Not Good Nor Bad
Yesterday was a major day of disappointment, with the most frustrating outing coming from Daniel Norris who sported a line of 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks against the Rays. I was pretty high on him entering the year, hoping his added velocity from September last season was going to stick. In short, it hasn’t and the results haven’t be fun to watch: 15.8% soft contact, 38.6% hard contact, 5.18 SIERA, 4.88 xFIP, and 9 walks in 17 frames. That’s all kinds of bad. I thought that after the Cleveland outing, he would take a step forward with the Rays…and he kinda did? Yeah, this far from a good outing, but 17 whiffs across this start is very impressive, getting five whiffs off his Slider as he bumped its usage a bit. I want to jump ship here completely, I really do, though there’s a part of me that thinks he explodes for a good start this or next. If the waiver wire is barren, I think you hold here. If there are decent options out there, I’d cool with making a swap. Wasn’t he your Call Boy too? Yes he was…Streamer Record 7.5-5-2.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Aaron Nola – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. I watched this start because how could I not and I was a little disappointed with Nola. Yes, all of his hits early on were essentially infield hits, and Neil Walker’s 3-run HR was on a Curveball below the zone, but he wasn’t putting away batters and didn’t have that pristine command I’m used to. I’m not the slightest worried, it’s just annoying. Keep in mind, those balls bounce differently early on, he’s less stressed and possibly hitting those spots later. Shrug it off and have no fear in the future.
Noah Syndergaard – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Thor was looking so good and then errors and miscues made it seem like the world was coming to an end. But at the end of the day, it’s a 1.00 WHIP and 10Ks outing without a horrendous ERA. Atta boy Thor. Atta boy.
James Paxton – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Why you do this. Paxton, you kill it against the Astros and Rangers, but the A’s get your number? He had a -0.09 FIP for this start, though he had 0% Soft contact and 40%+ hard so that’s not all too telling. Whatever, keep rolling with him and don’t you dare sell unless it’s top dollar.
Chris Sale – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. If you happened to catch any of this game, Sale was as dominant as any pitcher you’ll ever see. His sole walk was a four-pitch effort that was a weird glitch and quickly forgotten. The Jays are a terrible offense at the moment, though, but it’s going to take a lot for me to remove Sale from his #3 spot. Maybe he deserves #2…
Wade Miley – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. I know it’s three starts, but Miley has a 1.89 ERA and a 11.37 K/9 across 19 innings. Wade, don’t swim. Scratch that, don’t even dip your toe in the water trying to look all sexy and stuff. This is not legit.
Lance McCullers Jr. – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Yeah, this is pretty much what I expected from McCullers against the Angels. Solid stuff buddy, solid stuff.
Danny Duffy – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Alright alright alright (my man my man my man). I have to start giving Duffy a little more credit now that he performed well against the Rangers, though if you watched some of this start, the Rangers were making good contact quite a bit (just 5.3% soft contact!) and it wasn’t the most comfortable of outings. But I’ll stop hating, kinda, as he holds a 1.32 ERA But he also holds a 4.13 SIERA and 4.25 xFIP okay okay I’ll stop! He’s clearly Top 30, don’t expect a Top 20 move from me just yet.
Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. And this is why Estrada is still Top 60 as he did this against the Red Sox. Yeah, I’m not the biggest Estrada fan, but I think people are writing him off too soon. Great road ahead shcedule wise and you have to roll with him for a good while.
Scott Feldman – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Feldman Schmeldman. I think I can see the wave of questions surrounding Feldman and I do not believe him to be a consistent option through year. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you our first TEEs of the year.
Matt Shoemaker – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Is this the start of one of those patented Shoemaker runs? Like a Footlocker 75% off sale that you just can’t miss? He started throwing Sliders in his last two starts, collecting 14 Ks along the way…Sign me up!
Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Nope, I’m staying Cashed Out. Move along, sir.
Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. His Changeup was looking so mighty fine, which to me is the main indication of a good night from Stras. I’m also a fan of him permanently pitching from the stretch as it makes him more comfortably when men are on base. Keep on keeping on.
Erasmo Ramirez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Erasmo was here because Jake Oddorizzi is still hurting. He’s been known to be a guy who can hit his spots and cruise through lineups from time-to-time, but I really hate trusting him for any extended period of time. Not an add in my book for a 12-teamer.
Trevor Bauer – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Sure Bauer, I’ll take this from you against the Twins. It’s why you’re in the Top 100 after all. Next time he’ll go 6 Ks, 3 BBs, 4 ER and you’ll hate everything.
Ervin Santana – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I was worried about this start for Santana given that he faced the Indians. It’s safe to say he performed better than my expectations. My gut tells me that this isn’t going to last, but it’s super hard to say “don’t start him” anymore until this ride is over. I think it’ll take a pair of bad starts to convince me otherwise at this point.
R.A. Dickey – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. As Dickey would say, “Every cat has its day”. Don’t trust a knuckleballer.
Clayton Richard – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. This is way better than anyone should have expected from Richard. And it still came with a poor WHIP. At least he might be the favorite for the MFRSDPSPA?
Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Is Corbin returning? Pfffft no. Don’t do this to yourself.
Cesar Valdez – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. With Kendall Graveman out for one more start, the A’s brought up Valdez, who has had a surprisingly good minor league track record. Problem is that his stuff just doesn’t play great in the majors unless it comes with pristine command. I don’t expect this to last and the upside isn’t big enough to risk. He’s a Cup of Schmo.
Zach Davies – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. If you haven’t given up on Davies yet, you’re doing it wrong.
Carlos Martinez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. CarMart is the latest victim of Eric Thames being a beast, but this isn’t all about that. Martinez isn’t featuring the command I expected him to have and I’m probably going to dock him a little come Monday. That K upside is alive and well, though, and it’s totally possible he makes an adjustment or two and cruises through the summer. Don’t lose the faith completely, but if someone wants to give a solid price for him, I think I’d sell.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Dylan Bundy vs Drew Pomeranz – I want to see Bundy go into the sixth/seventh without a major dip in velocity. I want The Dirty Cheerleader to still look comfortable in the Red Sox rotation. I also want Garrett Richards to suddenly be happy, but I’ll settle for two-out-of-three for today.