Saturday, March 15, 2008

Starting Pitchers: More Carnage

Way back in our Draft Guide to starting pitchers, we picked out four or five prominent starters and warned you that they had thrown an historically unsustainable number of pitches/innings at a young age (jumping to over 200 innings or 3400 pitches in the early to mid-20s).

When drafting starters, you're looking for a track record of full, healthy seasons, or at least no blips on the injury radar. And suddenly throwing a gigantic number of innings or pitches at a young age is a big blip. Amongst the big names we cautioned you against paying full price for: John Lackey, Scott Kazmir, Josh Beckett, Dan Haren, Justin Verlander, and Aaron Harang. (There are others, but those were probably the most prominent).

Since that time, Lackey has been dinged up and now mysteriously has an injury "in a different part of the elbow" and will miss April. Hope you don't have him. He was run into the ground by the Angels, and he'll probably be paying the price for years to come. I wouldn't count on him making more than 25 starts this year, if that.

The Tampa Bay (no longer the Devil) Rays keep saying Kazmir is going to be fine, but he's yet to resume his normal throwing schedule and now he's off track for opening day. I wouldn't count on 30 starts from him, if that. And given that he suddenly jumped to near 4000 pitches (I think he led the majors in pitches thrown in 2007), I foresee injury after injury in his future.

Also, Josh Beckett is hurt. What else is new?

The number of pitchers I want in the first five rounds (meaning rounds four or five, at the earliest) seems to be shrinking on a daily basis.

9 comments:

Hoodlumman said...

I snagged Harang in the 6th in my league (we have a 5-player keeper and I kept no pitchers.)

I have my fingers crossed...

Anonymous said...

Any waiver wire suggestions for a scrub who read your column to late and drafted Kazmir round 6?

Mike Bock said...

Jeremy Guthrie and Gio Gonzalez (high upside, who knows) are two pitchers I often see on the waiver wire who are absolutely worthy of roster spots in all formats.

Anonymous said...

Someone just picked up Guthrie and I read that Gio will start in AAA. Crap. How about Marcum or Owings?

Mike Bock said...

Marcum or Owings? Both are pretty equal fifth SP types. I'd want the guy who plays in the NL West versus the AL East, as you'd likely be spot-starting your fifth starter in any case (*cough* Petco *cough*).

What about Scott Baker? He overlooked? Check out his walks-allowed ratios: they're fantastic. He underperformed last year given his peripheral stats.

Bob Taylor said...

I'm a big Scott Baker fan myself. (And just recently said so.)

Hmm, Mike, one of us may need to write a post extolling the virtures of Mr. Baker.

(And, yes, he might not be ready for Opening Day. But he'll be good to go a week later.)

Mike Bock said...

These overlapping comments make my head hurt. I loved Scott Baker first!

Bob Taylor said...

Fuck you, he's mine!

Anonymous said...

Thanks guys for answering all my questions. I'll nab Baker after he gets off the DL. (Hope this lat thing won't linger.) I nabbed Meche for now.