(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)
It was the second start of Fernando Romero’s career today and he blew us away with a marvelous 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks line against the Cardinals. I sat down and watched this and my first thought was “The Cardinals have such a terrible camera angle for right-handers.” Seriously, every pitch looks like it has a ton of horizontal movement and it’s atrocious. Anyway, his slider was much improved from the first start, using it as a chase pitch while also landing in the zone for called strikes, earning 11 CSW across 24 breakers. His fastball pounded the zone and even with his command still lacking quite a bit, he was able to throw enough strikes, earn foul balls with his two-seamer, and put batters away with the bender. Go ahead and add him in 12-teamers, though I’m still skeptical on the longterm outlook. I have a feeling Romero is going to be a Cherry Bomb through the year. Streaming Record: 22-11.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Zach Eflin – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. This is Eflin ridiculous. That’s two starts of excellent outings from Zach, allowing just 1 ER in 12.2 frames, with a 13:3 K/BB. Thing is, you know Eflin. Hmmm I recognize that name…where have I heard that before? He’s the dude who had brief moments of brilliance paired with disasters that are often saved for Sharknado films. BUT WAIT. Outside of the impressive 14 whiff total and 35 CSW across 109 pitches, Eflin averaged 94.2mph here. Why does that matter? Well, in both 2016 and 2017, his fastball held sub 93mph marks. It was 94.7mph last time out as well and maybe, just maybe, there’s something here. I’m not jumping on board like any of the other Spice Girls, but 14 whiffs with 1.5 to 2 ticks more velocity and about 20-30% breaking balls is enough to get my ears perked a bit. He gets the Mets next and I’m not ready to say “definite streamer” but I’d consider him in deep leagues – not your 12-teamer just yet.
Dallas Keuchel – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. This is classic Keuchel. Old school, not new school classic, the old school of 2014 where he frustrated me plenty with a terrible K rate but everything else looking oh-so-pretty. I want to think this is the stepping stone to more strikeouts soon, but for now let’s be happy he’s getting the job done.
Kyle Hendricks – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I have barely talked about the Minimalist Score this year (7+ IP with the lowest amount of “stuff” – Hits, ER, Walks, Ks) and while sub 10 marks are normally what spur the talk, a score of 11 is just so Hendricks. Sure, just let BABIP take care of everything for you. What’s that? They looove it? Whatever makes you sleep easy. Still don’t love Hendricks, but I recognize his ability and reluctantly will keep him Top 40. Barely.
PJ Conlon – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. The Irishman shimmied an “n” into his name while losing about 100 pounds and earned himself a debut for the Mets as they sent Jacob deGrom to the DL. Do we care? Not really, it’s a Cup of Schmo through and through. I’m sorry kiddo, I really am.
Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Kinda. Yeah. Nah. Give me one more earned run. Way to get through that. It was a tough one, you know?
Michael Fulmer – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. This was frustrating. One out away from a 1 ER 6 IP start (just a longball!), it unraveled swiftly and now we’re all upset at Fulmer again. I feel the need to defend Fulmer once again because he pitched really well – 16 whiffs en route to a Gallows Pole – yet the numbers aren’t what you want. It’s kinda weird…the last time I constantly had to tell people “no seriously, he’s good, I swear!” it was the days when people were hating on Aaron Nola. I’m not saying Fulmer will transform into that sturdy Top 15 guy Nola did, but it’s eeriely similar. Fulmer is legit y’all and this doesn’t do him justice.
John Gant – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. John, I Gant believe you’ve done this. Wait, I totally can. My bad, carry on being…you.
Matt Moore – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ease yourself, he’s not going to be the WHERST every night. He’s mostly just pretty bad. There’s a difference.
Tyson Ross – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Ross was cruising and it’s frustrating to see him hit a wall. Welp, there’s a reason he’s outside the Top 40 and not around the 20s like other hot guys. I think you stick with him for the Cardinals next.
Jeff Samardzija – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s a Shark Tank as Loose Lips allowed a pair of HRs, reminding all of us of the pain he caused in 2017. Now I’ll tell you that Samardzija will improve this year. He’s better than these numbers. He’ll have like a three-game stretch of dominance, show up with one of these, touch up his pirate look, then rebound the start after. If there are options of the wire, you’re okay making a swap, but in any sort of deep league I’d hold on and wait for him to right the ship.
Homer Bailey – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I was going to make the tank joke for Homer Bale as I often do but then Patrick Barnhart gave us the Samardzija term and clearly I had to go with that. Soooooo yeah. We got the bad flip today and now we’re shooting ourselves for it. Hey, that still worked!
Brett Anderson – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. This reunion of Anderson on the A’s is as wonderful as the 1600 Penn reunion. You can have one, but will anyone really care?
Jarlin Garcia – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This. This is exactly what should have happened in his previous starts. THE BALLS HAVE DROPPED. I haven’t used that in a long time but this is as prime an example as you can find.
Mike Minor vs. Detroit Tigers – Minor is better than most people think and the Tigers are as bad as most people think.
Chris Stratton vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I know he had that terrible start, but it looks more like the outlier instead of a frequent occurrence.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Tyler Mahle vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Not my favorite but I recognize that Mahle can be super good when his fastball command is rolling, which is more often than not.
Game of the Day
Luis Castillo vs. New York Mets – Of course you know I’m dying to watch more of Castillo and praying he puts it all together again.