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March 9, 2009

Fantasy Beat

Starting Pitchers, Part I

by Marc Normandin

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Now that we're almost finished with all that needs to be done at the offensive positions, it's time to turn toward pitching, and we'll begin with the starters. Today you'll get the first 30 starting pitchers in my rankings along with commentary, and later this week you will also get another article on the next 30. I did these rankings a bit differently than I had with the offensive players; forecasts for pitching need a few more tweaks than hitting projections.

For example, when pitchers continue to pitch through injuries (or try to come back from one), they may have a poorer season than if they had been healthy, which can make their projection lower than it should be since PECOTA doesn't know how to deal with an injury. There are a few obvious ones in that category (Jon Lester, Cliff Lee). There are also cases where a pitcher finally became healthy and turned a corner, but PECOTA obviously works with more than just last year's data (think Ricky Nolasco, or Matt Garza), so things may not be as optimistic as they should be at the weighted-mean level.

Also, what is valuable in fantasy baseball is much different than what is valuable in real baseball, so some mental adjustments need to be made. Finally, PECOTA is rather conservative when it comes to pitcher win totals, and another mental adjustment is needed there as well. I don't think Tim Lincecum will be held to 13 wins, which is why you see him ranked where he is.


Rank Name             Team       W   IP     SO  WHIP   ERA  Beta
 1.  Tim Lincecum     Giants    13  206.0  220  1.19  3.25  1.06
 2.  CC Sabathia      Yankees   16  231.0  201  1.19  3.43  0.95
 3.  Johan Santana    Mets      15  216.0  200  1.14  3.14  0.97
 4.  Josh Beckett     Red Sox   13  190.2  167  1.21  3.72  0.95
 5.  Dan Haren        D'backs   14  210.1  189  1.16  3.53  0.92
 6.  Brandon Webb     D'backs   14  212.0  168  1.24  3.29  0.80
 7.  Cole Hamels      Phillies  13  193.0  171  1.19  3.65  1.11
 8.  Chad Billinsgley Dodgers   12  181.2  175  1.31  3.55  0.99
 9.  Cliff Lee        Indians   12  192.0  135  1.32  4.21  1.03
10.  Ricky Nolasco    Marlins   11  176.0  146  1.24  3.93  1.12

I had Lincecum down as the top starter before Santana's elbow troubles popped up (and then magically disappeared again). Those 13 wins are a combination of PECOTA's take on the Giants and its generally conservative nature when it comes to assigning pitchers wins; he led the majors in SNLVAR last year with 8.6, and if the Giants ride him like they did last year, he'll rack up more innings and punchouts than he's forecasted for as well. Sabathia is the other freak at the top of the list, and for the same reasons; he's going to pitch a lot of innings, and he's going to dominate in the strikeout category. Being on the Yankees should also help him be near the league lead in wins, unless they start popping multiple replacement-level players into the lineup again.

Johan Santana being third on this list is not an insult to him; I think he's just a tad behind where Lincecum and Sabathia are, especially if he has any elbow problems that might limit both his innings and his value. Speaking of injuries, Josh Beckett pitched through parts of 2008 while he was hurt; once he came back and his velocity was working again, he looked good. Keep an eye on his radar gun during spring training, because if his velocity starts to dip at any point, you can forget about my ranking him fourth.

Dan Haren and Brandon Webb are both excellent pitchers; I think Webb is the better starter, but for fantasy purposes, Haren is going to get more strikeouts, and he's a little less reliant on the Diamondbacks' defense than Webb is. Cole Hamels had his coming-out party with the general public last year thanks to the Phillies' World Series run, so he may be drafted a little early in some leagues due to the sudden swell in popularity. He's still one of the best in the game, though.

Chad Billingsley had a slight uptick in strikeouts last season while keeping his walks at a reasonable level for the second straight year. Better use of his secondary stuff has helped him turn into a monster starter; having Manny Ramirez helping with the offense for a full year should help Billingsley's win totals as well. Cliff Lee's story is a little too involved to fit into this small space; check out his Player Profile from late 2008 instead. I'm convinced that he's one of the best starters in baseball, even if he isn't a perennial Cy Young candidate.

Ricky Nolasco is another who deserves a lot of attention; those of you who have already bought and read Baseball Prospectus 2009 know this, but "from June 15 onward, Nolasco whiffed over a batter per inning while holding his walks to one per nine, a 140 1/3 IP stretch of dominance that no pitcher in 2008 can claim." He was basically Sabathia Lite for more than half of the season, after the effects from his bone spurs and elbow inflammation became things of the past. My one concern is that he might have another injury (or one that's recurring), but his peripherals are fantastic.


Rank Name             Team       W   IP     SO  WHIP   ERA  Beta
11.  Roy Halladay     Jays      13  194.0  140  1.23  3.58  1.16
12.  Jon Lester       Red Sox   10  162.0  114  1.44  4.45  1.09
13.  Jake Peavy       Padres    12  177.0  173  1.18  3.17  1.06
14.  Roy Oswalt       Astros    12  193.0  146  1.23  3.59  1.06
15.  Javier Vazquez   Braves    13  198.0  188  1.21  3.58  1.07
16.  Rich Harden      Cubs      13  182.2  235  1.12  3.04  1.00
17.  Felix Hernandez  Mariners  12  192.2  170  1.34  3.81  1.13
18.  Ervin Santana    Angels    13  198.1  173  1.26  3.88  1.13
19.  Zack Greinke     Royals    12  192.1  164  1.29  3.96  1.14
20.  Derek Lowe       Braves    11  175.2  114  1.28  3.70  0.90

If you put a gun to my head and made me choose one starter to pitch an important game, I'd be tempted to pick Roy Halladay. Fantasy baseball isn't real baseball though, so despite his excellent ERA, WHIP, and win totals, the lack of strikeouts cuts into his value when you compare him to the fantasy elite. He's still a great pick though, and one that will allow you to take chances on more one-dimensional strikeout guys in the later rounds. Jon Lester will be much better than that projection in 2009; his velocity and command came around, and he was considered the Sox ace for much of the year. As long as he maintains the command that he discovered last year, expect that WHIP to be lower, and expect more strikeouts.

Jake Peavy is still in San Diego, which is great for his rate stats, but not so great for his win total. Even with Peavy losing some mileage on his fastball, he's a great pick given his strikeout rate and home park. Roy Oswalt went through what we can kindly call a "rough stretch" during the beginning of last year. It seemed like every other pitch ended up in the stands. He ended up dropping the homer issues though, and finished the season with just under one home run per nine, instead of the abysmal rates he flirted with early on.

The most significant stumbling block to Javier Vazquez's being an ace pitcher is his problem with the long ball, and has left homer-happy US Cellular behind and is now in the weaker National League. Whereas the White Sox's home park boosted bombs by nearly 13 percent from both sides of the plate, Vazquez is now in Atlanta, where homers are very slightly depressed. His ERA should have been closer to 3.74 to begin with last year, according to FIP, so combine that with the league and park switch, and you have your answer as to why PECOTA is so giddy about him.

If Rich Harden is healthy (don't laugh, he survived last year, didn't he?), then he's going to be amazing. PECOTA has him down to whiff 11.6 batters per nine, which is something you just don't see in starter projections very often. I don't know where that projected inning total is coming from, but he has an enormous amount of value, even in leagues that use raw K totals instead of K/9, and that's if he just manages to throw 120-130 innings. Last season Felix Hernandez gave up more fly balls than we're accustomed to seeing from him, but if that turns into a trend, all is not bleak. The Mariners may have the second best outfield defense in the league with Endy Chavez, Franklin Gutierrez, and Ichiro Suzuki out there; as long as those fly balls don't leave the park, King Felix will be just fine.

This ranking of Ervin Santana assumes that he's healthy. Obviously, if his sprained MCL keeps him out for a significant period of time, you're not going to want him at this spot. Keep an eye on injury reports to see how the Angels handle this. Zack Greinke has returned from his past issues to become one of the best young pitchers in the game. If he was starting for a team with a better defense and offense, he'd be ranked higher, but pitching against two opponents at once makes things more difficult. Derek Lowe was a great fit for Los Angeles; the one offensive item that was inflated there was homers, which is the one thing that Lowe, as a severe ground-ball pitcher, does not allow. He's now in a neutral park in Atlanta, but if he displays the kind of control that he had last year, it will hardly matter where he's pitching.


Rank Name             Team       W   IP     SO  WHIP   ERA  Beta
21.  Joba Chamberlain Yankees    9  124.0  133  1.24  3.09  0.98
22.  A.J. Burnett     Yankees   13  197.0  178  1.32  3.82  1.08
23.  Scott Kazmir     Rays      11  166.0  164  1.29  3.90  1.25
24.  Matt Garza       Rays       9  151.1  111  1.39  4.46  1.07
25.  Max Scherzer     D'backs   10  158.0  168  1.28  3.77  0.89
26.  Yovani Gallardo  Brewers    5   84.0   84  1.30  3.73  1.08
27.  Brett Myers      Phillies  12  179.1  158  1.27  3.87  0.90
28.  Matt Cain        Giants    11  190.2  168  1.31  3.94  1.06
29.  John Lackey      Angels    12  182.2  139  1.31  3.92  1.06
30.  James Shields    Rays      12  183.1  135  1.25  3.92  1.06

This projection has Joba Chamberlain as a starter/reliever hybrid; bump up the innings and the ERA, and hope that he stays healthy enough to warrant the ranking. A.J. Burnett's forecast is promising, and you have the added bonus in fantasy of not having to overpay him by millions of dollars to get his production. If you could guarantee that Kazmir would throw 200 innings and drop his walk rate, I would probably boost him up into the top 10; if you're feeling lucky, then go for it. I'm a little more cautious with my first few starter picks though, since I don't make them often (instead loading up on hitting early).

Matt Garza's projection is a bit misleading, because he's a seriously talented pitcher. After that shouting match with Dioner Navarro ended up with Garza seeing a sports psychologist, his numbers changed, as did his style: he whiffed 7.1 hitters per nine, dropped his walks to 2.6 per nine (which was a great sign, since he had not found his minor league control while in the majors up to that point). He improved against right-handers as well last year during this time period, and the only real downside is that he was a bit inconsistent. We'll see if he makes another leap forward this year in his age-25 season.

What can I say? I'm a total sucker for strikeouts, and it looks as if Max Scherzer is going to generate them in spades. He whiffed 10.6 hitters per nine last year during his seven starts and nine relief appearances; though he may start the season on the DL (the Diamondbacks won't need a fifth starter until the middle of April), that shouldn't dissuade you from picking up one of the most exciting young pitchers around. PECOTA's low innings forecast is a result of Gallardo's limited time in the majors, as well as his freak injury from last year. The important thing to note is his K/9 (9.0) as well as his low ERA.

After sticking him in the bullpen, the Phillies realized that Adam Eaton was probably not the answer to their championship woes, so Brett Myers was allowed back into the rotation. The home-run issues make him a volatile pick (he allowed 1.4 per nine last year), but if he can get back to where he was before, he'll be a better pitcher. PECOTA seems to think that he can, and while I'm a little more skeptical, I can't think of any reason why it wold be impossible for him to do so. I feel like this is going to be one ranking that I regret a few months from now.

Matt Cain is no longer the ace out in San Francisco, but he's still a great pitcher to have around. I might not be as pleased with all of the fly balls he allows in another park, but he plays in front of quality outfielders and in a park that depresses offense. John Lackey and James Shields have very similar projections, which is interesting given they have different styles of pitching. Lackey's fastball is in the low 90s, and he uses breaking pitches to complement his heater. Shields also averages around 90 mph with his fastball, but he's a great pitcher due to his ability to change speeds and throw a cutter. Both of them get a lot of hitters to swing and miss out of the zone, but Lackey attacks the strike zone more often early on. Both of them are great picks for fantasy, though not among the game's elite.

37 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

Aaronjs27

I think it's interesting not to see Liriano on this list. Do you think he's going to come up way short on innings this year?

Mar 09, 2009 09:13 AM
rating: 0
 
Fresh Hops

Let's wait until Liriano actually has an ace season before we start talking like he's the pitcher he was in 2006. His velocity has been way down, he's using his slider much less and, while we was good after his mid-season return, he was merely good, not god-like.

Mar 09, 2009 09:59 AM
rating: -1
 
Cromulent

Saying it's interesting Liriano is not on the list is not the same as exalting him into a god-like presence. I would think even Liriano lite would put him in the top 30 (at the tail end) but I'd love to hear from Marc on the subject.

Mar 09, 2009 10:59 AM
rating: 4
 
BMoreJayMo

Have to totally agree with kringent on the top 30 SP assignation for Liriano and his refutation of philosofool's straw-man argument.

For Sep, Liriano's average velocity for the fastball and slider had risen to 91.2 and 84.9mph, respectively. For March/April: 90.4 and 79.8. Changeup differential (to FB) for both periods exceeded 10mph. (FanGraphs has great data available regarding the accumulation of Pitch f/x numbers by team and/or individual pitchers.)

Liriano dominated the O's lineup in his most recent ST start and to my knowledge, no reports of arm trouble have surfaced this Spring (sorry no data on ST velocity yet). I would think an increased use of his change, at the expense of his slider, would only benefit Liriano's long term forecasts.

For fantasy players, you have to be able to find as much value, for as little cost as possible, in order to challenge for your league's top spot. Waiting for someone to establish "ace status" will only put you on par with every Phase I player out there - if anyone can really be considered Phase I any-longer. Projecting/predicting/prognosticating the candidates whose value will most likely exceed their cost is what fantasy baseball's hot stove season is all about.

Mar 09, 2009 13:48 PM
rating: 0
 
BMoreJayMo

Correction: changeup differential exceeded 9mph and approached 10mph for both Mar/Apr and Sep/Oct.

Also, I'd like to see what else philosofool considers merely good given Liriano's second half:
65.67IP, 6(W)-1, 2.74 ERA, 60K, 19BB

Mar 09, 2009 14:01 PM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

Drafting Cliff Lee before Halladay and Oswalt?

Mar 09, 2009 09:41 AM
rating: 0
 
Fresh Hops

Halladay and Oswalt are rate stat pitchers. Not impressive with the Ks. *If* you think PECOTA is too pessimistic about Lee because it doesn't understand last season in context, this Lee is a better pitcher because of the Ks.

I for one think we should take PECOTA's pessimism about Lee more seriously. I think his 2008 is Eric Beddard's 2007: a stellar season for a guy who's career will be otherwise just good.

Mar 09, 2009 10:04 AM
rating: 0
 
Marc Normandin

That's certainly a possibility, but I'm of the mind that he's a late blooming southpaw, which is the angle I took in my profile of him. If he walks batters at his career rate of 2.7 next year while maintaining the punch outs and grounders, he'll post a QERA of 3.43, which is much better than the projection from PECOTA. That also means he has plenty of breathing room on the other two numbers as well.

I don't deny that the Erik Bedard comp is possible, I'm just leaning heavily on his being a serious ace.

Mar 09, 2009 11:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BMoreJayMo

Halladay 2008: 246IP, 206K, 39BB. Rates: 7.73K/9, 5.28K/BB

206Ks tied for eighth in MLB for 2008 with Volquez, Haren and J.Santana. The quartet trailed only Lincecum, Sabathia, Burnett and E.Santana. While his K/9 was lowest among the top-10 in total Ks, Doc did surpass Webb, Peavy, Oswalt, Myers and Lee among the top-30 in total Ks. In fact, Lee registered 6.85 K/9, the lowest rate among the top-30 in total Ks.

During the off season, Halladay stated that in 2008 he had reverted to his pre-2006 approach. For '06 and '07, Doc had been "pitching to contact" in order to become more efficient in his pitch total. (Sorry, I cannot provide a direct reference right now.) Considering this approach recalibration, fantasy players should expect the K/9 and total Ks to both stay close to the same level for 2009.

Whether and how much this info sways any fantasy players is up to individual considerations in the end, but I thought it would prove useful to look at the actual numbers. All stats from BP, and any and all inference(s) drawn therefrom is(are) of course, subject to the no-injury provision.

Mar 09, 2009 12:49 PM
rating: 1
 
R.A.Wagman

In complete agreement - Halladay is one of the rare pitchers that can adapt his style based on preference - he can succeed (and thrive) when pitching to contact (late movement on his cutter, etc.) or strike 'em out with the best, evidenced by adding nearly 2 K/9 last year, while also hacking off .5 from his BB/9 rate. I think there is a fair argument to be made for having Halladay above Brandon Webb.

Mar 09, 2009 13:53 PM
rating: 2
 
Evan
(47)

I think what's more relevant is that PECOTA is predicting such a low IP total for Halladay. Sure, his K/9 might not be as good as some others, but if he throws 20% more innings that matters a lot less.

Mar 10, 2009 09:24 AM
rating: 0
 
Richard Bergstrom

I draft on WHIP and K/9 rates and on track record, then I look at team quality for wins. Oswalt and Halladay have had better rates than Lee and more consistency and Lee's numbers look a lot less shiny with all those wins. Can Lee repeat getting that many wins? I doubt it.

Mar 13, 2009 09:12 AM
rating: 0
 
edanddom

Wow - I guess I am left to believe that a 28-yr old Daisuke Matsuzaka, coming off a season where he's mentioned in the running for the Cy Young, is not one of the 30 best fantasy pitchers in baseball. But Brett Myers? Hmm.

Mar 09, 2009 10:19 AM
rating: -3
 
Marc Normandin

It's almost like Daisuke Matsuzaka was incredibly lucky last year, and that he may regress in this upcoming season. Almost.

You really think he's going to maintain a BABIP 30-40 points below the league average? Because if he doesn't, and he walks anywhere near as many hitters as he did last year, he's going to be screwed. He stranded an above-average number of baserunners, posted a .267 BABIP despite allowing liners on over 18 percent of his batted balls, and had a K/BB of 1.6 despite striking out 8.3 batters per nine.

Mar 09, 2009 11:06 AM
rating: 0
 
BMoreJayMo

Maybe Dice-K is the best test case in progress for the degree of BABIP control by a pitcher. I am not a subscriber to any viewership package that allows me to watch an inordinate number of Red Sox games (ESPN aside), but the times I did see him pitch, he would never give in to the hitter and seemed to focus better with runners on base. I understand the counter-intuitive appearance of that statement, but Dice-K completely flusters me when I work on projecting him for 2009. Will be an on-going something to watch IMO, and will definitely require a contextual look at his numbers.

Mar 09, 2009 14:16 PM
rating: 1
 
draysbay

Generally speaking, you should probably ignore where players stand in terms of BBWAA awards. Just look at Matsuzaka's tRA and FIP. His ERA/W-L record hardly tells the entire story, and especially not the sustainable part of the story.

Mar 09, 2009 11:09 AM
rating: 4
 
BMoreJayMo

"Generally speaking, you should probably ignore where players stand in terms of BBWAA awards" -- my vote for best presented motto for BP. You should get a free subscription if they formally adopt it ; )

Mar 09, 2009 14:06 PM
rating: 2
 
OrigamiT

Are you implying that Daisuke's omission was an intentional snubbing and not born out of common sense?

From watching him pitch last year I don't think I saw an inning where he didn't have at least one baserunner reach. More often than I'd prefer he was leaving the bases loaded. With that, I'm guessing his presumed WHIP will be astronomical. And to blindly believe that his strand rate and situational karma from last year are reproducible seems misguided. Yes, most contact against him was weak, but last year has to be the best case scenario. PECOTA and most fantasy writers agree: beware.

Mar 09, 2009 11:11 AM
rating: 0
 
Nate Sheetz

"Finally, PECOTA is rather conservative when it comes to pitcher win totals, and another mental adjustment is needed there as well."

Mark, you seem to be saying here that PECOTA is systematically broken: that it forecasts wins wrongly, period. Are you not really saying that, is this a philosophical/methodological disagreement with the folks who maintain PECOTA, or what?

Mar 09, 2009 10:28 AM
rating: 2
 
Marc Normandin

It's nowhere near as deep as that. I just think it's conservative with wins for starting pitchers. This has more to do with how wins are achieved (luck and context as well as actual ability) than anything.

Mar 09, 2009 11:03 AM
rating: 0
 
Zed

There are so many variables involved in a pitcher's win total that PECOTA can't help but be conservative, it seems to me. Anyway, win numbers are relative; if Sabathia's pegged at 16 wins by PECOTA that makes him the projected league leader, and that fact is more important conceptually than the fact that in reality he is "expected" to win closer to 20.

Mar 09, 2009 11:08 AM
rating: 1
 
BMoreJayMo

I propose that the #1 SP for the Yankees is generally going to be expected to lead the league in wins by most baseball fans in most years.

Mar 09, 2009 13:24 PM
rating: -1
 
willjosh09

i actually really like that it's conservative for wins, for fantasy purposes. i wouldn't want the PFM outputs for pitchers being too skewed as a result of vastly differing win totals. as is, certain guys get a little boost in the W department, some get hurt a little bit, but in the end it focuses more on the more on the other categories.

Mar 09, 2009 15:23 PM
rating: 1
 
cordially
(917)

No Volquez surprises me.

Mar 09, 2009 12:20 PM
rating: 0
 
T. Kiefer

Where would you put E. Santana now that he's on the DL? Or would he stay at 18?
Also, Greinke (no. 19) over Verlander (nowhere) or Carmona (nowhere)? I like Greinke and all, but if I were a GM and had to choose between the three, I think Greinke would be my third pick.

Mar 09, 2009 12:33 PM
rating: 0
 
cuneokc

According to PECOTA Harden, Peavy, Javy Vazquez and Halladay and going to have much better years than Cliff Lee, Billingsley, Nolasco, and even Josh Beckett. I'm confused by this descrepancy. I understand Harden and Peavy are injury risks, but which pitcher isn't? In my draft I am going to take those four over Cliff Lee or Billingsley any day.

Mar 09, 2009 12:38 PM
rating: 0
 
eighteen

Harden, Gallardo, Billingsley, and Burnett all have lower Betas than Halladay?????

Given Harden's history, a Beta of 1.00 on a projected 182 IP is boggling. He hasn't come close to 180 IP in 4 years, and he's only made it that far once.

Billingsley's going to be fantasy's #8 SP, huh? I suppose by now I shouldn't be surprised at the goofy stuff PECOTA does; but that one's a real head-scratcher.

Mar 09, 2009 12:47 PM
rating: 1
 
BMoreJayMo

I agree with that four question mark level of incredulity. Also, I assume the answer will reference PECOTA's inability to account for/address the type/cause/context of injuries and their impact of a specific player's performance. Folks that have been here a while are familiar with that justified response and newbies will learn pretty quickly. However, at least most of the fantasy players here are currently allocating our own expected performance for players, discounting for injury concerns.

Maybe you guys (or just you Marc) could coordinate with Will Carroll to develop a numerical scale correlating with Will's color coded Health Reports. After some "Normandin Tweaking" the final result could be expressed in numbers (IP, W, Ks, BBs) that are probably most useful in fantasy rankings. I understand you do that in your own format right now, but presenting the fantasy community with numbers, and then telling them to ignore the numbers but listen to the advice is a recipe for lots of highly doubful queries.

Given the appropriate explanation and disclaimer, no one is going to expect infallibility but we would all likely appreciate your best attempt at quantifying what we are all currently quantifying on our own.

Mar 09, 2009 13:08 PM
rating: 1
 
EnderCN

Halladay's numbers have been all over the place since 2004 so I'm not surprised by the beta.

4.20, 2.41, 3.19, 3.71, 2.78 ERA. That is hardly consistent. He saw his K/9 steadily falter and then suddenly jump way up again as well. Not surprised at all that the system finds him hard to read.

Mar 09, 2009 15:50 PM
rating: 1
 
eighteen

That K/9 observation makes a lot of sense. I'll bet PECOTA takes a good, long look at that.

But I wouldn't think it would be overly concerned about a variable (ERA) that to a large degree is beyond the pitcher's control. Maybe FIP or something similar?

Mar 09, 2009 16:29 PM
rating: 0
 
dbiester

how is Beckett higher on your list than Haren? Is this just a subjective adjustment or this there something not in the projections that pushes Beckett up or Haren down?

Mar 10, 2009 09:24 AM
rating: 0
 
cuneokc

If I drafted Ricky Nolasco over Jake Peavy my league would banish me for life.

Mar 10, 2009 11:49 AM
rating: 0
 
Morris Greenberg

Where would you draft James Shields? An eighth round pick?

Mar 11, 2009 14:45 PM
rating: 0
 
jashnew

In a 10 team 5x5 thats probably too early. I would target him around 10.

Mar 11, 2009 18:16 PM
rating: 0
 
jashnew

Could someone help me with David Price and how to draft him in a 5x5 10 team NL/AL league. Do I draft him at all? Late rounds?

Mar 11, 2009 16:42 PM
rating: 0
 
bristercj

Why no talk about Scott Baker? Every other website has him listed high, why not here?

Mar 12, 2009 18:41 PM
rating: 0
 
mmontice

The fact that Harden is projected to throw about 100 more innings than Gallardo ruins makes me hesitant to take any of the other projections on this post as seriously as I should.

Harden is Mr. Glass, currenlty has a tear in his shoulder and the Cubs management has already made it public that they hope he can make 25 starts this year. At 6 innings a start, about average for Harden, that would total 150 IP. At 6 IP per start, the above IP estimate would suggest he makes 30 starts. A feat he has only accomplished once, in 2004.

Additionally, although I am well aware of Gallardo's time missed last year, nothing was due to arm troubles. A knee scope forced him to miss most of April, and than Reed Johnson speared him in the other knee to effectively end the regular season for him. And after all that, he came back and pitched in the playoffs.

Mar 14, 2009 21:16 PM
rating: 0
 
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