Preseason, I ranked Curt Schilling as the #5 Starting Pitcher in Fantasy Baseball. Before his first start of the regular season, Schilling announced that he would be "pitching to contact." Not what Fantasy Owners, or the Red Sox for the matter, wanted to hear. Pitching to contact means that a pitcher won't try as hard to miss bats. Instead, he will try to throw strikes and let the batter put the ball in play. Since we know that pitchers have no control over what happens to a ball once it is put into, this is not the type of strategy we'd like to see our #5 SP employing. By pitching to contact, we would expect the number of swinging strikes a pitcher gets to decrease as well as that pitcher's K/9. So how is Schilling doing so far?
From 2004 to 2006, Schilling's K/9 sat in the low 8s. So far in 2007, it is sitting at 7.14. If this is the extent of his new approach, it's not something to be overly concerned with. He won't be the #5 SP in Fantasy Baseball, but 7 K/9 is certainly respectable. Coupled with his still-amazing BB rate (1.74 BB/9 so far in 2007), and Schilling looks to be in good shape so far.
If we look at his individual starts, he has had quite a few where he is striking out a lot of batters. His 4/14 start he had 4 Ks in 8 IP and his 4/25 start he had 3 Ks in 7 IP, but his last two starts he has had 7 Ks in 6.1 and 7 IP.
The verdict? Don't worry about Schilling. Not yet anyway. If he can maintain his current K rate and BB rate, which it seems he will be able to do, he will be just fine. He won't be a Top 5 pitcher, but Top 10 or 15 should be easy for him.