How does one handicap this remade rotation?
Cy Young come out to Morrow?
To put things in perspective, the team's No. 1 starter last year, Ricky Romero, is expected to bring up the rear of the rotation this season. Folks will probably be incredibly turned off by his 5.77 ERA, 6.17 K/9, 5.22 BB/9 and 1.67 WHIP. The southpaw underwent arthroscopic surgery on his pitching elbow following the season. Poor health was likely a big reason for his disastrous 2012, and even if he doesn't rebound, the risk is low.
New ace R.A. Dickey was outstanding in two of three interleague starts last season, all of them against AL East foes. The innovative knuckleballer may not put together quite the kind of campaign that he did in 2012, but he's clearly proven that his baseline has hit a new plane, and his age (38) is of less consequence because of his unique arsenal.
Josh Johnson's injury history and drop-off in statistical output for the past couple of years have placed him outside the realm of fantasy aces. The Jays seemed to be unfazed in their pursuit as part of their mega-super-blockbuster with the Miami Marlins, and it should prompt one to wonder why, though. The organization does its homework. Johnson has modified his repertoire, approach and workout regimen in order to preserve his health, and although the results haven't yielded Cy Young Awards yet, his continued dedication could lead to a greater yield in his age-29 season.
Mark Buehrle is just Mr. Reliable. Mark down 200 innings pitched, an ERA of around 4.00 and a strikeout total that should piss off his would-be mixed league owners. His move back to the AL after a brief hiatus means that he's unlikely to be an asset in categories besides, potentially, W's and ERA.
And then there's perennial breakthrough candidate Brandon Morrow. Hidden beneath the time he's missed and his reduced K/9 from last season is the progress of a pitcher who's learned to become much more efficient by pitching to contact. As long as no one forces an owner to pay for the ace-like potential Morrow holds, he should be worth the investment.
What happened to the cinch that was supposed to be Brett Lawrie?
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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