With all question marks surrounding Michael Pineda in March as we tried to decipher what kind of pitcher he would be, he sure has been fantastic and continued the narrative tonight with a line of 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks against the Royals. In the preseason, the analysis was universal: his peripherals look great, but we can’t trust that he’ll be able to avoid the longball and his Fastball gets crushed way too often, as he’s hittable inside the zone. What’s crazy here is that Pineda still has a Home Run problem – 23.4% HR/FB on the year! – but he’s carrying a 3.35 ERA regardless as everything else has been so good. He’s showcasing a 10.23 K/9, 1.51 BB/9, and 27.8% hard contact entering Monday night’s matchup. Now, the big change here is a BABIP that was above .330 for two straight years that has fallen to just .269, while his LOB rate is at 82.2% (compared to hovering around 70% in 2015/16). I don’t expect him to keep those numbers down, which means that ERA would rise closer to his 4.09 FIP, but if the HR/FB rate drops as well a 3.50 ERA is possible. I’d certainly take that from Pineda with his K/BB numbers and I’d value him as such moving forward.
Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:
Zack Greinke – 8.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Abreu just had to get a double to stop Greinke from getting the Complete Game, though I think it would have been safe to leave him in there with 104 pitches to his name. Whatever.
Jeff Hoffman – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I considered leading with Hoffman, but the bad news is that this was just a spot start for Hoffman. Keep an eye on him if his gets the call again, but for now you can drop him. You did good, kid.
Scott Feldman – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Holy Wade Boggs’ Mustache, Feldman was baller today. He struck out the first five Indian batters he faced and cruised from there. No I don’t want to endorse Feldman – Feldman Schmeldman after all – but I can’t turn a blind eye to the possible good outing out of the blue that Feldman has fallen into.
Brad Peacock – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Hot diggity damn, you too Peacock? Welp, Keuchel is going to return this week so don’t think much of this.
Michael Fulmer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. You realize Fulmer has had a QS in every start of the season, right? That’s a 27.5% hard contact rate to back up a 2.55 ERA with a 6.63 IPS. My man.
Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I dropped Odorizzi a bit today because I wasn’t sure if we’d see steady strikeout production. Okay, this is great, but can you do it without three walks? K thanks.
JC Ramirez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This whole JC thing is working out preeeety well so far. Here’s to a solid two-start week ahead. Streamer Record 20.5-16-7.
Jason Vargas – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s a PQS from Vargas with a decent WHIP and a good amount of Ks. If I ran with Vargas, I’d be happy with this against the Yankees, especially after last time out.
Ty Blach – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh, Blach. Blegh.
Mike Foltynewicz – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That 2.00 WHIP is making it tough to enjoy the 1.80 ERA and 5 Ks. Why did you have to get Singled Out, Folty?
Jerad Eickhoff – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Am I starting to lose the faith in Eickhoff? Strikeouts are up, but it’s at the cost of a sub 6.00 IPS and a walk rate suddenly above 3.00…now this was the Rockies and he’ll be getting easier teams moving forward but I question if it’s a good roll of the dice.
Josh Tomlin – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Tomlin will rarely have enough Ks to salvage the outing when he pitches.
John Lackey – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Uggggh. I really want to buy into Lackey but the problem is his HR/FB rate is still atrocious – 28.5% tonight, 21.1% overall – which has him with a 4.82 ERA. It’s a 3.82 xFIP thought, with a 9.46 K/9 and 2.58 BB/9…hard hit rate is at 31.3%, which isn’t horrific…blegh. I understand if you want to drop him, I have to believe in the long term that Lackey will be beneficial overall ROS.
Miguel Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Miguel…No.
Kyle Gibson – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. We’ve established that Gibson is on the Anti-List, right? That is, the list containing the bottom five starters in the league. Who would you guys have on that? Arroyo, Weaver, Pelfrey, Gibson, and…Gallardo? Jimenez?
Ubaldo Jimenez – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, probably Jimenez.
Gerrit Cole – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This is why Cole has yet to reach AGA status. I think Fulmer is actually on a faster track, which isn’t necessarily fair, but I feel like Cole is more susceptible to starts like these. I mean, come on, this was the Freeman-less Braves. That’s the equivalent of Se7en with just Brad Pitt and we know how terrible that would be.
German Marquez vs Philadelphia Phillies – He’s outside of Coors and has strikeout upside that could be realized. I’d also consider Jordan Montgomery against the Royals, even with his blegh start against them last time out.