Daniel Cabrera, SP, Orioles
If I told you there was a pitcher on your waiver wire that has thrown eight straight quality starts, your reaction would probably be some combination of "yeah, right" or "what kind of shoestring league do you think I'm in?"
While Cabrera may not be universally available, he's probably available in most 10-team mixed leagues, and maybe some 12-teamers.
The reason? Trust.
Trusting any fantasy pitcher who entered this year with a 5.19 walk rate (every 9 innings) is like trusting a skinny cook. But maybe, just maybe, Cabrera has figured it out.
Still just 26, Cabrera is working with new pitching coach Rick Kranitz and for the second consecutive game, he's not given up a single free pass. In fact, throw out the 7-walk disaster against the White Sox and you have to go back to his second start of the year that Cabrera's given up more than 3 BB.
At any rate, 24 walks over 67 innings shows Cabrera is serious about not giving his owners WHIP-lash this year. So far, that WHIP sits at 1.17 with a 3.48 ERA. Sure the Orioles are playing over their head, but he should finish with 15 wins.
About the only drawback to Cabrera's new found Glavine-esque control is his strikeouts are down a bit, likely because he's throwing more hittable pitches. But even 130-140 Ks won't hurt you too much and there's a chance Cabrera puts it all together and starts fanning batters without walking them. Simultaneously.
But don't get your hopes up.
Ted Lilly, SP, Cubs
Admit it, you thought 2007 was a fluke for Lilly. That 3.83 ERA and 1.14 WHIP was just too good to be true.
You read about how the wind was actually blowing in more times than blowing out at Wrigley. You know Lilly's a
OK, maybe this isn't you. But this was my rationale to letting him continue to pile up quality numbers the last month, but not pull the trigger.
That all changed for me yesterday, after Jake Peavy hit the DL.
Only two starting pitchers (Edinson Volquez and C.C. Sabathia) have been more valuable than Lilly in the past month, according to Yahoo. And that includes Cole Hamels, Tim Lincecum and Brandon Webb.
Don't catch the wrong drift. There's a reason Lilly's still on your wire (if he is). He traditionally gives up a lot of taters. But after back-to-back homer-less outings and four of the last six, Lilly is showing improvement in that department. The walks are down (19 in 56 IP) and the Ks are up (56).
Count on an ERA around 4 the rest of the way and a 1.25 WHIP. But with the Cubs dominant 1-2 punch of Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood, this 5-4 pitcher could threaten 20 wins, if everything broke right.
Regardless, his 170 Ks will fit nicely on any mixed-league roster.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008