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)

  1. Nate Marcum says:

    Very useful article! I am in a h2h points league with weekly lineup settings, and this has been a strategy of mine for a few years. “Try and find the SP with RP eligibility when they are projected for 2 starts and reap the rewards…*Brandon Morrow, I thought you were listening, but obviously you weren’t! Just like back in April of ’87 when the Cardinals traded Andy Van Slyke* Way off topic, but Van Slyke was brought up today at work……

    How many games in relief are you basing this on?

    Keeper question….In a 5×5 12 team undroppable auction league (50 cap)….Do I keep Jurrjens for .30 and ride the wobbly shoulder rollercoaster, or just drop him all together…I have Price, Nolasco, Broxton, and maybe Maine to keep…need 9P. Hmmm???

  2. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Nate Marcum: I based it off 5sp/5rp apperances. Most of the guys listed qualify in yahoo and cbs basic formats.

    Im huge Nolasco believer this year, his era post AS break was a run and a half lower. That may be the route i would go but keep an eye on Jurrjens injury.

  3. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Nate Marcum: @ .30 its worth the risk, imo. Misread the post initially.

  4. brett says:

    Thanks for this. I forgot all about Robby Tejeda. Reminds me of Jorge De La Rosa from a couple years ago. If only he didn’t walk everyone. You can’t even play matchups with a guy who walks everyone.

  5. Steve says:

    Some great info here and worth remembering that the flipside – relievers with SP eligibility – can be really useful too.

    In one of my leagues we count Holds, so a middle reliever that qualifies as an SP is gold on those days where you might otherwise have an SP slot empty. And even if you don’t count Holds, it’s a nice way to fill a slot for a little help with your ratios.

  6. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @brett: agreed with Tejada, but he just misses bats, very low h/9. and ignore one start w/7bb and his walk rate is almost haved as a starter.

  7. Whiskey Richard says:

    What about Hughes/Chamberlain? Draft ’em both late, and get one quality SP and one sick MR out of it.

  8. brett says:

    @Smokey: Really? That’s interesting. His walk rates have historically been awful, so i won’t get too optimistic but he’s one of those guys who EVERYONE will be sleeping on if he does somehow find the strike zone. A good guy to keep tabs on.

  9. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Whiskey Richard: Hughes is another good one, Joba never pitched from pen until playoffs and got everyone in NY sports talk radio goin see i told ya, but in an accent reminiscent of “Jersey shore”

  10. Eric says:

    @smokey, nice article..these guys could be real effective in a weekly change week. Loved the Full Metal Jacket clip at the beginning.

    I agree with you on Morrow and Masterson. I like them both and will def. keep an eye on them. Looking forward to seeing more stuff from you.

  11. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Eric: thanks E

  12. Freak says:

    Royals are saying that they want to try Farnsworth out as a starter. Definitely someone to watch out for if he gets that SP eligibility.

  13. brad says:

    Yeah, thanks for this. I am in an h2h points league with weekly lineups like Nate, very useful to keep tabs on guys like these for those purposes.

    I rostered Tejeda for a while last year and enjoyed most of that time, it’s reassuring to know he’s on others’ radar too.

  14. brett says:

    @Freak: Ah, good point.

  15. SpikeOwen says:

    I do this every year, but not just for spot starts. It can be used the other way as well to pick up saves and holds.

    I used Uehara to spot start form the RP slot early in the year.

  16. ETMcgee says:

    Yeah, the combo of phil hughes + neftali essentially won me 1 league last year and got me 3rd place in the other 2. I was forced to implement the middle reliever approach due to a slew of injuries and bad drafting of pitching, and will likely attempt to utilize it from the start this year.

    117 IP, 9 W, 5 Sv, 135 K, and ridiculous ratios b/w Hughes + Neftali is far better than carrying 1-2 crappy starters.

  17. Freak says:

    @brett: No it’s not. Farnsworth is terrible.

  18. tourinct says:

    I’m also looking at J. A. Happ and Shawn Marcum in this role.

  19. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @Freak: farnsworth makes terrible look like a dime piece.

  20. Smokey

    Smokey says:

    @tourinct: marcum is a personal target of mine as well

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