This is the conundrum of fantasy baseball that leads us to the battle for the final rotation spot. These guys either have one of two options: drive around on a bus with the Savannah Sand Gnats, or float for awhile (swimming is an entirely different sport). These guys aren’t necessarily the sexiest group of fantasy options, but if your league is deep or shallow, streaming is streaming. I do it a lot in limitless inning leagues. It’s not cheating — it’s taking advantage of other owners who don’t do it. Picking your “spot” starts is always hit or miss, best way to tell if you should stream is to read the betting line — I can’t make this stuff up. People who stand to win/lose money know what is going on here. So here we go: the 5th starter battles for 2010 fantasy baseball at the midpoint of Spring Training:
Kenshin Kawakami – Pitched decent last year. Under 4.00 ERA from the 5th spot is gold. SP/RP eligibility is platinum. I’m for this guy — he keeps the ball on the ground.
Kris Medlen – Maybe youth can be served in the A T L. Minors number show he has some potential. To me, he looks like a midseason trade guy for offense.
Kyle Kendrick – I bought some of his juice 2 years ago. I’ve seen him twice this spring already and he looked pretty decent. Plays in a HR friendly environment — not good.
Jose Contreras – Grizzled old Cuban not named Livan. Gives them the “I have been there before” guy to have in a pinch. Moyer is lurking around somewhere too.
Aroldis Chapman – Now we are getting to “ooh” guys. We all know about him — he is climbing up the ADP boards. I think he gets 5-6 starts in minors. Awesome potential; future number 2.
Matt Maloney – The designated place holder at the onset of the season. Has potential. Do not sleep on him — he may be a better contributor after they trade of Bronson/Harang.
Mike Leake – Yeah, he is still in contention in my eyes. Awesome polish. Well beyond his years on the mound. Ponder this for next year: Cueto, Chapman, Bailey Volquez and Leake. WOW. Pretty decent, I’d say.
Dave Bush – It’s feast or famine: head for the mountains and choose anyone but “bush.” Having a decent enough spring to make you go…. maybe.
Manny Parra – Potent offense may help both of these guys. Good K numbers, bad everything else is not a fair trade off for me. Mostly NL-Only help here, but roll the dice when it gets warmer.
Jaime Garcia – Rook is ready. Saw him pitch live and he has the goods that you’re looking for. The “Lou” is definitely going lefty with the 5. Minor league numbers are good enough to buy for a dollar.
Rich Hill – I told you it’s either Mickelson or Gomez. Duncan’s pet project this year. Had the goods to make everyone believe 3 years ago. Yeah… you know who you are.
Eric Stults – Loved him as Rocky Dennis — not so much for the Dodgers. Thirty-year-old may be a late bloomer. Worrisome high walk rate. Pitching well in Spring Training.
James McDonald – E I E I O, minor league success at every level. Dodgers SP is very overrated. They may need his potential at the back end of the rotation.
Phil Hughes – Joba has fallen into the pen, IMO. Hughes has only himself to blame if he goes to join him. Awesome potential three years ago; he was a top 5 prospect. Still only 23. SP/RP eligibility.
Alfredo Aceves – Gaudin is helping his cause. Destined for long relief. ‘Fredo could be a guy who sneaks in. Had a year talking to the G.O.A.T in the pen.
Gio Gonzalez – Awesome punch out numbers. Favorite of mine for sneaky late round pick. His peripherals make me sad.
Vin Mazzaro – A fellow “Dirty Jerzian.” Is the opposite of Gio: pitches to contact. For my money, he is the extremely poor man’s version of Slowey. Last seen with JWOWW and Snooki at Jenks.
Francisco Liriano – I’m truly tired of talking about this guy. Now they want him to be a closer… Minny is throwing in the towel already. Not a great idea. That Pierzynski trade right now looks good for this year.
Kyle Farnsworth – Yeah him. I got nothing. Horrible as a reliever. Hillman drinking the sauce for an early unemployment check.
Kyle Davies – Still have nothing. For giggles, look up his Spring numbers. I haven’t seen that fat of a number since 7 ate 9.
Robinson Tejada – Time to take the training wheels off. Previously admired by me. Great K potential. Looked great in final 6 starts last year. RP/SP eligible a plus.
Matt Harrison – Arlington bleachers gobble up fly balls in summer — unfun for pitchers. My money says Feliz pitches out of the pen to start the year. Decent Spring so far.
Derek Holland – Great potential. Needs to develop a third pitch. There really is no loser here: both will get starts as Harden and McCarthy are “fra-gee-lay” and neither are Italian.
Davis Hernandez - Great K numbers in the minors. Did decent enough last year to be considered here. Not the prospect that his competition is.
Chris Tillman - Another sleeper guy for non-dynasty leagues that I like. Is part of the handful of Baltimore top pitching specs. Don’t sleep on him.