Fantasy: The Innings Count

by on April 30, 2010 · 0 comments

[Ed. note - As someone who admittedly knows very little about succeeding in Fantasy Baseball (just check the PH8 league standings), I reached out to a PH8 reader and fellow blogger to try and add some value to our site re: fantasy updates and opinion - Mark graciously accepted and will be contributing to the site on a semi-regular basis (read: when time allows for him).]

Hello PH8 readers.  I am about to embark on a summer of updating you on fantasy baseball especially as it pertains to the Cardinals.  I have been a PH8 follower myself for over a year now and have my own blog at Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove.  Nick asked if I was interested in coming on the site to talk about fantasy ball and the Cardinals, and I jumped at the opportunity. Finding a more respected fan base in the game than the Cards is impossible to do. Anyway on with the show…

Francisco Liriano has been one of the better stories in fantasy or real baseball this year, but it will be interesting to see what happens with him moving forward. Liriano has thrown 8 innings in his last two starts and in his most recent one his pitch count was 112. Now these innings were dominant and it’s hard to question Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for leaving him there from the standpoint of winning the games he was pitching, but Liriano has never put together a full season in the Majors. His career high for innings in a season was 136.2 which he had last year. The pace that Liriano is on so far this year is to throw 232 innings.

He is a safe bet moving forward to dominate. He has been phenomenal since he was pitching in the Dominican League this past winter. That said, the Twins should and most likely will protect him going forward.  I might rather own a pitcher such as Adam Wainwright or C.C. Sabathia as 2010 continues, for their dependability.

Along the lines of the innings count, there was a recent PH8 article about Jaime Garcia’s brilliance thus far for the Cardinals. Garcia threw only 122 innings combined in 2008 before he had Tommy John surgery. Obviously he threw significantly fewer innings last season. According to the Verducci Effect, the Cardinals are taking a significant risk if they let Garcia pitch any more than 150 innings this season. Even if he goes 150 innings it could be a risk depending on how the individual is responding from start to start. He’s definitely someone to get excited about as a Cardinals fan and should be owned even in shallow mixed leagues at this point, but I would be surprised if he continues to be this valuable moving forward. One of two outcomes will bring his value down. The first is that the Cardinals recognize that he needs to be on stricter inning and pitch counts. The second is that he hits a wall as the wear and tear from a long season and opponents become more familiar with his repertoire. As a fantasy owner who is more impartial to the Cards, I would sell high on this guy.

Find more from Mark at Fantasy Baseball Hot Stove.

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