In preparation of the 2011 MLB Fantasy Baseball season, The Fantasy Fix team will preview a team's pitching rotation each day.
In this third National League West preview, Brett Talley examines Mat Latos and the San Diego Padres.
A quick look at the possible rotation of the 2011 San Diego Padres is pretty uninspiring, but thanks to the pitcher’s paradise that is Petco Park (alliteration!) several guys are worth a second look.
The most interesting name may be the newly acquired Aaron Harang. While it is unlikely that Petco is going to bring back the 2005-2007 version of Harang (ERA in the high threes, 7-8 K/9, sub-1.30 WHIP), it could bring back the 2008-2009 version (ERA in the mid fours, 7.50ish K/9, 1.40 WHIP).
At the very least, hopefully Petco will bring better than the 2010 version of Harang (5.32 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 6.61 K/9). It would seem reasonable that the ballpark will bring his ERA back on the right side of five, but the K/9 and WHIP are something not aided by ballpark, and their improvement is solely up to Harang. It might be worth a flier in an NL-only league to see if Harang has anything left.
Wade LeBlanc is kind of an uninspiring name despite being a former second round pick because he has never really had that “top prospect” status. Even his numbers from his first season in the big leagues are fairly uninspiring: 8 wins (25 starts), 4.25 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 6.78 K/9.
However, LeBlanc may have simply worn down in late August. If you take out his final three starts (plus one late relief appearance) and look at the first 22 starts LeBlanc made, you get a 3.46 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, and a 7.40 K/9.
Assuming LeBlanc can develop in his second year and improve on his strikeout and walk rates, he could be a solid spot starter in mixed leagues (only when pitching at home, of course) and a reliable guy in NL-only leagues.
Clayton Richard is a more exciting name simply because he was a piece the Padres got back in exchange for sending Jake Peavy to Chicago.