Well, another season has passed, and once again a very exciting final day, with Jordan Zimmermann throwing a no-no over the Fish to lead into the postseason, and Sonny Gray tossing a six-hit shutout to cement Oakland's third straight postseason appearance.
I am closing out this time with five pitchers who make me nervous going into 2015. As usual, in selecting these pitchers, they could be a nice gamble, but I would be careful not to overspend.
Justin Verlander (Tigers): Verlander's slip really began last year, but the bottom has kind of fallen out this season. I cannot help but think of the righty in 2013, in a jam, and all he did was try to throw harder and lose his command. Verlander is far along in his career that he should indeed be a polished pitcher, and not a thrower, but his 223 hits over 208 frames and 1.398 WHIP tells me he will be hard headed using a change effectively.
C.J. Wilson (Angels): So odd, in that Wilson escaped a serious hitter's park, seeking much more cavernous Anaheim, and all he has done is slump. Actually, the 85 walks he allowed this year is the same total as last season, but Wilson has tossed 30 fewer innings, and a WHIP of 1.446. I want no part of him.
Justin Masterson (Cardinals): I really thought Masterson would flourish with the swap to stead St. Louis, but I could not have been more wrong. The righty was 2-3, 7.53 over eight starts after the swap, much worse incredibly than the 4-6, 5.51 he notched for the Tribe before the trade. However, Masterson is one of those Saberhagenmetric guys who has a good year, a bad year, a good year, a bad year, and since the odd years seem to be the good ones, I would have no problem nabbing him as a reserve player or as a late starter for a buck who I can stream as appropriate.
Joe Nathan (Tigers): Nathan did save 35, though he blew seven, and posted awful closer numbers of a 4.81 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP. Maybe there is just something inherent in being in the Tigers pen, and thus imploding accordingly, but Detroit paid him $20 million through 2015, so I would expect him to get the ball. Second closer at best, though, and no more than $9 for that in an AL-only format.
Fernando Rodney (Mariners): Much like Nathan, Rodney is signed through next year, and his 48 saves were great, but he does have trouble with his control, and a closer with a 1.342 WHIP isn't all that good. I see the eventual transition to Brandon Maurer, but expect Rodney to get the ball in the spring. Still, last legs at a position that has become more than volatile this year, and will likely continue to be so.
That will do it for this season as I go into Winter mode.
Please come back the second Monday in November for my Arizona Fall League review, and the second week of December for my 2015 top 250 prospect list.
As always, thanks so much for your readership and support. And, do look for some big changes in 2015!