Well here it is the last leg of Spring Training, which means the focus will slowly start to shift towards players and away from drafting.
And what better way to kick things off than to focus on a couple of key pitchers who are extremely hot right now, and pitchers who are flopping around more than a fish out of sea.
Pitching is always a hot topic around this point in the year, and there's plenty of guys out there making headlines that could either impact your team positively or negatively, so let’s get started right away.
The Five Studs:
Tim Hudson – Braves: Hudson is having the Spring Training of his life right now, and I bet Bobby Cox couldn’t be happier. Through 20 innings Hudson has amassed a 1.35 ERA with an astonishing 17/3 K/BB ratio. Keep in mind that two of the teams that he has scorched are the Phillies and the Cardinals.
Kevin Slowey – Twins: I am real high on Slowey this year, and right before his season ending injury in 2009, he was beginning to show signs of becoming a Fantasy elite. So it comes as no surprised that he is one, if not the, most dominate pitchers in Spring Training this year. Slowey currently is boasting an anemic 0.56 ERA with a 15/3 K/BB ratio; perhaps those screws in his wrist aren’t that much of a problem after all.
Roy Halladay – Phillies: It should come as no surprise finding Halladay on this list, but it is very noteworthy to mention his 0.90 ERA, and the fact that his command looks sharp as a tack. He will be everything Philadelphia, and Fantasy owners, expected him to be in 2010.
Jorge De La Rosa – Rockies: De La Rosa is a curious case in the sense that, in 2009 he garnered a lot of strikes (193), but left owners feeling flat on him with his bloated 4.38 ERA. Well this spring has been very good to him so far as he is sitting on a 1.83 ERA in just around 20 innings. This is great news to anyone looking to draft him.
Ryan Dempster – Cubs: Dempster is ready to assume a bigger slice of responsibility with Lilly being out until late April, and it shows in his progress in Spring Training. Currently, the weird windup wonderboy is boasting a 2-0 record with a 1.69 ERA and a 20/6 K/BB ratio making him a very underappreciated pitcher, regardless of what format you play in.
The Five Duds:
Carlos Carrasco – Indians: Carrasco was beginning to look like a guy that most could consider a sleeper pitcher within the Indians’ organization after two solid outings against the Brewers and Rockies, but in a whole, his true colors are starting to shine through. Through Spring Training thus far, Carrasco is dealing with a horrible 4.60 ERA alongside the same command issues he dealt with in 2009. He will get you strikes, but at this rate, it is safer to avoid him altogether.
Ervin Santana – Angels: We’ll make this short and sweet: The guy can’t stay healthy; he had a short stint as a possible fantasy great, and he is nowhere ready to have anyone believe he is ready to dominate in 2010.
Luke Hochevar – Royals: The former first round draft pick isn’t exactly setting the world on fire, and at this point there isn’t even a guarantee he will make the Starting Rotation. And don’t read too much into a nice looking 1.63 ERA, he still gives up way too many homeruns and is a very hittable pitcher.
Chad Gaudin – A’s: Yes, the A’s for those of you who did not yet hear the news. The Mariners are in a bit of a panic over Cliff Lee’s abdominal injury, so they went out and got themselves some insurance. The trouble is Gaudin has had one of the worst mentionable ST of any pitcher, posting a horrid 4.64 ERA with an equally forgettable 1.51 WHIP in addition to allowing 11 runs before getting cut by the Yankees.
Mike Pelfrey – Mets: Pelfrey is done, put a fork in him. Not like the Mets pitching staff is going to do much of anything this year, but Pelfrey is currently trying to navigate through his embarrassing 7.97 ERA.
But that’s not all.
Pelfrey has also given up 34 hits in just over 20 innings pitched, and in his last outing against the Cardinals, he yielded 6 runs, and three homeruns in less than 6 IP. He isn’t worth a look in any league whatsoever.