This article is part of our Mound Musings series.
Last week, I discussed a key aspect in the evolving nature of pitching in MLB – the impact of a deep and effective bullpen on playoff aspirations, and of course, to some extent, how those better bullpens can affect your fantasy team. This week, I think it might be interesting to take the exploration of this evolution to the next level. Let's dust off the crystal ball and ask where things are headed in the future, and what this direction might mean to scoring the pitching categories in the fantasy game. I'll start by saying I hope this can be an interactive discussion. Share your opinions. I only ask that you do so respectfully. Certainly, offer your thoughts even if you disagree with me or someone else who commented, just please play nice.
My primary premise for this discussion is a nagging concern that traditional starting pitchers could potentially go the way of the dinosaurs in a few years. I see fewer and fewer 220-innings guys, and when this generation of starting pitchers is gone, will the next generation be made up mostly of "openers" and "primary relievers" mixed in with long men, righty and lefty specialists, and a committee of closers? If this happens, and it's already happening to some extent, the impact on scoring categories in fantasy will become more significant. Building a quality fantasy pitching staff could be challenging at best. Okay, t's already challenging, but it could be much more so.
Looking at the basic five