May Starter RankingsMonday, May 05, 2014
Welcome to the May starter rankings. As always, players are ranked based on how I believe they will perform in 5x5 scoring over the rest of the season. Included along with the position rankings is an updated top 300 list.
Click to see other May rankings:
Top 300 | SP | RP | OF | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | C | DH
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Starting pitcher rankings
Dropping off: Matt Moore (49th), A.J. Griffin (59th), Ivan Nova (75th), Josh Johnson (78th), Carlos Carrasco (102nd), Tanner Scheppers (114th), Taylor Jordan (120th), Jeff Locke (121st), Erik Johnson (124th), Randall Delgado (129th), Brandon Morrow (133rd), Wandy Rodriguez (136th), Alexi Ogando (138th), Jake Odorizzi (140th)
- Starters in the middle of the rankings who would be higher if not for the injury risk include Kazmir, McCarthy and Niese. I’d also have Burnett a bit higher if not the hernia.
- Martin Perez has ridden his changeup to two early shutouts, but not to the top of the rankings here. For one thing, his velocity is way down this year, and while part of that appears to be a conscious effort to induce sinking action, he’s getting fewer swings and misses and strikeouts. It’s obviously working for him so far, but it’s not going to be easy for him to remain successful for the long haul while striking out 5.5 batters per nine innings.
- Straily and Milone were both on my buy list this spring, but neither has shown the kind of stuff each possessed in past years. Straily’s average fastball has come in at 88.3 mph, down from 91.3 in 2012 and 90.3 last year, according to Fangraphs data. Milone has always been a soft-tosser, but he’s at 86.2 right now, down from 87.7 in 2012 and 87.2 last year. Velocity can pick up as the year goes on, so I haven’t completely written off either. However, they are among the biggest tumblers in this month’s rankings. Pomeranz is the new big-time sleeper; he might get a chance to replace Milone before long.
- Padres prospect Matt Wisler and Tigers prospect Robbie Ray were the most difficult cuts from the top 150. Wisler, who was just promoted from Double- to Triple-A, looks like he could be a threat to replace Stults in the San Diego rotation next month. Ray will make his major league debut this week in Anibal Sanchez’s place, but it figures to be a short-term stay this time around.