Who Ya Got: Pitchers Edition

Today’s “Who Ya Got” is brought to you by indecision, inability and procrastination! These are the 3 perfect ingredients for the dish I whip up the most: Last Minute Disaster.

Anyways, this time around, my keepers’ task is not so daunting, but still remains difficult. I’m just going to take a look at the pitchers this time around.

In my mixed (NL/AL) fantasy league, I have the task of selecting 6 keepers from a 26 man roster. After a pseudo-successful (3rd place finish) 2012 campaign, I am going to have a tough time parting ways with some of my players.

Here is my 2011 Pitching Staff:

  • Matt Cain – SP – SF Giants
  • Jered Weaver – SP – LAA Angels
  • Tim Hudson – SP – Atlanta
  • Francisco Cordero – RP – Toronto
  • Ryan Madson – RP – Cinci
  • Ryan Vogelsong – SP – SF Giants
  • Kyle Lohse – SP – St. Louis
  • Jim Johnson – RP – Baltimore
  • Clayton Kershaw – SP – LA Dodgers
  • Justin Masterson – SP – Cleveland

Right off the bat, I can knock a few names off this list, starting with Francisco Cordero and Kyle Lohse. Cordero was an asset in the saves department for much of the 2011 season, but I don’t see the same save potential – thanks to a lack of opportunity – in Toronto. Similarly, Lohse had an above-average 2011 campaign and contributed to the staff in key categories, but he simply doesn’t stack up well against the other starters he is competing for a roster spot against on my staff.

After second glance, Ryan Vogelsong, Justin Masterson and Jim Johnson fail to make the cut. Despite his age, I still see Vogelsong having a solid 2012 campaign, but it would be hard justifying a keeper when I was able to claim him off the Free Agent wire just a year ago. Masterson still has a few control issues, and though I really like the young hurler, Justin will find himself back in the draft pool.  Jim Johnson, much like Cordero, should have a tough time finding opportunities to save games in an always stacked AL East division. Thank you to the three of you for your year of service!

Two rounds of essentially pain free “cuts”, but I am still left with 5 great pitchers, of which I can keep three – at most! Well, to be honest, there are four left. There isn’t a chance in the world that I cut the reigning NL Cy Young award winner, Clayton Kershaw. The man IS my staff. Oh, and he had 248 strikeouts. That’s the kind of stuff keepers are made of.

Cain, Weaver, Hudson and Madson. No, this isn’t a law firm, it’s four men vying for two roster spots. I’m never a fan of doubting a Braves starter, but Hudson’s back surgery, combined with his age, makes me a bit nervous to re-sign the ace. Sorry, Tim! I hope we meet again in say…the 8th round?

Now onto Cain versus Madson, since I have just decided that Weaver is going to have a spot on my 2012 roster. Yep, just like that.

My reasoning? The idea that if Weaver has half the season he did in 2011, he is still a top tier pitcher that strikes out a ton of batters and should finally have ample run support with the Angels addition of some guy named Albert.

By default, I think I have to go with Cain here. His 2011 numbers don’t exactly knock my socks off, but I love the fact that half of his starts are in a true pitcher’s park in San Francisco. What also helps Cain keep his roster spot is the fact that closers can be a dime-a-dozen and finding a replacement closer on the waiver wire is much easier than finding a solid starter. That being said, I love the move in Cincinnati to sign Ryan Madson, who has earned the chance to close games with my NL Central favorites.

Next up, Who Ya Got: Batters Edition

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