Unread for 5/13
12 team mixed that highly values strikeouts. I’ve spent the season with the number one waiver spot, and have allowed Scherzer and Cueto to pass by, all in the hope of snagging Clayton Kershaw. With his promotion looking all the more likely this week, I’m suddenly faced with a dilemma: After a couple of poor outings, Clay Buchholz has been dropped.
I can’t decide between the two. Is the fact that Kershaw would pitch in the NL West and in a pitcher’s park enough to sway you towards the Dodgers phenom?
Joe Gallagher, Ireland
Wow, you must really want Kershaw if you were willing to pass on Scherzer in a league that values strikeouts. It’s understandable, though, as Kershaw has dominated Minor League hitting. His K/9 rate in Class A and Double-A ball combined last season was a 12.0 and he had struck out 37 batters in 33 1/3 innings in Double-A going into last night’s outing. The Dodgers have discussed starting him this weekend, but Hong-Chih Kuo and Chan Ho Park are also possibilities to take the fifth starter role.
Unlike the 20-year-old Kershaw, Buchholz, who is 23, has pitched in the big leagues. He has a 43/20 K/BB ratio in 42.3 innings this season and has three quality starts in eight outings. He has looked extremely impressive at times, but, like most young, inexperienced starting pitchers, Buchholz has been consistently inconsistent.
Kershaw and Buchholz have promising futures and both have been described as potentially special No. 1 starters. Their respective home parks may not make as much of a difference as you think. Dodger Stadium has ranked 12th and 10th in run rate each of the past two seasons, while Fenway Park has ranked first and 13th.
Frankly, I would take Buchholz since he has already shown that he can dominate big league hitting (remember that no-hitter last season?). Don’t feel as though you have to take Kershaw now just because you have already passed on other players (Scherzer, Cueto) for the chance to add him. What’s in the past is in the past, it’s lost time. Don’t let that affect your future decision-making.
Kyle Stack, MLB.com