Jason Bergmann -- I liked the guy.
I made it clear in this blog, clear to all my friends who were drafting in NL-only leagues, clear to some of my colleagues who thought his current circumstances were less than favorable. You want a pitcher with your last pick? Take a chance on Bergmann: good sinker, good strikeout rate, good WHIP, good spring.
At least so far, he is. Through two starts, he has a 10.45 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP after running out of steam around the fifth inning both times.
So you know what I did? I cut his sorry behind. Felt good about it, too.
Fantasy becomes a much easier game when you accept the somewhat obvious notion that you will be wrong. Expect it. Don't even cross your fingers and hope otherwise.
Instead, embrace it -- well, as much as you can, anyway. You don't have to hold on to Bergmann or Matt Garza or Ian Kennedy or Barry Zito or whatever late-round flier you had high hopes for going into the season. Being wrong affords you the opportunity to assume you'll be wrong again -- specifically, on all those fliers you didn't have high hopes for. And now with Draft Day good and over, you have some early-season evidence at your disposal.
I know what you're thinking: It's only two starts. If you loved a guy so much going into the season, why not hold on to him just a little bit longer? What if he becomes good after all and somebody else ends up with him? You'd be heartbroken!
I know you love that sleeper. I know you saw something in him that still makes believe he has ability to break out in a big way, but you shouldn't feel any kind of loyalty to your sleepers just because they were yours. Besides, keep in mind I'm referring to guys you got with one of your last few picks. If nobody wanted them on Draft Day when they hadn't done anything period, who's going to want them now when they haven't done anything good? Believe me, nobody's going to swoop in and grab Bergmann, and even in the rare case somebody does, there's always that ever-increasing possibility that I'm wrong about him, at least for this year.
So with all that said, here are the pitchers showing early signs of a breakout that I've managed to snag in mixed leagues. All of them have two starts except for ...
Manny Parra (3.38 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 11.8 Ks/9)
Probably the perfect example for what I try to do with starting pitchers early in the season. He makes his second start tonight (Friday) against the Mets. If he does poorly, I'll cut him for the next pitcher who steps up. No harm done. If he does well, bad news for everyone else in my league: I already have him.
Edwin Jackson (0.64 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 6.4 Ks/9)
Maybe the ultimate wild card because his control made him so awful in the past, Jackson has already demonstrated better command of his pitches this season. His walks are still a little high (six in 14 innings), but he's compensated with nearly unhittable stuff. He showed too much talent early in his minor-league career for anyone to think he'd stay bad forever.
Jonathan O. Sanchez (6.30 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 16.2 Ks/9)
He had one frighteningly good start preceded by one awful start. He might struggle for wins as a member of the Giants rotation, but those strikeouts are too good to ignore.
Dana Eveland (0.68 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 8.8 Ks/9)
Maybe he doesn't have quite the upside of the three pitchers ahead of him, but the Athletics thought enough of him to bring him over in the Dan Haren deal. And so far, so good after a lights-out spring (1.29 ERA, 17 strikeouts and 19 hits in 21 innings). I'm totally on the Eveland bandwagon until he gives me a reason to jump off it.
Ryan Dempster (0.69 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 6.9 Ks/9)
Of the five pitchers I've listed here, I'm most skeptical of Dempster. I just can't imagine him being this good as a starter after being so poor as a reliever (and not so good as a starter before converting to reliever). But again, I'm willing to explore the possibility that I'm wrong. Maybe those years of closing gave him a better approach to pitching in general. Hey, like everyone else on this list, I can always cut him once he shows signs of weakness.
That's all for now.