If you’ve played fantasy baseball for any significant portion of the past ten years, you’ve probably owned Brandon McCarthy at some point. He’s one of those pitchers (Rich Harden and A.J. Burnett also come to mind) who has never had a superlative season, has rarely performed at much above replacement level; yet he possesses such apparent “potential,” and flashes it with just enough regularity, that among any group of 10-12 baseball fans, there’s bound to be somebody who’s enamored with him.
Even in 2014 there have been such glimpses, though it has been thus far, at least superficially, the worst season (.231 WPCT, 5.01 ERA) of McCarthy’s underwhelming career. Yet, few 3-10 pitchers from cellar-dwelling teams have racked up twelve strikeouts in a start or thrown eight innings of two-hit ball against a potent lineup. McCarthy lost his first five decisions, as well as ten of his first eleven, yet amidst all that, he put together one stretch of 19 innings with a 1.42 ERA and 11.4 K/9 and another stretch of 18 innings with a 1.00 ERA and 10.0 K/9.… Click here to read the rest