This is the time of year when crazy things happen to good pitchers. Guys you were counting on to go to the post end up watching from the bench just so the Big League club can save some wear and tear on his arm. That may seem awfully selfish when your fantasy squad has a playoff berth on the line, but that’s how it goes in a day and age when youngsters don’t spend as much time in the minors as guys did 10-20 years ago.
This can happen to players on teams in the playoff hunt and teams out of contention. Don’t be surprised to see Johnny Cueto sit out a few turns down the stretch because the Reds can finish in last place whether he pitches or not. Likewise, John Danks will probably miss a start or two because teams like the White Sox value what he can do in their future more than what he can do during their playoff run. Of course, the playoffs will add extra innings to these youngsters, so that might mean an extra missed start or two.
Just when you think it is a good time to go with the crusty old veteran, you have to be careful there too. Some of the guys long in the tooth might get a start off so their team can evaluate the new hotshot who was called up in September. The safe bet here is that it usually happens with the teams out of contention as they have nothing to lose if the kid gets rocked.
In other words, watch your pitchers closely. Try to stay up to date with the latest happenings in the game. Knowledge is power and using that can be the difference to winning money this year and getting shutout.