Mar 25, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcherMasahiro Tanaka
(19) in the dugout between innings against the New York Mets at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Calm down, take a breath, and clear your mind. It is only Week 1 after all.
Every year we see fantasy owners make the assumption that there team is garbage after one rocky week. This is one of the biggest fantasy follies, and I can not fathom why teams are ready to overhaul their rosters after the first week.
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A prime example of this phenomenon was the rocky outing from Masahiro Tanaka early this week. I have seen fantasy owners on nearly every platform already panicking and deeming Tanaka and Lester huge busts. Keep in mind fantasy owners, if you are an owner of either of these two guys, that YOU wanted and selected these guys a matter of weeks ago. So why make a snap judgement after one start?
In Tanaka’s case whenever he had his first rocky outing this year, people were going to deem his elbow as the cause. But people who actually baseball games, know that the headlines do not always capture the true essence of a performance. Tanaka was absolutely breezing through the first two inning striking out 3 of 4 and displaying some dazzling breaking stuff. No he was not throwing 95 MPH, but that was not needed when his stuff was that good. Then the wheels came off in the 3rd inning as a walk, base-hit and error opened the flood gates leading to the Encarnacion bomb.
It was not his elbow, and it was not his reduced velocity, it was a lack of command, something that is the downfall of many pitchers. It is easy to read a headline and then throw in the towel on Tanaka, but you should not pull the plug already. Last season, many owners, including me, made this kind of mistake when they decided that Corey Kluber was just going to remain a middle of the road SP and nothing more after a rough 1st handful of starts. Look how that turned out, we all dropped the eventual Cy Young winner.
I know that Kluber did not have to deal with a ligament issue either, but I want to point to how snap judgments can cost you a season. If you had decided to take Tanaka in the draft you had to expect some type of turbulence early, so do not be scared off already. If it makes you feel better, go on the waiver wire and write a couple of guys names down that are upside plays, and have that list ready in case Tanaka implodes or goes down. Give Tanaka a handful of starts, if he stills shows that he can not adjust to his new approach, feel free to either bench him or drop him.
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Just do not make a rash decision that may cost you down the line, because there is nothing worse than seeing a guy you drafted and dropped early in the season, come back and beat you while on someone else’s team.
I know we all left the draft loving our teams, so it is disheartening to see all these guys we like suck the first week of the season. This may look as a pro-Tanaka rant, but it is not, he just serves as the poster boy for these hasty judgments, but this mentality applies to anyone that you own. It absolutely sucks to watch some early struggles, yeah I am looking at you Sandoval, but we have to hold course and remain patient. I will concede that maybe the bottom spots of your roster could always be changing as you may want to jump on someone doing well early, but you can not let that thinking trickle into main components of your team. We look at hundreds of names on draft day and deem 30 we like more than the others, keep in mind that no one chose these guys but you, so embrace them and their early hiccups.
All you astute owners know that patience early in season is key, and for those who think your team blows already, just remember, it is Week 1!