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Francisco Liriano Is The Hot Crazy Girl

Oh, Francisco Liriano. If I weren't so dispirited by my inability to stay away from you, I might have the energy to calculate the stratospheric ERA and WHIP that you have unremittingly disseminated onto my fantasy teams over the past year. It's bad, really bad. 

The hot crazy girl analogy is unavoidable. You know you shouldn't draft him; you know you shouldn't text her. You put him in the lineup; you pay for her expensive meal. He destroys your ratios; she destroys your rationality. And on and so on. 

It's only been one start! The PITCHf/x data sure doesn't look good, though. Liriano's two-seamer, the speedier of his two fastball offerings (and his fastball of choice), averaged 90.9 mph. Blech. What happened to sitting comfortably at 93 mph in the spring, Francisco? Liriano's two-seamer averaged 93.6 mph in his first start of 2010. In the first start of his putrid 2011, his two-seamer averaged 91.5. And here Liriano is averaging 90.9 mph. What. Is. Going. On. 

Smart Liriano speculators saw him and waited for the PITCHf/x data. Rationality-starved Liriano psychotics like myself started him in all leagues. I'm not starting him again until I see that average fastball velocity breach 93 mph. Of course, that means he'll throw another no-hitter. 

Jonathan Broxton and his prodigious physique occur on the opposite side of the velocity spectrum. After 2010, Broxton's geese were seemingly cooked. The Royals gambled, however, and after Broxton hit 98.5 mph on the gun in Anaheim on Sunday, the Royals risk-taking seems to have paid off. Broxton blew away Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, and Kendrys Morales. Granted, not one of his fastballs was located in the strike zone, and it remains to be seen if Broxton can dial it to 97 or 98 and hit his spots. Still, the velocity spike is impressive, and should indicate that Broxton is feeling healthy. He may be in line for a very nice 2012. 

Some other quick observations:

Carlos Beltran and Alex Rodriguez both already have a SB. This should also indicate that both players are feeling healthy. Beltran already has three homers, while A-Rod has five walks to only four strikeouts. 

Kelly Johnson and Zack Cozart are both seeing the ball well at the outset. Johnson has five walks to three stirkeouts and a homer; Cozart two walks to two strikeouts and four extra-base hits, including a homer. Hitting in front of Jose Bautista and Joey Votto, respectively, both players could be in for nice seasons. 

Most are picking Henry Rodriguez to get the bulk of saves if Drew Storen is out for an extended period (as it appears he will be). Rodriguez blew the save on Monday night, however, thereby prying the door open a little further for Brad Lidge. Another blown save for Rodriguez could force Davey Johnson to nominate Lidge. 

The Yankees have faced two left-handers in their first five games, and Brett Gardner sat both times, giving way to the right-handed bat of Andruw Jones. Microcosmically speaking, this looks like a straight-up timeshare. In an AL-only league, owning both players could provide quite a nice line at season's end. In a mixed league, this is somewhat of a nuisance for Gardner owners. 

Well, that's about 3% of the season in the books. Fantasy baseball: nothing like it!


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