A few days back, I wrote, "Don't listen to people like Will Carroll" when it comes to picking Royals in fantasy, specifically one Gil Meche (Baseball Prospectus wrote in 2006: "The allure of a young arm slinging 97 mph fastballs drives teams to do some loopy things, and in today's market, $4 million for a pitcher coming off of a 26-start season isn't all that loopy. But the M's are chasing a dream that's not coming true").
Apparently Will Carroll disagrees with the "don't listen to" part.
"I'll take that bet," he commented. "You take Meche, I'll take someone making LESS money and having less experience than him. Someone like Zach Duke, David Bush, or even Jason Marquis and bet his VORP is higher than Meche's at the end of the season."
My first thought was: Wow, that's Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus and Under the Knife, publisher, editor-in-chief, owner and sole proprietor of the defunct All-Baseball blog, etc. etc.
My second thought: JASON MARQUIS???
He's a team player, often taking his 12-, 13-run, 14-hit batterings with nary a whimper of protest, but not much else. Take away those abominable performances from this year's expected output and you still get a pitcher who doesn't get many strikeouts and gives up a lot of home runs (35 last year). And his hitting does not factor into the VORP equation.
Here's Marquis's projected stats for this year: VORP of 6.7, or the same as Eric Milton; 8-10, 85 strikeouts, 5.26 ERA. Meche's projections aren't great, but I'm happy to say they're a little better than that. He had labrum surgery six years ago, and Carroll once penned a column for Slate sub-titled, "Why the torn labrum is baseball's most fearsome injury," so maybe this bet is really my faith in Meche vs. Will's skepticism in shoulder surgeons. But I mean... Jason Marquis?!?
The bet's on. At stake: a link in his Under the Knife column vs. a dramatized fantasy sequence in this one. Stay tuned for more.