Bustin’ a Cap

Tis the season for innings caps, the death of all fantasy fans right in the peak of fantasy baseball playoffs.  Who will have an innings cap that you’ll need to monitor down the stretch?  I have a list of some names to monitor…you’re welcome

Justin Masterson, RHP, Indians – Career high entering 2011: 180.0 (2010)

Masterson has thrown 187 1/3 innings this season, eclipsing his previous career high already.  He has been the chief in a struggling Indians rotation down the stretch, but he is still just 10-8 despite a 2.83 ERA.  He’ll reach 200 but he may wear down like the rest of the Tribe staff in September.

Doug Fister, RHP, Tigers – Career high entering 2011: 171.0 (2010)

Could you actually enjoy getting “Fisted” in the playoffs?  Fister has already hit 174 2/3 innings this season, surpassing his career high.  He is 3-1 with a 3.45 ERA over 5 starts since joining Detroit.  Even if he starts wearing down, he should be a part of the Tigers race to the AL Central title.  He will probably do a solid job down the stretch since he doesn’t strike anyone out to begin with, so he’ll continue getting by on junk and a large ballpark.

Michael Pineda, RHP, Mariners – Career high entering 2011: 139 1/3 (2010)

Pineda has been spectacular this season, but his season is about to be over.  The Mariners are out of it and they are going to protect their golden arm, as Pineda has already thrown 153 innings in 25 starts.  He may have a turn skipped or he may be shut down, but he got you to where you are because you bought in on him.  Good for you if you did.  He’ll be Seattle’s 1B next season.

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP, Rockies – Career high entering 2011: 177 2/3 (2008)

The Rockies rode the arm of Chacin hard in 2008, really upping his innings.  He’s thrown 170 so far this season and I could see them riding him hard to finish off the season.  Though, being 12 games out, they could just save him and wait until next year.

Brandon Morrow, RHP, Blue Jays – Career high entering 2011: 146 1/3 (2010)

Morrow has thrown just 142 2/3 innings this season, but you have to remember that this is still his 2nd full season as a starter since the Mariners screwed around more with him than any player in baseball history…opinions are fun.  Morrow missed a few starts early this season but needs to finish strong to lower his ERA and show that he can get something solid to go with the strikeouts that he tempts everyone with at draft time.

Tim Stauffer, RHP, Padres – Career high entering 2011: 168 (2004)

Stauffer has had arm issues in the past and the fact that he hasn’t hit 130 innings in a season since 2007 is cause for concern when he is already at 166 innings after 27 starts.  He has been solid this season for a terrible team, but his history and his innings should be a cause for concern if you’re thinking about him now and going forward.

Derek Holland, LHP, Rangers – Career high entering 2011: 150 2/3 (2008)

Holland has some skills and has been a little all over the place with them, but he will be a foundation to the Rangers rotation going forward.  He turns 25 in October, but he had gone back and forth between starting and relieving for the Rangers in 2009 and 2010 before starting full-time this season.  The old C.J. Wilson treatment, just diving right in with him.  He has surpassed his career high by tossing 165 1/3 innings already and he will probably work well into October when the Rangers make the playoffs…sorry Angels.

Jordan Zimmerman, RHP, Nationals – Career high entering 2011: 134 (2008)

Zimmerman has already been shut down.  Congrats if you depend on my site for immediate news.  His final start was on the 28th of August.  If you were counting on him, you’re dumb.  He had an AMAZING season, posting an 8-11 record and 3.18 ERA over 161 1/3 innings.  He should play nicely as the #2 starter behind Stephen Strasburg in 2012…oh…and he’ll be another season removed from his 2009 Tommy John surgery.  Washington is looking really good.

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