Wednesday, September 22, 2010

2010 A.L. Pitcher Busts: Non Top-10

The Top 10 A.L. pitcher bust list - which I'll probably roll out sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas - has a number of high profile pitchers on it who were very expensive and didn't pan out.

This list below has more of those names where your reaction is, "oh yeah, that guy."

2010 11th-20th Biggest Losses, A.L. Pitchers (as of 9/19)

11Scott Feldman-$4$6-10

12John Lackey$5$15-10

13Gil Meche-$6$4-10

14Chris Tillman-$5$5-9

15James Shields$8$17-8

16Mark Rzepczynski-$4$4-8

17David Huff-$7$0-8

18Ian Snell-$6$1-8

19Ben Sheets$3$10-8

20Frank Francisco$7$15-7




It seems like only yesterday that we had double-digit expectations for Ben Sheets, were excited by Chris Tillman's potential, and even (gasp) thought that Gil Meche had enough of a shot to rebound that he was worth a $4 average bid.

Naturally, this is a completely mean-spirited and unfair way to look at this list. Sheets' price is the only price that may have been out of line. The rest of these prices look sensible to me and - in fact - may have been on the conservative side. As I always say, the market has to spend its money somewhere, and looking at this small sample, it is hard to see where the market intended to spend their dough.

Assuming, for the sake of argument, that this was your pitching staff heading into 2010 (minus, let's say, David Huff), you probably thought you weren't in terrible shape. Seventy-seven dollars for eight starting pitchers plus a closer in Francisco looked OK. You hope one of Shields and Lackey pitch like an ace, hope that Feldman earns $10-12, and that Sheets is OK. There is certainly a lot of risk in this staff, but...

There's the rub. Chances are that no owner put this much risk at the bottom of his staff. Seventy-seven bucks is in the ballpark when it comes to dollar allocation, but this probably isn't the way you wanted to spend that money.

I don't address this much either, but chances are good that owners who bought Huff or Snell either had a quick hook or a reserve list to stash these guys. Someone might have carried all of Snell's bad outings. I doubt that someone carried Huff all the way through.

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