Evidently almost exactly 3 months ago Lobman promised some vague “things” that would be announced “by the weekend”. But like his daughter will soon learn, Lobman is an unreliable deadbeat who can’t be trusted to follow through on the things he says. So we will call those “things” still in Limbo.
MOVING RIGHT ALONG, the year 2016 is now mercilessly behind us. And what a hideous year, perfectly summed up by the fact that Heroy was finally able to get out of his own way long enough to capture his first Backyard Championship. CONGRATS TO HIM AGAIN. And now, I will point out the very obvious weakness with our current defending champion heading into the 2017 season aka THE INAUGURAL DYNASTY SEASON.
The Trout Fishing Club has for years boasted a strong roster, hence the whole “won the championship” thing. But even our league’s best champions of years past are not immune to criticism (except possibly the 3-peat champion 3PO squad that beat this very Heroy back in 2013). In this team’s case, their greatest weakness heading into 2017 is THE HOT GARBAGE PITCHING STAFF.
First there’s the rotation…….yessss the rotation, once anchored by Jose Fernandez…… just realized there is a boating pun in there NOT INTENDED…..but anyways yea he is dead now. Boat related. Cocaine related. A Scarface-ian cautionary tale that has left the OGTFC rotation somewhat BEREFT of talent. Then there’s the bullpen, which to be honest isn’t THAT terrible. But it also isn’t THAT not terrible, and he only has 3 players in it, and fuck him. Let’s go through his entire (current, always time to make a move Gregory 😉 ) pitching staff one by one and point out why they probably suck:
Jose Fernandez – See above (is dead).
Tyler Glasnow – Tyler Glasnow is the first of a repeating theme here, that theme being “young pitcher may put it all together but may also not put it all together.” Nobody has a crystal ball, and fantasy baseball is a lot like gambling in many ways, but at the same time I do in fact own a crystal ball and Glasnow walked about 5 batters per 9 for the entirety of last year (AAA + MLB) so I can tell you for a fact he will not put it all together.
Lucas Giolito – Giolito’s stock plummeted so swiftly within the Nationals organization that it cost him plus Reynaldo Lopez plus the Nats’ 2016 first round pick just to acquire Adam fucking Eaton. NEED I SAY MORE (won’t put it all together).
Julio Teheran – Julio Teheran is a guy that people have been looking to as a guy that can put it all together, and maybe you look at his breakout in 2014 and/or his solid season last year and note that he’s just shy of his 26th birthday and say “HEY that young guy has put it all together.” Well I am here to tell you that he hasn’t. Both of those years he ran an unuuuuuusually low BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play, a measure of how often non-HR batted balls fall for hits) in the .260s. League average these days is about .300, anything lowers tends to be mostly a function of luck maybe a function of a good defense behind you; in 2015, when he ran a BABIP of .288 his ERA snuck back above 4. FURTHERMORE his LOB% (Left on Base %, the percentage of baserunners a pitcher strands over the course of a season) has been a tad high (77% last year, league average is around 70-72% and pitchers above or below that number tend to regress to the mean). Ergo facto Teheran’s mediocre 2016 should regress to the mean a bit in 2017 ergo facto WILL NOT PUT IT ALL TOGETHER (had to really work for that one).
Aaron Sanchez – Sure….SURE everyone thinks he had a great year last year and deserved Cy Young recognition and yadda fucking yadda but RIDDLE ME THIS….if he’s so great why did he spend the majority of 2015 pitching out of the bullpen like some sort of schlub? I will tell you why: because he has not. And will not. Put it all. Together.
Kenta Maeda – Do not eeeeven get me started on this guy. The king of the 5 and a third outing, is what this guy is. And an (allegedly) 28 year old rookie I mean what exactly is that all about?! Fishy. Won’t put it all together.
Michael Wacha – Michael Wacha had a 5.09 ERA last year and it is not my job here to point out reasons why that would be a misleading figure, it is my job here to note that is the ERA of a young man who has not/will not put it all together. THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDIN’.
Gerrit Cole – What makes a great pitcher? Is it things like stats and numbers? Is it the pitcher’s arsenal? His fastball velocity? Pitch movement? Probably maybe it is some of these things, but what really makes a great pitcher is where they choose to slot you into the rotation at the beginning of the season. Gerrit Cole pitched the FIFTH game for the Pirates last year. FRANCISCO LIRIANO PITCHED OPENING DAY. Sounds to me like if a Jeopardy question states “this young Pirates righty obviously has not and shan’t not put it all together” your answer should be “Who is Gerrit Cole.”
Garrett Richards – Had “stem cell treatment” cuz he was too puss to undergo TJ surgery, which I can only imagine will ultimately be a mistake. Don’t count on this fella, OGTFC fans(s)!
Tyson Ross – Don’t count on this fella either! Had that weird thoracic outlet surgery and waited til October to have it, and also probably throws more sliders than the human arm will allow. Which is a shame because I am a fan (not so much of a fan that I would trade anything of value for him HEROY, nobody wants to trade for this guy, please do not send people trade offers with this guy).
Tony Watson – Tony Watson might very well be a serviceable closer for the Pirates, but they also maybe wanted to trade him at some point so MAYBE NOT. I like my closers to K at least 8 per 9 and Tony fails to measure up. Also, amongst pitchers with 15 or more saves last year, only Jake McGee and Tony Cingrani had a worse FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching, FUCKING GOOGLE IT STATS CLASS IS OVER) than Tony’s 4.37. Translation: “Pfft.” And also “MEH.”
Seung Hwan Oh – Ohhhhhh, Oh. He actually had a really good year and I would have a hard time badmouthing him because I am a fan but uhhhh, YOU ARE OLD OH. That should do it.
Francisco Rodriguez – Francisco Rodriguez is even older than Oh and also has the advantage of being far worse as a player. Sure he saved 44 games for the Tigers (DO IT AGAIN YOU WON’T) but he also just barely scraped above 8 Ks per 9 and had an ERA above 3. Who wants an ERA above 3 from a closer. Nobody that’s who.
Fourth Reliever – OH WAIT THE OGTFC DO NOT HAVE A FOURTH RELIEVER AT PRESS TIME.
Sure the OGTFC can hope for young pitchers like Wacha, Giolito, Glasnow, and Cole to make leaps and there’s hope that Aaron Sanchez can build on a surprisingly strong season, but the reality is that this staff has a lot riding on young pitchers “putting it all together” and young pitchers sometimes take fucking forever (or don’t at all) to “put it all together”. But yanno maybe he’s hoping Garrett Richards and Tyson Ross come back right as rain, or maybe he just plans on sweeping hitting cats and catching a few breaks. WHO FUCKING KNOWS. The point is I won’t stand for repeat champions that aren’t Odom/me and thanks to the fragility of life and the volatility of young pitchers it is very possible I won’t have to.