I tend to go for safe starters in the front of my staff. Last year, I had F-Her and Oswalt anchoring my pitching staffs. Then I’d grab a guy like Jonathan Sanchez around pick 200 because he had upside. He had downside too. Wild, can’t-hit-the-broad-side-of-a-barn downside. I mention this because Edinson Volquez can have the same downside as Filthy Sanchez. Doesn’t really matter to me. He’s also got the Ks that I crave. If I’m in an Italian movie, the subtitles under my mustache read, “Mama mia, those Ks!” So what can we expect of him in 2011 fantasy baseball?
First, the big question. Without an injury to someone, is Edinson in the rotation? I mean, there’s Aroldis, Arroyo, Cueto, Leake, Wood and Bailey. I’m not worried; Edinson’s in. (Wood or Leake will probably be out waiting for an injury. (It made me squirm writing Wood, Leake and injury in the same sentence.)) Now is Edinson in the strike zone? Probably not. To paraphrase the old-timey minor league baseball fan, “Edinson is wilder than any turkey oughta be.” Last year, his BB/9 was 5.03. That’s insannnnnnne, Crazy Eddie. Luckily, that’s even a bit above where he usually is and pitchers returning from Tommy John surgery do need a bit of time to regain some modicum of control. In September, his K:BB looked a whole lot more favorable at 31:8 in 27 2/3 IP. Not saying his control is totally out of the woods, but it should be closer to 4 BB/9. Still bleh, but the Ks are the nice thing here. Last year, his K/9 was 9.62. For starters with more than 60 IP, Edinson ranked fifth. Right behind, Yovani and Lester. That’s not a small sample size talking either (as they also say at the Puppetry of the Penis). Edinson’s good for it. In 2011, I could see a year that falls between 2008 and 2009 as far as performance. Say 13-9/3.80/1.35/190 in 185 IP. This is all assuming Dusty doesn’t throw him in a 22-inning game for the final 13 innings.