Early in the season, the default excuse for slow-starting hitters, used by apologetic club announcers and baseball pundits is, “the pitchers are ahead of the hitters right now.” And that’s fine, but stale platitudes do nothing to meliorate the condition of the anxious fantasy owner as he watches his team go five-for-41 on the daily. This should be a good time of the year to be a pitcher. I even had my spambot generate a mass email to every Major League pitchers’ inbox reminding them of such.
These guys had their filters on.
Francisco Liriano- I just checked, and Liriano is owned in 22% of Y! public leagues. If you drafted him hoping that he would return to his 2010 form, I’m not saying you’re a Polyanna, but you’re really into hanging prisms. How a player managed to pitch markedly better in the old Homerdome than he has in the most pitcher-friendly park in the AL is beyond me. Wait, no it isn’t! By far, Liriano’s best years were 2006 and 2010, when he went a combined 26-13. During those years his average GB% was 54.5. Take away those two seasons and his career GB% is 43.2. That’s just one example, but if you look at his K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 from the same seasons, they too were far superior than his career marks. Liriano has a low-90s fastball, but he has had his best success when he relies more on his slider, something he’s gotten away from. He’s a very average pitcher who has at times managed to parlay his talent into sporadic Major League success. There are plenty of other, non-ERA assassins, even in deeper leagues.