2014 Outlook: Reed's move to Arizona was one of the more unexpected transactions of the winter, and in an even more out-of-left-field development, he wasn't even guaranteed the closer's job by Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers following his acquisition. Mmm-hmm, Mr. Towers, we're sure you'd swap an above-average third-base prospect for a setup reliever. Reed is almost certain to close in the desert, just as he did in Chicago, with the ballpark swap resulting in a negligible impact upon his statistics but the move to the National League a boost. Reed is a closer with plenty of career ahead of him -- his 69 career saves were the 16th-most of any pitcher in history at the time of his 25th birthday -- and if he can merely polish his command, he might vault himself into the top 10 at his position in fantasy.
2014 Outlook: As a ground-ball pitcher who doesn't miss many bats, Miley's success will revolve around his defense's ability to turn batted balls into outs, as well as his limiting walks. Last season, he failed to carry over the improvement in 2012's walk rate, resulting in a bloated WHIP. Fortunately, a high left-on-base percentage kept his ERA in check. His 3.98 FIP and 3.75 xFIP are more representative of what to expect going forward. Miley is at an age where he should be exhibiting some measure of consistency, but instead his walks are all over the place. Until he settles down and shows he can maintain a lower walk rate, Miley is a big risk with limited upside.
2014 Outlook: Putz has been one of the more successful late-inning relievers in baseball the past four seasons -- his 2.56 ERA and 1.04 WHIP during that time rank 17th and 12th, respectively, among the 70 relievers with at least 200 innings pitched -- but injuries have cost him considerable time, and he has been unfortunate in that his fill-ins have pitched well in his absence. The Arizona Diamondbacks, perhaps tired of needing contingency plans, acquired Addison Reed this winter to close, rendering Putz either a setup man or trade bait. This will be the first of his four seasons in Arizona that Putz won't begin as closer, the tables turned, as he'll be the likely fill-in should Reed need one. NL-only owners might find use in Putz's ratios, and he's a handcuff in the deepest of formats.
2014 Outlook: A durable, reliable right-hander, Arroyo amassed the third-most innings the past nine seasons combined (1,895 2/3) -- that span comprising his entire career for the Cincinnati Reds -- never finishing with fewer than 199 in a single year during that period. Of course, 41 pitchers during that time had a lower ERA while pitching at least 1,000 innings, showing that Arroyo is more innings-eating workhorse in the real game than a standout in fantasy baseball. He has a hint of matchups appeal -- he has a 3.85 ERA against sub-.500 teams in his career, 4.54 against those .500 or better -- but for the most part, he'll be an NL-only rather than mixed league asset, being that he'll call another hitting-friendly environment his home in Arizona.
2014 Outlook: An extreme ground-ball pitcher who for years experienced wide lefty/righty platoon splits, Ziegler has made tremendous strides in that regard of late, 2013 representing the third consecutive season he lowered his OPS against left-handers (his .647 was a career best). It's that skills bump that earned him a brief stint in the closer role, although entering 2014, Ziegler might stand third in the Arizona Diamondbacks' pecking order for saves, behind Addison Reed and J.J. Putz. Ziegler's more complete game should result in enough holds to matter in leagues that count them, as well as a low-enough ERA and WHIP to be of use in NL-only formats.
2014 Outlook: Bradley, ranked Keith Law's No. 1 pitching prospect (and No. 9 prospect overall) entering 2014, is coming off an outstanding year in Double-A Mobile: He won 12 of 21 starts with a 1.97 ERA and 8.68 K's-per-nine-innings ratio. Though he'll in all likelihood open the season in Triple-A, a lights-out spring could force the Arizona Diamondbacks' hand, and at some point in 2014 he'll probably be ready to join their rotation. Bradley can make an instant fantasy impact once he arrives, the lone concerns about his development, his control -- he has a 12.6 percent career walk rate -- and his changeup, which needs some polish. Some degree of adjustment will be needed.
2014 Outlook: As a fly-ball pitcher in Chase Field, Hernandez is susceptible to the long ball but curiously, six of his 10 gophers were allowed on the road. That number should drop, driving his ERA into palatable territory. This is important since Hernandez fans more than a batter an inning and throws a lot of innings, which makes him roster-worthy even if he doesn't close. While there is supposed to be an open competition for the closer gig in the desert, realistically Hernandez is third or fourth in line.
2014 Outlook: Hellickson is slated to miss the first two months of the season after he underwent surgery to clean up his throwing elbow. It's unclear if this was related to a step back in terms of strikeout and walk rate, but there were rumors something was bothering Hellickson for much of the summer. By the numbers, Hellickson enjoyed some good fortune his first couple of seasons as a full-time starter, sporting a left-on-base percentage well above league average. Last season, his fortune flipped, as the rate was well below league average. Based on his history and the success of Tampa pitchers in general, Hellickson deserves the benefit of the doubt. If your league allows stashing on a disabled list, you could do worse than throw a dart at Hellickson.
2014 Outlook: The normally durable Cahill was sidelined for about six weeks last July and August but returned to finish strong, to the tune of a 2.70 ERA. However, his second-half WHIP was actually worse than the first half, when his ERA was 4.66. The difference was a handful fewer homers, along with better fortune with men on base. Mixed-leaguers can move on, but Cahill can be useful in deeper leagues if you can absorb his ratios.
2014 Outlook: Collmenter's strikeout rate is good, but not elite. However, since he's so durable and often throws multiple innings, his raw strikeouts are higher than other relievers, making him that much more useful even in a mixed league, when the starters have poor matchups. Just don't expect any saves, as Collmenter is part of a very deep bullpen.
2014 Outlook: Summoned from the minors for a June 18 spot start only because the Arizona Diamondbacks were desperate for a fill-in, Delgado rattled off six quality starts in his first eight turns for the team, perhaps making the team feel foolish for failing to give him the fifth-starter job out of camp. He succeeded by peppering the strike zone, his 1.78 walks per nine innings a substantial improvement on his 3.95 ratio in two years in Atlanta, though it must be stressed that it was the first time in his pro career he had exhibited that level of control. Might the motivation of a rotation spot have contributed? Perhaps, and it's why Delgado's prospective NL-only owners need carefully consider his matchups. He's more streamer than every-start material.
2014 Outlook: A long-shot candidate for the New York Yankees' fifth-starter job, Nuno could be useful to the big league team as a swingman even if he falls short in that race. He's an efficient strike-thrower: He walked just 4.4 percent of his batters faced during his minor league career; his walks-per-nine was 1.59. That benefits his WHIP, and despite the challenges of pitching in the AL East and pitching his home games at Yankee Stadium, it could make him a matchups consideration in AL-only or deep mixed leagues should he crack the rotation at any point.