Fade deGrom, Greene, Sale this fantasy season?
D.J. Short and Scott Pianowski dive into their picks for starting pitchers to fade in 2023, including Rangers ace Jacob deGrom, Injury-prone Red Sox' Chris Sale and more.
- Jacob deGrom is my first fade. And I hate to say that because I love him as a pitcher, as a Mets fan. But I think at this point, the risk is just so high for someone who's going to be maybe the fifth or sixth starter off the board in a mixed league. I believe in the ability, obviously. When he's healthy, otherworldly pitcher.
But you look at the past two years. 156 and 1/3 innings combined over the past two years. Last year was the stress reaction in a scapula in a shoulder. But year before that, back, lat, forearm, elbow issues. He could very well pitch 150 innings and be an ace, be ridiculous, or he could pitch 40 innings, and we barely hear from him this year. I think it's just way too risky for me.
- Yeah, it has to scare you when spring training starts and the first thing you hear is that they're going to give him a little time.
- Yeah, the side soreness. I mean, we're used to that as Mets fans where it gets downplayed. It turns into something else. Maybe this will be nothing, but it's already a reminder, this early in the spring, the risk that is present with him.
- Scott, who tops your fade list of the starting pitching market?
- Yeah, before I get to that, I just want to echo what DJ said. I used to joke that Stephen Strasburg, his last name should be "Stress-burg" because you're buying into six or seven months of stress when you drafted Strasburg. And Jacob deGrom is just that maybe a higher version of that, because we know his upside is the best pitcher in fantasy baseball, the best pitcher in real baseball. But the moment you draft him, you've drafted seven months of concern, seven months of-- oh, wait a minute, did he pull up on that last pitch? Is he holding his elbow? Is he holding his shoulder?
And because his ADP is still very expectant, I'm not going to draft into deGrom. And I hate saying that because he's my favorite pitcher to watch when he's healthy. But I'm not going to touch him at current ADP. And that's why I'm out-- ADP is why I'm out on Hunter Greene, who's going at pick 108. He had six great starts in the second half of the year, but he had a home run problem last year. Cincinnati's a bad team.
I know wins can be fluky, but I'll take a contending team to get me more wins than a losing team like the Cincinnati Reds. It's a homer-friendly ballpark. A lot of people are into Greene because he's the buzzy new toy on the mound. And his ADP to me is crazy right now. I'm not going to go near him at his current price.
- Any more fades, DJ, before we look into a little more positive note on the buyers?
- Yeah, so I've got a couple. I'll go with Alek Manoah here. You look at the ERA last year-- 2.24 over 31 starts, very impressive. But advanced metrics-- let's just go with XERA-- has a full run higher, 3.31. You look at the strikeout rate. It's not fantastic when you compare him to fantasy aces. Had 180 strikeouts in 196 and 2/3 innings, so doesn't compare to the other aces there.
Also, we know the Blue Jays are changing their ballpark dimensions. How does that affect all of their starters moving forward? His ADP right now is 69.12 on NFC, just a little too early for me. The other one is Tyler Glasnow with the Rays, ADP inside the top 100 right now. Came back from Tommy John surgery late last season. We know the stuff's great. It's kind of like deGrom. The stuff is amazing when he's on the field.
I question if he can actually stay on the mound for a full season. Hasn't pitched more than 88 innings since 2018. That's five years ago. He's never thrown more than 111 and 2/3 innings in a season. So I just don't think it's going to justify that ADP.
- Scott, do you share the same concerns on those guys?
- Yeah, Glasnow, I have just three question marks next to him. His high for his career is 111 innings. He's never gone past that. As DJ said, he's only gone past about 80 innings once. And he's ADP 84 right now? I think that's ridiculous. He should be going four, five rounds later. We know the upside, but the downside is he could be somebody you're dropping two months into the season.
And that's how I feel about Chris Sale. Right now, his ADP is around 150. He's done nothing in the last two seasons into an age 34 season. This is the worst Red Sox team on paper that we've seen in a while. Pitches in a park that's very offensively friendly. I'm glad Chris Sale got paid. I joked that when the Red Sox offered him that extension, he must have run all the red lights and driven, like, 115 miles an hour to go sign it, because all he's done has really been an albatross since then. Hell of a first half of a career. He was on a Hall of Fame trajectory. I'm not touching Glasnow at that ADP, and I'm not going to draft Chris Sale. You could even push him back 40 or 50 picks. He's still not going to be on my board.