In picking players who make me nervous going into 2014, it is hard to not notice the Mets, who in the coming season will likely remind us of the Astros in 2013 (minus Jose Altuve), and perhaps the 2012 Royals, teams where position player wise, it is difficult to justify taking anyone.
But, in identifying the players noted below, in general by listing the athletes I mean it more as a guideline to not spend too much, or draft too early. Or, as logic would dictate, let your opponents take the risk.
And, to add to the fun, this time I will start the festivities here at Mastersball, with my 15 guys who make me nervous for 2014, but to find the rest, look to our sister site KFFL on Tuesday to complete the list.
Patrick Corbin (P, Diamondbacks): Corbin had a great season, no question, but I cannot help but see him and his 14-6, 2.92 2013, and think Ian Kennedy in 2011, when he went 21-4, 2.88 over 222 innings, and returned to go 15-12, 4.02 in 2012. Maybe the deal is it is simply hard to string two really great years together, or maybe the league’s book on a pitcher increases with said efficiency. Either way, I still would not trust Corbin beyond being a third starter, whatever price that may dictate.
C.C. Sabathia (P, Yankees): The rumors that Sabathia had had it this year were clearly premature, as C.C. has cleared 200 innings for the seventh straight year. However, his earned runs allowed lead the league, as do his batters faced total, while his WHIP of 1.368 is the highest of his career (.15 over his mean) while the strikeouts per nine are down by over one. I still like C.C. as a horse, but no more as the fastest or strongest pulling the wagon.
R.A. Dickey (P, Toronto): Putting Dickey here is tough simply because he throws a knuckler, and as we know from Tim Wakefield and Charlie Hough, a strong season can rise out of the ashes of a bad one. Not to mention that Dickey is such a fun character and story, but 1.4 homers per nine is a big jump, while 6.9 whiffs per nine is a big drop over his last three seasons. True, at 38 a knuckleballer is not necessarily finished, but one dominant season out of 11 is not a thick reed to spend an ace slot on. Who knows, maybe a trade to Phoenix (for Corbin) would help his chances at a resurrection?
Gordon Beckham (2B, White Sox): I have a feeling Beckham made this list last year. And, perhaps the year before? Either way, for a first round pick to now be in his fourth full season of play as a starter, yet unable to crack a .700 OPS, maybe it is time for Beckham to seek a utility role, rather than that of a starter? On just about any team but the White Sox, this would probably be the case.
Adam Dunn/Paul Konerko/Jeff Keppinger (1B/DH, White Sox): Ok, while we are picking on the Pale Hose, it is amazing that among this troika they hit 46 homers and drove in 170 runs, over 215 games, while the Sox could only manage 58 wins. All this cost the team was a collective $32 million for 2013, and though Konerko’s contract is up, Dunn, who has hinted at retirement, has a season to go, and Keppinger has two on his respective deal. Truly, you want power at first and DH, and while those these three guys might be supplying it, the results are apparently never at the right time.
Remember, click to KFFL on Tuesday for the rest of the list. Note I will finish the year next week by doing the same thing with 15 players I like for 2014.