Every Monday, I will be releasing “The List” where I rank the current value of the Top 100 pitchers in fantasy baseball for the rest of the season. Use these rankings to help understand what to expect from pitchers for the rest of 2016, and as a tool to gauge trade value in your fantasy leagues.
Today is a special edition as we gear up for the season ahead. Rotations have been set, injuries have appeared, and pitchers have given us a variety of performances through March. While there are fewer changes than normal today (as will be the case through the first few editions), there are still notable adjustments to take into account.
Let’s see how the SP landscape has changed:
– Garrett Richards has gotten a small bump since being ranked outside the Top 40. While I’m not a believer that he’ll improve his command enough to fully harness his stellar repertoire, an improved Changeup through Spring Training gives me a little more confidence that he’ll be a provider on fantasy squads.
– I may have been slightly too harsh on Jeff Samardzija during the off-season, though his current rank at #57 is still far from favorable.
– Eduardo Rodriguez’s injury is concerning as instead of simply missing the first turn of the rotation, he’ll now be out until May. The silver lining is that he’ll most likely stick around through the playoffs without an innings limit. I am a bit concerned about the new delay, but there was no damage to his knee, and he has ace like potential when he returns to the hill.
– Jason Hammel hasn’t looked good at all this spring, making me concerned that his second half is spilling over into this year. At this point, there are better upside candidates to go with over the questionable future performances of Hammel.
– Nate Karns and Vincent Velasquez both locked in the fifth spot in their respective rotations, which gives them a decent bump heading into the season. James Paxton, on the other hand, lost that Mariners’ gig and has been sent down to the minors in the meantime. He’ll make a return to The List once he returns to the majors.
– Other pitchers removed from this edition due to their demotions include Tyler Duffey, Erik Johnson, Nick Tropeano, and Henry Owens. The six stud minor league prospects (Berrios, Giolito, etc.) haven’t moved since their impacts once they hit the majors are much bigger than these former crew.
– Daniel Norris and Rich Hill both got the axe as well. Norris suffered from a back injury that will force him to the DL to start the season, while Hill’s ineffectiveness in March gives little faith that the old southpaw will come close to repeating his stellar September.
– Shifting into the Top 100 are players that looked impressive in the spring and secured a rotation spot. Matt Shoemaker won the fifth role in L.A. and while he isn’t a stable commodity, his upside for occasional brilliance is enough for consideration. Matt Moore follows the same line of thinking, but don’t expect the classic Moore from 2012. Alex Wood looks to have improved both his velocity and release point, making him a decent upside play as injuries have allowed him to start for the Dodgers. Aaron Sanchez joins the fray despite his questionable control, and it’s hard not to add Juan Nicasio to the end given his remarkable spring.