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Five Low Cost Pitchers You Should Know

There are many strategies to putting together a competitive fantasy team, but the one that I’ve grown most fond of, is to load up on hitters early and then work on your pitching staff.  Granted, I won’t let a great value pass me by, as

I recently selected

Tim Lincecum in the third round of a 15-team draft.  But, the main reason that I prefer this strategy is the uncertainty of pitching. 

As we saw last year when

Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young award, it’s possible to pluck a very productive pitcher off of the waiver wire.  Lee sported a 5.68 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 19.0 innings pitched during spring training of 2008.  So, as you can see, there was nothing spectacular in Lee’s numbers heading into last season, which makes working the early season waiver wire that much more critical. (Make sure to keep checking in as the season gets underway and we’ll make sure that the 2009 version of Cliff Lee makes it to your roster.)

With that in mind, let’s take a look at five pitchers who can be had with a late round pick.


Micah Owings, CIN, P

14.2 IP, 1.23 ERA, 16 K

With his impressive start, Owings is in the lead for the fifth spot in the Reds’ rotation.  Obscure stat…According to the Journal News, the Reds were 63-63 in starts made by the first four starters and 11-25 in starts made by the fifth starter.  Owings ability to hit will also play a role in his ability to make the Reds roster.

A shoulder injury forced Owings to a 0-7 record and a 9.21 ERA over his last 12 appearances in 2008.  Good health appears to be the only thing keeping Owings from being a draft day steal.

Currently not being drafted, according to Mock Draft Central.

Homer Bailey, CIN, P

10.0 IP, 0.90 ERA, 8 K

Owings may have the lead in the battle to be the Reds fifth starter, but don’t count out Bailey should Owings health falter.  One rumor over the winter had the Reds offering Bailey in a deal for

Jermaine Dye, the White Sox declined.  Bailey won’t be 23 until May, so there is still time for him to turn things around.  With Jermaine Dye possibly in his last year with the White Sox they may regret not making that deal. 

Edinson Volquez was the Reds number five starter last season, so just maybe, lightning will strike twice. 

Currently not being drafted, according to Mock Draft Central.

Jordan Zimmerman, WAS, P

8.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 10 K

It’s looking more like Zimmerman is going to be the Nats’ fifth starter.  He has yet to give up a run this spring, meanwhile,

Colin Balester, his main competition, has given up four home runs in eight innings.  Last season in the minors Zimmerman had a 2.89 ERA while striking out 134 batters in 134.0 innings.  There is definitely some upside here especially with the Nats’ offense

looking improved over last season.

Currently not being drafted, according to Mock Draft Central.

Sean Marshall, CHC, P

13.1 IP, 0.68 ERA, 8 K

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Cubs’ fifth starter spot is Marshall’s to lose, according to Cubs’ manager

Lou Piniella.  Marshall worked hard in the off season to improve his curve and changeup and it looks like it’s going to pay off.

Currently not being drafted, according to Mock Draft Central.

Glen Perkins, MIN, P

12.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 6 K

Perkins has looked good this spring, but it’s that pitcher friendly Metrodome that has us thinking Perkins can continue to improve in 2009.  He was 7-3 with a 3.84 ERA at home and 5-1 with a 5.13 ERA on the road.  He only had 74 strikeouts in 151.0 innings last season, but we’re talking about a guy who is being taken 364th overall, so think value.

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