The duality of man:
It’s all Peaches and Herb when you can get the best out of both worlds. Well, fantasy baseball wise that’s either “Martin Prado” good or “Jerry Hairston” awkward. For fantasy pitching, a guy doesn’t necessarily become more draftable based on dual position, but I’m here to “learn” you something about spot starting from the RP spot. I once heard that relief pitching is an art form. It looks easy, but hey, not everyone can paint. Hell, I color way outside the lines. Here is a list of strapping young lads that can contribute from the depths of your roster by chucking the ball and having both SP/RP eligibility:
Robinson Tejada – ( 29 relief appearances/ 6 sp)
No joke — I heard his dad’s name is actually Miguel Cano. Here is a guy that intrigues me to no end. High K rate, low HR’s allowed (4 in 73 innings). KC may stretch him out to be a number 5. Beware of a high walk rate and a big jump in innings but he can contribute. Proj: 8 wins 4.05 era 125 K’s in 120 innings
Brett Myers – ( 8rp/10 sp)
Huge risk/reward with his change of battery mates…wink. Will only be 30 by year’s end, playing for a multi-yr deal, definite rotation spot. To me, he has all the opportunity sitting in front of him. Decent in-season fill or late round flyer. Proj: 10 wins 4.2 era 145 K’s
Kenshin Kawakami – ( 7 rp/ 25 sp)
Was cruising along and then Hudson went all Moscow and came back from the DL. Should enter the spring with a rotation spot. Otherwise, it’s to the pen to form the dynamic Asian dance team, Ken-N-Tak. Not a huge K potential and low ERA promise. You could do worse for a 5th starter. Proj: 10 wins 3.89 era 125 K’s
Justin Masterson – (26rp/16sp)
Former Sox spec goes to the head of the class — Too bad it’s in remedial English. Huge K potential (think a K/inning), reminds me a lot of a RH Jonathan Sanchez. Legitimate stuff — has potential to be a future number 3. Innings shouldn’t be a worry. Will have every chance to fail for a 90 loss team. End of draft sleeper. Grey’s Projections at top 80 starters for 2010 post.
Clayton Richard – ( 12rp/ 26sp)
He is another top spec that goes into the fire of a losing organization. Great potential to pitch for a budding rotation. Not a huge K guy and he will walk his share. Plays in an ERA friendly environment and has been getting a pretty good ride in the pre-draft hype machine. I‘d buy that for a dollar. Great match up guy for home starts. Proj: 7 wins 3.90 era 100 K’s
Aaron Laffey – ( 6rp/13sp)
Personally, I love this guy. Same b-day as me and same last name as the navy ship my grandfather was on in WWII. But anywho — to me, he is the “Clayton Richard” of the AL and has a chance to shine… but for a bad team. Not a huge peripheral help guy, walks a ton, no K’s. Could be a sneaky source of wins for Cleveland. Just needs to stop walking the ballpark. Proj: 9 wins 4.30 era 110 k’s
Derek Holland – (12rp/21sp)
Texas has a potent offense: this, we know. Here is a guy to do the opposite of Richard: start on the road. Has a great arsenal of pitches, got worn down by year’s end. ERA should drop from above 6 (or I would hope). Decent K/9 and needs to work on his third pitch. If the team is away, Holland should play. Proj: 9 wins 4.35 era 125 K’s
Brian Duensing – ( 15rp/9sp)
Great spot guy late last year. If he misses a rotation spot, he joins (in my opinion) the best bullpen in baseball. Not a huge K threat, but misses bats. A long relief candidate who can snipe a few victories. Expect great peripherals, low ERA. Proj: 9 wins 3.75 era 90 K’s
Brandon Morrow – ( 16rp/10sp)
Holy potential! I have been waiting for him for 2 years to do something. He now gets a chance in a very young rotation in Toronto, albeit in the toughest division in baseball. Health and stamina are an issue (diabetic). Has huge K and low ERA potential. A must grab for last round fodder or for “cause I told you so” bragging rights. Grey’s Projections at top 80 starters for 2010 post.
Francisco Liriano – (5rp/24sp)
This guy was awful a year removed from TJ surgery and I think he actually pitched with Tommy John’s arm. Another year may do him good. He will struggle with command and is spotty when runners are on base. Consistent arm angle a must. I’m avoiding him at all costs unless I can get him late — like on the waiver wire after the draft. Buyer beware but great K potential from the once most hyped SP since Tim Leary. Projections found at Grey’s Liriano Sleeper post.
Others to think about that qualify: Jamie Moyer(5rp/25sp), Bobby Parnell(60rp/8sp), Tom Gorzellany(15rp/7sp)