Busch Stadium Park Factors: Hits 95; Runs 91; HRs 88
(100 is average, under 100 is favorable to pitchers)
Values ~ 2000: $7 2001: $24 2002: $12 2003: $11
Morris was having an outstanding first two months until he experienced a knot below his shoulder blade and shoulder tendinitis. The next two months were dreadful until he was disabled after breaking his finger. The rest appeared to help and he pitched well down the stretch. Morris throws both a 2-seam and 4-seam fast ball in the low 90s and an excellent breaking pitch. He has good downward movement on his pitches and gets a lot of groundball outs and his HR rate is usually low. He works both side of the plate and is very aggressive about taking command of the inside corner. I like Morris and think he'll see an increase in value.
Values ~ 2000: $12 2001: $9 2002: $16 2003: $12
Williams had a Cy Young caliber first half (3.01 ERA and .85 hit rate) and collapsed in the second half (5.23 ERA and 1.22 hit rate). He throws a 90 mph fastball and mixes in a curve, cutter and change. He's also supposed to have a splitter and slider, which I didn't see. He should continue to be a good staff addition. He's been a very reliable pitcher for a number of years, but it's possible at 37 he's begun to wear out. I'd probably still take a chance but only at a reduced price. Williams reported to camp with shoulder tendinitis, which has supposedly improved.
Values ~ 2000: -$1 2001: $2 2002: -$6 2003: $5
Suppan was having a career year for Pittsburgh and the was traded to Boston where he pitched like Jeff Suppan. He throws strikes and he's efficient, averaging few pitches per batter and per inning. Since his elbow surgery, he doesn't overpower hitters as indicated by his below average strikeout rate. He throws a change, curve, slider and 90 MPH fastball. At best he's an end-of-the rotation guy for fantasy owners.
Values ~ 2000: $1 2001: $3 2002: -$8 2003: -$4
Marquis has mid-90's heat with good movement and an excellent breaking pitch that looks like a tight slider but has been called a curve. Marquis has the reputation of pitching inside. Many feel he lets his emotions get the better of him on the mound and there is some concern that the shoulder problem will recur due to his mechanics. Despite numerous opportunities, he failed to secure a meaningful role in Atlanta and gets a fresh start here. Marquis has been reported to have a sore elbow.
Values ~ 2000: -$11 2001: $3 2002: -$3 2003: NA
Carpenter appeared to have turned a corner in 2001 when Dave Stewart convinced him to work inside more. The new aggressiveness helped. Carpenter's ERA was over 2 runs lower than the previous season. However, he struggled throughout 2002 with shoulder problems that eventually led to labrum surgery. He missed all of 2003, having additional surgery to clear out scar tissue. He throws strikes and works low in the zone with a two-seamer and curve, getting a high percentage of groundball outs. He's been inconsistent and he's coming off surgery, but he's worth keeping an eye on this spring. I like him as a sleeper pick if he's healthy.
Values ~ 2000: $23 2001: $26 2002: $23 2003: $14
Isringhausen had minor shoulder surgery before last season and missed most of the first half of the season. However he resumed the Cards' closer role when he returned and pitched well. Isringhausen throws hard; his fastball reaches the high 90s and he mixes in a slider and change. He probably belongs in the second tier of closers because of his uncertain health history and his tendency to blow saves opportunities from time to time.
Values ~ 2000: $9 2001: $17 2002: $4 2003: $5
Kline is a sinker/slider lefty who keeps the ball low in the zone and gets a lot of groundball outs. His value has usually been bolstered by a few saves he's gotten owners but last year he struggled early in the season while Izzy was out and LaRussa took him out of the role. Kline has been heavily used (he led the league in appearance three years running '99-'01), so last years 30% decline in K rate could be an early warning.
Values ~ 2000: $5 2001: -$6 2002: -$18 2003: $8
Tavarez is a sinker/slider pitcher who gets his outs via groundballs. He lacks a strikeout pitch. As his history of values indicates, he's inconsistent from year to year. Last year he stepped into the Pittsburgh closer role after Williams was traded and gathered 11 saves, which accounted for about half of his final value. Since he's not likely to get saves here, I'd leave him off my draft list.
Values ~ 2000: $6 2001: -$2 2002: NA 2003: $9
The Cards moved the injury-prone Eldred into the bullpen and got pretty good value when he managed to stay healthy all year. His value is padded by 8 saves he picked up early before Izzy returned. Possible filler pick
Values ~ 2000: $9 2001: -$1 2002: $3 2003: $4
King is a hard-throwing lefty. He has a 94 mph fastball, hard slider and possibly a cut fastball. His ratio improvement in 2002 dissipated last year; he looked a lot like the 2001 King working shorter outings with more walks and fewer hits. RH hitters can handle him better so he's evolved back into more of a situational role.
Values ~ 2000: -$8 2001: $5 2002: -$1 2003: $3
Lincoln throws a sinker, slider and change. His stuff topped out at 90 when I saw him in '01. Batters seemed to be making solid contact in the brief relief appearance I saw, but were hitting it at fielders. He missed the first half of last year with a sore shoulder but pitched reasonably well when he returned. Not a draft candidate.
Values ~ 2000: NA 2001: NA 2002: $4 2003: -$8
I was interested in seeing Simontacchi after he strung together a number of successful starts following his call-up in 2002. Simontacchi mixed a high 80's fastball with a down-breaking change. His stuff was not at all impressive in this game and he was banged around pretty well. Last year he was ineffective and lost his spot in the rotation and was not tremendously better out of the bullpen. No interest.
Values ~ 2000: $12 2001: -$8 2002: NA 2003: NA
Former top prospect whose career has been derailed by Blass-like wildness. It's a shame because Ankiel had outstanding stuff including a mid-90s fastball and devastating curve. Ankiel had Tommy John surgery last July, will miss at least the first half of 2004 and will likely pitch in the minors when he returns.