Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Fantasy baseball talk: Roy Oswalt
By Richard Durrett
Eric Karabell, one of ESPN.com's fantasy baseball experts, wrote about Roy Oswalt in one of his recent posts (insider). He said where Oswalt goes might not impact Oswalt as much (since the teams mentioned are all contenders), but it might impact other positions. Here's part of Karabell's entry:
I can't tell you Oswalt definitively will make 30 starts for whatever team he settles on for what figures to be a short-term contract. I can't tell you his ERA, WHIP and strikeout rate will bounce back to pre-2011 rates. However, I think he's certainly worth the risk in real life on a one-year deal as a No. 3 or 4 starter, and, for fantasy leaguers in standard (10-team) formats, I'd draft him among the top 50 starting pitchers. Then again, I might draft just one starting pitcher in the first 10 or 12 rounds, so he'd be the type of guy I'd be looking for in the second half of a draft. To me, Oswalt represents a good risk; from top 20 starting pitcher on draft day to potentially undrafted seems a bit crazy, even for a guy with a back injury. The skills are still there, and he's a proven commodity, and, unless something odd occurs, he'll be with a good team, which only helps his value.
You can read the whole blog entry here.
I think what's more interesting is the team that makes the move for Oswalt because it's going to push someone on the fantasy radar out the door. Consider the Rangers, for example. Now that Yu Darvish is aboard, the team would have six viable starters in Oswalt, former closer Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, Darvish and Matt Harrison. Although the team seems to be committed to giving Feliz a chance as a starter, there's always the possibility he could be sent back to the bullpen, where former awesome Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan is the new guy and Mike Adams is the wise handcuff. Well, that would affect fantasy! More than likely, the team would put Harrison in the bullpen, stunting a good young starter's growth.
The Cardinals would push Jake Westbrook or perhaps Kyle Lohse to the bullpen. Lohse is no star, but he led the World Series champions in wins and ERA in 2011. That's right, it wasn't Chris Carpenter or Jaime Garcia. There's value there. The Tigers likely would demote top prospect Jacob Turner, a 6-foot-5 fireballer I like more than Rick Porcello statistically, to make room for Oswalt. Dynasty leaguers wouldn't be pleased.