Fantasy Fox: Best and worst spring pitchers

I usually take Spring Training stats with a grain of salt. But certain categories from Grapefruit and Catcus league action can serve as strong indicators of regular-season success — or impending failure.

Here are some noteworthy pitching performances from Florida and Arizona (through March 13):


The Good

Strikeout-To-Walk Ratio

Alex Cobb, Rays — 18/1
Matt Harvey, Mets — 18/3
Julio Teheran, Braves — 18/4
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals — 18/5
Rick Porcello, Tigers — 14/0
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers — 14/4
Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers — 12/4
Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks — 10/0
David Price, Rays — 10/1
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals — 10/1
Yu Darvish, Rangers — 10/2
Cliff Lee, Phillies — 12/4
Brian Matusz, Orioles — 11/2
Justin Verlander, Tigers — 11/3
Ricky Nolasco, Marlins — 11/3
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks — 11/3
Josh Beckett, Dodgers — 11/3

Opponents’ Batting Average (minimum 10 innings)

Julio Teheran, Braves — .087
Philip Humber, Astros — .064
Jon Lester, Red Sox — .128
Matt Harvey, Mets — .163
Alex Cobb, Rays — .167
Travis Wood, Cubs — .171
Justin Verlander, Tigers — .174
Drew Smyly, Tigers — .190
Rick Porcello, Tigers — .208
James McDonald, Pirates — .222
Paul Maholm, Braves — .224
Jeff Francis, Rockies — .245

ERA (minimum 10 innings)

Alex Cobb, Rays — 1.29
Philip Humber, Astros — 1.29
Jon Lester, Red Sox — 1.29
Julio Teheran, Braves — 1.29
Drew Smyly, Tigers — 1.46
Rick Porcello, Tigers — 2.08
Mike Fiers, Brewers — 2.19
Matt Harvey, Mets — 2.77

The Bad

Roy Halladay, Phillies — 7.36 ERA and 1.64 WHIP
Stephen Strasburg, Nationals — 5.79 ERA
Ubaldo Jimenez, Indians — 5.54 ERA, 1.62 WHIP and .365 opponents’ batting
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers — 5.54 ERA and 1.77 WHIP
Mark Rogers, Brewers — 10 walks/1 strikeout, .320 opponents’ batting average
Alexi Ogando, Rangers — 1.74 WHIP and 10/9 K-BB ratio
Mark Buehrle, Blue Jays — 5.00 ERA and 2.11 WHIP
Jair Jurrjens, Orioles — 9.53 ERA and 2.65 WHIP
Luke Hochevar, Royals — 6.75 and 1.88 WHIP
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals — 7.90 ERA and 1.83 WHIP
Tim Hudson, Braves — 6.43 ERA and 1.43 WHIP
Doug Fister, Tigers — 11.57 ERA and 2.00 WHIP
Juan Nicasio, Rockies — 6.97 ERA and 1.84 WHIP
Jordan Lyles, Astros — 19.13 ERA, 3.38 WHIP and .553 opponents’ batting

Quick Hitters

1. Barring any hidden injuries, there are zero concerns involving Kershaw, Strasburg, Zimmermann, Hudson and even Doug Fister at this juncture.

However, it’s fair to wonder if we’ve seen the last of Roy Halladay’s, uh, days as an all-world asset. Sure, he could easily post 16-plus wins or 180 strikeouts heading into his age-36 campaign, but I’m not holding my breath for 45 walks or less … or an ERA below 2.75.

Before his shoulder injury last year, Halladay had a major clunker against the Braves (May 2), surrendering eight runs and 12 hits. Roughly 143 days later, Atlanta rolled Halladay for seven runs over 1 2/3 innings of work.

Bottom line: Halladay remains a formidable No. 2 or 3 starter — but he’s no longer an untouchable fantasy commodity.

2. It pains me to say this, but Jimenez (9-17, 5.40 ERA, 1.61 WHIP last season) might never sniff another campaign of sub-3.75 ERA/190-plus strikeouts again. Buyer beware on draft day … until Round 23 or so.

3. At 22 years old, Jordan Lyles is far from a lost fantasy cause, despite career tallies of 5.40 ERA/1.42 WHIP in the majors. The reason for my optimism: Wherever he goes, Lyles stands as a good bet for a K-BB ratio of 2.5/1. That proficiency, especially with power pitchers, eventually leads to overall success.

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @FOX_JayClemons.