h2h Corner ~ Keep, Trade or Drop: Wade Davis, Brandon Morrow, Homer Bailey?

Brandon Morrow just ended up on the wrong side of a divisional swap. Trading the West for the East won’t help his ratios. Still, there is a lot of good in Morrow: he wont be 26 until July; he has a career 9.3 K/9 rate in the majors; and he has tasted major league success, albeit as a reliever. However, if you look at his statistics as a starter and reliever they are eerily similar: 4.42 ERA, 1.47 WHIP as a starter, 3.65 ERA and 1.46 WHIP as a reliever. Basically, in his beast season (2008), his BAbip was .207. In 2007 it was .321 and, in 2009, it was .287. Unsurprisingly, Morrow’s career has been a yo-yo, his stats have hit highs and lows, he’s been a reliever, then a starter, then a reliever. One would hope he gets a chance to prepare and be a starter for a full season. Still, at the moment, Morrow is nothing more than a cheap lottery chip.

Homer Bailey has been showing up on a lot of sleeper lists based on the way he finished 2009 (2.08 ERA in 43.1 September/October innings). In addition, on a whole, his 2009 wasn’t unuseful (4.53 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 86 Ks). Nevertheless, his gaudy minor league K/9 rate (9.1) has not made it to the majors (6.1). This number crept up markedly in September/October (8.7), showing that there is some promise there. Bailey’s park and manager will never do him any favors. Still, he won’t be 24 until May, which gives him a lot more rope than Morrow.

Speaking of impressing down the stretch, Wade Davis. When he was called up, Davis pitched 36.1 IPs, posted a 3.72 ERA and 1.27 WHIP and struck out 36 batters. This awesome performance wasn’t altogether surprising, given his minor league track record (3.28 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 8.7 K/9). There is one caveat: his best performances came against the likes of the Orioles, Tigers and Mariners, while he struggled mightily against the Red Sox and Yankees. So let’s not pronounce the 24-year-old to be a giant killer just yet. However, it’s hard not to get excited about his promise

Keep: Wade Davis
Trade: Homer Bailey
Drop: Brandon Morrow

_______________________

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.

If you want other KTDs, please let me know. Also, feel free to share your insights below or at my Twitter (@h2h_corner)/Facebook pages.

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