Most pitchers lose a little something as they hit the 30-year-old mark. They start to throw more meatballs over the plate and tend to see their ERA climb over 4.00. So naturally, fantasy baseball fans bring down the fantasy value of a starter after the age of 30.
Starting pitcher Cliff Lee of the Philadelphia Phillies is one of the exceptions to this rule.
The 35-year-old left-hander finished with a sizzling 2.87 ERA to go along with a 1.01 WHIP last season. He fanned 222 batters in 222.2 innings of work, which was good for 8.97 K/9. It was yet another amazing fantasy performance from the ageless wonder.
Lee has also demonstrated flawless command on the bump in recent seasons. The southpaw has walked only 60 batters over the last two seasons compared to a staggering 429 strikeouts. He has been consistently hammering the strike zone and has become an amazing control pitcher.
He has now eclipsed the 200-inning plateau in six straight seasons and the aging veteran has become one of the most durable arms in fantasy. He is on the bump every fifth game, and considering the health of some of the pitchers around the league, it is nice to see a starter fight to stay healthy each season.
Lee may be getting very close to retirement, but he can still be a very serviceable fantasy option. He has enough left in his arm to carry a fantasy rotation and should be viewed as an ace for at least one more year.