(SP) SP Roy Halladay (SP)If your SP show up, I'd like your odds to do something good with this team too. It seems pretty balanced. You can find some average on the waiver wire anyway if it came down to it. I'd be down for the RCL too.
(SP) SP Francisco Liriano (SP)
(SP) SP Adam Wainwright (SP)
(SP) SP Max Scherzer (SP, RP)
(SP) SP Kyle Lohse (SP)
(SP, RP) SP / RP Bobby Jenks (RP)
(RP) RP Joey Devine (RP)
(RP) RP Huston Street (RP)
(Bench) DH/Util Chris Carpenter (SP)
You've got a tremendous power lineup, but I'm not so sure about this pitching staff. Starting with the starters, save for Halladay, everyone is a risk of some sort except Lohse who is a pretty vanilla back-end guy.
Liriano: we know he has the ability to look like mini Johan, but we also know that he might have lost velocity and the nasty bite to his slider and change given his injury and his new motion. Liriano is pitching winter ball in the Dominican (20 innings and increasing to no more than 75 pitches per outing) in preparation for the WBC. If and when he does pitch for the DR in the WBC, we'll get a feel for his velocity and control. 'Perts says it takes two years to rebound completely from TJ surgery. So 2009 would be the year. I think if he gets off to a slow start, you have to bench him or look elsewhere. Right now, I think he's at best a #3 with a hope that he outperforms and becomes a #2.
Wainwright: if he can stay healthy (out 6/7 to 8/22 with a finger sprain), he could be a #2-type guy. He's got solid K/BB and HR/9 rates. A guy his size (6'7) should get great velocity and tilt out of a natural throwing motion, so it may be safe to say that last year's injury was an anomaly. Besides, you have to love a pitcher who hit a HR in the first AB of his career on the first pitch he saw.
Scherzer: is he the left coast Joba? In my mind, they are both pretty similar pitchers with similar stuff. Scherzer worries me because he is a max-effort pitcher who suffered from a dead shoulder last year. He is supposedly back and working on building up that arm strength for '09 to replace the Unit/DDavis in the staff, but I think this Scherzer gets put back in the pen at the hint of a strained throwing arm. Drafting based upon upside here is strong -- I mean, how many guys in the NL throw 95+ -- but he also could only give you 75 innings this year and only get you wet for 2010.
Lohse: admittedly, I don't know much about his pitching style, but his numbers indicate that he's a solid back of my rotation guy. I just can't understand from the numbers how he got to 15-6 last season. On LAD -- a team with an essentially identical record as STL -- Kuroda's line of 183 IP 116/42, 1.22 WHIP, .287 BABIP earned him a 7-5 record. Lohse was 15-6 with 200 IP, 119/49, 1.3 WHIP, and .302 BABIP.
Carpenter: Great pick. It was the one guy that seemingly everyone forgot about -- but you. The problem is that you now own 3/5 of the Cards' rotation. That's just too much for me to stomach on a team in the NL central that will likely clock in around 85 wins.