Monday, February 2, 2009

#4 Starter

I put Pettitte in this spot. They`re going to want to limit Joba's innings so he`ll be the #5 guy. Boston's situation also starts to get a little fuzzy at the back-end. I`m going with Wakefield here though.

Yankees- Andy Pettitte- Even if Any makes his incentives, he could be one of the biggest bargains of the off-season. If he struggles then he`ll only get about 5 million dollars. If he does well it only goes up to 11 which is still a good deal. I`d bet on him having a solid ERA around 4.10 with around 200 innings. Don't count on him having a Mussina type year but he`s still a very solid pitcher without getting paid an exorbitant amount of money.

Red S0x- Tim Wakefield- Wakefield is one of those exceptions to the normal rules of pitching thanks to his knuckleball. Theirs no need to worry about his pitch count, theirs no reason to worry about his age, and their's no reason to worry about his defense independant stats. He`s not great but he's always going to be solid. I`m not going to bother doing his RCA stats because he`s such an exception to the rule. Around a 4.50 ERA in 180 innings is pretty reasonable to expect for him.

Tampa Bay- Andy Sonnanstine- Sonnannstine is the only player who's autograph I have so I`m a little biased towards him. He`s also suffered from an awful BABIP in his first two years in the majors. In his first year, he had a 4.16 RCA in 132 innings. Last year was even better. In 200 innings his RCA was only 4.05. He`ll be 26 next year and could be poised for a big year. He may be one of those rare players who have a higher than average "normal" BABIP. He has fringey stuff and relies mostly on control. For now though, I`ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Conclusion- Tampa Bay- Yankees- Boston- Sonnannstine edged out Pettitte here because he`s entering his peak years and could have a big year. However, Pettitte is also the safer bet. Sonnannstine took a big jump in innings pitched last year and it wouldn't surprise me to see him get hurt. Wake has to be at the back. He`s neither as good as the other two or as much of an innings eater. Boston looks like its going to have a relatively weak rotation.