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Underperforming arms
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Masahiro Tanaka (Yahoo ADP 117) has been everything the Yankees and fantasy owners could have hoped for.

The same can be said for Chris Sale, Yu Darvish, David Price, Adam Wainwright and Jose Fernandez. They were expected to pitch well and early on they have.

But at the other end of the spectrum, there are a number of well-known, big named, high-priced pitchers who aren't performing up to expectations.

And the list doesn't include all the star pitchers sidelined by injuries: Clayton Kershaw, Mat Latos, Alex Cobb, Cole Hamels, Mike Minor, Matt Moore, Hisashi Iwakuma to name just a few.

The pitchers listed below, all with Yahoo ADP numbers below 100, have been healthy and in the starting rotation and simply haven't performed.

Fantasy owners need to determine if their struggles will continue (in which case they should try to trade them) or if they can turn it around and we just need to be more patient.

Stephen Stasburg, Washington (Yahoo preseason ADP 23, current rank 845) - Strasburg has an unheard-for-him 6.00 ERA and 1.571 WHIP. This from a flamethrower with a career 3.10 ERA and 1.096 WHIP. And its not like he's faced juggernaut offenses. He's started four games, two against Miami, one each against Atlanta and the Mets. he's still putting up the strikeouts and his strikeout-to-walk ratio is 3.6-1, but he's giving up too many hits. Strasburg's career record is under .500 for April (4-6), so we're willing to wait for better times ahead.

Justin Verlander, Detroit (ADP 37, current rank 263) - Verlander has a solid ERA and WHIP, but what has us worried is his strikeout total. We're getting just 5.6 per nine innings from a pitcher with a career 8.5 average. He had offseason core muscle repair surgery, but pitched well in spring training. From fangraphs.com we note he's throwing the lowest percentage of fastballs since he came into the league (52.9 percent) and his velocity is just 93.4 mph even on the four-seamer. He whiffed eight Padres on Saturday, but San Diego has the worst offense in the majors (2.93 runs per game). We don't recommend a trade, just yet, but your finger should be on the trigger.

Matt Cain, San Francisco (ADP 76, current rank 772) - We were hoping last year's performance was just a one-season thing that we could shrug off as a fluke, but he's started off 2014 like he finished 2013. Through three starts he's 0-2 with a 4.00 ERA and 1.222 WHIP. Fantasy owners who drafted him in the sixth round want the guy who averaged 14-9 with a 2.93 ERA and 1.096 WHIP from 2009-12. He's got very little trade value based on the past year and three starts, so hold him until such time that you can get fair market value. Then send him packing.

Shelby Miller, St. Louis (ADP 88, current rank 808) - Miller announced his presence last May off a 13-strikeout, one-hit shutout against Colorado and went on to finish his first season with a 15-9 record, 3.06 ERA and 1.206 WHIP. At the draft, fantasy owners were hoping he would build on a successful first season, but that hasn't happened yet. His first two outings yielded two losses and a high ERA (6.35). The good news is he dominated the hot Milwaukee Brewers lineup Tuesday and appears to be headed back in the right direction. At 23 years old he's too young and too talented to give up on after a slow start.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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