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Lackey, Beckett and Kazmir are currently fighting injury. Lackey’s looks like it will hold him out until mid-May. Kazmir was recently scratched from making his first spring training start due to a lack of arm strength. Beckett… Well, Beckett was oft-injured up until last year. Blisters preliminarily, but hardly a model of good health. What does this mean for fantasy? It means don’t draft them unless they fall way down in your draft. The amount of risk involved with drafting a starter with an arm injury isn’t worth it. Sure, the season is long and by June both of these guys may be okay, but why risk it? There’s a chance that these spring training arm injuries will be a sign of things to come. This is one of the biggest reasons why I like to draft mid- to late-March. If you drafted Lackey last week (I put him on my short list for AL Cy Young contenders and placed him very high (for an AL pitcher) on my top 100), it’s just crappy luck. If you draft later in spring training, luck is removed from the equation. And skill remains. As for…

Homer Bailey. He’s 21 years-old. As Dusty Baker is not someone you want managing your pitching staff, inexperienced pitchers are not something you want on your team. If you’re in an NL-only keeper, I could understand taking a flier. Everyone else, wait until he’s called up from the minors or next year. So who does get the Reds rotation spot?

Edinson Volquez and/or Johnny Cueto.  Let’s look at what our favorite ESPN “analyst,” Eric Karabell, said, :”…Volquez who is past prospect status…” Edinson is 23 and averaged over 9 Ks per 9 innings in the minors. Granted, he is (or was) a bit wild. Later in the same piece, Karabell said Cueto was a prospect to watch. Cueto is 22 and averaged almost exactly the the same K/9, but does walk less people. If anyone knows what Karabell is talking about, please do share. Anyway, grab Volquez and/or Cueto in late rounds in your NL-only and even deep mixed leagues. Rookies that can strikeout people are very valuable their first time through the league.

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  4. franky says:
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    beckett is not hurt, he just faked the back spasm to avoid the japan trip. he’s thrown twice already without problems.

  5. Dusty + GAB + young pitchers + hype = sell high opportunity

    On another team Cueto would be a nice guy to target, especially in a keeper. If he gets off to a good start, I would start talking him up as the next Lincecum or Gallardo and try dealing him for a more established pitcher before the Alan Thicke growing pains set in.

    Herb Urban’s last blog post..The Brown Underbelly of the Evergreen State

  6. Grey

    Grey says:
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    Can’t say I completely disagree, but Dusty did (over)use young pitchers in Chicago to good effect right?

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