As promised, here’s a quick fantasy primer about the important Indians pitchers to know for fantasy baseball 2010. Let’s start off with the most gruesome part, the starting rotation. Here is my projected starting rotation:
- Jake Westbrook
- Fausto Carmona
- Justin Masterson
- David Huff
- Mitch Talbot
I chose Talbot because he is out of options and Huff because the Indians seem to be higher on him than on Laffey (who most likely goes to the minors as a starting alternative).
Honestly, if you’re drafting any of these starters, you’re either playing in an AL only league or not very bright. Let’s break down the starters. FYI, Fantasy baseball is the only time I ever pay attention to the pitching wins statistic. So don’t hate on me here.
Westbrook is the de facto ace but he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery and hasn’t pitched in basically two years. Even when he was younger and healthier, he was never really a great fantasy option, winning 15 games twice with ERA’s over 4. The wins will most likely stay down this year unless he’s traded to a contender.
Carmona is the wild card of this bunch. He’s got ace stuff, but ever since his sparkling 2007 season, Fausto has been a mess. I can’t even tell you to draft him in the later rounds and stash him on your bench. Your best option with Carmona is to put him on your watch list and follow him carefully. At the first sign that his control is back, nab him.
Masterson is a nice young pitcher, but again, don’t expect big things out of him this year. I still think his future is in the pen, but if you must draft him, he’ll be a nice strikeouts guy for you (119 Ks in 129 IP).
Huff led the Indians in wins in 2009, but that was a bit misleading, due to guys like Cliff Lee and Carl Pavano being traded. I still think he needs a little more seasoning at AAA, and wasn’t really that impressive last year (5.61 ERA, opponents hit .301 off him … yikes).
Talbot is the Immortal Mitch T and will serve as the sacrificial lamb.
As far as the pen goes, I’m always leery of grabbing closers on bad teams and for that reason you should probably stay away from Kerry Wood. Last year the Indians were trying and he only got 20 saves. I shudder to think of how bad this year will be.
If Wood is hurt or traded, Chris Perez aka Kenny Powers will assume the role of closer (or get first crack at it). I don’t like Perez as a fantasy option this year but I think he could be one in the future, especially if he’s handed the reigns of the 9th inning. But for now, he isn’t worth much.
And while the bullpen is much better than the starting rotation, since this is fantasy baseball, middle relievers don’t matter.
So there you go, I’m off to go appear on hotstove.com TV at 2 p.m. Head on over there and ask a question or two!