Nobody drafted Dellin Betances last year, but a lot of people, myself included, were able to ride him to championships. By definition, this year’s Betances — a set-up ace who can be picked up off waivers — will go undrafted, and likely won’t be pegged by me in this blog post. But if you want to structure your pitching staff around a handful of trustworthy starters and about five relievers, including one or two set-up aces who can be taken among your last four or five picks, here are some guys to consider:
You can’t win your league on draft day, but you can lose it.
So the old adage goes.
Thus, while I feel confident about the team I assembled in an AL-only auction Tuesday, I know I will have to stay on top of FAAB every week and make the correct lineup decisions throughout the year to have a chance at winning. The competition in this league is stiff to say the least, with the likes of Al Melchoir and Scott White from CBSSports.com, Todd Zola and Ryan Carey from Mastersball, Keith Cromer from Baseball Prospectus and RotoWire colleagues Paul Sporer and Andrew Fiorentino all included, among others.
Adam Wainwright has been one of the most consistent starting pitchers in baseball over the last five years, save for a down year in 2012, but reasons for worry continue to persist heading into 2015. Not only did Wainwright have surgery in October to trim a tendon in his pitching elbow (ouch), but the right-hander also left the team’s spring training site in Jupiter, Fla., on Wednesday, to head back to St. Louis for a consultation with doctors regarding abdominal pain he has been dealing with since Monday.
While the rhetoric from Wainwright and the Cardinals organization makes the move seem precautionary (teams downplaying spring training injuries is almost as much a right of spring training passage as the 10 million “best shape of his life” stories we’ll hear between now and the end of March) it’s still worth keeping an eye on.
A healthy Wainwright is a top-10 starting pitcher, but between the elbow injury, and this new abdominal pain, there’s more reason than ever to worry about him heading into 2015 (a.k.a. Wainwright is NOT healthy). Add in a drop in strikeout rate and groundball rate last season, and it may make sense to drop Wainwright down your draft boards a bit, at the very least, until we have more clarity on this new injury.
It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, but then you begin to look back at old draft results.
Here are a few things the collective “we” thought last year:
Carlos Gomez wasn’t a sure-fire first-round pick. Bryce Harper was.
Justin Verlander was still an ace. (NFBC ADP: 42.13)
It’s noise season.
Every day, through Opening Day in six weeks, will feature timelines loaded with poorly framed images and videos of players from all 30 teams.
Play-by-play tweets, live look-ins at Alex Rodriguez taking swings on a back field in Florida, and of course, the Best Shape of His Career (BSOHC) stories.
For every useful nugget of information that surfaces from columns, blogs, and tweets, there will be 49 useless ones.