Patricks Up His Sleeve

(Photo by Wilfred Perez/Icon Sportswire)

One of the quieter dominant outings on opening day was from Patrick Corbin’s 8 Ks and 2 ER in 5.2 innings. Well, after going 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks today, he’s totaled 20 strikeouts in just 13 innings. The secret to a Gallows Pole of 19 whiffs? Throwing 53 sliders across 98 pitches. I LOVE IT. He used the pitch to get called strikes – near 20% of all slide pieces – while earning a 30% whiff rate as well. The pitch is dope and feels dope and will steer him to more starts like this, especially if he continues to get 26% called strikes on his fastballs. What about a third pitch? Sure, that will hold him back from a Top 30 spot, but having Corbin comfortably in the 40s is reason for excitement enough. Just keep using that slider like a graphic designer who can’t decide on the perfect gradient level and all will be good.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Jon Gray – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Can someone do me a favor and look up how many ridiculously good outings the Padres have induced over the years? They single-handedly ruined peoples seasons, tricking them that Vince Velasquez was worth their time in 2016, and you need to approach this with a grain of salt – This wasn’t even in Coors! Good to see him take advantage of the situation, though, so props to that. It’s just a Gray area, you know? You just had to, didn’t you. CAN’T STOP ME NOW.

Carlos Martinez – 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. After his terrible outing last time, I said AND I QUOTE: “He’ll do this to you for a start or two, then send you a 7 IP, 8 K outing with 5 baserunners.” Close enough. Welcome to being a CarMart owner and not overreacting after one start.

Dylan Bundy – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. The Bundy mobile keeps on cruising like it doesn’t care. Yes, I’m thinking a spiffed out Batmobile branded specifically for Bundy. And I want one. Bundy earned 16 whiffs – 10 on his heater! – and coasted through six frames, keeping his 92mph steady and beating a great Houston offense. Sure, small sample and Bundy has been known to have small runs before falling into potholes the size of a Swiss Enameled Cast Iron, and I don’t really have a counter-argument to that as I find his history of volatility doesn’t speak to a Top 30 arm. But hey, this is a good start and that’s cool.

Johnny Cueto – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. I wonder if this will make people think it’s time to trust Cueto again. Spoiler alert: It shouldn’t. Cueto induced two-swings-and-misses in 89 pitches while allowing 10 baserunners in six frames. This is bad and could have been a lot worse for your ERA. What did you say about my sick lids?! It’s not a new ERA, jeez. Well, technically, it’s Cueto’s new ERA after this start and— OH MY GOD PLEASE STOP.

Mike Foltynewicz – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. You don’t become a PEAS without one start here and there that makes people believe you have good stuff. This is a Birthday Party and not a coming out party.

Dallas Keuchel – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. This is pretty blegh for Keuchel. I don’t want a 1.80 WHIP from you, that’s the thing you’re supposed to be really really good at preventing! Then just five frames and needing 104 pitches…I expected better. It’ll come, it always does for Keuchel. Like Milhouse.

Sean Manaea – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Are you excited about Manaea? I’m excited about Manaea. The fella is healthy and has now allowed just one walk in 15.2 IP, pounding the zone with changeups, sliders, and fastballs. I’m not selling high here, I’m riding this one out as I play Bound For The Floor in the car stereo.

Doug Fister – 3.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s a terrible WHIP and just 3.2 frames – 5 total runs here – and I told you I hated this stream. I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have to choose. I mean, who could I have chosen that performed up to snuff today? Skaggs and his stupid face? Naaaah. I hope to have nothing to do with you forever, Fister. Streaming Record 2-3.

Corey Kluber – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Seven frames with these ratios should not be underappreciated these days.

Aaron Nola – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. This was a weird game. Both Nola and Syndergaard threw way too many pitches too soon and it just felt like someone was off on both ends. Maybe it was the rain delay, maybe it was the horrid Facebook Live broadcast that needs to die like CarMart’s hair, but I’m willing to look at this and Thor’s start, shrug my shoulders like no one is watching, and move on. He’s still Easy A to me and should be to you too.

Noah Syndergaard – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Like with Nola, this Thor start was weird and I just want to move on and get excited about his next start. At least you still got 7 Ks out of it?

Max Scherzer – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace, though he did allow three extra unearned runs. And last just five frames. And have a 1.60 WHIP…I TAKE IT BACK. Aces gonna lace their outing with disappointment but have a bearable ERA and 7 Ks. Rolls right off the tongue.

Luis Severino – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yeah, he’s definitely #5. You realize he still threw only 92 pitches in this one?

Tyler Skaggs – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s okay I guess. A little short, a little too much WHIP, and more damage than you’d like. What exactly did you just describe? THIS IS A FAMILY FRIENDLY SITE. I’m still out on Skaggs – he needed 103 pitches for this! – and I think it gets a whole lot worse soon.

Jhoulys Chacin – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. To my legit happiness, I came across someone using this ridiculous joke today and even gave me credit for it. It’s the little things in life that make it worthwhile.

Carson Fulmer – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. There was a brief moment in September 2017 that I thought there was more to Fulmer. You just don’t understand him like I do. Old me was blind, old me was dumb, and fortunately for us, HE’S DEAD. Okay, no but Fulmer isn’t going to magically turn into a Top 50 arm anytime soon. I don’t even like him as the occasional streamer. Just don’t.

Jake Odorizzi – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Noooodorizzi! He threw just 11 deuces today and got only 2 whiffs and everything is annoying and stupid. I’m not giving up fully on Odorizzi just yet, but man I wanted him to secure a second great start under his belt. Let’s see how he rebounds.

Aaron Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s a PQS for Sanchez (with the way IP has gone, I wonder how little I’ll actually be saying PQS this year…), but the main focus here is seven punchouts on sixteen whiffs. That’s a lot! He got 10 on his changeup – near 33% whiff rate! – and it’s important to note how he’s focused on the pitch this year. He threw about 33% of them in this one and near 20% in the first game after never featuring it above 10% in previous seasons. And he’s having success with it while pulling back his CB usage. I see a future where the changeup usage sticks around 30%, curveballs around 15-20, and heaters for the final 50%. It can happen and suddenly we have the answer to Sanchez’s strikeout problem. JUST STAY HEALTHY! Oh, and have a team with a better infield D, that would be nice.

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s getting worst as Wood is now averaging 89.5mph. on his heater. His fastball velocity is shriveling like a piece of bacon as it cooks. Except it’s terrible bacon and you question why you didn’t just spend a little extra to make yourself happy. There are questions of Wood’s health, but his draft stock was banking on Wood, you know, being good. Obviously he can turn this around, though #AlexWoodVelocityWatch2018 isn’t going to go away. And that trend doesn’t spell fun times.

Ivan Nova – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. He was my pick for The WHERST and it kinda worked? I’m not going to keep score for this like I do my streamers, and I feel weird getting any sort of satisfaction for a pitcher performing badly, but at least Nova gave you the outing to make sure you stay away from him for a good while. This was a Grave Mistake and you don’t want to make any more of those.

Clayton Richard – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Just so we’re on the same page, I’m envisioning the end of a feel-good 80s film where the antagonist thinks he has our hero in captivity but shouts at his goons as the camera reveals the man being held captive is no one we recognize. That sums up Richard pretty well.

Blake Snell – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, he got 12 whiffs overall, but 15 breaking balls in 90 thrown just isn’t going to cut it. I need to see him take that 1/6 and double that like mitosis. 33% breaking balls and we have a legit southpaw that I can consider a possible Top 30 arm. We’re not there yet. And yes, this was the brutal Yankee lineup, so fine, brush this off and I think you’re okay rolling with him against the ChiSox next.

Felix Hernandez – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks. This is why we need a larger sample of 1 to disregard an entire season beforehand. Let’s all collectively note this. The staff wants another demotion of Prince Felix, down to Pauper Felix. I’m not willing to do that, but 3 HRs Felix? He has to be a crafty arm if he’s going to make it these days and clearly that’s not what he brought today. Even if he spins a gem next time out, when would we be to trust him again? Who can we ever truly trust?

Today’s Streamer

Caleb Smith vs. Philadelphia Phillies – This is a crazy one and I know I really should be picking Kyle Gibson against the Mariners, but after getting 15 whiffs against the Cubs last week, I get the feeling that Smith could pull this off and I want to have fun with this. I know I just said Gibson is the real one, but the real real choice is Homer Bailey against the Pirates. But for the record, it’s Smith against the Phillies. This is confusing. Yeah, I know. It’s Smith, okay? Gibson is the better choice but I’m doing Smith because I want to have a little fun.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

CC Sabathia vs. Baltimore Orioles – The D’Ohs are bad and CC has a long-time track record of doing well against them + a decent chance at a Win.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I’m not too afraid of the Jays and I think Minor has it in him to spin off a good outing. I’d also consider Andrew Triggs against the Angels.

Game of the Day

Stephen Strasburg vs. Jacob deGrom – Yeah, I love it when this happens. Also a bit interested in Kyle Gibson vs. James Paxton as I pray for a 1-0 game.

You Are The WHERST

Andrew Cashner vs. New York Yankees – This is resonating with potential. Which means Cashner will allow just 1 ER…or 10.

Nick Pollack

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

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Comments


Scott

I am going to say cueto got lucky in this start especially w/o Cruz in the lineup. The giants defense is much improved from last year though, mainly 3b and OF. The lack of swing and misses are concerning, but cueto did tweak his ankle and gutted it out so maybe that contributed a little. He is my 4th starter so should I hold or try to sell high?

Daniel

Hey Nick,

Took Gausman instead of Corbin in my draft and now feel stupid for doing so… Anyways, should I wait it out and see how Gausman’s next start goes? (vs NYY) or should I drop him for someone like Triggs or Minor?

Mike

Hey Nick,

What are you doing with Flaherty in a 12 team league? Why can’t the Cards let us have nice things?

Nick Pollack

Because I accidentally parked in their parking space once. It’s all my fault.

I’m dropping if there are any arms on the wire that can help.

Ian

Re: Sanchez. The Jay’s infield produced 4 double plays (3 for Sanch). I think this was just a bad outing. His 2-seamer wasn’t dropping, but riding horizontally. He’ll need to work on that…

Bob

Hey Nick, you can’t see Corbin making it into the top 30? Even over guys like Chase Anderson (28) or Michael Fulmer (24) hand his lack of strikeouts?

Nick Pollack

Chase Anderson is leaving it and Fulmer is dope, for the record. But this is about Corbin, not those guys.

The problem is he’s so reliant on his slider that there will be games where it’s not working properly and he’ll give you a terrible outing. Not a “meh, alright” outing, a destructive one.

Again, this is just two starts and are not representative of what we’ll see the rest of the year. If he continues the trend of massive slider usage and few walks, he’ll be creeping at #30. I need to remind y’all of the floor here that can be so easily forgotten a week into the season.

Bob

You’re 100% right about him not having it some days. Which could result in a not so great outing. In the write up you mentioned him not having a third pitch. But he truly throw a slow slider (more of a slurve) at 78 mph and then a true slider at 84-85 mph. So it almost acts as a third pitch. Me personally being a lefty I think it’s a complete travesty to be a left handed pitcher and not throw a changeup. It’s like slapping god in the face in my opinion. I wish he did have a change up but for now the fastball, slider and slurve with have to do. Fingers crossed that he keeps it up!

Akshay

Nick- you think Manaea’s success has anything to do with finally having an experienced backstop like Lucroy to help him along?

Nick Pollack

It’s not out of the question, but I wouldn’t put any stock into that theory. It’s very hard to equate success and failure to catchers directly.

Sam P

Nick, how do you feel about Pivetta as a stream? That Marlins lineup is soooo bad and I don’t hate a cold day in Philly for pitching conditions

Bill

Snell is actually going to be facing the other Sox the next time he is out. I’m holding until I see how that outing goes.

Nick Pollack

Huh, for some reason I thought he was scheduled Sawx, Yanks, Sawx out of the gate.

Definitely happier to hold through that start, then. Thanks for the heads up!

Jive Turkey

Yo Nick– I am a Snell owner- he’s the back of my staff.
Would u drop him for Montgomery or Taillion (they are available on wire), or should I wait it out with the kid?
thx dudeman

David

CarMart note…he looked dreadful for the first two innings. No fastball command, thought we were in for a rough afternoon and then he got three quick contact outs in the 3rd, took some miracle drug in the clubhouse while the Cards were hitting, and came out to mow down the Crew for 5.1 innings. Was weird…but awesome…but weird.

Let’s Play Two

Luke Weaver or Patrick Corbin

Jon Gray or Patrick Corbin?

I currently have both Weaver and Gray.

In standard 5×5 roto (K, ERA, WHIP, QS)?

So far, Corbin is looking like a breakout candidate reminding me a little like Ray last year.

Nick Pollack

Corbin over Jon Gray.

Suuuper close with Weaver and Corbin. Obviously Corbin is sexier right now, I have to stay grounded that it is just two starts, but I’m okay if you make that swap with Weaver.

Weaver > Gray, FYI.

Ray Ray

I was already stashing Kopech and now I have Flaherty too…so many minors…but is it worth dropping one for aReynaldo, Kennedy, Anderson type?

Michael

Nick – just wanted to say thanks for the well thought out daily/weekly format of articles. It seems like this is one of the only places that has such in depth notes on starters where you arent just scouting the box score, and you guys have the audacity to rank saves+holds on a weekly basis. I love every article and the daily (morning) podcast! Just signed up on patreon. Keep up the great work and hope you come around on Glasnow eventually.

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