Wednesday, July 9, 2008

10 First Half Surprise Achievers (Pitchers)

"...and proud we are of all of them."

Edinson Volquez
– SP – Cincinnati Reds – 11 W, 2.36 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 116 K – It's really amazing that this kid has been so good that most Reds fans don't really miss Josh Hamilton. Having said that, he's going to hit a cold streak so if you can get proven, top-tier talent in return, you should probably consider doing the deal. I traded Volquez and Carlos Guillen for A-Rod in a keeper league and have had private moments of wailing and gnashing of teeth, but that's the type of player you'd have to get if you move Voltron.

Cliff Lee – SP – Cleveland Indians – 11 W, 2.43 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 99 K – Cliff Lee has been a revelation this year. His stuff looks fantastic, and from a roto standpoint, he's had one of those first halves that can carry an entire fantasy pitching staff in ERA and WHIP. My instinct says there is no way he can have a similar second half, but I'd probably hold on to him and ride him out as long as possible.

Ervin Santana – SP – Los Angeles Angels – 10 W, 3.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 112 K– This guy was written off by everyone as a home spot starter, and understandably so, but he seems to have gotten things straightened out after a stint in triple-A last year. He's always had the stuff, but it seems he's finally put it all together.

Joe Saunders – SP – Los Angeles Angels – 12 W, 3.07 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 63 K – The guy who was fighting out E. Santana for the 5th starter job in spring training leads the majors in W's. The bad news: only 58 K's does not portend good things for the 2nd half.

Ryan Dempster – SP – Chicago Cubs – 10 W, 3.13 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 98 K – Moving from reliever to starter is hard. Just ask Danny Graves. Or Joba Chamberlain for that matter. But Dempster is making his organization look brilliant for making the move.

George Sherrill – RP – Baltimore Orioles – 2 W, 27 SV, 3.72 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 27 K – At least Bedard was worth it, eh Mariners?

Joakim Soria – RP – Kansas City Royals – 1 W, 23 SV, 1.58 ERA, .75 WHIP, 44 K – In addition to the 23 saves, he gives you a great ERA and wonderful WHIP with solid strikeouts. And as a bonus you don't need antacid when watching him close out games. He's the anti-Todd Jones.

Brad Lidge – RP – Philadelphia Phillies – 2 W, 19 SV, .97 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 49 K – Of course the one year I don't gamble by drafting him as my first closer he turns into Goose Gossage. Thanks for nothing, a-hole.

Justin Duchscherer
– SP – Oakland Athletics – 10 W, 1.78 ERA, .86 WHIP, 63 K – See: Dempster, Ryan. But add more awesomeness.

Aaron Cook – SP – Colorado Rockies – 11 W, 3.66 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 64 K – Gentleman: I give ownable Rockies pitcher. Shhhh! Don't tap on the glass, you'll spook him.

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