Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It's almost Memorial Day which means we're already more than a quarter of the way through the 2010 baseball season. My, how time flies when you're having fun. Or in the case of the top-10 pitchers on Draft Day...not having so much fun.
It's enough to make you wish you hadn't paid such a high price for your "star pitcher."
Sure, Tim Lincecum, the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner still hasn't lost a game and Roy Halladay despite losing his last two outings is still 6-3 with an ERA of 2.22 and a solid 1.10 WHIP, but a majority of the top-10 preseason pitching choices are putting up less than satisfactory statistics.
Zack Greinke (ADP 30), Felix Hernandez (ADP 32), C.C. Sabathia (ADP 40), Dan Haren (ADP 54), Cliff Lee (ADP 58) and Yovani Gallardo (ADP 81)...60% of the top-10, currently rank 74th-or-lower among pitchers and 166th-or-lower overall.
Greinke is in a tough situation because he plays for a team with very little offense. So despite an okay 3.57 ERA and 1.16 WHIP, he's a disappointing 1-5 in 10 starts. Of significance is his strikeout-to-innings pitched ratio which is down from 9.50 to 7.29 per-nine-innings this season. It also doesn't bode well that over his career, June and July are traditionally his worse months (June - ERA 5.25, WHIP 1.347, July - ERA 5.05, WHIP 1.504). If you could get a fair price for Greinke, I'd consider making the deal because by the time he begins helping you again in August, you might already be out of contention.
"King Felix" is just as bad as Greinke as is his supporting cast in Seattle. In particular, his WHIP is through the roof, an ugly 1.42 vs. 1.14 last season. And with the Mariners' offense, or lack there of (30th in runs scored with just 158 in 45 games), if you give up 3.80 runs-per-game as Hernandez is, you will have a losing record, which he does. He's healthy, which means he's worth keeping and hoping that the Seattle offense can find its way back home.
A 4-3 record, with the New York Yankees offense behind him, should be embarrassing for Sabathia. So should his 5.96 ERA and 1.50 WHIP over his last four starts. But we all know that C.C. starts slow and there is no reason to panic here. He'll still finish the year with 17-19 wins, so just take a deep breath and keep sticking him out there every fifth day.
Not so with Haren. The other day I read where he "limited the Blue Jays to nine hits and four runs over eight innings." That's scary when you are happy that your pitcher gave up four runs. For the season, however, his ERA is a disappointing 4.79 and his WHIP an equally unimpressive 1.34. Haren's strikeout ratio is slightly higher than last season, but his walk ratio has jumped dramatically. At least he's got a winning record, but you can thank the Diamondbacks offense for that, they are third best in all of baseball with 242 runs scored.
Lee, didn't start his season on time due to injury and suspension, but he's got the same problem that Hernandez has - lack of support. Despite solid numbers (ERA 3.44, WHIP 1.04), he's just 2-2 because the team scored less than four runs in three of his five starts. If you are lucky, the Mariners will remain bad and management will trade Lee (free agent at season's end) before the July deadline.
The problem with Gallardo isn't so much he's pitching badly, at least not compared to last season, it's just that expectations are too high. Gallardo has always had a high WHIP and an average ERA, but people are expecting him to become a superstar pitcher because of his strikeout ability. And while he's striking out batters at a rate of 10.07-per-nine-innings, he's not a top-10 pitcher...yet.
By the way, the top pitcher in fantasy baseball so far this season is Ubaldo Jimenez (8-1, ERA 0.99, WHIP 0.93), who you could have had cheaper than any of the pitchers previously mentioned. His preseason ADP was 83.
Other top-10 performers on the mound through May 26th, include; Matt Garza (ADP 130), David Price (ADP 203), Shaun Marcum (ADP 366) and Jaime Garcia (ADP 374).
Makes you wonder why you drafted your guys so high doesn't it?