I love this one, it’s fraught with questions, like who will even be the Yankees’ fifth starter. You know and I know that starters are typically more valuable than relievers and this is no different for fantasy. For example, why are the first pitchers off the board starters? Because they pitch more innings and impact ratios, wins, Ks in a more meaningful way.
So, who will start in the Bronx? Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes?
Chamberlain has 221.2 IPs as a starter. In those IPs, he has a 4.18 ERA and 1.48 WHIP. In his 60 relief innings, Chamberlain has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Somewhat surprising, Chamberlain’s BAbip as a starter is .322, while his as a reliever is .278. It is not uncommon for stand-out relievers to have funky BAbips, however starters tend to hover around .300, meaning Chamberlain’s ERA/WHIP should decrease slightly. Chamberlain will be 25 in September.
As a starter, Phil Hughes has a 5.22 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 141 IPs. As a reliever, he has a 1.40 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP in 51.1 IPs. Hughes will be 24 in June.
Clearly both pitchers have fared better as relievers. Clearly they have way more value if they can harness their talent as starters. So who do you pick among these two? I’m going Phil Hughes, mostly on pure speculation. Hughes hasn’t had the roller coaster media ride that Chamberlain has experienced. It seems the Yankee community would like to see Chamberlain as the heir apparent. This would pave the room for Hughes, the starter, which would make him more valuable. He’s also a tick younger.
David Price and Matt Wieters didn’t really show why they were trendy sleeper picks. Price only got 128.1 IPs under his belt in 2009. He also posted a non-earth shattering line: 4.42 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 102 Ks (7.2 Ks/9). Price, while he hasn’t been on the scene as long, is sandwiched between Chamberlain and Hughes when it comes to age. Regardless, I’m keeping Price. He had a better year more recently (even though his BAbip (.271) did him a few favors). The main thing is that the Rays clearly want Price to start. He should be able to do that with a decent K rate well into the future. With young pitchers, it’s all about opportunity, and the Price is right! (You couldn’t stop me).
Keep: David Price
Trade: Phil Hughes
Drop: Joba Chamberlain
Reading this column guarantees that you will achieve fabulous wealth and success in your fantasy baseball league. That’s right, you guessed it: it’s time to debate Keep Trade or Drop (KTD).
While there are tons of player rankings available, they are all for 2010 and nothing more. So, if you are drafting in a start-up keeper league, how do you decide who to take? For example, if they’re both on the board, do you go for tried and true Carl Crawford, or do you roll the dice (but only barely) and select the slightly less proven Justin Upton. Read enough of these columns and you might just get your answer.
The KTD series focuses solely on giving keeper league advice. It poses the question: if you are in a keeper league, which player would you rather keep, which would you rather trade and which would you be forced to drop. Rarely is the decision easy to make, but it might just decide whether you compete and win your championship, not just this year, but for years down the road as well. It will also help you make a snap decision when three similar players are on the board and the clock is ticking.