Kyle Gibson: Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde

In 1886, Robert Lewis Stephenson released The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The story, a classic most of us probably read in high school or at least read the cliffs notes for, tells the tail of Dr. Henry Jekyll and his evil counterpart, Edward Hyde. The phrase has become so popular that anyone who appears to act differently in various situations is often described as Jekyll or Hyde.

This is certainly a condition seen in fantasy baseball. I recently came across a very striking case of Jekyll and Hyde in one Mr. Kyle Gibson. Gibson, of the Minnesota Twins, currently sits with a record of 8-8. He owns an ERA just north of 4. Never an elite strikeout arm in the minors (he did top K/9 of 8 over a few seasons, but in limited innings), he has only struck out 54 batters in 107 innings this season.

Gibson is not an arm to run out and grab, but I was looking at him as a possible throw in for a deal. I was surprised to see how OFF and ON Gibson has been all year. Gibson has started 19 games. In 11 of those starts he has allowed less than 3 runs, and more than 4 runs in 8 of those starts. He has gone 6+ innings in 13 starts, and 3 or less in 4 starts.

His last start was 7/18 against Tampa Bay, where he lasted 6.1 innings, allowing 6 runs. In the start before that, against Seattle, he went 6 scoreless. His next start is Wednesday against Cleveland. If his Jekyll and Hyde persona continues, he should pitch 6 innings and allow 2 or less runs. Of course, in his career he has only 1 start against Cleveland. He allowed 3 runs in 5.1 innings, with 3 strikeouts, a fairly typical start for this midlevel pitcher. Jekyll or Hyde, Kyle Gibson is a pretty ugly pitcher to be forced to use in fantasy and should be left on waivers in the majority of formats.

Jekyll and Hyde players can drive a fantasy owner crazy.  Some have seasons where they are elite followed by seasons of mediocrity or worse.  Josh Beckett immediately comes to my mind.  In 2005 with the Marlins Beckett was 15-8 with a K/9 of 8.36 in 178.2 innings.  The following year for the Red Sox he has 16-11 with an ERA of 5.01 and a K/9 of 6.95.  He followed that up in 2007 with a 20-7 season, an ERA of 3.27, and a K/9 of 8.7 in 200.2 innings.  Seasons of 12-10 and 17-6 followed.  Heading into the draft owners had no idea which Beckett they might end up with.

Who are some Jekyll and Hyde players that drive you crazy in fantasy?