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Good Pitchers on Bad Teams

Just like some people will grab average position players on good teams, with the thinking that a strong lineup surrounding the average players will get them some added runs, rbi, etc. (I do that), some people after getting through the top 50 of starting pitchers would rather grab the #3, 4, or 5 starter on a very good team to round out their rotation. That's solid logic considering that pitcher will normally get big run support and a few extra wins with a solid offense behind them (I did that with Freddy Garcia last year). However, some of these pitchers on bad teams are worth a shot. They might be lacking in the wins department, but they can help, and certainly, will not hurt you in other categories such as ERA and WHIP. Apologies to any fans of the teams I consider bad. I know everyone starts at 0-0, but most of these teams have finished near the bottom of their division in he last couple of years. Like I said these pitchers are after the top 50, so there will be no King Felix here.

R.A. Dickey - Mets

Yes, he is 37-years old. But, in knuckleball years, he is really like 27. Now that he has returned from climbing Mt. Kilmanjaro, with all his fingers and toes, Dickey should continue his surprising success against National League hitters. Over the last 2 seasons at home, he is 9-12 with an anemic 2.87 ERA and a spectacular 1.10 WHIP in 196+ IP. I know, I know, the fences are moving in at Citi Field. But it's not like Citi Field will, all of a sudden, become a hitter's park. Anyway, let's look how he did on the road. 10-10, 3.29 ERA, 1.32 WHIP in 186+ IP. That is why I like Dickey over all the other Mets starters, who all had ERAs north of 5.00 on the road last year. If you can get Dickey's road line for the entire season, I would be first in line to sign up for that. So, in two years with the Mets, Dickey's line looks like this: 19-22, 3.08 ERA, 1.21 WHIP.

Luke Hochevar - Royals

Ok Royal fans, they are an up and coming team with tons of prospects and young future stars. However, they still went 71-91 and have one winning season since 1994. With that out of the way, Hochevar is a former #1 overall pick who has gone 17-17 in his last two seasons. When your team's winning pct. is .417 and yours is .500, I think you are doing a fine job. He gives up about a hit per inning, and his walk rate has been getting better. If the second half of 2011 is any indication of his future, it should look very bright. 6-3, 3.52 ERA, 1.13 WHIP in 12 starts.

Charlie Morton - Pirates

I really like James McDonald, and would definitely take him over Morton. However, I already wrote about McDonald in my last post here, so I didn't want to repeat. Anyway, Charlie Morton put together a very good season for himself. Just like McDonald, Morton looks like he could be putting it all together. He went 10-10 with a 3.83 ERA. But, also just like McDonald, he walks too many batters which is evident by his 1.53 WHIP. His biggest problem, besides the walks, is getting left-handed hitters out (they hit .364 vs. him). He handles righties just fine, allowing a .220 BA. Morton might miss the start of the season recovering from hip surgery, so you probably wouldn't have to use a draft pick to get him. Just keep him in mind.

Dallas Braden - A's

Here's another pitcher who probably won't start the season due to injury. But, definitely don't forget about him. Last I read, he is hoping to be ready for the start of the season, but I think that's too optimistic. He will be a year removed from TJ surgery shoulder surgery in May, so let's say late May/early June. From 2009-2011 Braden was 20-24, 3.63 ERA, and a 1.24 WHIP. Those of you thinking that he feasted on pitching in a pitchers' park will be surprised to see his ERA splits of 3.52 at home/3.76 on the road. His WHIP splits 1.19/1.30. With just McCarthy and Colon as the only starters with any kind of experience, a spot will be waiting for him when he returns.

Jason Vargas/Hector Noesi - Mariners

I wrote about both of these guys in earlier posts, here and here. The Mariners have signed Kevin Millwood to compete for a rotation spot since then. But, I don't think his signing will have any bearing on Noesi cracking the rotation.

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