t been that lucky. He uses 4 different pitches and he’s been just as good away as he’s been at home. I don’t know how they did it, but Billy Beane has done it again. The only problem I see, besides his age and no track record as a starter, is that he won’t be able to pitch a full season. I like what I’m seeing and I expect him to relatively hold up this year, he’s earned a long leash from me.

Jennry Mejia was a guy I said in my bold predictions could give you top 20 SP like value, but won’t pitch the whole season. Yeah this was bold, but I’m still defending this as a good pick. But he had a 4.68 ERA and 1.69 Whip before he got demoted to the bullpen. Yeah, but if we take out that awful Colorado start, which you would have been crazy to start him at, and the Marlins start, a team that has been surprisingly potent at home, he’d have a 2.32 ERA with 29 Ks in 27.1 innings. Which is pretty good considering I liked him before his 1st start of the season…just saying it wasn’t a terrible bold prediction. Mejia is heading to the bullpen, he pitched a smooth 1.1 innings against the Yankees yesterday, and Rafael Montero is getting the called up. I like the guy, but I’m clearly bias. Last year him and Syndergaard started for the All Stars futures game…there may have been a little bias with that one as it was played in Citi Field and Montero somehow got to start for the AL team…anyway he’s a talented prospect that isn’t really known outside of Met fans because everyone is waiting for the Syndergaard call up, which won’t happen till late June at the earliest, but he can be just as impactful as him. I’d make the add in competitive 12 teamers.

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