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Stock Watch: 2012 Season in Review (Misses)

Last week's Stock Watch reviewed many of the best "Buy" / "Sell" recommendations of the year, and this week will review many of the worst "Buy" / "Sell" recommendations:

  • On April 13, Stock Watch recommended selling Fernando Rodney - "Closer injuries have been widespread early this season, and some owners are left short in saves. See if an owner is desparate enough to give you good value on Rodney before the inevitable blowups occur."  Rodney of course proceeded to have the lowest ERA ever by a qualifying reliever at .60 with 48 saves, a 0.78 WHIP and a 76/15 K/BB ratio in 74 2/3 innings.  Unbelievable.
  • On April 20, Stock Watch recommended buying Francisco Liriano - "He has shown improved velocity between starts (max velocity increasing from 92.7 to 93.3 to 95 in his three starts) despite horrible results this year - 11.91 ERA compared to 5.70 SIERA. If Liriano was cut by an impatient owner in your league, he is worth picking up and taking a chance on in a favorable home ballpark for pitchers."  Liriano was up and down, but mostly down, the rest of the season with a 4.83 ERA and awful 4.8 BB/9 rate (but an excellent 9.8 K/9 rate).  
  • On April 20, Stock Watch also recommended selling Jake Peavy - "Has been dominant this season in two of three starts, and avoided a bombing in his start at Texas. But he carries a massive injury risk and pitches in a park that balls will start flying out of when the Chicago heat sets in. I would inquire to see what you can get in trade for Peavy if you have an abundance of starting pitching, and see if you can turn the 235.0 ADP pick into a top-150 player. But, do not give Peavy away, as his average fastball velocity is up from 91.27 in 2011 to 92.12 in 2012."  Peavy kept rolling after April 20 with a 3.43 ERA and 9 wins.  Peavy proved an excellent late round draft pick in 12-team mixed leagues and enjoyed an unexpectedly healthy season.
  • On April 27, Stock Watch recommended buying Javy Guerra - "When other owners are zigging, you should be zagging. Following Guerra's blown save on Wednesday, many owners are looking to dump. But, Don Mattingly reaffirmed Guerra as the closer on Thursday. Also, Guerra's loss on Tuesday was caused by Matt Kemp not making a catchable play in center field, and on Wednesday, Guerra was singled to death by a very good Braves lineup. I like Guerra to have a decent amount of leash still as the closer given his success last year and excellent pitching before the Braves series, and I would be looking to get him when his value is far down. Guerra also showed the moxie of a closer by taking a wicked line drive off his chin on Wednesday and staying in the save situation."  Guerra lost the closer role almost immediately after this recommendation, and had no value the remainder of the season.  Lesson here is to draft talent and not roles where the back end of a bullpen is unsettled.
  • On May 4, Stock Watch recommended buying Jonathan Broxton - "Although widely doubted (including in this column), Broxton has been impressive in converting four straight saves and has a long leash as closer, with setup man Greg Holland on the DL. Owners should feel confident in Broxton's job security if targeting lower-tier closers in trade."  Broxton was traded to a set-up role with the Reds later in the season, and the lesson here is to be careful in targeting impending free agent closers for losing teams that may look to dump at the trading deadline.
  • On June 8, Stock Watch recommended selling Kyle Lohse - "A 5.08 ERA in May is likely a sign of things to come for Lohse, whose career ERAs for July, August and September are 5.02, 4.67 and 4.60 respectively.  Lohse's overall 2012 numbers still look good so see if you can include him in a larger deal to upgrade elsewhere on your roster."  Lohse kept on rolling after June 8 with a 2.67 ERA and 11 wins.
  • On June 15, Stock Watch recommended buying Ivan Nova - "His strikeout rate per nine innings has skyrocketed this season from 5.33 to 8.00, and he has collected eight wins pitching for the Yankees' powerhouse lineup.  A 3.53 SIERA gives hope that his 4.64 ERA will come down when his 16% HR per flyball ratio evens out closer to the 8.4% he had last season."  After June 15, Nova struggled with a 5.34 ERA and only 4 wins in 16 starts.  Lesson here is to be very hesitant in relying on AL East starters, particularly those pitching in the Yankees home park.
  • On July 27, Stock Watch recommended selling Matt Harvey - "After dominating the Diamondbacks Thursday night, Harvey is going to a popular name in fantasy circles this week.  Those owners in re-draft leagues that are fortunate enough to have claimed Harvey off waivers should be looking to sell to an owner that will overpay for rookie hype.  Harvey showed typical control issues for a young starter this year in Triple-A, as he walked nearly four batters per nine innings, and may initially struggle in the majors as he learns command.  Stock Watch also recommended selling Trevor Bauer in re-draft leagues for many of the same reasons. RotoAuthority's Mike Axisa recently warned about the Mets' poor defense potentially inflating Harvey's WHIP and ERA, as well."  Harvey dominated down the stretch with a 3.00 ERA and 9.8 K/9 rate after July 27.  Although relying on rookie pitchers is usually problematic, Harvey proved an exception with a strong rookie season.

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