So, how’s everyone holding up without baseball every day?  I don’t know what to do with myself!  Yesterday, I wandered into a Starbucks and told the coffeerista about Mike Stanton for 2012.  We’ve gone over the final 2011 fantasy baseball rankings for hitters and the top 20 starters.  There’s only one of these godforsaken recap posts left before we’re into 2012 fantasy shizz.  You’re welcome.  Anyway, here’s the top 40 starters for 2011 fantasy baseball and how they compare to where I originally ranked them:

21. Madison Bumgarner – Trying to find some info that hasn’t been reported before, I decided to look at some of Bumgarner’s splits vs. his NL West opponents.  I figured he would’ve dominated them and I was going to conclude Giants pitchers are can’t misses because of their most-faced opponents.  Against the Padres (4.24 ERA in 23 1/3 IP), Dodgers (4.11 in 30 2/3 IP!) and Arizona (4.26 in 12 2/3 IP) — hey, metaphorical window, how about you open so I can throw a theory out?  Preseason Rank #46, 2011 Projections: 12-7/3.60/1.25/140, Final Numbers:  13-13/3.21/1.21/191

22. Daniel Hudson – I had so much love for Hudson in the preseason that he kinda needed to compete for the Cy Young to please me.  Instead, he produced respectable numbers but disappointed in the one category that gives me the goose pimples — Ks.  His K-rate dropped from 7.93 to 6.85.  Mr. Obvious, “Yeah, that’s not good.”  Preseason Rank #34, 2011 Projections: 12-9/3.50/1.18/190, Final Numbers:  16-12/3.49/1.20/169

23. Hiroki Kuroda – Definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of major league starters.  Kuroda could’ve been coming off 5 solid starts and I’d have people asking me in the comments if they should hold him.   Hold him, squeeze him, love him.  On an unrelated note, what if Chazz Palminteri became Chastity Palminteri?  Or Chazz Face-Palminteri?  Preseason Rank #39, 2011 Projections: 12-9/3.45/1.18/140, Final Numbers:  13-16/3.07/1.21/161

24. Johnny Cueto – I played a broken record during the season about how Cueto wasn’t a sub-2.50 ERA pitcher.  Not going to play that tune again.  Everyone who owned him got lucky.  Let’s leave it at that.  Preseason Rank #42, 2011 Projections: 12-8/3.65/1.26/160, Final Numbers:  9-5/2.31/1.09/104

25. Jeremy Hellickson – Member what I said about Cueto?  No?  I just said it Mr. Short-Term Memory.  He got lucky.  Yeah, Hellickson did too.  In a huge way.  2.95 ERA vs. 4.72 xFIP and a 5.57 K-rate.  Can anyone say Blechellickson?  Sure, you can.  It’s Hellickson with a Blec.  Preseason Rank #64, 2011 Projections:  9-5/3.60/1.10/140, Final Numbers:  13-10/2.95/1.15/117

26. Ryan Vogelsong – As will be a recurring theme that won’t emerge until January of 2012, just about all of the pitchers that ended up in this top 40 that were unranked, I won’t like next year.  Except Pineda.  Vogelsong left a bunch of men on base, walked hitters, didn’t strike out guys… He looked like a fantasy number two but he’s really a four to five.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  13-7/2.71/1.25/139

27. Shaun Marcum – Tale of two pitchers with Marcum and Greinke.  I liked both of them in the preseason and they both produced, but I still felt disappointed by their end of the year numbers.  Hmm, that’s not really a tale.  With Marcum, I gave some lofty expectations, telling you he was going to start the All-Star Game.  Yeah, that turned out as bonkers as it sounded even at the time.  I thought Marcum could step up his K-rate in the NL, instead it took a small step backwards and we were actually lucky to get the ERA we did get.  It worked out; it could’ve easily backfired.  Preseason Rank #33, 2011 Projections: 15-8/3.35/1.15/185, Final Numbers:  13-7/3.54/1.16/158

28. Zack Greinke – He had a 10.54 K/9 and a 2.56 xFIP.  Who are you, Ricky Nolasco?  How dare you try to confuse Murray Chass!   Or Murray Chass Bono.  Preseason Rank #17, 2011 Projections: 15-9/3.50/1.18/200, Final Numbers:  16-6/3.83/1.20/201

29. Jon Lester – One of the biggest disappointments, but at least he wasn’t Liriano.  And you were wondering how long it would be until I mentioned Liriano.  Hey, at least I didn’t mention Morneau.  Oh, wait.  Preseason Rank #7, 2011 Projections: 17-9/3.30/1.18/220, Final Numbers: 15-9/3.47/1.26/182

30. Ervin Santana – One of my misses in the preseason.  I was done with him going into 2011 because of his yawnstipating 2010 and 2009.  Now not to turn every square peg into a round one, I wasn’t totally wrong on Ervin.  He outperformed his xFIP (3.93) by a decent amount.  He did produce more ground balls and upped his K-rate ever so slightly.  All in all or some other idiomatic phrase, Ervin gave us some magic.   Preseason Rank #51, 2011 Projections: 13-10/4.30/1.32/150, Final Numbers:  11-12/3.38/1.22/178

31. Gio Gonzalez – In my tier of guys I kinda love for a third starter, there was Marcum, Daniel Hudson, Gio Gonzalez and Volquez.  To one-up Meatloaf, 3 out of 4 ain’t bad.  Seriously, everyone talks about how pitchers aren’t predictable, but I do a pretty good job of picking them out.  BTW, this kinda made me laugh, in the preseason I said, “(Gio) went 13 innings over the 30 inning Verducci threshold last year, but Verducci’s a crackpot who told you to avoid F-Her, Latos and Josh Johnson in 2010.”  Ha, Verducci.  What a jizzie-joke.  I wonder if he puts all pitchers under 25 years old on a dart board, or if he puts a picture of the pitcher on the dart and sees if he can hit the board.  Preseason Rank #35, 2011 Projections: 12-8/3.60/1.28/195, Final Numbers:  16-12/3.12/1.32/197

32. Javier Vazquez – Then in my tier of guys I kinda l0ve as my fourth starter were Vazquez, Garza, Zimmermann, Hellickson and James McDonald.  Quite a few hits in there too.  Yeah, I did like Vazquez last preseason only to have Rudy badger me to drop him in our 12-team NL-Only league.  A league where middle relievers were owned, forget about finding a starter with a rotation job.  Fongool my life.  Preseason Rank #61, 2011 Projections: 12-10/3.75/1.25/170, Final Numbers:  13-11/3.69/1.18/162

33. Mat Latos – On the Verducci list this year was Latos, Bumgarner, Price, Beachy and Gio Gonzalez.  One of my favorite parts of the offseason is hearing how he justifies the previous year’s misses.  Preseason Rank #19, 2011 Projections: 9-7/3.50/1.10/160, Final Numbers:  9-14/3.47/1.18/185

34. Kyle Lohse – I would’ve had a hard time picking up Lohse in September even after he had 5 solid months.  That’s how much I trust him.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  14-8/3.39/1.17/111

35. Matt Garza – He was in my early season difference between ERA and xFIP articles that told you he was going to be much better, then he went ahead and made me look like a genius.  Though I still can’t spell genius without a spellchecker.  Preseason Rank #62, 2011 Projections: 12-8/3.75/1.27/165, Final Numbers:  10-10/3.32/1.26/197

36. Alexi Ogando – God, his Ks were terrible.  I know, I know, it’s only one category.  But they’re not.  They’re a category that every other category can hinge on.  Strike guys out and they don’t get on base and it lowers your ERA and WHIP and gives you a chance for Wins.  Sure, there’s other ways pitchers can get hitters out, but they’re not as straightforward.  I like straightforward!  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  13-8/3.51/1.14/126

37. Michael Pineda – Now he struck people out.  I already went over my Michael Pineda 2012 fantasy.  In that article, there’s German women dancing in lederhosen.  BTW, shouldn’t more than one German be Germen?  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  9-10/3.74/1.10/173

38. Justin Masterson – I Cameron Maybin’d Masterson this year.  Was all about him in 2010, but then when I should’ve actually been in on him I Mr. Bungled it.  Though I did recover quickly and ended up with him on some teams because I grabbed him off waivers in April-ish.  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  12-10/158/3.21/1.28

39. Cory Luebke – And with a bullet… The first hodgepadre!  Earlier in this post (I think it was this post… Jesus Montero, what am I going on like 1300 words?  Offseason is supposed to be easier for me, crimey a river, Timberlake), I said there’s no unranked pitchers that I will like again next year except Pineda.  Luebke will probably be liked too, depending on January Grey’s mood ring color.  January Grey, “I hocked my mood ring for blow.”  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  6-10/3.29/1.07/154

40. Josh Collmenter – Yeah, Collmenter wasn’t that good.  An under 6 K-rate?  As the French say, “Parlez vous crap.”  (The French don’t say that.)  Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  10-10/3.38/1.07/100

  1. Racehorse says:


    How am I holding up without baseball?

    I’ve already scoured the AFL stats 10 times over – A’s prospect Michael Choice is tied for the league lead with two other players for most homeruns at 6….

    Also, I’m eyeballing a starting pitcher who’s getting in some AFL innings and who I’m targeting as a possible sleeper in 2012 (I can’t say the pitcher’s name in case one of my dynasty bretheren sees this post – can never have too much top secret security!)

    I’ve lobbed a trade proposal: me sending Mike Carp & Alex Presley for Big John Mayberry in return… still waiting a response (feel free to critique and/or laugh out loud)

    How many days until pitchers and catchers report?

    How am I holding up? Lousy.

  2. Howard says:

    @Grey Have to decide whether to keep Greinke or Lester. I don’t think I can afford both unless I put Napoli/Berkman at 1B and drop Howard. My other SPs are CC, Cain, Madbum, Hudson, Norris and Niemann. Thanks!

  3. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    I think you missed the real CC, unintentionally I’m sure, nothing to do with the fact that my Cards knocked off your preseason NL pick, and you were pretty close on your ranking. Plus, you had his ERA exactly right! So I’ll provide a blurb myself.

    32a. Chris Carpenter In the preseason you wrote, “I’m sorry, I just can’t get on board drafting Carpenter. I mean, I would draft him if he were to fall this low, but it’s not happening. He gets drafted way too early for me when I look at his K-rate and his age. You have to draft him as a number one, and, for me, he’s not a number one.” You were correct as he was the 15th pitcher drafted in the RCLs, but he did improve his Ks a little.
    Preseason Rank #27, 2011 Projections: 14-10/3.45/1.15/150,
    Final Numbers: 11-9/3.45/1.26/191

  4. How much did Jason Motte’s stock just jump now that TLR has retired? I’m guessing DD won’t be back for sure now either.

  5. chata says:


    duncan would be the logical successor , imo .
    talk on weei is that it would be a good spot for francona , however .

  6. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Racehorse: I hear ya. I’ve looked at some AFL too. Choice looks like he could be something special, but he’s pretty young and he’s going to play in a terrible stadium (eventually) without a trade.

    @Howard: Both over Niemann.

    @VinWins: Wow, my bad. And I got the ERA perfect. Would’ve been a nice time to brag… Damn! The Ks bump sorta nulls my ERA call. He looked like a pitcher five years his junior last year.

    @VinWins: That’s awesome! Too bad I wasn’t a celeb (not that Raffi Torres is). I’d love to cause controversy.

    @centralohguy: Wow, can’t believe he retired. The squirrels needed him that badly? Motte was the closer with TLR for next year, he’ll be it anyway without a signing.

  7. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    @Grey: “Too bad I wasn’t a celeb (not that Raffi Torres is)”

    Yeah, not like your favorite, Sidney Crosby.

  8. Mel says:

    Next 2 years, Votto or Pujols?

  9. @chata: With Duncan’s wife being ill, I had read some speculation he may ask out of his contract (1 yr left). Just speculation, but an even bigger commitment to manage the team?

    @Grey: Motte should be the man, but there’s something to be said for the value of a guy attached to a leash longer than TLR let out. May have to pay more for his services accordingly.

  10. VinWins

    VinWins says:

    @Grey: Crosby was hockey’s Pujols, but now he’s Morneau. As I’m sure you secretly knew.

  11. Grey

    Grey says:

    @VinWins: Oh, yeah, totally. Big fan!

  12. SwaggerJackers says:

    @Grey: Pick 3 for a H2H standard category league: Tulo, Cano, Ellsbury, Tex, Kershaw, Stanton. I like the first three. It’s hard to pass on Ells in H2H where he always helped batting average and steals with healthy counting stats in that lineup.

  13. SwaggerJackers says:

    @Grey: Why Grey, why? I don’t like Tex and his consistently declining batting average. Take out his 2 homer game at the end of the season and he had 2 homers and 6 RBIs for the month of September. If I promise to get a 1B with my first pick, can I keep Ellsbury?

  14. SwaggerJackers says:

    @Grey: Thanks G. According to your favorite ESPN Player Rater, Tex was the 27th best 1B over the last 30 days of the season. I’m worried about that dude and would much rather have Fielder.

    I think Ike Davis will be sneaky good next season and put up Hosmer numbers at a discount.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:

    @SwaggerJackers: Re: Ike Davis — You sound like me talking about Morneau or Kendrys last year.

  16. SwaggerJackers says:

    @Grey: Yuck! Leave those bums out of this. Might as well mention Dunn too.

    I’ll still get a proven 1B first but I like Ike as a late round corner option.

  17. NotKyle says:

    No love for Wandy Rodriguez in the top 40? True, it looks like he is on the decline but his K-rate is still very good and his ratios are solid.

  18. chata says:


    yep .
    you’re right .
    had heard something about his wife being ill .
    guess my memory of other guys’ wives isn’t as vivid as Pat Burrell’s .

  19. Steve says:

    @NotKyle: You’ll have to ask ESPN. Grey’s using their player-rater…

  20. How am I holding up? Well, I made my keeper trade– thanks Grey for replying in the forum– of getting Longoria and Halladay and giving up Adr. Gonzalez and Lincecum, so that was good. I still have Ryan Braun to either drop (for a third round pick) or trade… maybe for J Up straight up? Has to be an outfielder.

    Hey… I hear fantasy hockey’s pretty exciting. Wonder if I can still get in.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:

    @ChrisV82: Someone should just start a…

  22. Steve says:

    Bronx hot-dog and pulled-pork sandwich vendors rejoice – CC is coming back!

  23. Steve says:

    @Grey: Be cool if he was traded to Baltimore – then we could really get some Prop Joe action going.

    *No spoilers! Still on Season 4!*

  24. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: You’re taking slower with The Wire than a Livan fastball.

  25. Steve says:

    @Grey: Seriously. Wife is going away next week, so should be able to plough through a few eps then though.

  26. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Steve, Steve, Steve… You tell the wife you need to watch The Wire and eat, now make me dinner! Is this why I’m single?

  27. Steve says:

    @Grey: No – that would be your predilection for karaoke (emoticon).

    It’s weird, when I watch it, I really watch it, but other times it’s one of those things that doesn’t really occur to me to do.

    “Hey, I’ve just spent an hour comparing Ernesto Frieri and Sergio Romo. I could have been watching an episode of The Wire!”

  28. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: I hear ya. I never had that problem with The Wire, breeze through it the moment it aired live on HBO, but I’m having that issue with Breaking Bad. Great show that everyone tells me to watch that I have sitting on my coffee table or watch some crappy reality show. I’ve been going crappy reality show for the last two weeks.

  29. SwaggerJackers says:

    @Grey: Are you going to write a reaction post to all the FA news from today? I’m curious about your take on situations like Grady as a FA and the closer situations in Cincy and Toronto. Maybe the blockbuster signing of Derek Lowe in Cleveland???

  30. royce! says:

    @Steve: Awesome…I’m not sure that the Brian Wilson or Matsui outfits were truly costumes.

  31. Steve says:

    @royce!: Yeah, they looked a little too comfortable in those outfits.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Why is Michael Jordan in every other picture? My favorite was Kuroda’s interpreter.

    @SwaggerJackers: At some point, not really that major of news. Cordero can still be the closer for the Reds and the Blue Jays never had a closer.

  33. Steve says:

    @Grey: Yeah – I imagine it’s what I’d look like trying to be cool at Legends of Hip-Hop gathering.

    Dunno on Jordan. Must be someone’s idea of a ‘zany’ guy.

  34. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Steve: Not a huge basketball guy, but Jordan always struck me as the most straight laced guy. Kinda like Tiger Woods. Oh, yeah.

  35. Wake Up says:

    Wait…Madson dressed as Jose Bautista???

  36. Steve says:

    @Grey: Ha, yeah – though I think gambling was MJ’s major vice (often in Tiger’s company).

    There’s a great, great Jordan biography written by David Halberstam (of course).

  37. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Wake Up: Ha!

    @Steve: Really? I’ll have to check it out. I need a new book.

  38. Jeremiah says:

    What’s the deal with the lack of love for Jaime Garcia?

  39. Jeremiah says:

    Sorry, I’m either confused, slow on the uptake or most likely both. That is to say, what do you mean, exactly?

  40. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Jeremiah: This is a recap of last year. It’s not 2012’s rankings.

  41. Jeremiah says:

    So that means that Jaime Garcia was worse than Josh Collmenter in 2011? (JG: 13-7/3.56/1.32/156, JC: 10-10/3.38/1.07/100)

    Or for that matter Marcum (13-7/3.54/1.16/158) or Vazquez (13-11/3.69/1.18/162)?

  42. Grey

    Grey says:

    @Jeremiah: “It wouldn’t be fair for me to preseason rank the players then rank them again in the postseason based on my opinion, so these postseason top 20 lists are ranked according to ESPN’s Player Rater. It may not be wholly accurate, but it’s wholly unbiased.”

  43. Jeremiah says:

    Got it! Thanks, I’m just curious as I own JG in a heavily starting pitching skewing H2H league and am considering him as a keeper, but he’s not getting any mention here or from those trouble makers at fangraphs. So I’m just trying to get a read on what other folks think of him.

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