It’s about time that we had a serious talk about Jake Arrieta who let owners down tonight with a 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s not like he’s doing poorly this year – a 2.76 ERA with FIP/xFIP getting his back, a 9.54 K/9 and a 1.08 WHIP – but there are signs of concern here and there. The biggest is that he’s not throwing his glorious Slutter nearly as much, favoring his Sinker a ton more than normal. The breaking pitch is getting fewer whiffs, coming in near two mph slower than last season, and not getting the same aggressive break that it used to. The numbers actually look similar to when he was going through “fatigue” last year during the playoffs, and there is a part of me that questions if last year’s effort stretched him out too far. I wouldn’t do anything rash because of it, but I wonder if he’ll ever be that studly of pitcher ever again.
Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:
Aaron Sanchez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Look guys, if Sanchez wasn’t heading to the bullpen, he’d be around #25 or so. He doesn’t strikeout batters consistently enough to be elevated into the teens, nor give him an “aces gonna ace” level, because, let’s be real here, This is the first time in seven starts that Sanchez struck out at least seven batters, and just the fifth time all season. That’s not ace material. He’s solid and an obvious welcome addition to any staff, but not a stud.
Jeremy Hellickson – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Oh no. No no no no no. I’m not doing it guys. My heart says yes, but my head tells me that Hellickson has done this in the past and it won’t end well. HE’S THE DEVIL. Side note: this is so close to qualify for a Minimalist Score, but he was two innings shy. Besides Jeff Locke has that award on lockdown with his score of four in a CGSHO. At least he won something?
Michael Pineda – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Fun fact: George Springer hit a solo shot on Pineda’s first pitch of the game, which means he had 0 ER and six baserunners after that single pitch. Pineda also came oh-so-close to screwing it all up by allowing and single and two walks to bring Alex Bregman to the plate with two-outs, who missed a grand slam by a foot or two. Anyway, his Slider + Changeup were looking great tonight, as he command both his Fastball and secondary stuff down in the zone – ultra important for Pineda who has gotten beat on elevated pitches that leave the yard. So badly do I want to get excited about Pineda again, but don’t forget that he’s just two starts removed from a pair of 5 ER clunkers. He’s certainly moving in the right direction, but he’s not fully out of the woods yet. Color me cautiously optimistic. What color is that? Ummmm, let’s go with Enchanted Forest Green. I’m enamored with Pine who could give me the green. IT MAKES SENSE I SWEAR.
Dallas Keuchel – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. The one night I wanted Keuchel to put up goose eggs, he had to allow a bloop RBI single to Chase Headley, as well as an RBI double to Austin Romine. WHY CAN’T THE YANKEES LOSE. Whatever, I think Keuchel has found a good middle ground where he’s not the dominant Cy Young freak of last year, but he is still serviceable and productive on your squad.
Jarred Cosart – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, not touching Cosart with a 50 foot pole. I can’t even imagine how I’d hold a 50 foot pole. Okay, now I kinda want to touch him 50 foot pole just to see how I would be able to make it work. Sometimes you have to figure these things out on the fly.
Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. If you were brave enough to trust Jimmy V in Boston, you were pleasantly rewarded. I labeled him as a definite starter in our two-start pitchers article, so you know I feel. Oh! Almost forgot. Aces gonna ace.
Drew Pomeranz – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Okay good. I was believing that last week was a fluke and blamo, he fans over a batter per inning with a 3.00 ERA and 1.00 WHIP against the mighty Tigers. The Dirty Cheerleader I know and love has returned. The sounds so bad, it’s just a nickname, I swear!
Jorge De La Rosa – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. De La Rosa has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter not named Gray and maybe even Gray.
Yovani Gallardo – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Don’t care Gallardo, I have no plans to stream you at any point in the future.
Miguel Gonzalez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I’ve been accused before of picking favorites and ignoring other guys. Well first of all, of course I pick favorites – that’s the whole idea of this. But to those that think I overlook people because they aren’t my favorite, I say NAY. For example, I know I write of Miggy often with his Miguel…No, but I’m well aware that he’s allowed 1 ER or fewer in six of last nine starts. The problem here though is that you aren’t gunning for anything else. During that same span, he’s holding a 6.37 K/9 an a 3.35 BB/9, leading to a meh 1.23 WHIP and…ho boy…a 4.86 SIERA. It’s like I should just have a simple phrase to tell you guys to avoid him and move on…
Hector Santiago – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Do you really want to deal with that WHIP and Santiago’s inconsistent nature?
Colin Rea – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Is this fantasy? Nope, just Rea life.
Chase Anderson – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh this is pretty boring and why we’re not touching Chase these days.
Martin Perez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Perez is a giant TEEs and this start is more typical than it should be.
Ian Kennedy – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. This has been one interesting roller coaster for Kennedy this season and I’m at that point of throwing my hands up in the air like I just don’t care because I feel like quoting horrible 90s lyrics and dealing with Ian’s indecisive nature. This was against the Angels, not some juggernaut that I could make some sort of excuse for the guy. Alright, the Angels have been one of the hotter teams as of late, but still I hate rolling with Kennedy these days.
Anthony DeSclafani – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Arrieta is an odd tale of disappointment, but watching Tony Disco falter against the Giants hits me a little harder. I think the fella has it in him to be a solid addition for any 12 teamer where he can overcome his 4.06 xFIP as he walks few (just 1.61 BB/9 before this start) and have strikeout upside (already two starts with eight Ks under his belt). I mean, it’s not the worst start, but it’s going to be a confirmation for some to avoid the fella and I think that’s not quite right. I guess that’s a good thing in the long run as you can own him and be better off, but I feel like he needs a little more lovin’, you know?
Jake Peavy – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It was a tough go of streamers and while Peavy was the technical Call Boy, it was only because I was sad and lonely. But for real, this is pretty disappointing against the stupid Reds, who let me remind you rank 28th in wOBA. Let’s move on.
Daniel Mengden – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Mengden hasn’t been decent for a while and it’s not getting any better.
Braden Shipley – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. He’s the #1 Arizona Prospect! Yeah, that’s because they dealt Swanson in the off-season…There’s a reason you didn’t know about him before this start and he doesn’t have enough upside for you go after him in a 12 teamer. He’s just a Cup of Schmo.
Bud Norris vs. Tampa Bay Rays – I imagine many are giving up on Norris – wrongly so – which means you can jump on board for what looks to be a solid day at the park.
Adam Conley vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Conley can do well given a weak opponent in front of him. Other options include his opponent Zach Eflin, as well as Tyler Duffey against the Braves if you need some K upside in your life.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Robbie Ray vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Ray fanned ten batters last time out and those Ks are flowing like Lannister locks.
Game of the Day
Tyler Skaggs vs. Kansas City Royals – I could go with Norris v. Archer or Thor vs. Cmart (it was rained out on Monday), but I’m itching to see what Skaggs is really like after looking like an ace in the minors thus far. I’m not too confident it’ll translate and I want to be proven wrong.