This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Last week we looked at a few pitchers who have gotten off to poor starts in the 2017 season. Some of them will probably bounce back and bring their numbers into line with preseason expectations, while others might be a drag on your pitching staff all year. Some of the most difficult decisions for a fantasy owner include knowing when to ride out that early season rough stretch and knowing when it's best to cut your losses and move on. There's a flipside to that coin. What about the big surprises in the first few weeks of a season? There will always be guys posting eye-popping numbers on the waiver wire, and you have to try to identify the real deals while ignoring the time bombs.
Evaluating forgotten pitchers posting unbelievable numbers:
Let's get this out there right from the beginning – most major surprises at this point in the season are surprises for good reason. Especially with young, unproven pitchers, teams are still trying to protect their brightest prospects, and will resist, if possible, starting their arbitration clocks. If the options are limited and the team is competitive, they might bring a top prospect up and hope for the best. However, the vast majority of starting pitching prospects arriving in April and May will be less valuable, marginal arms.
Then there are the veteran surprises. There is a bit more reason for optimism with a pitcher who has been up (and oftentimes back and forth down to the minors)