Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Big Fly-Diamonds in the Rough-Pitchers

I haven't updated pitchers in a couple weeks. The list has changed significantly, so I will start updating them weekly like I do with the hitters. Rotation plans constantly change, not to mention closer roles. Also, as previously mentioned in other posts, pitchers are more difficult to predict. Hitters approach their expectations more consistently than pitchers as long as they're given a reasonable opportunity.

Three of the pitchers from my original list a couple weeks ago have crossed the 5% threshold:

Cahill-now at 8% and should really be much higher. He's still relatively unknown as a rookie pitching for Oakland, but he's living up to his excellent prospect status with a sparkling 2.60 ERA.

Perkins-16% now. A 1.69 ERA and .938 WHIP help you get noticed. Now if the Twins can just get him some wins...

Purcey-he's at 8% thanks to a wild performance at Cleveland where he struck out 10 batters in 4 2/3. Unfortunately, he also had six walks and allowed four runs. Still, the 10 K's are a testament to his potential.

Here are my current top 10 at 5% ownership and under:

1.Bucholz-has actually gone down from 5% to 3%, mainly because he's in the minors. He may have been in the rotation already, but he had some minor hamstring issues when Dice K got hurt, so the Sox are using Masterson for now. Awesome potential here.

2.Carrasco-Phil-1%-he should be in the Phils rotation at some point and also has a high ceiling like Bucholz. In AAA last year he had a 1.72 ERA with a 46/36.2 K/BB ratio. So far in 2009 he's even better at 1.50, 10/12, and a nifty .917 WHIP. If you have room to stash a player like him, it could reap huge rewards. Titles are won with moves like this.

3.Brett Anderson-Oak-5%-he tore up the minors, posting excellent K rates in the process, and is now in the Oakland rotation. He may be a little raw and thus far has a 4.85 ERA, 1.231 WHIP, and 7/13 K/IP ratio. The key is that he's already in the rotation. If he's available in your league, certainly he's better than Chan Ho Park or some other veteran on your roster. Grab him now.

4.Morales-Col-1%-he flashed his potential in the majors in 2007, then disappointed in 2008. He should get plenty of chances with the Rocks before the season is over. He already started once, going six innings, allowing only one ER with a .833 WHIP and 6 K's. In his AAA start he pitched six shutout innings. Buy low before the window closes.

5.Hampton-Hou-5%-he was an ace prior to years of injury problems. He's not a sure thing, but his line of 2.45 ERA, 1.182 WHIP, and 13/11 K ratio makes him worth the risk. My best guess is he'll post nice numbers in the first half. I'd then trade him around that point.

6.Nunez-Flor-has fallen from 5% to 3% since Lindstrom is healthy for now. Nunez is the real deal, as he showed last year in KC, and Lindstrom is not exactly etched in stone as the closer, plus he had shoulder isues this spring. Add it all together and he could pay off big time.

7.McDonald-LA-2%-like others above him, he has the pedigree and potential. He bagan the year in the rotation and is now hanging by a thread since Eric Stults has outpitched him. Still, it's a long season, so even if he fails the initial audition he'll still have time to right himself and earn another opportunity.

8.Stults-LA-4%-I remember not liking his track record when he came up last year and he pitched fine, with a 3.49 ERA, 1.319 WHIP, and 30/38.2 K rate. I'm still not sure what to think, but he's 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA, so I picked him up for two of my four teams.

9.Lannan-Wash-3%-pitched better in his last start, allowing one run in six innings vs. a good Marlin offense. Unfortunately, the Nationals don't have nearly as good an offense, so wins are hard to come by, even for the team's #1 starter. Hey, at least they're using Dukes now!

10.Hawkins-Hou-1%-I have a feeling something is wrong with Valverde and he's next in line. I could be wrong (wouldn't be the first time), but if you have the roster space go ahead and take a shot, as the situation should resolve shortly.

Others to watch:

Marshall-5%, Andrew Miller-2%, Ohlendorf-1%, Gio Gonzalez-1%, Richmond-1%, Daniel Cabrera-1%, Pedro Martinez-1% (you can stop laughing now), Jo Jo Reyes-1%, Happ-1%, and Paulino-1% (I love 100 MPH fastballs).

Here's the chart of players appearing on the list so far this season:

5-Apr 18-Apr
Cahill Oak 3 8
McDonald LA 2 2
Bucholz Bos 5 3
Perkins Minn 2 16
Nunez Flor 5 3
Lannan Wash 4 3
Purcey Tor 2 8
Andrew Miller Flor 2 2
Pedro Martinez FA 2 1
Bailey Cinc 1 1
Rowland-Smith Sea 1 1
Carrasco Phil
Brett Anderson Oak
Morales Col
Hampton Hou
Stults LA
Hawkins Hou

By the way, feel free to email me at or post comments here with any questions or comments. I'd be happy to hear from you. Good luck!

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