Many fans, managers, teams, and writers alike are showing some concern over proven pitchers.
Whether these reasons are due to injuries, poor performances, or simply debunked rumors, there are some players that have received unwarranted worry.
When you hear the term "ace," you might think "a very good pitcher." An ace should be more to you than that. It should mean that he is the pitcher in your team's rotation that can put a stop to deflating losing streaks, win a big game, or single handedly carry the team to a win.
Some pitchers are wrongfully given the compliment, but others deserve it. The special individuals that do don the title and wear it the right way are workhorses that have proven over time to be able to handle whatever pressure the stage presents them with.
Focus is the key to success. Focus is what differentiates the champions. It is this drive that causes them to succeed when fifty thousand people are screaming for him to give them what they want, or for him to fail. It's the focus to be able to think of the proper pitches and deliver them with definitive authority that makes someone an ace.
It is becoming a more common occurrence to see youth in the spotlight. There is a philosophy in baseball that believes you should ease a pitcher into the big settings. While this may be true for most, there have been young pitchers who arrived in the midst of pressure and thrived.
Adam Wainwright, Tim Lincecum, and Justin Verlander are such hurlers. But sometimes there can be a point in which players falter, and more times than not people panic and are quick to deem their star as either a dud, or on the brink of finally losing it.
Here is a list of ten true aces that have had their fair share of recent problems, but that should also rebound quickly enough to have monster seasons. Remember, only deem those deserving before calling them an ace.
Josh is as intense as he is talented. Some choose to have the idea that he is an injury problem and shouldn’t be offered too large of a contract.
That may change should the playoffs come around. His track record is one of the best in the post-season, dating back to his rookie year.
Expect big numbers for Beckett in 2010. He just may be a part of an even better version of the A's "Big Three".
This competitor is a World Champion and proven All-Star. Possibly the best big-game pitcher in his league.
He is primed to have an exceptional season, and pitch the Red Sox to the playoffs.
Webb is coming off off-season surgery on his arm and many questions are going to be asked before he is completely healthy.
While there is no definitive time table for his return, you should expect him to come back in a big way for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He will be pitching in a rotation occupied by Edwin Jackson and Dan Haren.
Should he arrive to the club sooner rather than later, the desert snakes should be in contention come the end of the season.
Webb is a Cy Young award winner and has most certainly earned the respect of one.
The L.A. Dodgers may have figured out their young pitcher's problem and helped him learn from the rough experience.
Chad relayed that he is still unsure of why there was such a huge fall off from the beginning of the season, but did say he has taken his struggles from last season and turned them into a learning experience.
Bills made his first Opening Day start last year, while making his rookie All-Star appearance.
After the break however he struggled mightily, with an ERA over 5.00.
Look for him to continue to develop his change-up, while continuing to rise as one of the top young guns in baseball.
It must be difficult turning from Philadelphia’s poster boy to being a liability. Such is the humbling nature of the game of baseball.
Cole has worked hard this off-season reviewing his game and building arm strength. He is already throwing harder this spring than he was at points during last season.
Cole is ready to take the next step in his evolution as a pitcher and possibly make himself and Roy Halladay the deadliest one-two punch in the National League (as well as all of baseball).
Hamels is a tremendous competitor and even on his off days he will battle you. He will most likely regain his MVP form this season.
Ever since his brilliant entrance into the bigs, Joba has really failed to live up to his own hype. This past season has given him another year under his belt, and another playoff appearance.
History shows that young pitchers with major exposure early on can fail, but in some cases, they can come back and flourish.
He should be in the bullpen, giving his most dominant performances there. He is Rivera's hier, and should be considered the next big closer, once he gets that opportunity.
His personality is that of a closer, and he should one day get that chance.
"The Freak" has two CY Young awards to his name (in just his third season). This spring Tim has been rocked hard in his few outings.
His latest outing saw him lower his ERA, even after giving up four runs in four innings. Many are stressing his control the past few weeks.
During the off-season Lincecum was given a large contract and it may have gotten to his head early on.
But in the end his talent will prevail and once the season starts he should bounce back to being the best pitcher in the National League.
Kersh is one of the premier pitchers in all of the game. He is the same age as Stephen Strasburg and is possibly further along, due to his post-season experience.
He holds the best curve-ball in the league, which should be made deadlier once he masters the control of his fast ball.
Hard throwing and determined to exceed, Kershaw is the future of the Dodgers pitching staff. He finished '09 with a 2.79 ERA and 185 strikeouts, in limited appearances.
Some are skeptical about how he will do under the pressure of being the Dodgers best pitcher.
Bank on this being his breakout year.
Jake Peavy was one of the elite pitchers in the entire NL in his previous full seasons. Chicago should be a nice place for him to build on his numbers.
During his short stint with the Sox, Peavy has shown that he is still just as dominant.
Throwing in the low to mid-nineties with a great breaking ball, Jake should be looked at as a leading candidate for the All-Star team come this summer.
There are some questions that are being asked about his arm, but he should answer those by striking out his competition.
The problem with Strasburg is that he might not get the chance to be one of the only successful pitchers that didn't need the minors.
He has perfect control, a plus, plus fastball, a solid curve, and a fooling change-up.
Simple, he is MLB ready.
Johan is easily one of the great characters in all of baseball.
When asked about who the best pitcher was in the NL East his reply was: "Santana."
Injuries are the question with Johan. His first start of the spring was appalling, giving up four earned runs, in less than two innings of work.
Still, Santana is gritty, and his change-up leads him to be pretty resourceful. He was still a winning pitcher last season despite playing on a sub par team.
It should make for a classic duel when he faces Roy Halladay.