Howdy all.... even tho I'm a true blue Expos fan (F THE NATIONALS!!! I WILL NEVER WEAR A WALGREEN'S LOGO ON MY HEAD!) I live in Chicago and as such I vividly remember the 2006 Chicago White Sox season where their vaunted starting rotation, the same one that had dominated the 2005 playoffs, collectively fell off in 2006.. nevermind that they still won 90 games on the back of an improved offense, all of their SP who pitched big innings in the playoffs had a 4+ ERA the next season:
Freddy Garcia: 4.53/1.28
Jon Garland: 4.51/1.37
Mark Buehrle: 4.99/1.45
Javier Vazquez: 4.84/1.30
Jose Contreras: 4.27/1.27
Around these parts, the regression of all of the starters was attribted to pitching 20-30+ IP more during thre playoffs/world-series. One more sterling example is Cole Hamels, who went from 14 wins 3.09/1.08 to 10 wins 4.32/1.29 in 2009.
Heading into this season, I was already done with TIm Lincecum who burned me for 3.73/1.24 as the de-facto #1 staff ace in a couple'a leagues in 2010, but like, I've targeted Matt Cain as a nice-n-cheap Cole Hamels type pitcher who will win his 14-18 games, and even with a late-season arsekicking managed a 3.14/1.08 last season, en route to racking up ~240 IP between the regular season and playoffs.
I haven't researched this trend further, so I reach out to my fellow cafeheads in asking if you think theres a near/definite correllation between IP during a long playoff run and the next season's performance. I still have Matt Cain in 2-3/6 leagues, although I've traded him off wherever I can (i.e. on a team starved for closers I got Brian Wilson for him straightup, obviously pre-oblique injury) and I'm trying to figure out if Matt Cain should be targeted to trade off while his value is still sky high (don't forget he was flat out dominating in the playoffs), cuz thus far in the leagues where I ended up with Mat Latos I've been dumping him off for whatever I can get, usually because I already have Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester/David Price, and Tommy Hanson and/or Mat Latos, before you get to my Hellickson and Zambano territory... I'm obviously not trading Zambrano because his cheap draft position shows that very very few people are like me nad expecting a return to vintage 2006-type numbers.... so Hellickson has been the sacficical lamb, whereas I'm cashing out on Latos' name/potential because from all I've ascertained thus far he's a raging douchebag whose teammates NEVER liked him... therefore I;m getting what I can for latos before he disproves his 14 win 2.92/1,08 hugh K rate ways,.,
But back to the question at hand, does the extra workload cause trepidation in any of you Lincecum/Cain owners? I've been mostly sticking by Cain, figuring 3.40/1.20 is as high as he'll go (he was once again in the high 2s akin to 2009 before a 4 IP 6 ER performance got him up to 3.14 in his last start of the season) but part of me does worry that the workload might inflate him into the mid-high 3s and cause him to be yet another ~14 win pedestrian, otherwise his natural progression would tell me that he's bound for sub-3 ERA ~1.10-1.15 WHIP and quite possibly 17+ wins.... I just worry that in trying to get rid of Latos wholesale I'm potentially screwing up my otherwise flawless rotations by having a guy whose IP count might turn him into the equivalent of one of those 2006 whitesox starters, i.e. someone who was unable to carry the torch from their 05 performances (Jose Contreras, would you please come on down?)
What thinkest thou sages of the hardball of fantasy halcyon lore and legend?