ASK ROTOMAN: Which Lateral Pitching Move Should I Make?

Dear Rotoman:

My league: 12 team, categories are r, 1b, 2b, 3b, hr, RBI, bb, k’s, sb, avg, w, L, qs, era, whip, k’s, s, bs, holds

My team:
C- Carlos Ruiz
1b- Anthony Rizzo
2b- Howie Kendrick
3b- Evan Longoria
SS- Xander Boegarts
Of- Andrew McCutchen, Matt Holliday, Melky Cabrera
Uti- Justin Heyward, Mark Teixeira
Bench- Oscar Tavares, Jon Singleton, Michael Bourne, Brian Dozier
DL- Josh Hamilton
SP- Madison Bumgarner, Jason Verlander, Cole Hamels, Alex Cobb, Yovani Gallardo
RP- Krod, Joakim Soria, Grant Balfour, Cody Allen
DL- Andrew Cashner

2 questions: I’ve been offered two deals, one where I would give up Hamilton for Gio Gonzalez and another deal where I would give up Mark Teixeira and get Trevor Bauer.

Also what 2 guys do you think I should drop to activate Hamilton and Cashner with my roster right now or if I were to make either of those deals

“Pitching Poor”

Dear PP:
You’re problem is that Bumgarner had a bad April, Verlander and Hamels are struggling and Cashner is hurt, so you have to play Gallardo.

Solution No. 1 is to put Cashner in for Gallardo when he comes off the DL this weekend. That’s easy.

Solution No. 2 is tougher. Verlander has pitched poorly this year, worse than in his mediocre 2013 campaign. Velocity, strikeouts are down, bases on balls are up. This is a struggling pitcher. Hamels, on the other hand, has been throwing some more walks, but for the most part looks the same as usual. So, expect him to bounce back some. But what do you do with Verlander?

Are either Gio Gonzalez or Trevor Bauer an upgrade? And if so, enough of an upgrade to be worth dealing Hamilton or Teixeira?

While both might pitch better than Verlander, neither is close to a chalk starting pitcher for your staff. Gonzalez is fine, strikes out one per inning, but allows a fair number of baserunners. Bauer is freshfaced, and has been throwing a worrisome number of walks. Either might be just fine, if you had them you might choose to play them ahead of Gallardo, but it’s hard to see either solving your problems unless they get uncharacteristically hot. Teixeira and Hamilton have their flaws, but they are real contributors on offense when they’re healthy. Both seem to high a price for either of these guys.

Before making either of those deals, I suggest you try to pry a better pitcher away from some team, even though there will be a bigger price. You have enough outfield depth to put together a package, or even deal McCutchen and play your depth, in order to land a pitcher as good as Bumgarner.

The other alternative is to use Taveras or Singleton as bait for a hot starting starter without a strong rep. With an extra arm or two you might be able to play matchups, and still play Verlander if he gets hot. Last year, after a strong start, he struggled through June and July, but he was able to right the ship, and finished the season strong.

I don’t think he was taking the velocity hit then. Let’s see. Just downloaded Verlander’s chart from Brooks Baseball.


Nope. He had other issues last summer. I’d be worried, but I would also try to really get better before trading for guys like Gio and Trevor.

In a league like yours, with so many categories, playing time and category management matter a lot. It’s really hard to tell from outside which of these hitters you should be playing. All of them are fine hitters, who will contribute in some ways and hurt you in other ways. Teixeira, for instance, hurts you in BA but helps you in walks. Michael Bourn doesn’t have a lot of power, but will help you in Triples. And so on.

Good luck finding a better trade.