All this week, I’ve been looking at potential keepers at each position that you may be on the fence about. Now, a look at some starting pitchers.
If you listen to xFIP, this was James Shields best season. If you ask ERA, or a majority of fans, this was his worst season. His strikeout rate was much better than his past two seasons, but it doesn’t look like he did anything to deserve it. He got smacked around this year, and even the great R.J. Anderson couldn’t really figure out why.
Crude 2011 Projection: 210 IP, 4.15 ERA, 7.5 K/9, 2.2 BB/9
Verdict: Cut. He’ll be undervalued next year, so prey on other owners and draft him a couple rounds later than he should go.
For all the crap the mass media and Red Sox fans are giving him, Beckett wasn’t all that bad this year. He ended with an xFIP of 4.01 in less than 130 innings. However, he did have the worst whiff rate of his career, and his worst season throwing first pitch strikes.
Crude 2011 Projection: 160 IP, 4.10 ERA, 8.0 K/9, 2.9 BB/9
Verdict: Cut. 160 innings isn’t worth the price you have to pay. Draft him, but don’t keep him.
I was giddy when Romero was pitching well early on, but he struggled in the second half. For the last three months, Romero failed to post a K/BB over 2, but kept his xFIP around 4.00. He was still a four win pitcher this year, and his 55% ground ball rate is great. Pitching in the AL East didn’t help things, either, and I’m willing to bet he wins 17 games in most divisions.
Crude 2011 Projection: 200 IP, 3.75 ERA, 7.7 K/9, 3.3 BB/9
Verdict: Keep. Odds are you got him off the waiver wire, and he’s worth that price.
Cecil had a nice April and May, but didn’t get much hype. The lefty doesn’t do anything special, and he’s a slight above-average pitcher. It was good to see him walk less batters, and his SwStr% was improved by a percentage points.
Crude 2011 Projection: 190 IP, 4.00 ERA, 6.7 K/9, 2.7 BB/9
Verdict: Keep. He wasn’t worth much in drafts, so he’s a nice value to have in the back of your rotation.
If you have a starting pitcher you’re on the fence about, leave it in the comments. If I see a player showing up in the comments multiple times, I may do a writeup on them for next week.
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