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Friday, February 20, 2004

Kiko Calero is a great pick for Trent. I was all set to snag him myself after an all-night debate about whether to pick Kiko or Clement as my fifth starter. Though Kiko only started one game, he did last five innings -- indicating his stamina rating might be higher than other "starters" in the league.

I ultimately concluded that Kiko was slightly better than Matt -- hard to sneeze at 12 K's per nine innings -- but I'm pretty happy with Clement, too.

In fact, many fans don't appreciate (I don't think) how good a year Clement had last year. Pitching in Wrigley Field, he posted a solid 1.23 WHIP, held opposing hitters to a .670 OPS and got a few strikeouts himself. That OPS number is actually lower than Calero's .688, and in a slightly better park for hitters.

So why would I have leaned toward taking Calero? Basically, for three reasons: 1. His WHIP (1.28) and OPS numbers aren't that much worse than Clement's, and his ERA is much better (2.82 to 4.11); 2. His tremendous strikeouts per nine inning advantage (11.97 to 7.6); and 3. the fact that Clement looks like a tool in his ESPN.com photo. He should use the millions he makes to hire a facial hair consultant.

When the Cubs signed Maddux, Clement became arguably the best fifth starter in MLB. Hopefully, he'll be the among the best fifth starters in this league too.

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