(Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire)
Anibal Sanchez went 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks as the world collectively said “WHAT” together in such magnificent unison that it almost caused a mass extinction. He’s boasting a 1.93 ERA now in 6 starts + 3 IP of relief (37.1 frames total) with half of his starts coming with 0 ER. This is kinda nuts and I’m sure some are thinking of a pickup. It’s why he’s the lead, after all. The answer is simple. No. Sorry, you know me, I’ll be the first to get irrationally excited if I see a pitcher doing something extraordinary – Clay Buchholz’s cutter, for example – but I just don’t see anything here that screams “hey, maybe this will work.” 9.0% overall whiff rate, an overperforming cutter, a .206 BABIP, 90.3% LOB rate, and a possible expiration date on his rotation spot all add up to a guy that I just don’t want to play with. Okay, the 29.4% soft contact is super intriguing, but I just can’t buy that Anibal is suddenly an amazing command pitcher suddenly after failing to eclipse 20% for six straight years. It’s not worth it.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Mike Clevinger – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Clevinger went 40/99 CSW with 20 whiffs. Sure, ChiSox lol, but Hot. Damn. That’s dominance and should get you excited as a Clevinger owner.
Michael Fulmer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. After “The Fulmination”, it’s been back-to-back stud outings from Fulmer. We’re not out of the woods yet, but I hope you’re starting to understand why I was so adamant about keeping him in the Top 40. You don’t have to agree – two starts are just two starts and this was just 10 whiffs! – and I hope you at least understand where I’m coming from. Fun fact: He touched 98.7mph in this one.
David Price – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Atta boy Price. He owned that inside corner and the results followed. For those that were worried about Price after his early turbulence, he’s boasting a 2.64 ERA with a 19.1% K-BB rate across his last 7 starts. 1.04 WHIP and 27.2% K rate to boot. Whiff rate needs a little more love – just 8 yesterday and about 9% in that time, but when he’s commanding like this, I’m okay with it.
Felix Hernandez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s nice Felix, but stop acting like a King when you know you’re a talented guitarist that I wish did more blues before you were taken from us. Goodnight, sweet Prince.
Matt Koch – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s every other start for Koch as he’s allowed 8, 1, 5, 0, 5, and now 2 ER. Blame it on the Mets and if you take this too seriously, you’re Koching up a storm.
Carlos Rodon – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. This feels like a half-baked outing. There should be more of…everything. Except walks, that’s enough. It took Rodon 100 pitches for this result and if you get the feeling of “meh”, you’re not alone. Still, I should mention this was against Cleveland and there is so respect due for surviving against both the Sawx and Indians. Nevertheless, I’m not a believer in Rodon being a stable option through the year, but go ahead and roster him if you like.
Dereck Rodriguez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Our Call Boy did the job against the Marlins, though he lost his Win from the pen. He gets the Fish again + Padres and I think I’m cool with both of those starts. Streaming Record 38-24.
Vince Velasquez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Great outing here from VV, though you should take it with a grain of salt as the Rockies are terrible on the road. That didn’t stop Pivetta from pitching terribly yesterday. Okay, fair. You get my point, though. VV’s slider/curveball were pretty lame, honestly, so I’m having a little trouble treating this as a full recovery from his massive clunker. Cards are next and that’s fine.
Domingo German – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Not only did German produce a PQS and 10 Ks, he did so while earning a Gallows Pole on – wait for it – 26 whiffs. What. His curveball was filthy while he peppered the top of the zone with four-seamers and kept his changeup low. Two-seamers on the corners as well. In short, it was dope and he felt dope, even with the 3 ER allowed. He’s a massive Cherry Bomb, though. When it works, you get this. When it doesn’t you get 5 walks and 5 ER. Up to you if you want to carry it.
Lance Lynn – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Lynn amazes me. The fella earned 20 whiffs with 18 coming off of fastballs. That’s ridiculous, especially when it raises his overall whiff rate to 10%. This came against the Tigers so I don’t want to jump all over it, but it’s a 2.01 ERA with a 3.87 SIERA across his last five games. I guess it’s time to be okay with Lynn. Sure don’t want to be, but I understand if it’s the bottom of the barrel.
Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh, sure. I guess I’ll take a PQS and a 0.67 WHIP from Ross, though I want a little more strikeouts, you know? I wonder if we’re destined to see the ~5 K games from Ross instead of the 6-7 outings.
Dan Straily – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Seven Ks! Four baserunners! That’s surprisingly effective from Straily. Can’t say I expect that much at all, but hey, at least he has this.
Jason Vargas – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Varas is not an exception to the rule. Well, maybe his own rule because he just shouldn’t be started.
Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, even with an extra ER than you want.
Blake Snell – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. This was the Yankees and Snell was punished for a bad fastball to Gleyber Torres that was smacked for a 3-run shot. Nevertheless, Snell’s command was well off, favoring arm-side a bit too much and missing way too often. I believe it’s part of the reason he threw just 16 breakers in 105 pitches (31 changeups!) as I don’t think he ever got a good feel for his slider or deuce. Now, it may be a rugged road ahead with the Sawx and Yankees next (blegh), but I want to tell you now before this gauntlet: I still believe in Snell through the entire ROS. It may be shaky here – I’m still starting him next time out – but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This three-game stretch does not represent the next 3.5 months.
Frankie Montas – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. I mean, it was the Astros. You shouldn’t have started Montas against the Astros. The Royals? Sure. The Astros? Nah.
German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I thought maybe the Rocky Mountain Way would work for Marquez in Philly – his only poor starts prior were home against the Cubs/Braves/Brewers – and while he did collect 8 Ks, that crooked 6 ER is staring at me in the face. 31% CSW works and it screamed Careful Icarus in the seventh frame, I think you should continue the RMW approach with Marquez moving forward.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Game of the Day
Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Tampa Bay Rays – It’s an MLB debut for a kid with a 30%+ K rate and sub 3% walk rate in the minors. Pick him up now and let’s see what happens (Don’t start, he’s most likely on a pitch count).