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A Slice Of Jake

I’ve already led with Jake Arrieta once this season, where I talked about his need to change his approach given that his Slider just isn’t cutting it these days. After yesterday’s 6.0...

I’ve already led with Jake Arrieta once this season, where I talked about his need to change his approach given that his Slider just isn’t cutting it these days. After yesterday’s 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks against the Cardinals, I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that he’ll make all the adjustments to get back on track in the near future. That two-run HR to Matt Carpenter was a complete mistake Fastball that he wouldn’t make in the past, and that doesn’t have to do with a repertoire shift. I feel so conflicted here. On one hand, it’s a .355 BABIP with a 60.9% LOB rate, he’s brought his walk numbers from its atrocious 2016 levels to a great 2.62 BB/9, and he’s hold a 3.56 SIERA + 23.5% soft contact. On the other, his groundball rate has plummeted to 40.2%, hard contact comfortably above 30% for the first time since 2010, and a 4.15 FIP is somewhat believable here. This is seven straight starts of 3+ ER we’re dealing with here and an IPS just above 5.5. That’s horrendous for Arrieta standards. I think it does get better, though it’s hard for me to turn down getting someone like Zack Greinke, Gerrit Cole, Lance McCullers or Michael Fulmer at this point.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Masahiro Tanaka – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I considered leading with Tanaka as well, but this one will be a bit quicker. His Fastball and Slider command is way off right now, which means his Splitter isn’t nearly as effective – if batters aren’t fearing the foundation, they won’t chase in the dirt. He’s been known in the past to have that ability and I can’t believe that this is the Tanaka to expect the rest of the year. Still, I have to dock him some serious points today, and he’ll be around 25-30.

Alex Meyer – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Meyer finally has that one start that says “see? I can do this.” Then you ask him to do it again and he says “wait, what?”

Adam Wainwright – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Waino is sporting a 3.61 BB/9 and 4.01 xFIP this year. Yikes.

Gio Gonzalez – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, I’ll take this even if it comes with three walks and just five Ks from Gio. Still don’t love him but you have to start him.

Ariel Miranda – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I’m happy the Mariners got a good outing from one of their backups, don’t put any weight into this. Miranda is too inconsistent for you to roster.

Jered Weaver – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Just after Arroyo sets the score 3-2, Weaver comes back with a vengence! Weaver 4, Arroyo 2 in the GQSB 2.0. 

Aaron Sanchez – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Yay he’s back! Reports are that Sanchez’s finger was bleeding during the outing. WHY DO YOU LET HIM PITCH AGAIN IF HE ISN’T HEALTHY. Seriously, I don’t get this. He’s “expected” to still start on Friday, but man do I get a horrible feeling about this.

Justin Nicolino – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a Birthday Party and none of you were invited. Wait, that was yesterday?!

Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhh I want better Quintana. Those walks are dumb and a 3.86 ERA is a shrug of a start if I ever saw one. I hate that I’ve come to accept this is who Quintana is now.

Trevor Bauer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. PQS for Bauer but it came with 7 Ks and ZERO WALKS. Whoaaaa baby, Bauer you’re not supposed to be doing this.

R.A. Dickey – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Dickey has been telling his friends who play fantasy baseball that he turned a corner. What they didn’t realize is he was just talking about discovering a new block in his neighborhood. Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.

Jeff Samardzija – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Samardzija, you’re so close to being a stud and I’m on your side again. I know, it’s crazy! He did labor a bit through the innings – this wasn’t just one bad frame – but he got Singled Out a good amount and I’m still labeling Loose Lips as a solid buy-low.

Matt Andriese – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Andriese, I can’t support you until those walks disappear given your questionable strikeout upside.

Charlie Morton – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. Morton…I thought for a moment you were going to give us a beast of an outing against the Pinstripes, but then the fifth happened and you allowed a 3-run bomb to Matt HollidayLegit though, his first seven outs came way via the strikeout. Crazy. You best be holding tight here.

Mike Fiers – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Seven Ks from Fiers. That’s nice. Near 1.00 WHIP. Also nice. 4 ER and a history of not doing those two former stats, not nice. Conclusion: Please don’t.

Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Scherzer was an stud until he took a line drive to the knee…

Vince Velasquez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. This is super bleghy and I’m not expecting any different from VV. I will give him props for not being completely terrible against the Nats, though.

Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. I obviously need to lower Jimmy V today, which hurts a bunch but five walks is all kinds of bad with a 4.66 BB/9 that’s more than double his 2.25 from last season. I think adjustments would be made and I’m buying low, but you gots to get it together buddy.

Jacob deGrom – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I have more faith in deGrom being a stud this year as he’s sporting a 2.86 xFIP with a Top 5 K/9 of 12.39. Yeah, the walks need to disappear, but even with that poor Mets defense, he doesn’t deserve a .345 BABIP. Well…a 36.7% hard contact rate isn’t doing him any favors…nope, still love deGrom and I’m buying.

Drew Pomeranz – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The bigger news here is that The Dirty Cheerleader left the game with triceps tightness because we can’t have nice things.

Ivan Nova – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. This. This is exactly what I expected from Nova in the preseason.

Jeremy Hellickson – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. This is so boring, and really is Hellickson’s season in a nutshell of being the ultimate BABIP dependent pitcher. That spells a ton of trouble ahead.

Kendall Graveman – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. With all the hype about Graveman’s velocity and all, you do realize that his K/9 is under 6.00 once again, right?

Antonio Senzatela – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. There’s the Senz-a I’ve been expecting. Pitching against the Dodgers at home isn’t a ticket for Funtime USA, though.

A.J. Griffin – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Well, if you went two-starts with him, this was still a good decision overall. At least be happy with that?

Robbie Ray – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Congrats Ray! Your hard contact this time was under 50% at 46.7%! I’m so proud of you.

Luis Severino – 2.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s two of the last three starts with 3 or fewer Ks from Severino and you might be worried. I’m not. He got Singled Out here with a bit of a tight zone and I’d love to keep rolling with him.

Chris Young – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s what we all expected when we heard Young was going to enter the rotation.

Tim Adleman – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. He left this one early with a “stiff neck”. It was the only stiff thing produced by this start. Come on Nick. My bad.

Julio Urias – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. This is the inherent risk of owning a pitcher that won’t go deep into your starts.

Kevin Gausman – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. He had great Fastball command in his previous start, and that wasn’t the same here, though he did get a little Singled Out save for a Moustakas longball. I’ve already dropped in my 12-teamer and you should too.

Hector Santiago – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 K. I hope you didn’t get roped into Santiago’s “hot” start.

Wily Peralta – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Stop being so Wily!

Today’s Streamer

Zack Godley vs. New York Mets – He’s showcasing added velocity this year and the Mets are the Mets.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

JC Ramirez vs Chicago White Sox – This is the best bet among the other options to give you a solid outing, especially in the strikeout department.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Joe Biagini vs. Atlanta Braves He’s been great thus far for the Jays and while I don’t see a Top 40 pitcher here, with his groundball rates and solid control, you could escape with a great outing for nothing.

Game of the Day

Sean Manaea vs. Seattle Mariners He’s back! I’m not expecting a great outing here – DLH is in effect – though there is a part of me that sees the Mariners holding a bottom 5 wOBA against lefties…

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

3 responses to “A Slice Of Jake”

  1. Chucky says:

    What do you make on a pair of LHP’s v the Yankees?Duffy, who’s numbers arent half bad v the rest of the league sans CHW and Vargas off that masterpiece last week?

  2. Morgan Cross says:

    I always felt this way about Samardzija even when he was sinking ships. He has such powerful stuff and I think his key has been refining his slider and tweaking his cutter. Guys used to tee off on his power stuff since they weren’t afraid of his breaking stuff, but 7 of the 8 punchouts last night were on Fastballs/Cutters so something is definitely working. I *think* they made an adjustment to his cutter which I think was too closely mimicking his 4 Seamer by trading a little velocity for some extra movement and making it a little more slider-esque. I just remember his cutter being 91-93mph with his regular fastball being only a few ticks above that. Now the cutter is coming in a little slower and I think Pitch/fx is mistaking them for sliders. Either way, I have high hopes.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Good stuff Morgan, I think you’re right about the subtle changes to his Cutter. Loved the command I saw of it against the Reds, pinpointing it right off the outside corner to RHB to get a whiff here and there.

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