These five top-100 arms could help your fantasy team in the near future.
As the spring builds up and draws to a close, there is a lot to pay attention to. One of said things is the impression that prospects make in camp that can either win them an unexpected spot on a team’s roster or put them in better position for a call-up once the season gets going. Here are five players with prospect eligibility (for fantasy purposes, we don’t care about service time) who are making a positive impression this spring that could lead to heightened fantasy value in 2014.
Carlos Martinez, P, St. Louis Cardinals
The recipient of far too many Pedro Martinez comps in the minor leagues (he’s a vertically-challenged Dominican starter with great raw stuff, so of course Pedro, duh), Martinez is being given a legitimate shot to beat out Joe Kelly for the final spot in the Cardinals’ rotation this spring. This opportunity was made possible by yet another Jaime Garcia shoulder setback, but if it happens, it could vault Martinez’ fantasy star through the roof.
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Over the past few weeks, I've been taking an in-depth look at a single decision made by a manager: Tim Lincecum's 148-pitch no-hitter from a few weeks ago. Bruce Bochy left Lincecum in well past the usual 100-pitch limit to give him a chance at baseball immortality. But at what cost? We've seen that if a pitcher makes his next start on regular rest, there is a small carry-over effect of throwing a lot of pitches, but it's not all that big and it might even just be a methodological quirk anyway. We've seen some evidence that taking a pitcher out of a shutout (not necessarily a no-hitter) doesn't seem to affect him for good or for ill. But what about the obvious question. Are marathon pitching sessions penny-wise and pound-foolish?
A look at three top 10-pitching prospects who recently made their PITCHf/x debuts in Arizona.
Spring has sprung. The new baseball year brings fresh hope and excitement to fans everywhere. And, as spring training play begins, it also brings some pitchers to Surprise and Peoria, Arizona, two Cactus League towns with PITCHf/x installations.
The Royals and the Rangers share the facility in Surprise, while the Padres and the Mariners create cross-league harmony in Peoria. This arrangement provides a near-daily flow of data from at least one of the parks. All four host teams and their visiting foes are using plenty of pitchers in these early games. We'll take that as an opportunity to review some new arms.
Russell searches for a fact-based alternative to the Verducci Effect.
A couple of weeks ago, I took on the "Verducci Effect". Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has hypothesized that a pitcher who is under 25 years old and who had an increase in his workload of 30 innings or more in the previous season is at greater risk for injury or for a steep decline in performance. This is a great hypothesis, but for the fact that it is not actually true.
The final word on whether the popular theory holds water or is fatally flawed.
Last week,Sports Illustrated writer and Jason Parksman-crush Tom Verducci put out his annual column warning about a specific type of player: A young pitcher (25 or younger) who saw a significant increase in his workload in the previous season over the season before that (defined as an increase of at least 30 innings, including postseason and minor-league work). Verducci claims that this sort of pitcher is in danger of either a significant injury and/or a performance decline in 2013 because his 2012 was much busier than his 2011. It's a proposition that's become known as the Verducci Effect.
Rafael Soriano is off the market, but there are still some potentially useful bullpen arms to be had.
Earlier this week, Jon Heyman tweeted a short list of free agent relievers who could be a reasonable fit for the back end of the Blue Jays’ bullpen. Whether you credit Heyman with clairvoyance or good contacts, it just so happened that one of the names conspicuously absent from that list was Rafael Soriano. Hours later, the 33-year-old right-hander became a member of the Washington Nationals, signing a two-year,$28-million deal with a vesting option for 2015.
In snapping up Soriano, the Nats removed the best available free agent reliever from the market, but they left an assortment of lower-tier options for teams still looking to bolster their bullpens. Ken Rosenthal later listed several teams still interested in picking up a reliever, identifying the Rays, Tigers, Mariners, Marlins, and Mets as potential suitors. Here are some of the options they can consider:
One pitcher per playoff team who makes a convincing case in favor of watching every pitch of post-season baseball.
This season may have lacked the dramatic flare of 2011’s frantic finish, but the stretch drive of 2012 has been thrilling in its own right, with division races coming down to the final day and one unlikely club making its only ascension to the top of its division at the most opportune time. After a day of reflection, we are now staring at an unprecedented slate of play-in games to the postseason tournament, where a season's worth of hard work comes down to nine innings of play.
October can be bittersweet for many loyal fans whose teams fell short of the playoffs. Football will lure those whose residual frustration is too great to bear, while others will adopt a more successful team to support through the postseason. But some of our baseball-loving brethren will follow the action regardless of rooting interest, and to those fellow baseball junkies who cherish every last pitch of October baseball: I salute you. To enhance your enjoyment of the next few weeks, here's a list of 10 pitchers who'll be in action this October—one per playoff team—and what makes them worth watching.