This thread contains comments on David Allinger's Article "Two up, Two down '08: Starting Pitchers", which was posted in the Cafe's Articles section on February 17, 2008. The full article can be read here.
I liked the article, and think you make a valid point about Zambrano. He's getting downgraded to the point where he could be a decent deal on draft day. However, he has still been in consistent decline for the past few years, and there no great peripherals to suggest a bounceback.
Kazmir is a stud. I agree. But I have to take issue with the Bedard bashing and especially your comment that Kazmir will be better than Bedard across the board this year. I've posted this in other places, but Kazmir's career low whip is 1.27. Bedard has at least show the ability to dominate and keep his walks in check over the course of a season. I think the two of them have similar upside in k's, Bedard will have a better whip, era and wins are a toss up. I'd be willing to do a sig bet that Kazmir does not outproduce Bedard "across the board" this year.
However, on the whole, I enjoyed the article, spot on with the Halladay analysis. Keep em coming!
I like the effort, and the article was an interesting read, but with the exception of Kazmir as an up, I'd whole heartedly disagree with the rest of the article. I don't believe there is any indication that Zambrano's numbers will be anything special. I believe that the 70's are probably about where he should go, if not lower. The fact is, his walks and WHIP are not good. The K's are good, but a few more HR's tallied with his WHIP could destroy his ERA. The wins were good last year, but wins are tough to project, and if he doesn't quit walking people, it's likely his pitch counts won't be low enough to go deep into games and record W's.
I do agree that Kazmir is very much on the rise. His second half splits were exceptional. It appears that whatever mechanical adjustments were made to his delivery were positive. I'd expect another season of 210+ K's with a mid 3 ERA and possibly even a much improved WHIP. In the case of Kazmir, the splits do point to him making that improvement.
For Halladay, I disagree with the assessment that he is a down pitcher. What he lacks in K's, he makes up for in ERA and WHIP with a large number of innings which substantially help those ratios. Also, his ability to go deep into games means often times he is handing the ball to his setup man, closer or finishing the game himself and wrapping up wins. Though wins are hard to project, a guy like Halladay often is able to get wins simply by pitching great deep into the game. Coming off of a season where he missed time because of having his appendix removed, it's possible in some drafts he could slip below his value. Halladay is also a perfect guy to pair with a high k rate reliever to offset his K deficiency. A cheap reliever like Jonathan Broxton who could also help ratios would be a perfect guy to pair with Halladay.
Finally, though I don't think Bedard should be considered down, had you mentioned Leo Mazzone no longer being his pitching coach, I could have possibly accepted it. However, you pointed to Bedard's medical history and his missing time. If I'm not mistaken, the same could be said about Kazmir, as he's certainly no stranger to missing time sporadically. Also, Bedard's move to spacious SAFECO, with a better lineup backing him, and moving into the easiest division for pitchers in the AL, should help his value. Though the Angels are a nice team, their lineup, the Rangers lineup, and the A's lineup pale in comparison to the lineups of the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays and the Rays. He should be able to pileup spectacular numbers with all of that in mind, and would be a perfect person to be a staff ace considering he'll go behind Santana and Bedard and could potentially match them in K's and in Peavy's case wins while also posting a great ERA and solid WHIP.
Definitely spoken for as someone who's banked on Carlos Zambrano one too many times.
I'll somewhat agree with Zambrano. He's slipping in drafts where his upside would naturally dictate a 4th round pick. Naturally, his line declined and hence the dropoff in his '08 ADP, but I think with good reason; his peripherals could be a mixed bag. His walk rate combined with the lag that comes with pitching 200 IP each year over a string of a few seasons is worrisome. I don't think I want to bank my rotation on a guy who had such a bi-polar season as he did in '07, but you're right, he's worth a 7th-8th round pick for that it's worth.
I like the fact that Kazmir is underrated in some of the drafts I've seen. A few months ago, I would've said he's top 50 material and a top 8 pitcher. Control has usually been an issue, but I think the rise in WHIP in '07 had more to do with the Rays tweaking his mechanics a bit too much before he assumed the dominant form that made him a breakout in '06. I have to wonder about his durability a la Erik Bedard too.
I'll agree on Halladay as well to the extent that I see him more as a high mid-draft pitcher. However, I wouldn't downgrade him entirely even if his approach has shifted to put the balls in play (namely groundouts) and rely on his defense to produce the out and hence, the buzzkill in K's. Halladay's approach still sees him consistently going into games 6 or 7 innings deep, putting him in line for landing a win. Halladay's ERA is still quite adequate, but as with Oswalt, I'm worried a bit about his hit rate and if his WHIP takes a hit, his value really does depreciate some.
As for Bedard, I'd draft him most for the all around upside. I think it's safe to say most pitchers not named Johan Santana go into seasons with durability concerns (probably less for Brandon Webb) and I think his other draft counterparts, Sabathia and Beckett are heading into '08 with similar concerns as well. Bedard posted a near 1 1/2 seasons of great production. Sure, '07 was the first season where he logged in as many innings as he had, but '06 he was relatively unscathed compared to his previous seasons of work. A move to the AL West and Safeco should mark improvement in his ratios and a regression in his K rate perhaps, but good enough to hold its own. Given what you said, I'd still like to draft offense where Bedard is being drafted (3rd round, 4th round latest).
I agree that Bedard may be being drafted too early, but he's certainly not on the 'down'. He just left the AL East and its unfriendly pitching confines (Yankees/Red Sox lineups, Rays, Jays parks) for one of the ALs best pitching parks. While you're right in saying he's only had one great season -- for fantasy purposes...since you certainly cannot say a 121 ERA+ ('06) isn't very good -- you can't make the statement that you'd rather draft guys like Rios or Markakis, since they fall under that same category.
davidmarver wrote:I agree that Bedard may be being drafted too early, but he's certainly not on the 'down'. He just left the AL East and its unfriendly pitching confines (Yankees/Red Sox lineups, Rays, Jays parks) for one of the ALs best pitching parks. While you're right in saying he's only had one great season -- for fantasy purposes...since you certainly cannot say a 121 ERA+ ('06) isn't very good -- you can't make the statement that you'd rather draft guys like Rios or Markakis, since they fall under that same category.
I think I can - hitting to me is less volatile than pitching and I am much more apt to draft a hitter that has had one good year than a pitcher who has done the same thing.