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Fantasy Clicks: Red flag alerts for pitchers


Recent Fantasy Clicks 02-15-10: Red Flag Alerts: Pitchers 1-27-10: Red Flag Alerts: Infielders 1-25-10: Championship Sunday Revelations 1-22-10: Playing A Championship Sunday Hunch 1-20-10: Early Mock Draft Madness 1-18-10: Divisional Playoff Revelations 1-15-10: Divisional Playoff Round Clicks 1-13-10: Back In The Baseball Business 1-11-10: Wild Card Revelations 1-06-10: Fantasy Clicks Year-End Spectacular 1-04-10: Wild Card Round Clicks 12-28-09: Week 16 Revelations/Week 17 Clicks 12-23-09: All You Need To Know For Week 16 12-21-09: Week 15 Revelations 12-18-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 15) 12-16-09: Dontcha Hate When That Happens? 12-13-09: Week 14 Revelations 12-11-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 14) 12-09-09: Fantasy Playoff Rules To Live By 12-07-09: Week 13 Revelations 12-04-09: Thursday Night Revelations (Week 13) 12-02-09: The Believers Of Calvinism 11-30-09: Week 12 Revelations 11-27-09: Turkey Day Revelations 11-25-09: All Hail The Perfect Showdown 11-23-09: Week 11 Revelations 11-20-09: Thursday Night Revelations, Week 11 11-18-09: Trade Deadline Rules To Live By 11-16-09: Week 10 Revelations 11-13-09: Thursday Night Revelations, Week 10 11-11-09: The Ballad Of Alex Smith 11-09-09: Week 9 Revelations 11-06-09: The Daffy Dichotomy Of DeAngelo 11-04-09: A Pre-Flight Trade Checklist 11-02-09: Week 8 Revelations 10-30-09: Meet The Avoidables 10-28-09: Rodgers vs. Favre -- A Lambeau Reunion 10-26-09: Week 7 Revelations 10-23-09: Fright ... For Old D.C. 10-21-09: Shoot For The Moon With Brady 10-18-09: Week 6 Revelations 10-16-09: The Pittsburgh Shell Game 10-14-09: The Tailback Honeymoon's Over 9-28-09: Week 3 Revelations

Red Flag Alerts: Pitchers

Zack Greinke: Paul Jasienski/Getty Images

Here's a sure sign that our Clicks vacation has officially ended: It's time to don our Negative Nelly caps and detail a list of statistical anomalies -- or individual red flags from 2009 -- to be cognizant of when evaluating veteran pitchers for 2010:

Starting Pitchers
Zack Greinke: Don't expect ... 242 strikeouts
Bronson Arroyo: Don't expect ... 3.84 ERA
Jorge de la Rosa: Don't expect ... 16 victories
Scott Feldman: Don't expect ... 17 wins
Dan Haren: Don't expect ... 1.00 ERA
J.A. Happ: Don't expect ... 12 victories
Felix Hernandez: Don't expect ... 19 wins (BUT expect greatness in 4 areas)
Jair Jurrjens: Don't expect ... 2.60 ERA
Cliff Lee: Don't expect ... 181 strikeouts
Tim Lincecum: Don't expect ... 1.05 WHIP
Jason Marquis: Don't expect ... 15 victories
Joel Pineiro: Don't expect ... 15 wins (easy call here)
Javier Vazquez: Don't expect ... 1.03 WHIP
Justin Verlander: Don't expect ... 269 strikeouts
Jarrod Washburn: Don't expect ... 3.78 ERA

Relief Pitchers
David Aardsma: Don't expect ... 38 saves
Andrew Bailey: Don't expect ... 0.88 WHIP
Heath Bell: Don't expect ... 42 saves
Ryan Franklin: Don't expect ... 38 saves
Mike Gonzalez: Don't expect ... 5 victories
Trevor Hoffman: Don't expect ... 0.91 WHIP
J.P. Howell: Don't expect ... 17 saves (because of Rafael Soriano)
Brandon Lyon: Don't expect ... 2.86 ERA and 1.11 WHIP
Fernando Rodney: Don't expect ... 37 saves (biggest no-brainer of '10)
George Sherrill: Don't expect ... 21 saves
Huston Street: Don't expect ... 35 saves (double-down on this one)

Mock Draft Madness

I'm just a year-round sucker for a way-too-early mock draft ... with a bunch of random people I've never met. To be fair, though, this unplanned occurrence was spurred on only by the subdued halftime show of Sunday's Daytona 500 broadcast (nothing beats a good sinkhole joke, huh?). Here are the results of the 12-team mock, drawing the 11th pick for Round 1:

Round 1 (No. 11): 1B Ryan Howard, Phillies
Round 2 (No. 14 overall): 3B Evan Longoria, Rays
Round 3: 3B David Wright, Mets
Round 4: OF Grady Sizemore, Indians
Round 5: OF Carl Crawford, Rays
Round 6: OF Josh Hamilton, Rangers
Round 7: OF Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
Round 8: OF Carlos Lee, Astros
Round 9: SP Matt Garza, Rays
Round 10: SP John Lackey, Red Sox
Round 11: OF Torii Hunter, Angels
Round 12: RP Heath Bell, Padres
Round 13: SS Alexei Ramirez, White Sox
Round 14: SS Miguel Tejada, Orioles
Round 15: SP Kevin Slowey, Twins
Round 16: 2B Howie Kendrick, Angels (Casey McGehee -- good Plan B)
Round 17: RP Frank Francisco, Rangers
Round 18: RP/SP Natali Feliz, Rangers
Round 19: OF Dexter Fowler, Rockies
Round 20: C Mike Napoli, Angels
Round 21: SP Ricky Romero, Blue Jays
Round 22: OF/1B Kyle Blanks, Padres

Verdict: David Wright at 35th overall? Grady Sizemore at 38? Ichiro and Carlos Lee plucked from Rounds 7 and 8? The value of this foursome was just too great to pass up, which explains why I didn't grab one pitcher until Round 9 (Garza) ... and why I'd have a realistic shot at winning all five offensive categories (if this fantasy team actually existed). It also details why you should always let a draft come to you. I was able to sit and wait for offensive gems to inexplicably tumble down the board (like Hunter and Tejada), while (conservatively) risking that Slowey, Garza, Lackey, Feliz and Romero would at least carry my pitching rotation in strikeouts and WHIP.

In Case You're Wondering ...

... Here are the first four rounds from Sunday's 12-team mock (5x5 rules):

Round 1
1. 1B Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. SS Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
3. 3B Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
4. C Joe Mauer, Twins
5. 2B Chase Utley, Phillies
6. SP Tim Lincecum, Giants
7. 1B Mark Teixeira, Yankees
8. 1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
9. SP CC Sabathia, Yankees
10. OF Ryan Braun, Brewers
11. 1B Ryan Howard, Phillies (my pick)
12. 1B Prince Fielder, Brewers

Round 2
13. SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
14. 3B Evan Longoria, Rays (my pick)
15. SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners
16. SP Roy Halladay, Phillies
17. 2B Ian Kinsler, Rangers
18. SP Justin Verlander, Tigers
19. 1B Adrian Gonzalez, Padres
20. 3B Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
21. 2B Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
22. SP Johan Santana, Mets
23. C Brian McCann, Braves
24. OF Matt Holliday, Cardinals

Round 3
25. OF Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
26. SP Zack Greinke, Royals
27. SS Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
28. 1B Justin Morneau, Twins
29. 1B Joey Votto, Reds
30. SP Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
31. C/1B Victor Martinez, Red Sox
32. 1B Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
33. SP Jon Lester, Red Sox
34. 2B Aaron Hill, Blue Jays
35. 3B David Wright, Mets (my pick)
36. OF Matt Kemp, Dodgers

Round 4
37. SP Yovani Gallardo, Brewers
38. OF Grady Sizemore, Indians (my pick)
39. SS Jose Reyes, Mets
40. OF Curtis Granderson, Yankees
41. OF Jason Bay, Mets
42. SS Derek Jeter, Yankees
43. 3B/1B Pablo Sandoval, Giants
44. 3B/1B Mark Reynolds, Diamondbacks
45. SP Cliff Lee, Mariners
46. SP Javier Vazquez, Yankees
47. 1B Lance Berkman, Astros
48. SP Josh Johnson, Marlins

The Fantasy World Changes In 7 Days

On Feb. 22 (at least that's our tentative date), will roll out its all-encompassing, not-to-be-missed Fantasy Baseball Preview for the 2010 season ... featuring expansive positional breakdowns (rankings/commentary), the Top 250 overall list, along with plenty of supplementary pieces from our friends at RotoExperts. And before you ask, yes, Kevin Slowey will once again grace the top-25 starting pitchers -- so feel free to get an early jump on the condescending Tweets for my Twitter account. Batter up!

Speaking Of Twitter ...

SI Recommends

Today's column is singularly dedicated to ehose2110 ... easily the most ardent Fantasy Clicks fan you'll ever meet online. Hence, the flattering, yet head-scratching Tweet from Sunday:

I cannot WAIT for the fantasy baseball clicks season premiere tomorrow. been looking forward to it for a couple weeks now!

On Top Of The Heap

Next up, here's how we'd rank baseball's leadoff hitters in fantasyland, 1 through 30:
1. 2B Ian Kinsler, Rangers (amazing 30-100-100-30 potential)
2. OF Grady Sizemore, Indians
3. SS Jose Reyes, Mets (healed hammy portends much fantasy goodness)
4. OF Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
5. OF Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
6. 2B Brian Roberts, Orioles
7. OF Curtis Granderson, Yankees (a reasonable lock for 115 runs)
8. SS Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
9. SS Jason Bartlett, Rays
10. OF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
11. OF Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies (a sneaky-good 20/20 candidate)
12. OF Denard Span, Twins
13. OF Nate McLouth, Braves
14. OF Michael Bourn, Astros
15. OF Nyjer Morgan, Nationals (turned on the jets in '09, post-trade)
16. OF Chris Coghlan, Marlins
17. SS Rafael Furcal, Dodgers
18. OF Scott Podsednik, Royals
19. SS Everth Cabrera, Padres (50 steals seems quite doable)
20. OF Rajaj Davis, Athletics
21. OF Juan Pierre, White Sox
22. SS Erick Aybar, Angels
23. 2B Skip Schumaker, Cardinals
24. 2B Rickie Weeks, Brewers
25. OF Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
26. OF Drew Stubbs, Reds (he'll rank considerably higher here in 2011)
27. SS Ryan Theriot, Cubs
28. OF Austin Jackson, Tigers
29. OF Eugenio Velez, Giants
30. SS Alex Gonzalez, Blue Jays

Things To Make You Go ... Hmmmm

Here are a few quick-hitting storylines to ponder on Presidents' Day:
**Can two-time NL Cy Young Tim Lincecum once again ring up 250-plus strikeouts, while simultaneously keeping his WHIP around 1.00 and ERA below 2.50? (With the Giants' improved roster, he's a lock to eclipse 15 wins.) And even if he falls short, is he still the runaway top choice amongst starting pitchers?

**Which young starting pitcher will make the greatest four-category leap this season -- Minnesota's Kevin Slowey, Atlanta's Tommy Hanson, Florida's Josh Johnson, Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo, Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens, Baltimore's Chris Tillman or the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw?

**Have Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp, Justin Upton universally usurped Grady Sizemore, Carl Crawford, B.J. Upton at the top of outfield draft boards in 5x5 leagues? And if so, is this a reality-based overhaul ... or one that's proferred on the dreaded "U" word (upside)?

**Which outfielder will steal more bases this season -- Jacoby Ellsbury, Michael Bourn, Julio Borbon or the aforementioned Crawford? Which outfielder will crack more home runs -- Adam Lind, Jayson Werth, Jason Kubel, Andre Ethier, Nelson Cruz, Curtis Granderson or Kemp?

**Which outfielder has the best chance of recapturing his fantasy mojo -- Alfonso Soriano, Corey Hart, Nate McLouth, Magglio Ordonez, Vernon Wells or Jermaine Dye?

**What will be the greater number at season's end ... Jason Bay homers OR CC Sabathia victories?

**Which third baseman (amongst Alex Rodriguez, Mark Reynolds, Evan Longoria, David Wright) has the best shot at 30/30?

Jay Clemons can be found on Twitter, day and night (@SI_JayClemons), accessing your fantasy questions and comments. You can also read his award-winning Revelations every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the baseball season.

Why We Buy Preseason Magazines

Since Sports Illustrated doesn't publish a fantasy baseball preview magazine, there's no conflict of interest with the following gush: If you buy only one publication in the next eight weeks (hopefully, you'll purchase at least 5 or 6), make it Fantasy Baseball Index ... or the online version. Otherwise, you'll miss out on pitching-research gems like this:

Pitchers with deceptively high ERAs in 2009:
Ricky Nolasco, Marlins -- Actual ERA: 5.06 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.30
Cole Hamels, Phillies -- Actual ERA: 4.32 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.55
Jorge de la Rosa, Rockies -- Actual ERA: 4.38 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.69
Justin Masterson, Indians -- Actual ERA: 4.52 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.90
Derek Lowe, Braves -- Actual ERA: 4.67 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.16
Brett Anderson, Athletics -- Actual ERA: 4.06 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.56
Scott Baker, Twins -- Actual ERA: 4.37 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.88
Justin Verlander, Tigers -- Actual ERA: 3.45 ... Adjusted ERA: 2.96
Max Scherzer, Tigers -- Actual ERA: 4.12 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.69
Rich Harden, Rangers -- Actual ERA: 4.09 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.71
Roy Oswalt, Astros -- Actual ERA: 4.12 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.75
Paul Maholm, Pirates -- Actual ERA: 4.44 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.09
Jake Peavy, White Sox -- Actual ERA: 3.45 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.11
Josh Beckett, Red Sox -- Actual ERA: 3.86 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.56
Gavin Floyd, White Sox -- Actual ERA: 4.06 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.77
John Lester, Red Sox -- Actual ERA: 3.41 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.13
Jonathan Sanchez, Giants -- Actual ERA: 4.24 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.97
Aaron Harang, Reds -- Actual ERA: 4.21 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.97

Note: Players listed with current team

Why We Buy Preseason Magazines, Part II

Pitchers with deceptively low ERAs in 2009:
Jair Jurrjens, Braves -- Actual ERA: 2.60 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.01
J.A. Happ, Phillies -- Actual ERA: 2.93 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.28
Edwin Jackson, Diamondbacks -- Actual ERA: 3.62 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.29
Kevin Millwood, Orioles -- Actual ERA: 3.67 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.83
Matt Cain, Giants -- Actual ERA: 2.89 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.98
Randy Wells, Cubs -- Actual ERA: 3.05 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.03
Brad Bergesen, Orioles -- Actual ERA: 3.43 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.30
Bronson Arroyo, Reds -- Actual ERA: 3.84 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.68
Chris Carpenter, Cardinals -- Actual ERA: 2.24 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.08
Matt Palmer, Angels -- Actual ERA: 3.93 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.75
Tommy Hanson, Braves -- Actual ERA: 2.89 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.70
Felix Hernandez, Mariners -- Actual ERA: 2.49 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.27
Rick Porcello, Tigers -- Actual ERA: 3.96 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.68
Ross Ohlendorf, Pirates -- Actual ERA: 3.92 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.60
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals -- Actual ERA: 2.63 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.31
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers -- Actual ERA: 2.79 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.41
Mark Buehrle, White Sox -- Actual ERA: 3.84 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.44
Johan Santana, Mets -- Actual ERA: 3.13 ... Adjusted ERA: 3.71
John Danks, White Sox -- Actual ERA: 3.77 ... Adjusted ERA: 4.29
Zack Greinke, Royals -- Actual ERA: 2.16 ... Adjusted ERA: 2.67 (the definition of splitting hairs)

It's All About The Slot: #4

Some people would consider the No. 4 pick in a 12-team draft to be a two-hour exercise in futility -- sitting in No Man's Land, powerless to control the flow of the draft ... while hoping that good value consistently falls into your lap every 17th (or 7th) pick. Well, hath no fear or ambivalence. Here's a sound strategy for nailing a mixed-league draft when owning the 4th and 21st slots:

Round 1, Pick 4: Motive -- Best overall player
1st option: OF Ryan Braun, Brewers ... 2nd option: 1B Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Round 2, Pick 21 overall: Motive -- Best 5-category outfielder or infielder
1st option: OF Grady Sizemore, Indians ... 2nd option: SS Jose Reyes, Mets

Round 3, Pick 28 overall: Motive -- Best player available
1st option: SS Jimmy Rollins, Phillies ... 2nd option: SP Felix Hernandez, Mariners

Round 4, Pick 45 overall: Motive -- Best starting pitcher or speed demon
1st option: SP CC Sabathia, Yankees ... 2nd option: 2B Brian Roberts, Orioles

Round 5, Pick 52 overall: Motive -- Best power hitter named Lee
1st option: 1B Derrek Lee, Cubs ... 2nd option: OF Carlos Lee, Astros

Round 6, Pick 69 overall: Motive -- Best outfielder or high-end pitcher
1st option: OF Josh Hamilton, Rangers ... 2nd option: SP John Lester, Red Sox

Round 7, Pick 76 overall: Motive -- Best closer or power-hitting infielder
1st option: RP Jonathan Broxton, Dodgers ... 2nd option: C Brian McCann, Braves

Round 8, Pick 93 overall: Motive -- Best run-producing outfielder
1st option: OF Curtis Granderson, Yankees ... 2nd option: 1B Billy Butler, Royals

Round 9, Pick 100 overall: Motive -- Best starting pitcher or high-end closer
1st option: SP Yovani Gallardo, Brewers ... 2nd option: SP Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Round 10, Pick 117 overall: Motive -- Best catcher or starting pitcher
1st option: C Matt Wieters, Orioles ... 2nd option: SP Wandy Rodriguez, Astros

Round 11, Pick 124: Motive -- Best starting pitcher
1st option: SP Matt Garza, Rays ... 2nd option: SP Chad Billingsley, Dodgers

Round 12, Pick 141: Motive -- Hitter with greatest 20/20 potential
1st option: 2B/3B Ian Stewart, Rockies ... 2nd option: OF Jay Bruce, Reds

Round 13, Pick 148: Motive -- Best power-hitting outfielder
1st option: OF Jay Bruce, Reds ... 2nd option: OF Corey Hart, Brewers

Round 14, Pick 165: Motive -- Best closer or speedy infielder
1st option: RP Rafael Soriano, Rays ... 2nd option: SS Elvis Andrus, Rangers

Round 15, Pick 172: Motive -- Best closer or starting pitcher
1st option: RP Frank Francisco, Rangers ... 2nd option: SP Roy Oswalt, Astros

Round 16, Pick 189: Motive -- Best starting pitcher or speed demon
1st option: SP Kevin Slowey, Twins ... 2nd option: OF Julio Borbon, Rangers

Round 17, Pick 196: Motive -- Best available player
1st option: 2B Howie Kendrick, Angels ... 2nd option: 2B/3B Casey McGehee, Brewers

Round 18, Pick 213: Motive -- Best starting pitcher or outfielder
1st option: SP Brett Anderson, Athletics ... 2nd option: OF Drew Stubbs, Reds

Round 19, Pick 220: Motive -- Best infielder
1st option: 3B Alex Gordon, Royals ... 2nd option: C Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks

Round 20, Pick 237: Motive -- Best high-end pitcher or catcher
1st option: SP Wade Davis, Rays... 2nd option: C Mike Napoli, Angels

Round 21, Pick 244: Motive -- Young outfielder with greatest upside
1st option: OF Kyle Blanks, Padres ... 2nd option: OF Cameron Maybin, Marlins

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