We’re just going to freeform this and make it essentially a notes column. I’ll start by saying that not every move is influenced by the 60-game season. In fact, few are. A lot of them are influenced by a change in health or just more studying that led me to make a move.
Biggest moves up the rankings since my February 28th list.
Rich Hill +65 to 64 – He was slated to be out until June with an elbow injury so now his full IL stint happened in quarantine and he’ll now be ready from the jump. He’s been great on a per inning basis the last four seasons, but will he stay upright throughout this mini-season?
Michael Kopech +30 to 82 – Returning from TJ, Kopech was expected to miss some time at the outset of the season with a late-May/early-June target. Like Hill, that time has passed and now he’s made the 60-man roster, though his role is unknown. For fantasy purposes, it’d be perfect if Kopech was paired with an opener so if he’s limited to 3-4 innings, it comes in the middle innings and puts him in line for wins.
James Paxton +27 to 21 – 100% injury-related.
Spencer Turnbull +22 to 80 – I liked Turnbull last year and he got off to a strong start with a 3.31 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 89.7 IP, but then back-to-back shoulder and back IL stays along with the All-Star break limited him to just two starts from June 28th to August 4th. All told, he had a 6.60 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in his final 13 starts but closed with a 4.22 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 28 strikeouts and four walks in his last four starts.
Cole Hamels +16 to 74 – Another health case as his shoulder was going to cost him the original Opening Day, but now he’s ready to go, though the Braves will be cautious and likely have him on a 3-4 inning plan early on.
Mike Clevinger +11 to 7 – Back in the top 10 now that he’s healthy.
Hyun-Jin Ryu 류현진 +11 to 29 – The shortened season doesn’t eliminate his health risk, in fact it doesn’t even necessarily lower it in any tangible way, but he only needs to make it two months to reach the finish line so I’m open to betting on the talent and taking on the injury risk.
John Means +11 to 93 – I’m definitely a bit nervous about any non-stud in that Beast division, but I was impressed by Means’ rookie season and think he could put together another solid run. At 93, he’s not an all-formats arm, but rather someone to keep an eye outside of deeper leagues.
Adrian Houser +10 to 73 – Just a little bump to further show my interest in Houser.
Marcus Stroman +9 to 63 – I was too low on him initially, but I couldn’t go too high given the insane division.
Matthew Boyd +8 to 44 – I’m definitely Boyd Boi, but I know my fellow Bois generally slot him higher. Love the strikeouts, but I’m not sure the homers will necessarily come and down wins will obviously remain tough.
Biggest moves down the rankings since my February 28th list.
Carlos Carrasco -35 to 59 – I could reasonably see Carrasco sitting out after recovering from leukemia last year and I wouldn’t blame him 1%.
A.J. Puk -20 to 85 – I might’ve been a bit too high back in February, but this drop is too steep. I didn’t seek Puk out to move him, it was more of a drop due to the shuffling of many others, but he fell too far. I think he’s a mid-70s arm. He should be ready to go from day 1 and will likely be managed tightly, but I love his talent.
Joey Lucchesi -15 to 77 – I remain torn on Lucchesi. He misses bats and has had solid ERA/WHIP totals in his first two seasons, but he has a limited arsenal and rates horribly on Eno’s Command+ ($) and Stuff+ (not publicly available) ratings.
Anibal Sánchez -13 to 94 – The crafty vet wasn’t targeted for this drop, it was really more about falling down in the shuffle. He’s a boring, but useful late round gamble on a good team.
Griffin Canning -11 to 97 – You’d think he would’ve been a mover upward as a balky elbow put the beginning of his season in doubt, but I’m still a bit nervous even though his status has improved. As I was thinking over the weekend, the 11 spots might’ve been too much, but I’m not diving back in headfirst just yet.
Blake Snell -5 to 11 – This is more about potential Tampa Bay chicanery than anything else. I could see them being especially careful with their starters early on and keeping them around 3-4 innings, even with studs like Snell and Charlie Morton. I mean, I still have him 11th so I’m still slotting him as a fantasy ace.
So there’s a look at biggest risers and fallers. I’ll gladly answer questions on other pitchers in the comments, too!