Never Say NeVar

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There were a great number of players who were on your waiver wire and exploded for studly outings last night. The first one people are going to jump all over is Jason Vargas who put up a line of 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks against the Giants. Nine Ks! That’s 17 in his two starts! His Changeup is getting a 31.0% whiff rate through his 84 thrown and that’s all kinds of silly, especially when his heater comes in at…under 87mph. Is this the second coming of Jered WeaverOh lord, yeah I can’t buy this. Baseball is weird and we saw Miguel Gonzalez almost throw a CGSHO in under 90 pitches on Tuesday night. I totally get running with Vargas in the short term- he gets the White Sox and Twins next! – but don’t act like this is your magic #4/5 guy for the year. This is is a career 6.00 K/9 pitcher who was super good in April so we put more weight on it than normal. Sure, pick him up now for those two starts just be quick to let him be free.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Amir Garrett – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Amir freakin’ Garrett. These starts really bother me because they force me to spend my time jumping inning to inning watching a Reds-Orioles game. What I see from Garrett is a kid who is getting good deception on his Slider/Curveball/whatever you want to call it (Pitchf/x is dumb and this is a Slider in my book), though his Fastball isn’t nearly as good as it’s playing out thus far. The O’s were taking some bad hacks and Garrett’s command wasn’t all that good on his heater. At the same time, I can’t deny 12 Ks and 1 BB and the fact that he’s clearly doing something that is making batters quiver a bit in the box and swinging at his sporadic heater. It just doesn’t scream consistency to me and seeing a history of BB/9 numbers well above 3.00 really makes me think this is going to come crashing down. He obviously should be owned for the upside and flier purposes, not to mention he has a schedule that could work in your favor with the Brewers, Cardinals, Giants x 2 coming his way.

Jhoulys Chacin – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. As I said last time, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. I think the Diamondbacks qualify for that.

JC Ramirez – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Nine strikeouts in 5.1 innings?! Jeez, this just doesn’t stop tonight. Before these last two games, Ramirez hadn’t started in a game since 2011 in AA with the Phillies. He wasn’t a good reliever last year, nor did he flash strikeout ability with a 6.75 K/9 as a reliever and his new Curveball isn’t such a difference maker that I’m suddenly all on board here. I’d give him a super small gander for his next start against the A’s, but really that is the biggest endorsement I can give him.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh Baseball Gods, now you’re just messing me.

Zack Greinke – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Are you starting to believe? I am.

Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s boring how good he is. BORING.

Masahiro Tanaka – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure, this was the White Sox, but it’s really nice to see Tanaka right the ship. The 2019 NYY ship, am I right?

Francisco Liriano – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Liriano is acting like a must add when Russell Martin is behind the plate and I’m all for his next three starts against the Angels and Rays x2.

Jesse Hahn – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s nice Hahn, can you do it without walking four batters? K thanks.

Rick Porcello – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Finally Porcello does something we can all agree on is beneficial.

Dallas Keuchel – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I want to believe. I really do. I think the real test will be next game against the Indians instead of this one against the Angels. I don’t really see why slotting him at #25 is out of the question though.

Michael Wacha – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh I know this is good but I don’t want to see a 4.50 K/9 from Wacha. With the Pirates sorely hurting offensively it’s easy to write this one off a little bit as I don’t love Wacha long term this year. Sure, there is some upside here and this wasn’t just a magical night or whatever, but Wacha isn’t a dependable arm right now.

Tommy Milone – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Ugh, this so boring but good enough that someone will raise an eyebrow and consider Milone at some point later in the season. That is not cool Milone!

Joe Ross – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. So Ross, did you call up Gsellman and plan this out? Because it’s super cute. On the real, I watched quite a bit of this start and really didn’t like Ross’ Fastball command. There’s work to be done here – even with the 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks! – and I think against a good offense, he won’t get bailed out like he was against the Braves.

Robert Gsellman – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I ran with both Gsellman and Ross because I’m a super for 2-for-1 deals. Anyway, I think this start should put to rest any worries you guys had about the fella. He looked much better than Ross, more weak contact, better command of the zone, and would have had an ER fewer and the Win if the bullpen was better + Collins didn’t keep him in for one pitch in the 8th where he gave up a lead-off double on the first pitch – which was a great Two-Seamer that started on the inside corner and ended off the plate to jam the hell out of Aaron Altherr but it blooped for a double down the line. THANKS FOR NOTHING COLLINS. I’m taking a Win here. Streaming Record: 7.5-4-2.

Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Definitely making me believe in Cole a little more as he only two ER were solo shots from Dexter Fowler. Pitchf/x wasn’t working yesterday so I can’t tell you what his Slider was doing – eye test said it wasn’t great but that really shouldn’t be the basis of doing anything. Sooooo good job Cole and let’s talk next time?

Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace…? Maybe? You know who isn’t putting up debatable AGA starts? Chris SaleYes I’m taking this whole Sale vs Bumgarner thing to the end of the year even if I’m the only one who actually cares about it.

Vince Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Get used to these type of outings from VV, albeit it should be with about 5 Ks instead of 2. I have a feeling he’s going to have one of those miraculous starts within the next three weeks, after which I’d be selling like whoa. LIKE WHOA.

Tyler Anderson – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Anderson finally hinted again at the fantastic 2016 campaign he had, though I really don’t want to banking on this guy moving forward. I’m in the camp that sings Backstreet Boys songs and believe Anderson’s 2016 was his peak. We’re a small group, but a fun one.

Chris Archer – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Great strikeout production with a slightly lower floor in the ERA/WHIP department than the rest of the Top 15? Yep, that’s Archer.

Felix Hernandez – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Jeez, outside of solo shots from Stanton and Yelich, Felix was Singled Out against the Fish. I have no data on velocity and Curveball drop so I can’t comment on those, but even if I had those in front of me, I don’t think this start is enough for me to take Felix outside the Top 35. Just keep rolling with him.

Jordan Zimmermann – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s kinda sad to see Zim still struggling after his breakout 2014 season. He’s another example of ERA/WHIP arms being tough to replicate year to year, but now he’s in discussion for being a part of the Anti-List and that’s no fun at all.

Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Like look at Hendricks – a dude who was as finesse as a planet and is suddenly not the man he used to be. Sometimes that’s a good thing (look at Jaime Lanister for example), but that’s clearly not this. There will be a time when Hendricks figures it out to some degree, duh, the question is if that will stick for a hefty amount of starts or just be a inconsistent play through the year. I’m leaning a little on the latter there and if someone wants to think this is a good buy low, I’d consider selling.

Martin Perez – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeah, Martin isn’t a good pitcher. Cheap Wins every so often, but that’s about it.

Edinson Volquez – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s about time the real Volquez showed up.

Julio Teheran – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Alright Fast, you’ve made my Bold Prediction pretty un-fun thus far and I find myself conflicted rooting for Teheran given how bearish I was on him in the pre-season. Teheran is better than this and a knee-jerk sell would be unwarranted.

Dylan Covey – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. I don’t think there’s anyone that…Coveyted Dylan prior to this start, not to mention that with Reynaldo Lopez in the wings, you have to mention Covey doesn’t have long in the rotation.

Today’s Streamer

Daniel Norris vs. Tampa Bay Rays He’s still out there for some silly reason (Just 12% owned!) and you best take advantage of that.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Adam Conley vs. San Diego Padres – I’d consider Colon as well if I really needed another start as he faces the Phils, but Conley against the Padres seems like the safer bet to make.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Charlie Morton vs. Tampa Bay Rays Sure, he’ll get hurt at some point but as long as he’s pitching against below average offensives, I’m in.

Game of the Day

Noah Syndergaard vs. Aaron Nola – Hey Jeneane! Cancel all my appointments tonight.

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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.

8 Responses to “Never Say NeVar”

  1. Chucky April 20, 2017

    What’s your beef with Justin Vargas. You wont discuss his 4 hit, 9 k, 8 IP performance, not do you even have him rated. Got pictures of you or something?

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      I think I articulated it pretty well up there…

      It’s really hard for me to endorse someone who has never flashed this K upside before who throws under 87mph and performed well in back-to-back starts against two very poor offenses.

      It’s April, people want to secure “the next hot thing” and are starved for data so we all go crazy about small sample size. I don’t believe Vargas has reinvented himself and is now a must add starter. He’s fine, always has been an okay streamer against weak teams and he’s not a guy you want to be trusting consistently to warrant a long term roster spot.

      Reply
  2. Jeff

    Small typo in Archer’s line: ‘Gret’

    Otherwise, gret as always 🙂

    Reply
  3. RRH

    Hellickson v. ATL, Cobb v. HOU, Iwakuma @ OAK, Glasnow & CC (NYY @ PIT) are all available. You take any of those guys for tomorrow over Conley?

    QS & K/9 league FWIW, though I’m more worried about WHIP & ERA.

    Reply
  4. Max

    Why do you have Daniel Norris and Joe Musgrove ranked above Michael Pineda? Is this for league’s with some kind of weird settings?

    Reply
    • Nick Pollack

      Pineda is a volatile pitcher, always has been, always will.

      If he didn’t have those outbursts of great strikeout games – which are normally around 1/4 of his starts or so – he would be ranked much much lower.

      Due to that upside, he’s favored around Musgrove/Norris, two pitchers who I see as becoming more dependable options through the 2017 season.

      Reply

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