(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)
There are roundups where I feel the need to go deeper on a guy that might have a variety of opinions. Today I instead want to highlight Trevor Bauer who has been an absolute stud this year, earning a Gallows Pole tonight with 19 whiffs en route to a 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks evening. He now holds a 10.26 K/9, 1.09 WHIP, 2.45 ERA, and a 6.7 IPS. That’s absurd, almost as absurd as his 122 pitch count after going over 110 for each of his previous two and 100+ in all six. He isn’t showing any signs of slowing down though, and he looks to be a stud through the year. 11.4% whiff rate with sliders and curveballs adding up to nearly 50% of his overall pitches paired with an overall 65% F-Strike rate. I love it and so should you.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Jacob Faria – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Should I have instead led with Faria? Maybe as this was Far and Iaway the best start he’s had all year as he had a fantastic feel for his splitter and hovering the edges with his fastball. Slider was…okay. He was able to throw it over the plate, but he got away with plenty of hangers that either went foul or turned into fortunate outs. I understand that we’ve seen three of the last four starts turn out well for Faria, though I’m not able to get on board like the preseason. Seeing his splitter improve here is a big improvement, leading to 14 whiffs on 112 pitches, but he wasn’t as overpowering as 4 baserunners in 8 innings would suggest.
Jon Lester – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Not the best of outings from Lester, but the BABIP gods were in his favor and he was able to produce a goose egg. A little fitting that it came at the cost of the dreaded 5.2 IP. If I were to ever write a horror novel, it would be called The Lost 18th Out.
Jordan Zimmermann – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. JZ, I’m sorry I’m not buying this record. It’s just not my type of music, you know?
Cole Hamels – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Pop quiz: What made vintage Hamels dope? If you’ve listened to me talk about Hamels over the past few years, you know I talk about his changeup being the critical component to the old days. Well, he had a 35% whiff rate with the pitch in this one, while avoiding damage with his heaters – easily the biggest flaw in his game. Here’s to hoping he can pull this off some more, and consider Hamels as a possible cheap strikeout producer through the year – he’s owning a stunning 10.66 K/9 thus far and I think there’s a chance he keeps up a 9.00 K/9 mark through the year.
Charlie Morton – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. After stumbling last time out, here comes Morton to set the record straight. 34 CSW is a solid mark and with a slightly wide strikezone, Morton settled in for a dominant day. It’s becoming commonplace and I may have to find a way to squeeze him into the Top 20 soon. But what about his inevitable injury? Well…yeah…you’re playing with fire here. Super lit amazing fire that you stare out for minutes on end in the middle of the woods, contemplating life and enjoying where you are in the vast infinite of the universe, but still fire nonetheless.
Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Gray labored a little here, but managed to get through the Astros lineup for six frames without a ton of damage. I’m still super worried – he has yet to look legit in a groove – but this is a good first step.
Zack Greinke – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He saw a small drop today behind Verlander and Cole, but I’m thinking anyone that was worried about Greinke will have their fears eradicated soon.
Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah, I’ll take this from Roark. Never the flashy type and far from an upside play, but he’s a Toby and that’s cool.
Jeff Samardzija – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Samardzija threw 39 strikes in 89 pitches. What. People were surprised when I didn’t lower him given just two starts removed from the DL – I had him around #30 in the preseason and didn’t think just two starts including a DLH was enough justification to rethink my stance – but I will tell you that he’s still super rusty right now. Does he get a TIARA? Kinda? I never really expected him to be super good each time out, but I will tell you that he has some rust to get off, then will get into some rhythm for you that should justify his Top 40 spot. I’m okay benching him next time against the Braves or Phils (six-man in San Fran?) if you want to be safe, at the same time, I wouldn’t be shocked if he gets it together as soon as that start.
Brandon Finnegan – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s well within reason Finnegan gets his act together and strings together a collection of good starts this season, but good luck figuring out when that is at this point. For now, just let him perch on the wire like Bran’s brother. Please tell me that isn’t a Jon Snow jok– WHAT’S IT TO YA CRROOOWWW.
Kyle Freeland – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m impressed Freeland pulled this off in Wrigley and now that’s two good starts back-to-back, albeit the last was against the Padres. Nah, I’m not buying this, not even if it is Free.
Eric Lauer – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. You’re still a Cup of Schmo even with 7 Ks. Looks more like a bribe than a genuine peace offering.
Jameson Taillon – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a VPQS from Taillon and I wanted a little more. Just 25 CSW, his changeup still lacking and only 1 whiff on curveballs all night make me feel a little uneasy still. The jury is still out for me here.
Jhoulys Chacin – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. I picked him as our Call Boy and I should have known better. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Streaming Record: 17-10.
Aaron Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Before this game there was hype after Sanchez said “I saw that Happ was throwing more elevated fastballs so I started doing it too” in response to his 8 K start last time. After this game, we realize that has nothing to do with Sanchez’s success moving forward. Here we saw way too many balls in play, just four whiffs in 93 pitches, and an all-around mess of an outing. Command is everything for Sanchez and it was gone. I wonder heavily if we’ll ever see it.
Dan Straily – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. It was a DLH for Straily as he finally made it back to the majors. If he happens to do well moving forward – not out of the question – don’t let this start degrade his evaluation. DLH is a real thing.
Ross Stripling – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Don’t gamble with Ross, his type of poker is fun for nobody.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Even though the Sawx scored 8 ER off Hammel, Erod couldn’t survive through five frames to at least give you a dub here. What may surprise you is that he still held a 15%+ whiff rate and didn’t look so terrible. I’m still buying this Edu – trust me, it’s not the University of Phoenix. He’ll give you something that will help moving forward.
Lance Lynn – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. There’s a reason Lynn is off The List this week. Is it because he refused to go to your band’s show? IT WAS ONE BLOCK AWAY FROM HIM.
Jason Hammel – 4.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Nothing like getting yourself a Hammel to put the final nail in this week’s coffin.
Jake Arrieta – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh come on Arrieta, against the Marlins? Really? I get that you had the feel of none of your secondary pitches and your sinker didn’t miss nearly as many bats as they did last time, but…well actually no, I’m not okay with that. You have to get a grip – Ha – on your secondary stuff and figure something out here. Show me something in your next start that dictates improvement with your deuce or changeup or you’re punished on the List. In other words, there will be a sizeable drop somewhere – either with your secondary pitches or on The List. Your choice which.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Nick Kingham vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Why not, right? He’s getting the start and while I could go Ian Kennedy against the Tigers, Daniel Mengden against the Orioles, or Zack Wheeler hosting the Rockies, I’m going with the fun one here.
Game of the Day
Jordan Montgomery vs. Justin Verlander – It’s ace day with plenty of guys going – Will Clayton Kershaw fix his fastball command? – but if I’m watching one game, it’s this one as I want JorMont to figure it out against a super tough offense while Verlander tries overpower the tough Yankee bats. Should be fun.