Friday, February 27, 2009

Sean Marshall 2009

Sean Marshall has a good chance of winning the last spot in the Chicago Cubs rotation for 2009. He also has a good chance of being one of the better #5 starters in the major leagues this year, and a nice late round bargain in relatively deep fantasy leagues. Marshall's strikeout rate improved drastically last year, going from a K/9 of 5.8 the previous year to 8.1. That was in 65.1 innings, which is enough that a change of that magnitude has to be somewhat meaningful. His control remained about the same. His groundball rate got substantially worse, dropping from 48.2% to 41.2% His increased strikeout rate may have occurred as the result of a change in approach that was achieved at the expense of his groundball rate, or it may have simply been improvement in a young pitcher, with the lower groundball rate being a fluke. If it was the latter, then Marshall has the chance to be an excellent starting pitcher this year. If not, he's still worth owning in deep leagues.

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