I Want To Be The Berry Best

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Alright class, simmer down, simmer down. DAVE, GET OFF THE DESK. Yes, I know the hype levels surrounding Jose Berrios have hit a peak after his unreal 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks start hosting the Rockies in Minnesota yesterday. How could it not? Berrios’ breaking ball everything we wanted it to be and his Fastball command was top notch. The guy is clearly locked in and it’s hard not to get pumped. I have him around #50 with the other upside young arms – Morton, Triggs, Karns, etc. – and I’m elevating him to around #40 after last night because it would be silly not to. However, we need to keep a level head here. Do I want to be on this ride? Absolutely. Would I be turning down offers with legit upgrades to my team just to hold Berrios? Definitely not. The way I see it, don’t buy an underperformer, only sell if it’s a tangible improvement right now. If you’re buying low elsewhere, you’re essentially playing the game of “which is a bigger risk?” and I want the one that performed best lately…if that makes any sense at all.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Danny Duffy – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. I have to tip my cap to Duffy, outside of two back-to-back starts against the ChiSox, he’s been super good as he did this against the Yankees last night. Alright, that’s not really fair as it was his first start above six Ks since April 3rd, and his xFIP is 4.44, and a near 3.00 BB/9, and only 14.8% soft contact, and a 93.0mph heater that’s still well below last years…Yep, I’m still selling. Call me crazy, call me stupid, call me Mr. CrazyStupidPants I don’t care. It all looks like a collapse in the second half is awaiting and I love the idea of getting a big bat in his place.

Martin Perez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Oh lord, Perez you know you have no business doing this and messing around with owners who don’t know better.

Sam Gaviglio – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Gaviglio was the tenth starter of the season for the Mariners, which is hilarity often reserved just for the Dodgers, and if you think the Mariners were just sitting on gold until they really needed to show it, you’ve got it all wrong. This is a Cup of Schmo.

Marcus Stroman – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. So three of the last five Stroman starts have been strikeout friendly and those that weren’t were 1 and 2…Now, this start was against the Freeman-less Braves so take it with a small grain of salt, but Stroman is kinda on fire right now. The question has always been consistency with Stro, but I totally buy him as a Top 30 arm moving forward, maybe even Top 25.

Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I’ll take a PQS from Gray if it comes with eight strikeouts against the Red Sox errr day. His Slider was looking beautiful, which is the first indication of Gray getting back to normal. Now, I’m not buying a full renaissance just yet, but this is certainly an encouraging step forward.

German Marquez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. If you picked up Marquez and ran with him, it’s because of that 8 K outing from last week. This isn’t what you were looking for, but I guess it works? I’m concerned about Marquez long term here, but short term he gets the Phils in Philly and that’s cool with me.

Nick Pivetta – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I still believe that Pivetta is a sleeper for deep dynasty leagues but in a redraft there’s no reason to risk start Pivetta when he goes out there.

Jarred Cosart – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s a Birthday Party for Cosart as he handled the Brewers – who are just not a good offense anymore, well at the very least when Eric Thames is dealing with strep. Star Wars Sidenote (SWS?): This is not the arm you’re looking for.

Zach Davies – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Meh. I’m not sold Davies is back from this start and still think he’s a sizable risk each start.

Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a PQS from Lester and you want those strikeouts to be a little higher, but it’s jsut the second time all year under two walks and it’s good to see him go six frames. He gets the Giants next and this might be the last time you can buy low.

Tyler Glasnow – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. On one hand this was the Nationals and I think we’d all take a 3.60 ERA  and 1.20 WHIP from Glasnow even though that’s not really what we want. But his walk problems are still around and it’s hard to really believe he’s going to have that start in the near future.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks.  Ehhhh alright. He gets the Cards next and that’s fine. I don’t see Ryu as a long term play for a variety of reasons. Okay, now I’m thinking of a bag and I’m pulling out random problems written on pieces of paper. Injury history! 4.12 xFIP! 3.75 BB/9! 35.2% Hard Contact! Yes, I’m acting all of these out because it’s Charades. Duh.

Tyler Chatwood – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. A 2.00 WHIP with just four Ks and a 3.60 ERA. Against the Twins. Blegh.

Jordan Zimmermann – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. My first instinct was to check if this was the highest strikeout total of the year for Zimmermann. SWS: Trust your instincts. 

Dylan Covey – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Don’t Covey thy Dylan.

Ervin Santana – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. That’s two straight clunkers (Edit: I’m an idiot and it’s two clunkers out of his last three starts) from Santana after his glorious start to the season. Sure, he’ll get a bit better but is he Top 50 still? Probably not.

Jordan Montgomery – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Man, this whole Monty thing really hasn’t worked out thus far. A 4.81 ERA and 4.12 BB/9 sure aren’t what we’re looking for here. Still, I think he can be a solid producer at some point this year with his 8.47 K/9 (12.4% whiff rate!) and a history of much lower walk rates. Not to mention, he’s getting burned with a 65.5% LOB rate while his hard contact is a blissful 23.0% mark in his seven starts thus far. I think he’s a solid buy low in a deeper league, but in 12 teamers feel free to let him loose on the wire until he puts it together. Streamer Record 17.5-16-6.

Edinson Volquez – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeeeeep. That’s what Volquez is.

Dylan Bundy – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. We kinda knew regression was coming, it was just a matter of when. Not really like this, though, but that’s often how it works – a guy does so well for a while then has that one start where it all collapses. His Changeup command wasn’t good, his Fastball command was bad, and just a 9.8% whiff rate means he can’t escape with a strikeout when he needs it. I think you hold for another start instead of selling at this very moment – this isn’t the start of Bundy just being plain bad – but I still have my concerns about Bundy for the long haul in 2017. Just goes to show how weird starters are this year when I had these concerns and placed Bundy in the Top 25.

Amir Garrett – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Garrett had a date with the Cubs and it went exactly as you’d expect an evening with a young bear would go. You’re not even touching your wine, is everything oka—WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!

Hector Velazquez – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’d tell Hector to changing his Z to and S, but let’s be honest, Vince really hasn’t been much better than this. In all seriousness, Velazquez got the call to replace Kyle Kendrick as the fifth starter as we wait for David Price to return and he’s better than this, but with his questionable strikeout upside I kinda want to call him a Cup of Schmo.

Tanner Roark – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. I’m starting to think of Teheran and Roark kinda similarly these days. And what are you really chasing from Roark? That 2.83 ERA from last year seems so far away and he’s never been a strikeout arm, and that WHIP is always in question with a near 10% walk rate. Drop drop drop.

Julio Teheran – 3.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh boy, I’m fine dropping Teheran if you haven’t already. He could turn it around at some point, but there’s no real reason to chase that now.

Today’s Streamer

Nate Karns vs Minnesota Twins – Because he’s somehow still owned in just 25% of leagues, I’m allowed to call Karns a streamer. Probably the last time I will, but here we are. If you need another option, I’d consider Eddie Butler against the Brewers but I’m not loving that.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zack Wheeler vs. Los Angeles Angels – Wheeler walked just one last time out and could return a solid all-around outing against the Halos.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zack Godley vs. San Diego Padres He’s still owned in fewer than 30% of leagues and he gets the Padres…too easy.

Game of the Day

Nate Karns vs. Minnesota Twins – Karns changed his approach and I’m dying to see if it works against the patient Twins team that are skilled at resisting pitches out of the zone. Don’t let me down Karns!

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Nick Pollack

Founder
Founder of both PitcherList.com and PitcherGIFs.com. Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

10 Responses to “I Want To Be The Berry Best”

  1. Chris May 19, 2017

    Do you like Perdomo vs ARI?

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      I wouldn’t say like it, not the worst guy to roll with if I need another start this weekend. Still question his ERA ability even with the solid DIPS numbers and limited hard contact.

      Reply
  2. Rob

    Lynn or Karns ROS? Want to pick him up but Lynn is the only guy I would be comfortable dropping.

    Reply
  3. KP

    haha, great line:

    “Garrett had a date with the Cubs and it went exactly as you’d expect an evening with a young bear would go. You’re not even touching your wine, is everything oka—WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

    Reply
  4. Ryan

    That’s not 2 straight clunkers from Santana, last week he went 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. So that’s 7 clunkers (more than 3 ER) out of his last 46 starts. He still has a 2.80 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 7.38 K/9 over his last 46 starts.

    Also for Lester I think it’s worth noting that he had shut them out through the first 6 innings with only 3 hits and a walk, things didn’t fall apart until the 7th

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      Ah you’re totally right about Santana. In my head the five walk start melded with the six ER against Boston. I’ll fix the blurb. Still don’t believe he’s a Top 50 arm, but someone that should still be rostered, clearly.

      That’s totally fair on Lester, it does make you question if he has that in the tank like we have in previous years though, which does follow the narrative of not having the same IPS we’d come to expect from him.

      Reply
      • Ryan

        Yeah Lester was only at 96 pitches when he exited too, I’m not sure how many pitches he threw in the 7th before getting pulled but either way it’s not like he was over 100 after 6.

        For Santana yeah I agree the 5 walks is definitely bad, but that’s abnormal for him and luckily was nullified by only having 2 hits and 0 ER. I’ve been irrationally championing Santana because he’s been good for 290+ innings now and the poor guy still isn’t getting any love even when he does well, which is most of the time. I guess because everyone is just waiting for the shoe to drop and stay there.

        His ratio of good starts to bad has been very good for almost 2 years now, 85% of his starts (39/46) he’s allowed only 3 ER or less, 72% of the time he’s allowed only 2 ER or less (33/46). And he rarely walks more than 2 batters (he’s walked 2 or less in 32/46 starts, walked 3 in 9/46, and walked 4 or 5 in 5/46). He’s had 8 shutouts and 12 1ER games. Even the best pitchers have a few clunkers along the way, so he’s not going to never have one. He’s had 2 in the last 3 weeks, but those are the first clunkers he’s had since last August (12 starts between clunkers), and before that his last clunker was last June (11 starts between clunkers). He basically throws a clunker every 10-12 starts or so, which is going to happen to anyone.

        I get that this all defies everything the advanced stats are saying, but if he’s consistently outperformed them for this long at what point do we just accept that? Granted he’s been even luckier than he usually is this year with the 0.143 BABIP and 90% strand rate, but whatever I love Ervin Santana and I will defend him to the death until he gets more hugs.

        Reply
  5. Gofish

    Drop TehERAn ADD Urias, Robbie Ray, Waino, Cobb or Perdomo?
    Follow up: is griffin worth dropping for any of these ?
    12team H2H 3keeper

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      Drop Griffin and Teheran, add Urias and Ray or Perdomo.

      Reply

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