Yesterday, I wrote about a hitter at each offensive position who you may want to think about plucking off of the waiver wire before the season ends and transactions close. Today, it’s time for the pitchers. Cutting right to the chase, let’s start with the starters.
Michael Pineda, Yankees
Even if your league doesn’t count DUIs, don’t forget about the big right-hander. He certainly comes with a ton of risk after undergoing surgery to replace a torn labrum, but he also carries significant upside. His 3.74 ERA doesn’t quite do justice to how good he was in his rookie season, but his 1.10 WHIP, 9.1 K/9 and 3.2 K/BB do. He’s no lock to start the season on the active roster, but why not give yourself the chance to own him if he is?
Mark Rogers, Brewers
The 5th overall pick in the 2004 draft, Rogers has had a hell of a journey just to get to the majors – as evidenced by his lengthy injury history. But he sure looked good in his brief stay in Milwaukee this year, putting up a 3.92 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 41 K in 39 IP. He’s unlikely to strike out more than a batter an inning over the course of a full season, but the talent is there for him to post a sub-4.00 ERA and at least 7.0 K/9. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy long enough for that to matter.
Dillon Gee, Mets
I wrote this post back in May at Fake Teams about the secret early season success of Dillon Gee. And by secret, I meant that you wouldn’t know it by looking at his raw stats. Unfortunately Gee’s season was cut well short by a blood clot in his shoulder, but he looks like he will be at full strength heading into next year. Gee finished the year as a member of pitching’s #holytrinity with his 8.0 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 and 50.3% ground ball rate (leading to a 3.55 xFIP). Don’t forget about him.
Wily Peralta, Brewers
I wrote about Peralta as a potential September call-up back in August, so check that out if you’re interested in more on his background. All Peralta did upon getting the call was have a 2.48 ERA, 55% ground ball rate and 7.1 K/9 in 29 innings. Oh, and he didn’t allow a single home run. If Peralta is going to have success at the major league level, it will be about keeping the ball on the ground and keeping the walks under control – hopefully he builds on this.
Andrew Cashner, Padres
With Cashner, you need to take the good with the bad. The good is obvious – the guy has a huge arm and can really rack up the strikeouts, as his 10.3 K/9 in 2012 can attest to. The bad is also obvious, though, as he’s thrown less than 11 innings since making his first start on June 28th. He’s the perfect guy to stash as one of the last pitchers on your roster, since if he flames out and doesn’t pitch at all, you weren’t relying on him anyway.
[Some additional deeper league SP for
consideration: Scott Baker, Garrett Richards, Drew Hutchison]
Mariano Rivera, Yankees
I don’t need to say anything here. If your league is shallow or lacks DL spots and he was dropped, scoop him up immediately. Realistically, he’s probably owned in your league, and for good reason – I like him to be back as a top-10 closer next year.
Heath Bell, Marlins
Yes, he was terrible this year. And yes, Ozzie Guillen does not "trust" him to pitch the ninth inning. But who are we kidding, do you really think Guillen will be back in Miami next year? And do you really think they’re going to just sit on Bell’s contract and not at least try him back in the role? He’s not a great pitcher, but he’s good enough to be a top-15 closer in that ballpark. I know it’s cherry picking, but since Memorial Day, he has a 3.66 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 49 K and 14 BB in 46 2/3 IP. That’s all he needs to be.
Ryan Madson, Free Agent
Madson was on the road to being a great value pick in 2012 before requiring Tommy John surgery in spring training. Now, he’s going to be even lower on the food chain in 2013 – especially since we’re not 100% sure he’ll be ready for the start of the season. But I still like his chances of landing a closing gig somewhere based on his track record and the fact that he’s likely to be inexpensive. Maybe with the Angels or Mets?
In that same vein, don’t forget about Brian Wilson, Joakim Soria or Sergio Santos as well. If closers are valuable commodities in your league and any of these guys are unowned, it will be worth the roster to spot to pick them up.