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Saturday, February 15, 2014

2014 FANTASY BASEBALL ISSUES: DURABLITY COUNTS AMONG STARTING PITCHERS

With drafts now fully underway and spring training camps open, it is time to remember some themes before you select your roster.  As I have said countless times, drafting starting pitching is always dangerous as the rate of injury is as high here as any position in the game.  So with that in mind I thought it would be a good idea to share with your some of the more durable pitchers in baseball which should help break some ties if you are deciding between one of these guys and another comparable choice.  Here is the list with consecutive starts number to the right.

1.  Justin Verlander-101
2.  C.J. Wilson-101
3.  James Shields-100
4.  R.A. Dickey-99
5.  Clayton Kershaw-99
6.  Tim Lincecum-98
7.  Yovani Gallardo-97
8.  Felix Hernandez-97
9.  Ian Kennedy-97
10. Hiroki Kuroda-97
11. Jon Lester-97
12. Ricky Nolasco-97
13. Max Scherzer-97

A couple of things on the list above.  Some big time names here include Verlander, Scherzer, Hernandez, and Kershaw who will all be drafted in the first three rounds,  That is unless Verlander has to start the year briefly on the DL while recovering from abdominal surgery.  Seeing Kershaw there should make it more easy to draft him at the end of Round 1 if you so desire.  He had a hip scare last season but nothing came of that.  Scherzer meanwhile went past 200 innings for the first time in 2013 and has a history of elbow trouble which is somewhat worrisome but he showed no signs of tiring last season.  Hernandez meanwhile is as dependable a starter as one could get.  He lost some ticks on his fastball last season but he also upped his K rate so nothing to see there. 

Moving through the rest of the list, Shields is like Hernandes as far as dependability and results but to a bit of a lesser extent with the ERA and WHIP.  Gallardo looks shot after all those heavy inning seasons as his fastball lost more than a few ticks last season and he got ripped.  Lincecum goes into that grouping as well as he has put up two ugly seasons in a row off his own heavy usage and loss of velocity at a young age.  Wilson meanwhile has a rubber arm and has shown no problems yet.  Lester has lost zip as well but he came back well enough in 2013 off his horrific 2012.  Dickey is a knuckleballer so nothing to see there and Nolasco is not someone you want to own as anything more than an SP 5.  Lastly we have Kuroda who is a terrific SP 4 as a guy you know will always be out there. 

As always store this information away so that you can continue to stay ahead of the game when it comes to managing risk and potentially volatile players.

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