Efficiency in your rotation is how you win leagues. Cheap, replaceable, effective starting pitchers mean more picks and/or budget for bats and closers. In order to be successful most of your rotation needs to be composed of pitchers that can be acquired at a value. Here are some to target on draft day – if the price is right.
1. Josh Tomlin, CLE -Tomlin’s K and GB rates are low, but a 4 to 1 K/BB rate is worth a look. Could be a WHIP darling and cheap source of wins. You could do worse than an entire staff of Josh Tomlins.
2. Jason Vargas, SEA – Although last season’s splits don’t support it, you like him at home. Trust me.
3. Edwin Jackson, STL – Jackson is poison for your WHIP but if you load up on finesse pitchers you may need someone that’s capable of rearing back and racking up K’s. He’s a valuable piece for the right roster, but don’t overpay.
4. Jair Jurrjens, ATL – 25 starts might be a stretch, as he was incredibly lucky last year, and his GB% and K/BB rate are just barely serviceable. Having said all of that, Jurrjens has a history of out-pitching his sabermetrics and other owners may be ready to give up. A great buy if he goes into freefall.
5. Vance Worley, PHL – 8+ K/9 and 2.6 K/BB rate are the positives. His GB% has something to be desired and FIP and xFIP say he may have been a tad lucky in 2011 but the skill set is stable enough and will project well across 200 innings.
6. Wade Davis, TB – Skills were flat from 2010 to 2011 and there is a lot not to like about the AL East. Nothing fancy with the stats here – just trust that the Rays know what they’re doing with their pitching and buy the pedigree if he comes at a discount.
7. Carlos Zambrano, CHC – It looks like Big Z may be nearing the end of the line which will keep his price to a minimum. Dude knows how to pitch as he’s always mixed four pitches. He through a cutter 20% of the time last season and one could see a resurgence if he masters that pitch. An end game speculative pick, but not a complete guess.
8. Jeremy Guthrie, BAL – He looks good for 200 innings and if he can get his control in line with his better seasons could push 2.5 K/BB. The move to Colorado will not be pleasant.