HumorSeptember 3, 2009


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Dead Weight: Pitchers

By Cary James

September is a very strange month for fantasy baseball players. You’re either in the thick of it, or you’ve been hanging your head in shame for months trying to get out of the basement. Luckily, I’m here again to remind you of all your mistakes.

Dead Weight

Chad Qualls (ARI)

If you were the savvy owner moving him on your trade deadline, you win. If you’re the save-hound owning him now, I’m not sure what to tell you. Freak accidents like this are what makes fantasy sports so painful at times. I bet you can’t wait till next year when you have to decide whether to draft David Aardsma or Matt Capps. Fun!

Carlos Zambrano (CHC)

When will the awful end? For Zambrano owners, I ask you this: “Why?” You knew he was going to be mediocre-to-terrible, but you drafted him anyways. He was cheaper in the middle rounds and worth the risk. He’s back from the DL, but seems as if he’s still broken. As a Cubs fan, he is a tragic figure, a crumbling symbol of what could have been. Maybe. Next. Year. Sob.

Aaron Harang (CIN)

Oh giant ape guy, why dost thou tease us? Two seasons ago you could have been an ace. Last season had to have been been an aberration, right? Welcome to yet another season of Harang. Next season he’ll be lucky win five games. A brutal guy to own, but it will hard to resist him again. Anyone who can strikeout a foe an inning is good in my book.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS)

I’m not really sure what people liked about him outside his win potential in Boston. This is why I hate wins. I let the Sawx fans in my league draft Dice-K. He walks everyone, so he’s essentially Jonathan Sanchez with a worse K-rate. And when you don’t strike anyone out, you become…well, Chien-Ming Wang. Remember when these guys were good? Yahoo ranked him 114 in their Pre-Draft Rankings. Predictions are hilarious and all, but that’s ridiculous. Avoid next year unless the price is right.

Scott Kazmir (LAA)

Kazmir angers me, only in that his poor performance has given Steve Phillips reason to gloat. Now traded to the Angels, his last month reads like Friday’s crossword: 30 IP, 3 W, 29 K, 5.10 ERA, 1.27 WHIP. Frustrating. Difficult. But you just want to solve this guy. He’s never pitches deep enough into games, and his WHIP for the season is an eyebrow-raising 1.54. All this tells me you own a spot-starter down the stretch, not an ace.

Replace them with…

Mike MacDougal (WAS)

When the trade deadline hit, MacDougal was put into a non-save situation and was torched. I had enough of him, and dropped him for Joe Beimel figuring his days were numbered. Beimel was then immediately traded, and a league-mate scooped MacDougal up. Seven saves, no earned runs and a perfect August later, I hate myself. He’ll blow up from time to time, but you can at least eke out four more saves and a horrible WHIP from Mikey. Gotta love those saves!

Randy Wolf (LAD)

Yet another league story: A less-experienced owner had Wolf after the draft in late May, and two managers needled him into dropping him. One of those managers then picked up Wolf and has enjoyed an incredibly brilliant, quiet, and basically Ted Lilly-like season. A jerk move for sure, especially considering his wonderful ratios and K-rate. Better than Beckett, Lester, and will soon eclipse Johan himself. Ridiculous.

Jonathan Sanchez (SF)

After that no-no, I still didn’t believe. He’s curbed the walks, and his game has really taken off. He’ll pile up the strikeouts, and as long as he maintains the control (a BIG if for Sanchez), he has the potential to pitch like a top 30 starter here on out. And yet he’s still unowned in 50% of Yahoo leagues. Sad. Silly owners, drop Jarrod Washburn and pick up some potential.

Scott Feldman (TEX)

I enjoy reading about baseball and fantasy baseball in particular. I especially enjoy reading articles by experts who refuse to buy into the pitcher’s renaissance going on in Texas. Improved defense is part of it, the other being confidence in one’s bullpen. Neftali Feliz, C.J. Wilson and Frank Francisco form an incredible bridge. Feldman can pitch to contact and could be a great source of cheap wins pitching with a strong Rangers offense.

Bronson Arroyo (CIN)

He’ll always be kind of crappy in my book, but recently he’s been on fire. Seven straight quality starts but only one win last month. Too bad. Looks like you’ll have to take the 1.64 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with no cherry on top. But the rest is so good, who needs the cherry? Also, I’m pretty sure he needs to bring back the cornrows. Am I right? Guys?

Just watched Mike Gonzalez, Brian Fuentes and Jim Johnson torch my ratios. And I sat Brad Penny. FUN! See you next week when I remind you just how good Chris Coghlan has been, and ask you why you didn’t trade away Raul Ibanez when you had the chance!

 
Residing in Chicago with my ever-patient wife, I live a quiet life of grad school, two jobs, and writing with a little music mixed in. I particularly enjoy when one of my pitchers gives up a homer to one of my hitters. Jones!
 
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