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Week 14 Two-Start Pitchers Update

Here is the latest update to Week 14 two-start pitchers. Again this list is subject to change going forward.

Pitchers not listed on last update: Verlander, Pineda, Cahill, Chacin

Pitchers no longer scheduled for two starts: Scherzer, Dempster, Zambrano, Moscoso, Cook.

Let’s take a look at Trevor Cahill. Last year Cahill had an outstanding season with 18 Wins and a 2.97 ERA but many pegged him as overvalued as his xFIP was 3.99 and he had a 4.19 FIP. The reason for the big differences was his .236 BABIP, the lowest mark of any qualified starting pitcher in 2010.

Also adding to the concern was a sub-par 5.40 K/9 and above-average 76.5 percent strand rate.

So, while many were expecting Cahill to crash and burn, he started out 2011 right where he left off last season. After 10 starts he had a 6-1 record and a 1.79 ERA. And his BABIP? It stood at a .259 mark. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that Cahill had 52 Ks in 65.1 IP. He was a star in all four starting pitching categories.

And then the wheels came off. In his last eight starts, Cahill is 2-5 with a 5.36 ERA. While his K rate was still above 2010, it slipped from earlier in the season, as he had 31 Ks in 47 IP. But the drop in strikeouts was nothing compared to the extra baserunners. Cahill saw his BABIP balloon to .315 and he allowed 79 men to reach base.

For the season his BB/9 sits at 3.85, nearly a full walk higher than last year’s rate. His WHIP, which checked in at 1.11 a year ago and was 1.10 after 10 starts, now is at 1.34 for the year. Cahill’s strand rate is almost exactly the same from 2010, but more runners on base means more runners crossing the plate.

Cahill still has a very respectable 3.28 ERA and both his FIP (3.84) and xFIP (3.66) are lower than what they were in 2010. So the question for fantasy players is: Was this the regression that was expected and is Cahill a 3.25-3.50 ERA-type pitcher, or is there still more correction to come?

Pitch Type Values show his breaking pitches essentially matching what he did in 2010 but the results from his fastball are just not there. In 2010, Cahill had a wFB of 27.7 while this year it checks in at just 1.4 for the year. On a per 100 pitches basis last year his fastball was at 1.43 (the fourth-best mark in the majors) and this year at 0.13 it’s essentially average.

Last year Cahill averaged 90.4 with his fastball and this year it checks in more than a full mph slower at 89.0. In his April 17th start against the Tigers, when he had 9 Ks in 8 IP, Cahill averaged 90.1 with his fastball. In his last start against the Marlins on June 30th, his average fastball velocity was just 87.4 mph.

A drop of three mph is significant and it is little wonder his fastball has not had the same success as a season ago. Until Cahill can recover that velocity, he is a risky fantasy play.

Last week Gavin Floyd was examined on Sunday night. He threw 14 IP and allowed 13 H, 3 BB and 8 Ks and was 0-1 for the week.