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Saturday 23rd Sep 2017

kershawWhen I drafted my NL LABR team, the whole squad was built around the single bid of $40 for Dodger pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

As documented in my post-LABR article, My Toughest Bid Ever, I was trying to emulate teams built around the great Pedro Martinez, whose presence made the rest of his pitching staff better.

Not that I was chintzy with my other pitchers. I got Gio Gonzalez ($13), Mike Fiers ($8), Brett Anderson ($2) and Brandon McCarthy ($14) to support Kershaw, and also picked up Chris Heston and Jeremy Hellickson as reserve picks. So, my starting pitching should have been very good. The Achilles heel of my pitching was no real closer, with Kevin Quackenbush and Sergio Romo being my failed gambles.

Obviously, losing McCarthy hurts, but having Heston to plug into that spot should have kept the ship mostly righted, but in reality my team, as tweeted the other day, is the Daniel Cabrera pitching staff.

At the time, I was last in Saves, ERA and WHIP, in the middle of the pack in Wins, and first in strikeouts.

In fact, among all those arms, Heston, at 2-3, 3.35, with a 1.22 WHIP is the best pitcher of the lot.

What makes me optimistic is my hitting--anchored by Joc Pederson, Kolten Wong and Marcell Ozuna--is doing pretty well with 35 hitting points, and a good chance to pick up another six to ten.

But, my hurlers, with just 23.5 points, who should have been charging forth with dominance in WHIP and ERA to support the strikeouts, have indeed been the disappointment.

The question is what, if anything, to do?

The answer, I think, is nothing (well aside from trying to add some saves).

As the warm months come into play, all around I am banking on improved pitching, led by Kershaw, who has really been better than his 1-2, 4.26 mark. It is just that 1-2, 4.26 is not what I dropped $40 for.

However, I think this is a classic opportunity for true patience to simply let Kershaw do his thing, and sink or swim accordingly.

For, I like to think I should expect more consistency from Fiers and Gonzalez, and when ready, Patrick Corbin also is my property.

What makes what is going on interesting to watch is that as noted, I really did completely build my team around Kershaw, so I really do sink or swim accordingly.

Obviously, the summer months will tell, but unlike several of my other squads who are in the lower depths of the standings, these guys have some room to move, and I think they have the skills to do it. More important, if you had a plan going into the season, do your best to see it through.

And, well, whenever I have had really successful teams before, they were not unlike this team, simply waiting for one guy to pick up the gauntlet.

So first, if you can assess your team, and see a squad that is indeed underachieving within what you perceive to be a strength, take a deep breath and give your guys a chance to do it. I know this is really hard to do with one-quarter of the season nearly spent, but hang in there and have a little faith in your ability to assemble a team.

Second, Clayton, it is ALL on you now!

 

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