Much like the bats, there were handful of arms on which we could all agree, then it became a free-for-all.
This is actually par for the course – pitchers inspire a lot of strong emotions, in large part because the game begins with ’em and ends with ’em. Think about it: They’re usually the second question asked about your team (“Who are the _____ playing today? Who’s pitching?”).
Twenty-three different pitchers were named on ten ballots, same as last year. All three kinds were represented—old, young, and hurt—five, if you want to count the combinations.
Let’s do this…
- Erick Fedde
- Koda Glover
- Austin Voth
- Tyler Watson
- A.J. Cole
- Jesus Luzardo
- Joan Baez
- Weston Davis
- Ryan Brinley
- Matthew Crownover
- Tyler Mapes
McKenzie Mills, Andrew Lee, John Simms, Yonathan Ramirez, Nick Lee, Jaron Long, Bryan Harper, Jimmy Cordero, Steven Fuentes, Jake Johansen, Austin L. Adams, Gilberto Chu
Why 11? Well, because some idiot mixed up the days of service with innings pitched a couple of posts ago. So those of you who clarified or specified, I slotted him where you put him and if you didn’t I made him #5 since that was consensus (As it so happened, the gap between Cole and the Luzardo was so big that that maneuver made little difference).
Now for the requisite thoughts…
• Erick Fedde ends Lucas Giolito’s four-year run (which is a testament mainly to the latter’s age and hype) as the #1 pitcher in this highly unscientific poll. It would appear that two-plus years removed from TJ surgery that Fedde will be unrestricted in 2017, which is something to keep in mind if Joe Ross and/or Stephen Strasburg miss time or go under the knife.
• Most folks seem pretty confident Koda Glover will bounce back from labrum problems, which is good because he’s definitely a candidate to pitch in the late innings (don’t get me started on the whole closer misnomer).
• While Glover’s meteoric rise in 2016 enabled him to leapfrog Austin Voth, folks still believe in the Washington state native and truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if he got the nod ahead of Fedde, especially early in the 2017 season.
• Cole turns 25 early next month and one has to wonder how much longer the Nats will use him as a starter. He’s made 52 starts at AAA and hasn’t been significantly better than league average for the most part, with 2016 worse than 2015 and likewise 2015 vs. 2014.
• Luzardo has yet to throw a professional pitch, but folks seem very confident that he’ll recover. Just yesterday, however, we were reminded that the TJ surgery success rate is high, but it’s not (and never will be) 100 percent.
As always, feel free to discuss in the comments.