My love for all things Tribe will probably be the death of my fantasy team but I’m out here not carin.  I’m not sure if my Bauer post will come out first or if this one will but I’ve also at this point in late February already completed a draft in which I took Carrasco in the 9th and Salazar in the 16th.  What I’m trying to say is Cleveland is going to win 155 games this year so I want every starter on that team.  I’m joking of course…about that many wins for the Indians.  Or maybe it wasn’t a joke more so than it was hyperbole?  I don’t wanna get technical here, let’s just say I literally want every starter they have for various reasons and when you’re going deep like I am with these posts, you sometimes have to scratch beneath the depth chart to see what’s available and what do I see?  I see a T.J. House party that just might blow up in the late rounds of your draft.  So BYOB and get ready to groove as we see why T.J. might be a solid play by the end of the 2015 Fantasy Baseball season…

The first strike against T.J. is probably the biggest.  He’s a pitcher and his first name is ‘T.J.’?  Like ‘Tommy John’?  I’m not one to get all Stevie Wonder superstitious but I ain’t one for walking under ladders or breaking mirrors if I can avoid it.  I keed.  The real danger for House is he officially doesn’t have a job right now.  If the depth charts hold, Corey Kluber is the ace, Carlos Carrasco is the ace in the making, Gavin Floyd is the ‘wise, savvy veteran arm’, Trevor Bauer is the kid who could take the leap and Danny Salazar is trying to rise from the dead of 2014 to win slot #5 in the rotation.  If you read reports, they will tell you that House is directly competing with Danny if he’s going to make the rotation at all.  I call hogwash on that.  Might even throw in a balderdash if you press me hard enough (ow, not that way!  I’m not a Furby!).  Now though it’s true Danny could falter, his second half of 2014 leaves us with a lot of promise and you can read more about that here care of Big Magoo in his Under The Greydar piece.  Let’s also realize Trevor is out of options so he’s locked on the team until he proves to be completely incompetent.  So that leaves the only real spot up for grabs being Gavin Floyd’s.  Hrm, he just signed a $4 million dollar contract with another $6 million in incentives.  So he’s untouchable too, right?  Well, let’s see how many innings he’s pitched the last two years in the majors: 78.2.  In fact, the last time Gavin pitched more than 170 IP was in 2011 and his peripherals for his career (4.11 xFIP, 4.40 ERA, 2.35 K:BB ratio) aren’t exactly thrilling.  I’m sure many will point to his sterling 2014 season with the Braves in rebuttal…if you can call 54.1 innings and nine starts sterling.  Last year he did have his best ratios as a pitcher for his career with a 2.65 ERA and a 3.46 K:BB ratio.  But his xFIP of 3.47 said adjustments would’ve come and he was also pitching in arguably the worst offensive division in the MLB last year, especially when it comes to K/9 rates and he still only managed a measly 7.45.  Now he’s moving back to the AL, a league where his best ERA ever was 3.84 and his best K/9 in a season lasting longer than 15 starts is 7.71.  I hear you snoring back there so lets bring the T.J. into the hizouse!  This is where you have to believe in House figuring it out.  He didn’t exactly wow us in the first half with his 4.40 ERA nor his 6 K/9…*PBBT*, woah, sorry.  Fell asleep and thankfully farted loud enough to wake myself back up.  Where was I…oh yeah, something clicked in his 57 second half innings.  House had a 2.53 ERA down the stretch to go with a healthy 7.89 K/9 and a miniscule 1.74 BB/9 ratio.  Remember Grey’s rule of 6+ when it comes to starters?  Having a difference between K/9-BB/9 of over 6 usually puts you in good company.  Welcome to the fold, House!  Now obviously the sample size is small and I strongly doubt he’s a sub-3 ERA kind of pitcher but if he can keep his ratios in the 7.5 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 area, you’re looking at a solid end of rotation starter for your deep league team.  And if the end of 2014 was the sign of a breakout?  Well, by comp magic, pitchers who come close to his second half results from 2014 include James Shields, Brandon McCarthy, and Hisashi Iwakuma.  When you factor in his extreme GB% of 60.9%, these comps don’t seem as crazy as it would initially suggest.  Simply put, if this T.J. second half was real, House might be a household name by the end of 2015.

 
  1. Matt says:
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    Great article, looks like things arelooking good for the Indians…do you think Matt Barnes wins a rotation spot out of ST?

    • Wake Up says:
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      @Matt: Prolly not…quantity until the ASB and then bring in an ace for the playoff run…

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Matt: agree with Wake. Plus they’ve also talked about him out of the bullpen a bit this spring. Not someone I would hang my hat on.

  2. LarryA says:
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    He’s also competing against Josh Tomlin for the 5th/6th spot. And Tomlin was pretty good himself last year

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @LarryA: I like Tomlin in some ways but his GB% makes me think he’s the long guy. He doesn’t have the stuff to be a FB pitcher in my opinion.

  3. Ante GALIC says:
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    Sky!!

    Nice work, man.

    Also have a man crush on TJ, hopefully he makes it and Floyd doesn’t as I’m also a SaladCzar owner.

    Cheers,
    Ante

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Ante GALIC: Thanks Ante, I’m sure Salazar is staying this year. It would have to be an injury or Floyd (or an injury to Floyd) that opens the door.

  4. paz says:
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    would you keep Josh Reddick for 18 in a 12 team AL only league?

    he just got shut down for two weeks w an oblique strain and this year could be more of the same for him

    • Cram It says:
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      @paz: Depends what your other options are.

      • paz says:
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        @Cram It: we haven’t drafted yet so my options are TBD

        • Nmiles says:
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          @paz:

          Unless your league has a ton of inflation Reddick is too pricey at $18.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @paz: I wouldn’t

  5. Lville Jim says:
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    Somewhere I can here Howard Cosell yelling “Down goes Darvish, down goes Darvish”. Why couldn’t the schmohawk wait and break down the first week of the season instead.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Lville Jim: I’ve already been drafting in two leagues and I’m happy there (cuz I don’t own him).

  6. William Bobby says:
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    hi Sky,

    Nice. Gonna put him on my list for the draft portion of my deep league. Maybe get a steal.

    Got a keeper q for ya.

    A h2h points league that favors pitcher innings and walks (a version of fangraphs points that we have adjusted over the years). We have a three tier keeper system. Points listed after names are total and avg.

    Gonna keep Freeman from my top (over votto). Then planned to keep A.Jones and Pence. But now with pence hurt I have to adjust.

    I can either keep Archer 903.87 / 27.7 or pull up someone from my 3rd tier. Gonna keep Waino 1169.3 / 36.7 (he was a top 5 pitcher in points last year and cant just drop him yet, but I know its a risk) Brantley 1059.8 / 6.6 and Soler 152.4 / 6.1… and now have to choose between Ozuna 735.2 / 5.3 and Stroman 681.27 / 25.8 or Archer for the last spot? Who do you like? I am leaning Stroman.

    (I also have Paxton and Hutch as options)

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @William Bobby: I’d keep Ozuna. Aim for Stroman in the draft

  7. Mostsuckass says:
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    Sky, thanks for the heads up on House. I do think that if everything breaks right, he could be a valuable guy in deep leagues. Speaking of deep leagues, I have a question for you about your earlier post on Billy Burns. In the post you compare Billy the Kid favorably to Rajai, King of SAGNOF. Does that mean you’d take Burns ahead of Davis? Let’s say, to be more specific, you have all your outfield spots filled and are looking for a bench bat. Does Burns’s speed upside win out over Rajai’s more secure roster spot, track record,, and playing time?

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      @Mostsuckass: It doesn’t, I’d take the known commodity and also keep an eye on Gose who should be on the right side of the platoon between him Davis

      • Mostsuckass says:
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        @Sky: Will do! How about Burns compared with a guy like Eric Young, another SAGNOF type who stands to get some playing time with Melvin/BJ out? Still go with the known commodity?

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Eric Young over Burns as well. Playing times wins every time. Also think Eric Young keeps 140+ games this year. Gomes can’t hit righties.

  8. Clint says:
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    Dang! Sky the Prophet cometh! From the Indians Twitter 3/10/15:

    RHP Gavin Floyd has suffered a re-injury of the elbow stress fracture that ended his 2014 season and is he out indefinitely. (1 of 2)
    (2/2)
    The club is currently exploring treatment options, which may include surgical intervention. Time table will be dictated off that path

    Can’t wait to see where Grey’s sliding House now in his ranklings as well as Aaron Sanchez now that phenom Stroman’s OFS. Way to preach Sky!

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Thanks Clint! Been doing clinical trials on a drug for precognition. So far so good! In reality, I think he would’ve won the spot eventually, this just speeds up the process.

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