Pitchers Who Changed Scenes for 2018

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When getting back into the fantasy baseball groove, one important task fantasy owners need to accomplish is tracking the offseason moves.

Here at Rotoballer, we help you prepare for the new season providing you with some of the names you need to know for draft day and some you need to avoid.

We've already covered some of the big-name hitters to relocate. The following is a group of four pitchers who changed scenes before the start of the 2018 regular season.

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Pitchers Changing Teams for 2018

Jake Odorizzi, moving from Tampa Bay Rays to Minnesota Twins

On Saturday, Odorizzi was traded from the Rays to the Twins. In the past four seasons, Odorizzi has averaged 10 wins and 154 strikeouts in 167 innings. That equates to an 8.3 K/9 rate and includes a 2.8 strikeout/walk ratio.

Target Field will be his new home. Odorizzi has only pitched in three games at the Twins’ new ballpark. He’s 0-1 with a 3.57 ERA and has accumulated 15 strikeouts in 17.2 innings of work.

The jersey may change, but don’t expect the stats to be much different. Odorizzi moves to an AL Central division where his record isn’t impressive (6-7), but his strikeout total is (101 K with 96 IP).

We could easily dedicate an entire post to the Twins' pitching staff. Not only did they acquire Odorizzi in a trade with Tampa Bay, but they signed Anibal Sanchez, Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, and Zach Duke. Michael Pineda was also added by Minnesota in the offseason, but will likely miss most of the season due to Tommy John surgery.


Matt Moore, moving from San Francisco Giants to Texas Rangers

Another former Ray, Moore was traded to the Giants in August of 2016. Typically, pitchers thrive when moving from the AL to NL, because they get to throw to pitchers instead of designated hitters. However, the move did not bode well for Moore. In 2017, he went 6-15 and notched the highest ERA of his career (5.52).

Now, Moore returns to the AL in an attempt to resurrect his career. The one-time 17-game winner hasn’t been the same since needing Tommy John surgery in 2014. He’ll pitch in a very favorable hitting environment and might see his career-high 107 ER total be surpassed, yet again.

Much like the Twins, we could’ve listed all Rangers in this piece. Along with Moore, Texas added Mike Minor, Doug Fister, and Bartolo Colon, none of whom should interest fantasy owners in mixed-league drafts.


Andrew Cashner, moving from Texas Rangers to Baltimore Orioles

Many will forget Cashner’s one-year stint with the Rangers last season. He was quite successful. Cashner finished the season with 11 wins and a 3.40 ERA. However, he only tallied 86 strikeouts in 166.2 innings of work.

Though his strikeout total was low last year, Cashner’s ground ball percentage was stellar (48.6 percent). That was 15th among starting pitchers. Cashner also finished 2017 with the lowest HR/FB (8.6 percent) in all of baseball. Stephen Strasburg was second (8.7 percent).

Camden Yards allowed 262 home runs (most in 2017). While that would scare away most fantasy baseball owners, remember that Cashner pitched half of his starts at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers’ ballpark allowed the fourth-most home runs in 2017 (239 HR) and Cashner was the cause for only 10 of them.

The best starting pitcher for Baltimore last year had a 1.4 HR/9. Cashner had a 0.8 in 2017. He doesn't bring much to the table, but his ability to keep the ball in the park could lead to good ratios once again.


Joakim Soria, moving from Kansas City Royals to the Chicago White Sox

Enough about the starting pitchers. Let’s talk about a closer.

Soria was a stud from 2008-2010. During that span he was a two-time All-Star and slammed the door in 115 games (only nine blown saves in three years).

Then, in 2011, he blew five of his first 11 save opportunities. He followed that season by going under the knife. In April of 2012, Soria had Tommy John surgery.

From there, Soria bounced around from Texas, to Detroit, to Pittsburgh, then back to Kansas City. Since 2013, Soria’s only tallied 44 saves.

Now, he gets another chance in Chicago. Nate Jones is recovering from elbow surgery, which gives Soria a head start on the closer role. Juan Minaya recorded nine saves for the club last year, but also produced a 4.53 ERA. There is risk all across this bullpen, but someone will emerge with at least a handful of saves and it could be the veteran Soria.


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