Seven innings in two starts does not a season make, but Gil Meche's recent four-inning, four-strikeout performance against the Angels not only vaulted him up my fantasy player prerankings but convinced me he's an early favorite for the American League Cy Young Award. Don't worry about the two runs he gave up, which came off a Jeff Mathis home run. Point is, Meche has looked good so far -- no disastrous outings like Daisake Matsuzaka's on Saturday (apparently the guy draws attention?) -- and if he perfects the new technique he's been working on -- not landing on his heel after delivering the ball -- we can expect him to continue to keep his pitches down to set up his overpowering fastball.
From what we've seen, we know Meche will eat up innings and, at the bare minimal least, be more effective than 2006 Opening Day starter Scott Elarton. Of course, we at IDWT eat "bare minimal leasts" for breakfast. The Cy Young watch is officially ON.
Oh, and for anyone still unconvinced by the Gil Meche signing -- including my roommate and approximately 100 percent of everyone who was kind enough to send me their oh-so-funny cheeky e-mails about the deal -- I encourage you to read this from Joe Posnanski, in which he defends Meche without commenting on his abilities as a player (he does that here). The middle section starts slowly, laying out the Royals' situation, but then surges ahead with such momentum that you almost find yourself exclaiming "Yes, yes, YES!" by the end. I don't want to ruin the reading experience for you, but here's an excerpt:
Then finally it was crunch time. We know that a couple of teams offered Meche four years, $40 million. But as the final meeting approached, the Royals heard solid rumors that one team actually offered Meche four years at $48 million. They are still adamant that a $12 million per year deal was on the table and it was very real. So the Royals knew it would take a very special offer to get Meche to come to Kansas City. And they did something the Royals absolutely have to do in these circumstances. They went for it. They saw a guy, they studied him, they liked him, they went after him. The Royals offered Meche an extra year. They figured, hey, the guy’s only 28 ... giving him the extra year is a risk they were willing to take.
Dayton Moore says when it comes to trades, drafts, signings of all sizes, there is only one key:
GET … THE … PLAYER.
Yes! Shout it to the disbelieving world!