2014 Outlook: Sale continues to defy the naysayers, who might claim his herky-jerky delivery increases his long-term injury risk or that the elbow issue that haunted him early in 2012 might eventually return. But after two seasons as a top-shelf fantasy starter -- he finished 13th among starters on our Player Rater in 2012 and 11th in 2013 -- Sale has earned our confidence. He has shown no change in velocity, fastball or slider effectiveness, or hints of overusage in two seasons as a full-time starter. Sale has elevated his game to that of an elite fantasy starter, particularly attractive in sabermetric/quality start-oriented leagues, which don't rely on wins (a problem for a pitcher backed by a weak offense such as the Chicago White Sox's).
2014 Outlook: Quintana has the reputation of being a pitch-to-contact soft-tosser, but in reality his fastball averages a respectable 90 mph hour and his strikeout rate has been above league average two of the past three seasons. Even so, Quintana is a bit of a risk since he works in the unforgiving U.S. Cellular Field. In fact, Quintana's 2013 xFIP of 3.86, which followed a 4.33 mark the previous season, warns an ERA correction is likely on the way.
2014 Outlook: Johnson, one of the Chicago White Sox's top pitching prospects, rode a combined 1.96 ERA and 0.99 WHIP to a five-start, late-season stint with the big club, where despite shaky command numbers he outperformed his peripherals. Those who look at his 5.40 FIP might assume some correction is coming; but understand that he's still a pitcher adjusting to life in the bigs, and that his stuff suggests that improved K and walk numbers might be coming, helping ease those worries. Johnson might need his matchups watched initially, as he's a pitcher on a noncontender in a homer-friendly ballpark, but he's worth a stash in AL-only formats.
2014 Outlook: After missing most of 2012 following shoulder surgery, Danks appeared to struggle last year though his WHIP was lower than both 2011 and 2012. His Achilles' heel was an exorbitant home run rate spurred by a bloated (even for U.S. Cellular Field) home run per fly ball mark of 17 percent. This should regress, pulling Danks' ERA along with it. Even still, he's by no means a mixed-league option, even to stream. Unless he can ratchet his fastball back above 90 mph to get a few more whiffs, his AL-only utility is minimal.