Saturday, May 08, 2010

NL King - Why Your Back-end Starters are so Important

This may sound silly but the hardest thing to do when putting your team together in an NL only league is finding the right back-end starters to round out your roster. Depending upon the makeup of your team, you can go with either five or six starters. In a perfect world you have an ace, two really good starting pitchers and three or four bullpen arms who are strong in ERA, Ratio and K's. That leaves two or three back-end starting pitchers spots to round out your staff. Again, what you're looking for in your depth starters is a starting pitching who can give some wins and K's and give you your leagues average in ERA & Ratio. This way your ERA & Ratio will feed off your top starting pitchers and your strong relievers and put you towards the top in these categories in your league.

Why do I say this is so hard to do? Because there are so many starting pitchers out there who can really hurt your team in either ERA or Ratio or worse both. As I stated in an article, I wrote over the winter how difficult the percentage categories can be especially on the pitching side. Remember you only have nine pitchers to determine your ERA & Ratio and a starting pitcher only pitches once every five days and a good reliever gives you three to four innings a week. So when you fall behind in these categories, it's a very slow hard climb to get back to where you need to be in these categories.

Also, you have a small budget from your draft dollars to land these depth starters or you rely on your league's free agency - waiver wire phase when the season starts. Point being there are not a lot of good depth starters that you can find in the draft cheap and find in either free agency or the waiver wire. However what you must recognize is you cannot continue to go with starters who are beating up your ERA & Ratio. Finding solutions to this problem is hard I agree but you cannot continue to go with guys who have track records of hurting you. Obviously going the trade route is always a good way to go if you can swing a trade.

So keep an eye on your teams ERA & Ratio and how it's doing. If your ERA is off to a bad start because Dan Haren has a 4.50 ERA I wouldn't worry. But if you went with some young guys who are hurting you or if you have gone with some veterans who are up and down in pitching percentage categories then you need to start thinking about solutions.

Quick Hits:
- Kyle Blanks owners I be worried. Blanks is hitting .202 with 35K's in 79 AB's.
- Jair Jurrjens was put on the DL retro-active to last week yesterday. I wouldn't expect to see Jair until Memorial day weekend. Groins & hamstring injuries in most cases for pitchers are a 1 month turn around.
- Good to see Alfonso Soriano hitting HR's but looks like his stolen base days are over.
- Justin Upton, Troy Tulowitzki, Matt Holliday, Jason Bay, Hunter Pence, Aramis Ramirez, Prince Fielder owners relax it's only a matter of time before these guys get on a big hot streak.
- Matt Lindstrom looks great and big reason is just 3 walks in 12 IP.
- If Evan Meek is on your teams waiver wire grab him he could be the Pirates closer of the future
- I be worried about Rafael Furcal stolen bases going forward when he comes off the DL. Last year Furcal only has 12 steals in 18 attempts in 150 games played, which says to me Furcal was being cautious with his body to avoid injury. I would expect the same when he comes off the DL from this latest hamstring injury.

- By the way, you can find great deals on name brand baseball equipment and gear.

NL King - C.Lizza

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