Man, what a brutal first month for starting pitchers.
Not all starting pitchers, mind you. Just a lot of the ones we counted on.
But, in case you were wondering, let's list a few of the worst according to the simple ERA totals.
- -Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.22 ERA, 1.72 WHIP over 33.2 innings)
- -Roy Halladay (2-3, 6.75 ERA, 1.92 WHIP over 32 innings)
- -Matt Cain (0-2, 6.49, 1.30 WHIP over 34.2 innings)
- -Mark Buehrle (1-2, 6.4 ERA, 1.51 WHIP over 35 innings)
- -Edinson Volquez (2-3, 6.39, 1.74 WHIP over 31 innings)
- -Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27 ERA, 1.61 WHIP over 33 innings)
- -Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 6.23 ERA, 1.55 WHIP over 30.1 innings)
- -Gio Gonzalez (2-2, 5.34 ERA, 1.38 WHIP over 32 innings)
- -Brandon Morrow (0-2, 5.29 ERA, 1.58 WHIP over 32.1 innings)
- -David Price (1-2, 5.21 ERA, 1.37 WHIP over 38 innings)
The question is, of course, what do we do with these guys? Pretty much all of them are stalwarts, in fact a few, like Cain, Price, and Gonzalez were likely top flight pitchers in auctions, and maybe fifth to sixth round picks in draft leagues.
So, the question is what to do?
Well, I do have to stress patience this time of year, with five more months left in the season.
That said, obviously you cannot trot Buehrle out there every five days only to watch him get hammered, without stirking anyone out, destroying the good work of your other pitchers.
But, I do sort of place these guys into three categories, with the following path forward as appropriate.
Leave them alone: This counts pretty much for Cain, Price, and Gonzalez for now, as they are both talented, and young, and are just going through some struggles. But, if they wind up with ERA's of 4.20, that means some good innings ahead, and you don't want to stream them and risk missing the good innings by taking pot shots with starts.
Sit them till they right the ship: This pretty much accounts for the rest, like Buehrle (of whom I have faith) and Vogelsong (of whom I have less) and Morrow (who will get whiffs, along with Volquez and Jackson). Although I am not a big believer in streaming, for these guys, I would just hang and see if they can figure it out. For again, percentages say they will not wind up with an ERA as bountiful as they presently have.
See about a trade: Now, this third category presumes you have some arms out there to fill the void of the trade, and some kind of offensive need. But, for example, a crap shoot of Roy Halladay for Ike Davis, or Adam LaRoche, B.J. Upton, or Rickie Weeks might be not just doable, but a trade whereby you give up some potential and jettison frustration but at the same time gain some potential while picking up someone else's frustration.
It is a long season. And, it is early to be thinking about dumping or desperation moves, but, being practical, and in the moment trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear is not necessarily a bad way to go.
Of course, if your team is peppered with Price, Cain, LaRoche, Upton and Davis, you have my deepest sympathy. But, take heart, football season is only four months away.