If you do have a reserve list, this also matters, particularly if you have a limited number of reserve slots. By now, you should probably stop hanging on to pitchers in a non-keeper whose stock has fallen far enough where it seems unlikely they'll be called up in 2012.
Today, I'll look at five high profile National League prospect pitchers. Tomorrow, I'll turn my focus to the American League.
Julio Teheran (Braves) AAA 13 GS, 64 1/3 IP, 62 H, 26 BB, 47 K, 9 HR, 3.50 ERA
Teheran's overall numbers look OK, but his performances have been erratic from start to start. His 5.10 FIP is one of the worst in the International League for pitchers with over 40 innings. He is still a work in progress. Long term that's OK; Teheran is 21 years old and is pitching against older competition. But if you're looking for short-term help, I don't think he's a good bet for 2012 at all. Leave Teheran for dynasty/keeper league owners.
Shelby Miller (Cardinals) AAA 14 GS, 66 IP, 82 H, 31 BB, 73 K, 15 HR, 6.00 ERA
If you could have devised a worst-case scenario season for Miller, I don't know if you could have even imagined the numbers above. The knocks on him coming into the season were the need for refinement on his secondary pitches and a penchant for leaving his fastball up in the zone. I can't comment on what's happening with Miller's secondary offerings, but that super high HR/IP rate makes me think that he's leaving the ball up quite a bit. The PCL is a hitters' league, but Memphis is a neutral home venue for the circuit. Like Teheran, Miller is young enough that his numbers shouldn’t alarm us long term, but this makes me think he won't be called up this year. Drop him in non-keeper formats with limited reserve slots.
Drew Pomeranz (Rockies) AAA 9 GS, 46 2/3 IP, 52 H, 20 BB, 46 K, 2 HR, 2.51 ERA
Pomeranz struggled in the Majors earlier this year with the Rockies, but has been dominant in nine starts at AAA and could be returning to the Rockies staff later this week to replace the recently demoted Alex White. I like tracking guys like Pomeranz in weaker/shallower leagues where owners get impatient and drop a young gun at the first sign of failure. Pomeranz's problems were mostly with command. He hasn't improved his walk rate as much as I'd like, but it's better and he might put up a 4 ERA with the Rockies this time around. That doesn't sound great, but in a deeper league Pomeranz is definitely worth the gamble if he's available.
UPDATE: It sounds like Edwar Cabrera - and not Pomeranz - will be getting the call on Thursday against the Nationals.
Tyler Skaggs (Diamondbacks) AA 13 GS, 69 2/3 IP, 63 H, 21 BB. 71 K, 8 HR, 2.84 ERA
There are a small handful of prospect watchers who think that Skaggs could ultimately surpass Bauer and become the better prospect. He isn't there yet, though, which explains the lower ranking. His curve is one of the best in the minor leagues, while his fastball needs some refinement and his change needs a lot of refinement. Skaggs raw stuff is already good enough for him to continue dominating in the minors, this year at AA. I doubt he'll make it up this year, but a promotion to AAA could be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks. Keep an eye on Skaggs. If you're playing in a keeper league, Skaggs is a worthy target. He'll be up at some point in 2013. It's worth noting that while Skaggs' home park in Mobile isn't a particularly hitter friendly park, it is a HR happy park. That HR/IP rate doesn't concern me as much as it would in another venue.
Zack Wheeler (Mets) AA 13 GS, 78 2/3 IP, 51 H, 32 BB, 77 K, 1 HR, 2.29 ERA
There are some more impressive names ahead of Wheeler on the prospect lists, but I'm including him here because it's possible that he gets promoted before some of those bigger names like Jameson Taillon (still in High A) or Gerrit Cole (in AA, but just promoted there and very young). Wheeler has passed the AA test with flying colors and the question to me now isn't whether or not he'll make it but whether he'll be an ace or "only a #2-3 starter. Would the Mets call up Wheeler this year? I really doubt it, but Chris Young shouldn't be viewed as a significant obstacle to Wheeler's future. Wheeler is worth monitoring.