Don’t Get Josed Again
I think we need to reset our understanding of Jose Berrios, who put up a truly disappointing 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks line against the Tigers on Friday evening. Let’s say the season ended today—where would you rank Berrios among SPs? Top 20? 25? 30? Without looking, what would you say his ERA/WHIP/K rate are? Spoilers: 3.53/1.21/22.6%. You know who that looks like? The ceiling of Cole Hamels. Berrios is a strange arm. His curveball should be much better than it is, failing to truly be a weapon he can wield at his discretion, forcing batters to bend the knee. We’ve seen him fail to take that step forward with the pitch for three seasons now, and those wanting to bank on 2020 being the year are not playing the odds right. It could happen, and Berrios is certainly worth your roster spot—keep starting him for 2019—but my initial thoughts are to have Berrios outside the Top 30 for next season. I know he’s going to be 26 years old next year and prospect growth isn’t linear; there are just others with clearer paths to upside around.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Jack Flaherty – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. For those who listened to my Fireside Chat podcast with Sporer yesterday, you’d have heard I predicted Flaherty to take a downward turn in this game. I’M SO HAPPY TO BE WRONG. His slider wasn’t as sharp last time out, but he picked it right up here with 10/24 CSW on the pitch. His curveball helped a bit as well, and his four-seamers earned plenty of called strikes, leading to a fantastic 34/88 CSW. All is good for Flaherty owners. Here’s to it staying wonderful the rest of the way.
Jordan Lyles – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Don’t overlook Lyles as a streamer over the next month with the Cards, (Houston,) Marlins, Cards, Padres, and Reds set up through the end. I don’t expect all of those to work out, but he should help more than hurt.
Trevor Richards – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoa, I didn’t even know if Richards could last six full frames! Seriously, he hasn’t done that since June 8, leaving it to the Orioles to bring it out of him. He was little too reliant on BABIP here for me—only 4/31 changeup whiffs is not a good sign for T-Wealthy—and if he were to start next in line, it would be the Astros. No thanks.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Okay, Eduardo actually started today, and it was everything we dreamed of, featuring 33/93 CSW and steamrolling the Padres with changeups and cutters down-and-arm-side as fastballs were spotted along the edges. Is this going to stick? Likely not? It’s still the purgatory I described weeks ago where we’ll never truly know what to expect from him on a given night, but outings like these keep us roped in. We’re all crossing our fingers for you.
Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Crazy to say that his 28 whiffs don’t earn a Gallows Pole (Paxton, you crazy man!), but 44/107 CSW is the best of the day as it was pure demolition of the Braves. If he’s the No. 4 between Scherzer/Verlander/Cole next year, call me a happy owner at the back end of the second round. Can you imagine Trout/deGrom/Baez? That would be something.
Anthony DeSclafani – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Atta boy, Tony Disco! Streaming Record: 84-54. It was a solid matchup against the Pirates and surprisingly not convincing via just three whiffs and 17/80 CSW, but good sliders forced the Pirates to bite for weak outs, and he made it through six frames. And now it’s Miami, which we should all be excited about.
Mike Foltynewicz – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, is Folty back? His two-seamers were met with plenty of balls in play that went his way, while his off-speed collected 7/45 whiffs. Not excellent, and I wanted his slider to do more, but this is fine. It’s not the kind of performance that makes me believe a corner has been truly turned, but you should be rolling with Folty in September, especially with a double-date with the Jays next.
Mitch Keller – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Ahhhhh there he is. The Pirate that was Promised. 32/90 CSW with 19 whiffs here as his slider was as filthy as we’ve seen from Keller, heaters at 95 mph, and even a good mix of curveballs at 7/13 CSW. Now it’s Philly, Miami, and St. Louis, and I’m tempted to roll him out for all three. There’s obviously risk that he relapses, so don’t do it blindly, but his stuff does speak to a productive September.
Zach Plesac – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Plesac, who served a Philly, but we’re okay with that against the Royals. Did you realize it’s a 3.40 ERA across 16 starts? That’s with a 5.17 SIERA as he looks like a massive TEEs, but I think he’s more around a 4.00 ERA or so, and that’s fine as his sub-20% strikeout rate seems a little off. Now he gets the Tigers and White Sox, so we’re not stopping this ride.
Anibal Sanchez – 8.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Great rebound from Anibal, who I was certainly avoiding here against the Cubs after his recent string of mediocrity. 32% CSW as he was pulled in the ninth following a Rendon throwing error, with a better cutter and good splitter that earned whiffs and outs. And now the Marlins? Fine, I’m back for now. Still keeping that short leash, though. It’s purple with dogs on it and I love it.
Zack Greinke – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Aces gonna struggle to feed his family with one strikeout. What a weird start, which I guess helps, but Greinke, come on, man. WE NEED YOU TO DO MORE.
Peter Lambert – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. If you’re starting Peter, you’re treating your team like a Lambert for the slaughter.
James Paxton – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. You felt uneasy starting Paxton here against the Dodgers, but your fealty has been rewarded. 29 whiffs for a Gallows Pole, as Paxton laughed at deGrom’s puny mark. Fastballs were up-and-in constantly to left-handers with curveballs taking over inside the zone. Really good to see him lean on the deuce a lot as he hasn’t been dominant with cutters/curveballs in a while. Meanwhile, 96+ is wonderful as well, and things are looking good. Let’s hope it sticks.
Dylan Cease – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Hey, it’s the upside we’ve been waiting for! Kinda! His fastball came down back into the zone well, nailing the top half with ease and going 16/49 CSW on its own. Slider stuck in the zone as well, pushing called strikes well to set up that high heat and voila! That’s all you need against the Rangers. I wouldn’t put faith in Cease against tougher teams, but it’s good to see the pair working well, especially pitching backward as no off-speed stuff has really shown whiffability thus far. Now just figure out your curveball or changeup, please…
Justus Sheffield – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Whoa, Sheff is back up! Whoa, his command is still off! I’m sad to see him still not in the groove we want him to be in, even with the changeup that showcased filth in March being thrown just five times, albeit it earning a pair of outs (and a hit). He’s still up with the team and could be featured again, though I wouldn’t be investing. Maybe 2020 is the year for this Young Gun as there’s still work to be done.
Jose Suarez – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. “Blegh, but I’m still here” by Jose Suarez. The newest from our line of mediocre biographies.
Trent Thornton – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. There’s a reason he’s Double-Tee, the ruler of discount hotels. And what a reign it is.
Drew VerHagen – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Wait, what. VerHagen had 12 total strikeouts across his last four games in 19.2 frames. He didn’t gain more velocity, he didn’t change his pitch mix drastically, but somehow he was able to get ahead with heaters that weren’t laced and then put guys away suddenly with sliders and curveballs, earning 12 whiffs between the two. Huh. Is this something to believe in? THIS WAS THE TWINS! Kinda? I mean, I watched some of this, and some of these strikeouts were legit with lively heaters and deadly breakers. But we’ve seen the man act so inconsistently for so long it’s hard to really put faith in his ability repeating. The Tigers have been looking elsewhere for starts, but if he gets another in his next “turn,” it’ll be the Twins. Yeah, sorry. Not for me. Forget about this for now.
Jake Junis – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Junis, no. You’ve been one of those sneaky-decent arms lately, and I know this was the new Indians lineup, but you should be better than 21/94 CSW and just two whiffs on sliders. That said, we weren’t starting him for this or the A’s after, so fine, get it out of your system. Please showcase a better slider next time so we can consider you for streams later.
Merrill Kelly – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. We’re done with Kelly, right? Please tell me you are. Yes? Good.
Jon Lester – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I can’t believe you’ve done this. After rebounding for six shutout frames, Lester went back to disappointing us, now with three 5+ ER games out of his last five. He’s getting burned on his heater, and I can’t emphasize this enough: Don’t stick with Lester for “being Lester.” Move on if there’s a good streamer or two out there. Just do it and don’t look back.
Chris Paddack – 2.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Hoooo boy this is hard to look at as I was leaning toward starting Paddack here against Boston. What’s wild is that Paddack actually located decently well overall, but his mistakes were laced and he didn’t get the whiffs he normally gets, earning just four on 62 pitches. Yikes. I’m not worried about family today, I’m worried about you Paddack. I hope you’re okay, man. Arizona should be much better.
Ty Blach – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blach. Believe it or not, there was a time when people were hyped on Ty. And I had some not-catchy-but-I-thought-it-was phrase to say “nah we’re good”… A Blach Ty event? Something like that. I’ve done better.
Lance Lynn – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Well, he got us the strikeouts we expected facing the White Sox—24 whiffs and 41/109 CSW!—but the ChiSox made the most of their contact and walks to Single Out Lynn (with doubles, too). Brutal. It’s not the end of Lynn, still, and the Mariners should make sure you know that next time out.
Hector Noesi – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Remember that really interesting start two weeks ago? I’m glad he got Coors after as we’re easy to never actually invest it in. Back to the old blurb! Should I invest in Hector? No ese.
Hyun-Jin Ryu – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. The Yanks launched three homers on him including a grand slam from Sir Didi. Fine, he holds an ERA above 2.00 now. It doesn’t mean it’s all going to come crashing down, but we didn’t think he was immune to this floor as well. Keep starting him; he’s not a Toby all of a sudden, but you already knew that.
Vince Velasquez – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Even against the Marlins, VV couldn’t resist his floor, even when he was given a 7-0 lead. Womp womp. It would be unwise to completely write off his upside because of this, but at least we are all hyper-aware of the risks involved now.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Zach Eflin vs. Miami Marlins – I think people are forgetting that Eflin is a strike-thrower and could overwhelm the Marlins with his transition from the pen to rotation in the past.
Logan Webb vs. Oakland Athletics – I don’t love this, but there really isn’t much else to chase on Sunday.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Homer Bailey vs. Kansas City Royals – He’s going against his old team with a good splitter in his back pocket. Considering the lack of games Monday, I feel lucky to have this play available.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)