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Starting Pitcher Shuffle Up: Julio Teheran makes the leap

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves
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Staff ace at 23 (Dale Zanine-USAT)

Here's the latest Shuffle Up from the mound, the starting pitchers. This is the big one. Marinate over the prices. I'll do the same, move a few ranks here and there. 

What's happened to this point is an audition, only. We're trying to figure out how to rank the players going forward. Assume a 5x5 scoring system, and players at the same cost are considered even.

And remember the golden rule – a player doesn't gain 15-20 percent of bonus value simply because he's on your roster.

I didn't bother ranking any injured pitchers in this edition. Bluntly put, I have very little faith in any of them for the balance of 2014. They're worth whatever you want them to be, but I'm not trading for them.

To the checkout line.  

$31 Clayton Kershaw
$30 Felix Hernandez
$28 Chris Sale
$27 Yu Darvish
$27 David Price
$25 Adam Wainwright
$25 Johnny Cueto
$24 Zack Greinke
$24 Corey Kluber
$24 Max Scherzer
$23 Madison Bumgarner
$23 Cole Hamels
$23 Julio Teheran
$21 Stephen Strasburg
$20 Sonny Gray
$20 Hisashi Iwakuma
$20 Jon Lester
$20 Anibal Sanchez

The Teheran breakout is especially fun because it goes against some conventional wisdom. He's not built like the traditional horse, of course - he's listed at 6-foot-2, but just 175 pounds. His fastball is at 90.3 mph this year, a drop from 91.5 last season (and higher in his parital years). His ground-ball rate is nothing special. But he's increased his swinging strike rate, he's walking less men, and he's finding ways to get quick, economical outs early in the count. And there's something to be said for not going max-out with every pitch, but dialing it up when you really need it. By what I've seen and what I've read, that's what Teheran aims to do. I'm on board. Baby, you're a big star now. 

$19 Scott Kazmir
$19 Jordan Zimmermann
$18 Doug Fister
$18 Jeff Samardzija
$17 Alex Cobb
$17 Jered Weaver
$17 Mat Latos
$17 Cliff Lee
$17 Tyson Ross
$17 Garrett Richards
$15 James Shields
$15 Jake Arrieta
$14 Hyun-Jin Ryu

I recognize the Richards Public wants a much better rank for their breakout star. I'd like to see a little more proof before I push him into the 20s. He was a respected prospect, not a glittering one. No one should be expected to keep a 4.0 HR/FB clip, and the .263 BABIP is also fortunate. It's not like I'm giving Richards an insulting price; I only have 22 pitchers ahead of him. But let's try to keep the cleats on the ground. 

$13 Kyle Lohse
$13 Gio Gonzalez
$13 Homer Bailey
$12 Jose Quintana
$12 Ian Kennedy
$11 Tim Hudson
$11 Wily Peralta
$11 John Lackey
$11 Lance Lynn
$11 Ervin Santana
$11 Josh Beckett
$11 Yovani Gallardo
$11 Alex Wood
$11 Marcus Stroman
$11 Jason Hammel
$10 Dallas Keuchel
$10 Zack Wheeler
$10 Chris Archer
$10 Jesse Hahn
$10 Justin Verlander
$10 Jon Niese
$10 Tanner Roark
$10 Jacob deGrom
$10 Jake Odorizzi

Quintana has been lucky with his fly-ball clip, though unfortunate sequencing (strand rate) has given some of it back. His 3.15 ERA could be even lower - FIP suggests 2.81. His home and away stats are similar (and he has a much better K/BB rate at home), so the park isn't bothering him. The bullpen has frittered away some of his wins, and obviously a 5-7 record makes little sense when your ratios are this good. His last seven starts: 1.70 ERA, 13 BB, 49 K. Get on board. 

$9 Rick Porcello
$9 Danny Duffy
$9 Tim Lincecum
$8 Alfredo Simon
$8 Phil Hughes
$8 Yordano Ventura
$8 Matt Garza
$7 Henderson Alvarez
$7 Mike Leake
$7 Jesse Chavez
$7 Charlie Morton

Chavez had two career starts before this year, so we have to be somewhat concerned about stamina. And the A's have outstanding rotation depth if any short-term adjustment is needed. I love the story and I'm still invested, but let's allow common sense to enter the picture, too. 

$6 Drew Smyly
$6 Kevin Gausman
$6 Bartolo Colon
$5 Nathan Eovaldi
$5 Rubby De La Rosa
$5 Odrisamer Despaigne
$5 Dillon Gee
$5 Chris Young
$4 Jake Peavy
$4 Trevor Bauer
$4 Bud Norris
$4 Roenis Elias
$4 Mark Buehrle
$4 Jimmy Nelson
$4 Mike Minor
$4 A.J. Burnett
$4 Brandon McCarthy
$4 Clay Buchholz
$4 Dan Haren

I'm not crazy for Peavy, but I kicked him up a couple of bucks after the trade to San Francisco. Maybe he's a $7-8 arm the rest of the way . . . Young has turned into the AL's version of Lohse; hardly walks anyone, sneaky with strikeouts, survives a modest amount of contact. He's also throwing his slider more this year, and while that could be a problem down the line, this late in his career, maybe he doesn't care . . . McCarthy has been sharp in three AL starts, and the bad luck indicators were flashing during his Arizona time. 

$3 Ryan Vogelsong
$3 Hiroki Kuroda
$3 Jorge De La Rosa
$3 John Danks
$3 Chase Anderson
$3 Danny Salazar
$3 Aaron Harang
$3 Wade Miley
$3 Jeff Locke
$2 Tyler Skaggs
$2 Shelby Miller
$2 R.A. Dickey
$2 Francisco Liriano
$2 Chris Tillman
$2 Wei-Yin Chen
$2 Brett Anderson
$2 Tom Koehler
$1 Drew Hutchison
$1 Kyle Gibson
$1 Vance Worley
$1 Jarred Cosart
$1 Matt Shoemaker
$1 Josh Collmenter
$1 David Phelps
$1 Hector Santiago
$1 Joe Kelly

Salazar wasn't throwing strikes in Triple-A, so I don't want him now. Even at his best, you're going to see a lot of abbreviated outings, the five and six-inning variety. If he fixes it and works for my opponents, so be it. I'm not giving him a chance to torch my ratios . . . Shelby Miller's velocity is fine, but with his strikeout and walk rates taking significant moves in the wrong direction, I don't see how we can trust him. Something's wrong here . . . I'd love to see what De La Rosa could do in a fair ballpark, let along a pitcher-favoring one. And say this for him: he's not intimidated by Coors Field. But in the end, gravity always wins. 

$0 Travis Wood
$0 Scott Feldman
$0 Edinson Volquez
$0 Miguel Gonzalez
$0 Hector Noesi
$0 Kyle Kendrick

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