Corporate Ladder: Top 100 Starting Pitchers. It's roto season here at MDS headquarters. The rankings are now geared for Yahoo! style rostisserie settings (Innings cap). Strikeouts per Nine essentially replace Strikeouts. Use the metric scoring if you're ranking for head-to-head or roto formats where Innings Pitched are not capped. After the jump, your Top 100 Starting Pitchers.
We'll be talking about him on Starbonell Station today, Wednesday 7:30 PM C. I think Starbs is going to talk him up because he shut down the hated Red Sox and he picked up Harrison in Blog Wars.
MDS I'm curious what you think of Matt Harrison. I know it's only 1 start, but he passed the eye test. Despite pitching in Arlington with the wind blowing out, he was mowing down the Red Sox, hitting his spots and touching the mid 90's consistently on the gun. Do you think this is a one start anomaly or could this kid be for real? Is he the odd man out when/if Webb returns? His stats from the last few years are not very inspiring but I'd like to hear your take.
He's lower on Hudson because the rankings are catered towards roto leagues with an innings cap, where K/9 is more valuable. While he's got both Cahill and Hudson projected for 139 k's, he's got Cahill doing it in fewer innings and with better ratios. Personally, I don't like either guy, I prefer to draft guys who miss bats.
Likewise he's higher on Zimmermann because the guy has great stuff and is still just 25 years old, and during his limited time in the bigs his K/9 is 8.75. Hudson by comparison had a K/9 of 5.47, not to mention a very favorable BABIP of .249, last year (career BABIP .280). Perhaps it's personal preference, but I'd rather draft a young guy with swing and miss stuff who should continue to develop favorably (Zimmermann) than a 35 year old with pitch to contact stuff who is coming off an overly favorable season (Hudson).
I don't subscribe to the Verducci Effect. I subscribe to the Every Pitcher Gets Hurt Effect. Jordan Zimmermann has a career 8.75 K/9 and 2.87 BB/9. That's a lovely combination. Tim Hudson has a projected K/9 below 6.00, I won't roster a Pitcher with such a poor K/9 on a roto team (Innings Cap). Cahill has a better projected K/9 and he has room for upside (10+ K/9 in A, 8+ K/9 in AA/AAA)
Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated also cited Latos inning increase + age could lead to a regression this year, even if he is healthy - think Cole Hamels 2009. (http://www.fantasybaseballrecon.com/2011/03/2011-bust-candidates-young-pitchers.html?utm_source=BP_recent)
Madison Bumgarner is also noted, but it looks like you took one of the more realistic approaches to him.
Why is everyone so high on Jordan Zimmermann? The guy has been a sleeper for three years now and has never accomplished anything on the major league level. I know he has potential, but ahead of Ryan Dempster wh strikes out 200 every year?
Why is Tim Hudson so low? Your projections for him and Cahill are almost identical.
Well, according to the Padres official website, "Mat Latos, believed to be the front-runner to start Opening Day for the Padres, has been sidelined with an inflamed bursa sac in his right shoulder."
This is more commonly referred to as bursitis or subacromial impingement, which is a fairly common diagnosis and can often be fixed fairly readily. The act of throwing is just about the worst thing a human being can do to his/her shoulder, so it's common for any throwing or overhead activity-heavy athlete to get this from time to time.
Essentially your shoulder is a ball and socket joint, with the "roof" of the joint formed by a bone off your shoulder blade called the acromion. Sitting between the ball and roof of the joint are rotator cuff tendons and the subacromial bursa, which cushions and protects the cuff. The bursa is loaded with nerve endings, so it's very sensitive when it's inflamed, which would explain the piece of glass sensation Latos described. Bursitis is typically caused by overuse, but can also be caused by rotator cuff weakness, trauma or structural abnormalities.
As far as I know they have not done an MRI on him yet, so that's always a good sign. This is the Padres franchise player, if they thought he'd torn something he'd have been tested already. So I'm optimistic the worst case scenario, a torn rotator cuff, may be avoided here (no guarantees of course!).
Next worst case scenario is he's born with an acromion that's shaped incorrectly, which is very common. Normally this "roof" of the joint is straight and smooth so it doesn't encroach into the joint space. However, there are many people who are born with a slight hook or curvature to their acromion, and if it's hooking into the joint space, it'll inflame the bursa over the course of time. The only way to fix that is to shave the bone down, which is an arthroscopic procedure that'll keep him out of game action for a minimum of 4-6 weeks, likely closer to 2-3 months if they're careful, but since the muscles are fine the athlete will typically bounce back nicely.
The best case scenario is conservative management and it all goes away in 2-6 weeks. If you avoid the activities that inflame it, knock out the inflammation, and then strengthen the area to avoid future issues, you're typically ok. Injections are also commonly tried to ease the inflammation short term and allow better rehab efforts. Yes, my prediction is the best (and most realistic) case scenario, with Mr. Latos starting the year on the DL and possibly returning by mid to late April. To me, this option is the most common route for the majority of people with this injury, and being a healthy 23 year old athlete, I'm hopeful he'll be fine, we just might have to wait a few extra weeks for him.
And to think I just traded Brett Anderson and Leo Nunez for Latos 2 days ago in my favorite home league and thought I was robbing the guy...
what does this mean Donny? per Roto World via North County Times
"Mat Latos said his shoulder felt much better Friday after he spent Thursday treating the area.
"It's literally night and day," Latos said. "(Thursday), it felt like everything locked and as if there was a huge piece of glass or something sharp inside my shoulder. There was no strength to lift it. For me to not feel a pinch or anything and one day my arm is dead is weird... bewildering is more of a word." Latos will not make be ready at the beginning of the season, with Padres manager Bud Black saying the team will take a wait-and-see approach with the right-hander."
Time to move Minor down the board MDS, he's being sent back down to the minors despite his ridiculous 0.90 spring ERA and outstanding pitch arsenal. Crazy crazy Braves...
It only came up because it was horrible to start out with. Something clicked alright, his BABIP luck. Something clicked and this year you'll see something snap, crackle and pop. His shoulder. I put the hex on Mad Max now. Look at what you made me do!!!!! His season is ruined.
I don't like the shoulder problems either and that's why i have him ranked low, but didn't his fastball velocity go up after he returned from his stint in the minors? either way my "faith " projection is very simillar to yours, and as I said I did pay attention to the science of the game, I'm just confident that he will strike out more batters. I mean he had 9.29 K/9 after being called back up to the majors. Something clicked
You stick to your faith based projection, I'll roll with the scientific method. If you want to rank Scherzer ahead of those guys based on his longer track record, that's fine. Although I don't think you should be trusting a guy who has chronic shoulder problems.
why the increase in k/9? he's no longer pitching out of the bullpen, he's not in the NL, his pitches are getting down in the zone (Groundballs = less Ks), he's losing velocity on the fastball and he's facing less batters per inning. I credited him with a slight improvement in BB/9 (3.20), but the BABIP comes up a bit (.303). I even gave him a slight improvement in HR/FB% (9.4%). Science!
scratch the gb/fb remark, clearly my eyeballs didn't pay me justice there. Nevertheless, I'm sticking to my projection
Turned what around? Is that an eyeball projection? I don't pay attention to other projections unless they're breaking down the k/9, bb/9, hr allowed and babip like I do. Eyeball projections are lazy and biased.
@andrewakamds it was an eyeball projection but an informed one. His K/9 will increase, not by alot midn you but if he can get it up to 9. Using your 200 IP, that would equal around 200 k. Honestly I douby he'll get that, so let's say he falls short of 9, and strikes out about 8.7 per 9 innings (very moderate progressions) he'll still strike out roughly 193. Your projection has his K/9 practically staying the same as last year. I project he increases this by a respectable margin.
As for his other supporting stats. His GB/FB ration has gotten better each year, his bb/9 has gotten better, his IFFB % has also gotten better. All the supporting stats show him to be improving while your prjection pretty much keeps him staying as is. Don't get me wrong, he isn't perfect, and will have the occasional Scherzer esque blowup, and I will admit that my original projection for WHIP was a little over dramatic considering his past stats and the amount of hits he allows, but I still say he outperforms your current ranking.
Revised Projection: 200 IP, 14 WIns, 193 K, 3.47 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
That projection would actually move him ahead of JDLR, but they are pretty much of equal value to me. That's how I look at all this anyways, but like I said originally, to each his own
i agree, he's had some troubles but i really think he turned it around last year. Obviously he won't pitch as dominatly as he did at the end of last year, but the guy has always had the stuff to be a legitimate ace in the league.
200 IP, 195 K, 14 wins, 3.47 ERA, 1.17 WHIP is what i see him doing this year. Pretty simillar to your projection I know, but he'd be ranked probabaly right behind JDLR.
Scherzer snub? The projection is pretty good if you ask me. Mad Max allows more Hits and Walks than the Pitchers ranked near him. Plus he has a history of shoulder fatigue. The hype around him is growing because anyone and everyone knows he's good. Don't let the hype inflate his price tag. He is who he is, don't get it twisted.
first off, loving the mcdonald rank :)
In response to Keith I don't know how you can call Clayton Kershaw a one year wonder. Even in his rookie season they guy posted a k/9 above 8. He's a start and i'd gladly take him as my ace and over verlander and sabathia. LEster is winning the cy young this year so i won't argue with you on that.
Overall good ranks mds, although i don't understand the scherzer snub. I'd ratehr have him on my team over players like wood, de la rosa, and lewis. But hey, to each his own!
Kyle Drabek was only included because I didn't want to hear people asking about him. Drabek is not as good as people think. We're very likely to see a K/9 below 7 and a BB/9 above 3. Not good. Plus he's in the AL East, which appears to be better than ever after Baltimore loaded up on bats. Derek Lowe or Edwin Jackson was snubbed because of Drabek.
Didn't make the cut: Derek Lowe, Edwin Jackson, Jake Westbrook, Jon Garland, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Chris Capuano, Rich Harden, Jason Vargas, J.A. Happ, Mark Buehrle, Randy Wolf, Javier Vazquez, Brad Penny, Luke Hochevar, Justin Duchscherer, Carlos Silva, Doug Fister, Brad Bergesen, Aaron Harang, Chris Volstad, John Lannan, A.J. Burnett, Livan Herandez, Jeff Francis.
Never projected (so you're telling me there's a chance): Brandon Webb, Jake Arrieta, Chris Tillman, Scott Kazmir, Ivan Nova, Mike Pelfrey, Brian Duensing, Josh Tomlin, Mitch Talbot, Vin Mazzaro, Tommy Hunter, Kyle Lohse, Barry Enright, Armando Galarraga, Ross Ohlendorf, Charlie Morton, Kevin Correia, Chris Young, Tom Gorzelany, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Joe Saunders, Sean O'Sullivan, David Pauley, Aaron Cook, Jason Marquis, Paul Maholm
There's no such thing as a "very safe" option when it comes to Pitchers. Clay Buchholz strike out less than 7 per 9, those guys shouldn't get much love. His value comes from a low HR/FB% and BABIP. Some people won't even acknowledge that Clay has the ability to limit Base Hits and Home Runs. I do, but I'm not going gaga over him simply because he's a young up n comer.
Solid rankings overall for 5x5. Obviously SP really depends a lot on your league's scoring, lineups, and IP limit.
Where's my boy Adam Wainwright? Oh no wait.... ):
17 Wins for King Felix? Dream on. I'd also bet my life that the Rangers won't let Neftali Feliz pitch enough innings-per-game to rack up 15 Wins.
Lester, Verlander, Sabathia are VERY safe options. You know what you're going to get from them. So I'd have a tough time drafting one-year wonders like Latos or Kershaw over those guys... even though they're in the NL West.
These rankings are hugely disrespectful to Chris Carpenter and Clay Buchholz. Don't overlook those guys. Johan Santana looks like a potential league-winning sleeper this year to me.
re: Santana I posted this comment in February before Santana was declared out for the entire season.
@KeithP203 Santana? Seriously? Are you talking about 2012?