Friday, June 3, 2011

Bust or Rebound?

With a 1/3 of the season it the books it may be time to look at some of the more prominent busts of this year’s Fantasy season. From the SP side this player was projected as a top 8 SP pitcher off the board come draft time by Yahoo (I had him ranked 19th on my board). He was coming off a career year for a team that faltered badly down the stretch in 2010 and missed the playoffs.
He recently picked up his 1st win of the season and his team had not won a game he started since 9/17 of last year.  His manager stated his problems are not physical but merely mechanical. Actually these problems started to arise long before this season started.  It can be traced back to his efforts after the 2010 All-Star game. From that point he finished the season on a 4-7 mark with an ERA at 3.88 and a WHIP at 1.30. The Ks were consistently high but not much else to speak of in those 15 starts.
This time last year he had an ERA and a WHIP under 1.00 and his K rate was nearly 8 per game. He would go 7 innings constantly and rack up wins in nearly every start. Then when spring turned into summer he went from hot, to warm, to cold. From there he has stayed cold for 8 months. My predictions for him this year are 13 wins, 3.55 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 7.9 K/9. Let’s see where he is currently.  He has that 1 win, an ERA at 4.98 and a WHIP 1.36 and his K rate stands at 7.8 per 9. To me the problem is the walks and pitching behind in the count. He is allowing a staggering 4.55 BB/9 compared to his career average of 3.73 and last year’s average of 3.25 for this time period. His H/9 average is up at 6.72 from 5.66 last year. He is not pitching deep into games and his team is only hitting .246 on the year which is 21st worst in all of baseball. That means no run support. Not to mention he pitches in the 4th toughest park for pitchers.
Can he turn this around or was last year’s hot start a fluke. I feel next week’s two starts should be the barometer. Will he pitch like he did in his last start going 9 innings for the win and only allowing the 4 hits or will he get shelled against 2 teams he should dominate. I leaning toward the latter. If you haven’t figured out who I am describing yet it is Ubaldo Jimenez.  The same Ubaldo that is currently owned in 95% of leagues  and ranked 835 overall which puts him sandwiched in-between stars like Rodrigo López at 826 and Jon Garland at 844. If you own him you should start shopping him around and let someone else take the punishment for the rest of the season.

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