Friday, April 25, 2008

Hanging Chads...

If you're a die-hard fantasy baseball player like I am, then probably two of the biggest enigmas of the 2008 season would happen to be pitchers named "Chad." One plays on the West coast, the other plays on the East coast... A perfect topic for my "coast to coast" blog.

The pitcher on the West coast is a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers named Chad Billingsley. Last night, he looked almost unhittable, striking out 12 batters! In his previous start, he struck out nine batters in just 4 innings! The problem though is that despite his dominating stuff, the "West coast Chad" also has been walking a lot of batters and conseuently giving up quite a few runs. Despite the 21 strikeouts in just 11 innings the past two outings, Billingsley has walked seven batters and allowed nine earned runs while giving up 12 hits. So, his K/9 ratio over that time is an other-worldly 17.18, but his ERA is 7.36 and his WHIP is 1.91. As a multiple league Billingsley owner, those latter two numbers hurt a lot... The season is young though, and as a 23 year old with tons of talent, I expect him to correct things and get those ratios down. It would probably be a good time to try and play up his WHIP and ERA numbers and get him in trade as it's pretty obvious he can be VERY dominant! With experience, he will only get better.

As for the East coast pitcher named Chad, that would be the guy also known as "the Chief," Chad Cordero. Arguably the Washington Nationals' MVP the past three seasons with 113 saves, Cordero has battled with tendinitis and general weakness in his throwing shoulder. His fastball velocity has consistently been in the low 80's this year, down several MPH from his usual numbers. Pitchers with arm issues and velocity issues tend to be a ticking time bomb. For the moment, Jon Rauch has taken over the closer's role for the Nats. Unless something drastically changes, I don't see this situation changing anytime soon. Needless to say, if Rauch is still available in your fantasy league you should pick him up right away. If someone is willing to give you near full-value for Cordero in trade, then I'd say do it, as things are not looking good for him at the moment.



lil Jimmy said...

My biggest enigma is Joba. I made a trade for him last yr. Thinking he would start. He is doing nothing for me this yr. Which STINX!

John C said...

Oh tell me about it! Joba should certainly be starting and yes, he's on a couple of my important teams as well... Mr. Cashman needs to set him free!