Sunday, April 5, 2009

Diamonds In The Rough-Pitchers

Yesterday I reviewed several hitters who are owned in 5% or fewer of Yahoo leagues. Today I'll do the same with pitchers.

First a note about pitching that bears repeating: they are much more inconsistent from year to year compared to batters. Often they just need a shot at starting, so if they're in the rotation they can potentially help your team. The deeper the league, the more darts you need to throw at pitchers. Here are several who can help:

Leo Nunez-Flor-5% Matt Lindstrom is penciled in as the closer and he's experiencing shoulder issues. Nunez is next in line. Need I say more? He was a key member of the KC pen last year, ending with a 2.98 ERA. Even if Lindstrom is healthy, his name isn't etched in stone by any means, so Nunez is worth picking up.

Clay Bucholz-Bos-5% He has been absolutely lights out in the minors, often posting sub 2.00 ERA's and striking out a batter an inning. He excelled in a brief stint with the Sox in 2007, leading to lofty expectations, and he failed to deliver last year. A bright spot though is he still averaged around a K/IP. He has looked sharp this spring too. The downside is he's not currently in the rotation. However, he is behind the fragile Brad Penny and should be next in line and has giant upside. He's the type of player who can pay huge dividends and lead your team to the fantasy promised land.

John Lannan-Wash-4% He is the ace of the Washington staff and while he's not a true #1 starter, he did look good last year in his first full season, finishing with a 3.91 ERA. He's not a fluke, as he actually had a 1.66 ERA in his last stint in AAA. His K/IP rates are low, and I normally like pitchers with a 2/3 ratio or higher, but you can't argue with his track record and the fact that he'll pitch a ton for his team this year.

Trevor Cahill-Oak-3% An excellent prospect whose worst minor league ERA was 2.78. He has k rates hovering around 1 and is in the Oakland rotation. The A's may surprise this year and he couldbe one of the reasons.

David Purcey-Tor-2% He's been inconsistent in the minors and majors. It seems like his ERA is either in the 2's or 5's. He's slotted #3 in the Jays rotation and has k rates between .9-1, so there's potential here. I like strikeout pitchers to begin with, as they have much better chances of breaking through historically, plus if you're in a league that rewards k's it's an added bonus. Intriguing.

Glen Perkins-Minn-2% He went 12-4 last year and has good minor league stats. He doesn't get much recognition playing for the Twins, but 2% is awfully low for a young player coming off a 12-4 season. The one caveat here is he had a poor K rate last year despite many good ones throughout his minor league career. Hopefully he will increase it this season. He's in the rotation and the Twins are usually good.

Andrew Miller-Flor-2% Some see him as a future ace and he did put up a 0.59 ERA in nearly 31 AA innings in 2007. He has flashed potential in the majors, but so far has not put it together in the big leagues. The talent is there and he's in the rotation. That's a nice combination.

Pedro Martinez-unsigned-2% Don't laugh-yes, he doesn't have a team and he's 37. However, he looked good in the WBC and he did stroke out 87 batters in 109 innings last year. I there enough left in the tank for one more Pedro-like season? If so, he's the kind of player that can make a season.

James McDonald-LA-2% A promising young pitcher who was the best in the Dodgers minor league organization last year, averaging a K/IP. He's in the rotation and could be a great pick if he performs well in the early going. Probably won't be available for long.

Homer Bailey-Cinc-1% An elite prospect who struggled mightily with the Reds last season. He's still 22 as of this writing and has the talent. The key question is when will he put it together? One to watch closely and pounce on if he has a good start or two. He may not be in the rotation quite yet, but h will have his chance soon enough.

Rowland-Smith-Sea-1% Admittedly more of a longshot, although he did pitch 118..3 innings for the Mariners last season and finished with a good 3.42 ERA. His K rate was almost at the 2/3 mark and it was higher in the minors. He's in the rotation and could post some solid numbers again.

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