31-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Jeff Karstens in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Jeff Karstens Contract Information:
Karstens agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Pirates in January of 2013.
Karstens became a free agent Monday evening after the Pirates failed to offer him a qualifying contract, according to the team's website.
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Jeff Karstens Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Jeff Karstens: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Jeff Karstens.
Karstens apparently fell out of favor with the Bucs in 2012. He missed the first couple months with a shoulder injury and then struggled with groin and hip flexor issues when he came back. Amidst a second straight late-season Pittsburgh collapse, the righty allowed four runs while recording just one out in an important divisional game in Milwaukee. He aggravated his hip flexor ailment and was banished to the bullpen and pitched in only four games thereafter as a mop-up man. When healthy, the 30-year-old offers pinpoint control and a knowledge of pitching that carries him past a lackluster repertoire. His 3.97 ERA in 94.2 frames would drop to 3.60 sans the Brewers debacle. Wherever he ends up pitching in 2013, fantasy owners can expect a not-too-flashy 4.00 ERA or so, with a bump up in wins if he latches onto a better team and starts.
Karstens set career marks across the board in wins (nine), ERA (3.38), innings (162.1) and WHIP (1.207) in 2011. He finished with a .278 BABIP, a mark not far off his career average (.289). Few expected the soft-tosser (88.8 mph fastball) with pinpoint control (1.83 BB/9IP) to rank among the league leaders in ERA through July (2.45 in 126.2 innings), but he did. He cooled off thereafter, however, and was shut down a couple weeks early with shoulder problems. History suggests that a 29-year-old pitcher with a career ERA of 5.07 will likely regress following a career season like Karstens had. Karstens battles like few others, but fantasy owners would be wise to temper expectations in 2012.
Karstens put an end to a few big-game slides by the Pirates in 2010, but his overall numbers tell the story of a pitcher struggling to find his way. The feisty right-hander registered a 4.92 ERA and a 1.410 WHIP in 122.2 innings for the Bucs. He was removed from Pittsburgh's 40-man roster following the 2009 campaign, but ended up re-signing with the organization. He'll likely serve as a spot starter and long reliever in 2011, giving him the same small amount of fantasy usefulness that he had in 2010. Still, it's not a bad way to make a living.
After coming over from the Yankees, Karstens won his first two starts for Pittsburgh -- taking a no-hitter into the eighth-inning against Arizona -- before losing his final six decisions. He possesses no plus pitches but isn't afraid to pitch inside -- a trait lacking throughout the team's pitching staff. The mid-season move to Pittsburgh means that Karstens will get plenty of opportunity to win a spot in the starting rotation, something that was unlikely to happen in New York. He could pick up some wins for the Bucs in 2009, but considering that the team's 2008 leader in victories collected only nine, Karstens really isn't someone to target in fantasy drafts.
Karstens was given an opportunity to join the starting rotation when injuries ravaged the Yankees' starting pitching in April. Unfortunately for Karstens, he suffered a fractured tibia after being hit by a comebacker in his second start of the season against the Red Sox. By the time he was healthy enough to return, the opportunities were relief appearances and occasional spot starts, and his window to secure the fifth starter's job was closed. With the emergence of top prospects Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, Karstens' best bet for a rotation spot is a trade, while long relief is his 2008 upside if he remains in pinstripes.
The 24-year-old lanky righthander made his Yankee debut in 2006, and the results were pretty good. Karstens did a nice job of locating all of his pitches, walking just 11 batters over six starts and two relief appearances. Prior to the Yankees re-signing of Andy Pettitte and their persuit of Kei Igawa, Karstens was in the mix to compete for the fifth starter spot. If he doesn't make the club as a long reliever in 2007, he'll be in the rotation at Triple-A to start the year.
Karstens was a little too hittable in 2005, giving up 192 hits in 169 IP at Double-A. The Yankees did put him on the 40-man roster, but he'll need to show something at Triple-A in 2006 to earn true prospect status.