When I started this article, I wanted to take a deeper look into some of the best pitchers in the game.
I really wanted to look past David Price and Max Scherzer as they are already having injury problems this spring.
Talking about Justin Verlander, with his 2,300 innings pitched, or Felix Hernandez with 2,400 IP and five seasons with 230 innings just seemed the easy route.
So, taking a deeper look into some of the best pitchers in the game and look at whose arms have been through a lot over the last three years or so.
Overlooking a workload might be easy when it’s Madison Bumgarner or Corey Kluber, but let’s take a deeper dive into some of these overworked arms!
2017 Fantasy Baseball Overworked Arms
Chris Sale, SP, Boston Red Sox
Let’s start this one out with a big name! Sale has been a Top 10 pitcher for most of his 7-year career. Sale has thrown 608.4 innings the last three years, in addition to having over 200 inning pitched three out of the last four years; with only one trip to the disabled list due to baseball related issues.
Being moved to the Red Sox might help reduce his innings, as that offence could allow for him to leave in the sixth inning more often than not! Despite having 1,110.0 IP, Six complete games last year and 13 since 2013, he should get his 30-plus starts this year.
Jose Quintana, SP, Chicago White Sox
Jose has had a clean spring and he has been one of my favorite pitchers to draft the last few years. Quintana has been one of the most consistent pitchers over the last three years, a steady-eddy if you will!
However, the innings he’s pitched has been among the most in baseball. He has pitched 614.2 innings over the last three years, and 951.0 IP over his five-year career with his ERA dropping pretty much every year. The only exception is when it went up .04 points in 2015. Quintana will be a very solid pitcher this year, but don’t be surprised if a problem pops up, as he has been on one of the more overused pitchers in baseball.
Madison Bumgarner, SP, San Francisco Giants
Bumgarner is the best pitcher in baseball, besides that Clayton Kershaw dude. Nonetheless, Madison has a lot of innings on his arm. Over the last few seasons (including the postseason), he has pitched 661.2 innings over the last three years. Over his seven-year career, he is nearing 1,400 IP. Additionally, he threw four complete games each of the last three years.
Bumgarner is elite and is worthy of an early draft pick, but he has pitched over 200 innings the last six years in a row. Bumgarner is as reliable and solid as they come, however, you don’t want to own him the year issues start to occur.
Corey Kluber, SP, Cleveland Indians
Kluber almost single-handily took care of the World Champion Chicago Cubs. Outside of the occasional blowup, Kluber was a top 10 starting pitcher, who vaulted into the top five last year. The 30-year-old does not seem to be slowing down. However, let’s not forget the great postseason he had. In the World Series alone, he pitched three games in seven days.
He’s had an ERA under two for two of the last three years, which you can pair with 672.2 innings pitched, on top of the 827 pitches he has dished out the last four years. In addition to that, he has pitched over 200 innings the last three years in a row. Corey has pitched great for Cleveland, so let’s hope he can keep it going for his team and yours.
Johnny Cueto, SP, San Francisco Giants
Cueto has seen success in both leagues. He has been at the top of his game for quite some time, pitching over 674 innings the last three years. Cueto has topped out at over 230 innings (2014) just one year while throwing four complete games that year as well. While he has pitched over 200 innings four out of the last five years, he has also been on and off the DL quite a few times in his career.
Meanwhile, the injury bug has not bitten him since his days in a Reds uni. He won a World Series with Kansas City, then jumped ship to San Francisco where he had a great year in 2016. While he is still one of the best options for your team, make sure you keep an open mind before hitting that draft button.
Clayton Kershaw, SP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw. Goat. One of the best ever. The myth has not been anything less than epic these last nine years. When Kershaw is on the mound, there is no one else I would want on the mound for my team.
While he only has 579.3 innings pitched the last three years, he has exceeded 230 IP three times and over 200 IP fives times over his nine-year career. He has not been immune to the injury bug as he suffered a herniated disc in 2016 and only pitched 149 innings. I’m all for drafting a one Mr Kershaw, but do so with caution.
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