Here's the original segment from Hot Stove:
As you can see, Larry Bowa picked Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee, which is a valid pick, but if you remove those two pitchers, you're still left with Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Hunter Pence, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, etc., etc. That's still a formidable team.
Mitch Williams, whom I usually always agree with, had a bizarre pick when he went with Miguel Cabrera and Jose Valverde. I'm sorry, but if you remove Cabrera and Valverde, you're still left with Justin Verlander, who just happened to be the American League MVP and CY Young award winner in 2011. Oh, and not to mention their newest addition to the team, Prince Fielder. Justin Verlander might not have had 24 wins if it wasn't for Valverde, but Valverde wouldn't have had even close to 52 save opportunities if it wasn't for Justin Verlander's dominance.
Ken Rosenthal, another guy that I absolutely respect, picked David Price and Matt Moore. David Price is the Rays' number two starter and Matt Moore has pitched 19.1 innings in the big leagues. If those two were removed from the Rays' rotation, they're still left with their number one starter, James Shields, and the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Hellickson. That's still a rotation many teams would envy. They also happen to have the best third basemen in Evan Longoria.
Now that I got that off of my chest, here are my top three picks for indispensable duos currently in baseball:
#3 Jose Bautista and Ricky Romero
- Bautista turned into the most feared hitter in baseball over the last two seasons, and Ricky Romero is one of the most underrated pitchers in MLB. Bautista has the highest OPS in all of baseball in the past two seasons and the most Home Runs. He placed fourth and third in MVP voting in the previous two seasons, but I'm sure he would have back-to-back MVPs if he played for the Yankees. Ricky Romero improved his ERA, WHIP, IP, and Ks in each of his last three seasons. He was phenomenal last season in a tough AL East Division, finishing the year with a 15-11 record while posting an ERA of 2.92 and a WHIP of 1.138 in 235 innings pitched. If it wasn't for their presence, the Blue Jays' would have floundered in the AL East last season instead of having a respectable 81-81 record.
- Imagine, if you will, if you removed Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez from the Rockies and replaced them with average players. Who else is left on the Rockies who is under the age of 27 and has a gold glove and a silver slugger? Nobody. Both of them have already won a silver slugger award and a gold glove before the age of 27. Tulo and CarGo are undeniably the heart and soul of the Colorado Rockies. They must be pretty special players if they're both ranked in the top 15 of the 2012 Player Preview. The next closest Rockies' player in the rankings is Jhoulys Chacin at #146. That tells you right there how crucial this pair is to the Rockies organization. They're two of the most dynamic players in baseball and they deserve to be recognized as such.
- Clayton Kershaw was last year's National League CY Young award winner and Matt Kemp was runner-up in the National League MVP voting. If that's not enough to make you two of the most indispensable players in baseball, then I don't know what does? Larry Bowa was close to picking this duo as his pick, but he went with the much adored Phillies' duo. Much like Tulo and Cargo, Kemp and Kershaw are young and proven players that aren't surrounded by a lot of help. If it weren't for this duo, the Dodgers would have had a record closer to 65-97 as opposed to their 82-79 mark in 2011.
Who are your picks for indispensable duos? Do you agree with the guys from Hot Stove, or do you feel like they missed some better duos?