And by breakdown I don’t mean of the crying variety with Zach Greinke suffering from an abulia. (Sorry, it was the Word of the Day.) My favorite fantasy baseball writer, Eric Karabell, did a breakdown of the Royals pitchers. (You can click that link but I think you need to be an ESPN Hindsighter™ to read it. And you thought they were for the populous. Well, they are, the paying-money populace. Don’t cha know, they’re owned by Disney. But I digress.) Within Karabell’s piece, he breaks down what he thinks of Gil Meche and Zach Greinke for this year in fantasy baseball. So what did Karabell say that sent me from scratching my head to banging it against the wall?

Karabaloney ranks Gil Meche ahead of Zach Greinke, saying this:

Meche is not off to the same start as last year, of course, when his April ERA was 2.18, and if you remove that month from his 2007 ledger, his final ERA jumps from 3.67 to 4. Maybe he is just average. Isn’t that OK? I have no problem that he is, because Meche is relatively safe at the back end of a fantasy rotation. He’s the most experienced pitcher on the Royals staff, about the only one capable of strikeouts….

Now before you argue with that, he preceded that by saying:

Look, I won’t listen to any arguments about the current statistics. It’s just too early.

Well, that squashes anything anyone could possibly say.  Anyway, what Karabaloney says about it being early is true. So that makes it surprising when he takes Greinke’s early season stats and uses them as fact.

Greinke’s problem could be strikeout rate. It wasn’t an issue a year ago…

Greinke’s strikeout rate is also after three outings?! How is okay to look at Meche and say, “Hey, it’s early. He’s gonna be just fine. I bet my ugly face on it.”

Over 1000 innings, Meche’s major league strikeout rate is 6.38. Just under 500 innings, Greinke’s K/9 is 6.41.  Sure, it’s a smaller sample size but he’s five years younger and he went caca-cuckoo for a year so there’s less miles on his arm. Last year Greinke’s rate was probably a little high because of a lot of it came in middle relief, so what’s fair to say about both of these guys? Both of their K/9 is close to 6. That means Meche is not the only pitcher capable of strikeouts.

Also, Meche will walk more hitters than Greinke. Maybe none of this means anything to Karabaloney, but Meche’s career WHIP is 1.41. Greinke is 1.37.  Now is Meche safer because of his track record? It makes him more predictable, and if we look at his track record, it makes him pretty bleh. On the other hand, Greinke has upside. Will Greinke be a top twenty pitcher at the end of 2008? No, probably not, but to say Meche is better is just stoopid. Now go get your shinebox!

  1. scott says:

    I drafted Greinke on your recommendation Grey and am very pleased to say the least. The kid is finally realizing his potential. Speaking of potential, C. Buchholtz has just become available in my league. The only pitchers I would consider dropping for him are M. Parra (who is full of potential himself)and S. Hill (who returns today). I feel like I should jump on Buchholtz and leave him on my bench for awhile. What do you think?

  2. scott says:

    LOL at the Goodfellas/shinebox reference…you are one funny man

  3. alek says:

    funny how? like he’s some kind of clown?

  4. scott says:

    I will continue this monolgue by stating that I thought long and hard about WWGD (What Would Grey Do?). Ok, maybe it was more like one of those impulse buys at the register of the supermarket, but the point is I crawled inside your head and dropped Parra for Buchholtz. The experience was much like J. Cusack’s in Being John Malkovich. You were even buying loden bath towels…weird.

  5. Grey

    Grey says:

    @alek: :)

    @scott: Sheets is injured and will probably end up on the DL, so Parra might keep his rotation spot for a little while longer, no matter how he pitches. Buchholz faces much tougher offenses, he hasn’t looked very good thus far, but it might be nothing but a lateral move with a Parra drop. I would’ve held tight but it could work out either way. I have S. Hill in three very competitive leagues. He’s on the bench in two of them, because his last tune-up didn’t go well. If today’s start goes well, I’ll start him next time in the other two leagues.

    re: Being John — Just don’t lock me in a cage with a monkey, and we’ll be fine.

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    @SportsHubris: I don’t even go near the Y! ‘perts. So can’t comment on them. Rudy is always bitching about them though.

    “…Funston mailed in this season more so than Andruw Jones.” Even without reading them, that’s funny.

  7. Kevin says:

    ESPN Insider is such a joke. They have a lot of nerve charging people for content that is free on every other site. I would not pay one red dime for their “insider” articles.

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