Give one reason to invest in ... OK, just to investigate this rotation.
OK, here it is: The line to kick the tires on one of these pitchers won't be long, so he should cost you a pittance if you decide to drive one off the lot.
Ubaldo Jimenez: Somewhere, beneath that 5.40 ERA, diminished K/9 (7.28) and skyrocketing BB/9 (4.84), is the talent he put on display with the Colorado Rockies until the second half of his 2010 campaign. Somewhere. Maybe. At least it might be worth a buck (or a handful of them in an AL league) to see.
Justin Masterson: It appears that the 2.71 BB/9 he rocked in 2011 is an outlier. That plus his failure, thus far, to take meaningful steps toward retiring left-handed batters consistently has put hopes that he'll take the next step in peril. They're faint, but they're still alive.
Brett Myers: With a receding K/9, it seems unlikely that this pitcher who served in the bullpen in 2012 will provide anything of mixed-league interest. He's improved his control rate greatly, however, and the move to Progressive Field should help him to avoid such frequent bouts with gopheritis. If you find him in the clearance rack, he may earn you a few bucks.
Zach McAllister: This right-hander's sexy 7.90 K/9 and 2.73 BB/9 seem to belie a 4.24 ERA, but aspiring owners should expect some regression of those figures, or at least the rate of K's. Further, the 25-year-old's stuff is a tad too hittable. He may hit on a sub-4.00 ERA one season soon, but he's probably not a threat to do so repeatedly. He may earn his keep - if he's cheap.
Carlos Carrasco: Soon to be 26, he's the potential jewel of the starting five, in part because he's outside most fantasy owners' periphery. He was on the verge of long-term breakthrough thanks to his growth in 2010 (7.66 K/9, 2.82 BB/9 and 3.83 ERA in 44 2/3 stanzas) and 2011 (6.14 K/9, 2.89 BB/9 and 4.62 ERA in 124 2/3 innings). Most of his 2011 marks were better before his final few outings, after which it was discovered that he needed Tommy John surgery. Here's end-game upside.
Trevor Bauer: He probably receives more attention than any of the hurlers who are already virtually assured of rotation spots for the Indians. He's 22, has yet to overcome control problems and has received criticism for being uncoachable. But he's awfully talented and will probably be the first consideration for an opening in the starting five - if he doesn't screw it up.
If the Tribe hits on more than a couple of these things, with the additions of Nick Swisher and, perhaps, Mark Reynolds and Drew Stubbs, they should contend.
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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