Fanning The Dakota Flames

Are you going to be drafting Dakota Hudson next season? He sure ended his magical second half with an exclamation mark via 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 10 Ks and it may warp a few minds for 2020. 10 strikeouts?! Dakota, you listen to Sporer and me talk about you yesterday and you wanted to get your revenge? Your slider was fantastic here, going 12/25 CSW, earning 33/97 overall and not giving in to the Cubs hitters. So here’s the thing. There is a chance for Hudson to be a strikeout pitcher – that slider is a near 20% swinging-strike pitch and if he really plays into it, there could be a strikeout-per-inning potential in there. The problem is everything else. I don’t like his sinker at all. It ends at-bats too often and not always in a good way, featuring a near .300 BAA this year that I don’t see changing in future seasons. In this one, Hudson earned about 30% CSW on sinkers, which is great since it extended at-bats long enough to use that slider in two-strike counts. I’m not confident that will happen often and until I see some sort of change in approach moving away from relying on his sinker for outs in the field next season, I’m not buying. Wait, didn’t you just see it here? In one start. And I’m not sure the approach was really all too different, just a different outcome today. I’m not sold, maybe as a late-round flier but nothing more.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Tyler Glasnow4.1 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Look at the Rays, removing pitchers multiple times in one year with a no-hitter. But Nic– I agree with them, don’t worry. I wish they let Glasnow go the extra two outs to at least get a Win for y’all, but this is a solid outing that definitely helped across the board. It was more of the same – erratic fastballs, but their cut action induced outs and whiffs up + curveballs down that he’d either bounce or get where he wanted it – and given the lack of precision with his stuff, I can’t truly get behind drafting him as your #2 next year. #3? Sure, I think his stuff speaks to a prime Cherry Bomb arm, but I’d be shocked if he truly becomes a Top 15 arm as he’s relying too heavily on his feel from start-to-start.

Jose Urquidy6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Atta boy Urquidy, needing just 79 pitches for six clean frames. Streaming Record: 102-67. Not exactly what we expected in the strikeout department, but the Angels were slapping away and sometimes you gotta take what they give you. I wonder if Urquidy will get a shot before Josh James in the rotation for next year, but that’s a debate for another time. 

Asher Wojciechowski6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. So his slider was solid – 10/28 CSW – but he relied mostly on BABIP going his way on curveballs and four-seamers to survive here. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Woj early next year to see if that deuce is doing magical things again. If it is, there could be something solid, even in 12-teamers.

Taylor Clarke3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. We suspected that Clarke wouldn’t go deep in this one and I’m sad to see it become a reality. I think there is talent in Clarke’s arm with his slider, but he got through this one mostly with well-placed heaters along the edge. Don’t rule him out for a possible rotation spot next year and a deep sleeper. There’s some talent here that could be a decent play over a few months given the opportunity.

Zach Davies5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I’m amazed at this effort inside of Coors from Davies and really his season as a whole. I’m not touching his limited usage and repertoire that relies too heavily on BABIP to succeed, but you already knew that. Sorry for those that needed that Win, it just wasn’t there.

Eric Lauer4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Lauer got the Diamondbacks again and while we didn’t get the same increased velocity this time, we did get the strikeouts, so that’s cool. Not cool enough for me to consider him as a sleeper pick for next year, but cool for those that streamed him for those Ks.

Alec Mills5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Look at Alec go. That’s two starts of small opportunity as we knew he wouldn’t be stretched long, and both times he only helped your teams. In General, Mills isn’t something I want to wake up to in the morning, but there could be something here to look into deeper. Give me some time.

Patrick Sandoval3.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The Irish Panda didn’t get much of a chance to soar this September with a horrible schedule, but there is upside that shouldnt’ be forgotten next season. Consider him for deep leagues, 12-teamers should wait and see.

Justus Sheffield5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Nine base runners and just 1 ER? Way to escape jams, but he didn’t have his best stuff here. A dark horse sleeper play for 2020 as we’ve seen his dominance when everything is working. Here’s to hoping he can put it together.

Jose Berrios6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Way to end it on a good note, I wonder if Berrios’ October will elevate him in the drafts once again. Between this season and last, I don’t see a whole lot that’s different. Similar ERA/WHIP/strikeout rates, it was overall more of the same. How much a 3.68 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 23% K rate worth to you? That’s surprisingly close to Anthony DeSclafaniwhich doesn’t of course take into account the ceiling and floor of each player, but it does showcase that the perceived gap between these arms is larger than it should be. Something to think about.

Walker Buehler5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Ehhhh, we wanted a little more from Buehler in the ratio/QS realm, but the fact that we got any innings from Buehler in the final weeks is something we shouldn’t take for granted. 182 frames of 3.26 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and a 29% K rate? Yep, that’s what you wanted when you drafted him and life is beautiful. I don’t see a reason to not expect more of the same next season.

Mike Fiers5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You wanted the Quality Start. I wanted it. Give the people what they want. For the full year, Fiers produced a 3.90 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP and 126 strikeouts across ~185 innings. Yep, he was a Toby. The most quintessential Toby out there. Does he earn the title of Spider-Man? He just might.

James Paxton1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Paxton was removed after just one inning with a tight left glute. I’m not going to make all the jokes that I’m sure have been made thus far. I’m that cheeky, y’all. 

Zach Plesac5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. There’s sure to be plenty of discussion of Plesac vs. Civale next year and if I had to pick one (I won’t be, honestly), it would be Plesac as I like his heater more with similar secondary stuff. I’ll have a better answer for you when I review the Indians staff deep in the off-season, but for now, I’m glad he rewarded owners who needed to spin the wheel here. No Win or QS, but that ERA and Ks help.

Antonio Senzatela6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Narrowly missing a VPQS, Senz-A gave himself a wonderful sendoff for a lost season. At least he has that going for him.

Marcus Stroman6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Whoa, Stroman! You still had a WHIP over 1.00 because duh, but eight strikeouts and just two earned runs! I had a bad feeling about this start against the Braves, though missing Acuna surely helped, and I’m glad it worked for those that needed it. You know I’m not drafting him next year and his name value will definitely raise his draft stock slightly too high. He’s just a Toby to me, still.

Austin Voth6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Voth had a tougher matchup this time around against the Indians but surprisingly produced. The secret? His curveball returning 11/18 CSW out of nowhere, after relying heavily on heaters in the past. Still 92/93 on four-seamers and not the 94/95 from the summer and I don’t have high hopes for him next year unless that velocity shows up. His curveball is not this good.

Anthony DeSclafani5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhh, you need better than this from Tony Disco. Sure, the floor was indeed higher as it was just 3 ER, but that ERA still hurts and the 1.80 WHIP stings. A 3.89 ERA with a 24% K rate and 1.20 WHIP sounds about right, acting a bit like a classic Jerad Eickhoff season, with a touch more Ks, or maybe like JA Happ’s 2018 season. He’s a Toby that will likely be forgotten for 2020 and that’s fine. This could get plenty worse without much of a chance for a near 3.00 ERA season, let alone sub 3.50.

Nathan Eovaldi5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Ugggggh. With such a disappointing close to the season, you’d have to imagine his draft stock tanking. I would still be taking a chance at his price next year, especially if it’s super late. The velocity and movement are still there, it’s just a lot of mistakes and not executing his game plan. Give him some time to polish without injury and this could just work again.

Joe Palumbo3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, seven strikeouts! His curveball looked good paired with the 94 mph fastball, but this wasn’t destined to be an overall good outing going up against the Yanks n all. There’s an intriguing bit of upside here, I wonder if he’ll refine his skillset and surprise some in 2020. It’s an outside chance, but at least he has one.

T.J. Zeuch5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s a Blue Jays starter, alright.

Vince Velasquez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I hope this served as a valuable lesson. VV doesn’t care what matchup it is, he will perform however he feels on a given day. Not even the Marlins can change that.

Steven Brault5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. Brault, where did you steal those strikeouts. Urquidy, Velasquez, and Sheffield gave them to me. Gave? Did you ask them for permission? No…but I was going to give them back after? That’s like asking someone randomly on the street to borrow a quarter for their parking meter. You’re can’t give it back. FINE. 

Dallas Keuchel5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Awwwww, Keuchel, we needed just one more start out of you. You managed to produce near the same exact season as 2018, just with 90 fewer innings n all. I wonder where he goes in the off-season and I’d be okay drafting him at the end of drafts in leagues that value QS, otherwise I’d rather chase something that can make a larger impact across a full year.

Pablo Lopez4.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Bleeeggggh. Well this sure didn’t work out. My expectations were raised based on his increased velocity in the spring sticking around and while we did see a tick to 93.6, it wasn’t the 94/95 that I thought would be there. Not to mention, his curveball and changeup took a major step back, injuries hit, and it all went south. The talent is still there for this to eventually come together, but I’ll be on the sidelines for a bit until I see something really stick out over a decent amount of time.

Eric Skoglund3.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Well, yeah. It’s Skoglund. And yes, I’m going to have to write about him in my off-season pitcher profiles. Can’t wait for this one…

 

Today’s Streamer

 

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

 

Reynaldo Lopez vs. Detroit Tigers – He got pushed to Saturday and during a day of terrible options, ReyLo is your best hope for a big upside swing. I don’t see a safe streaming option here, so let’s cross our fingers. I know, I said I was done, but what else should I chase? Adam Plutko against the Nationals? They have the same floor. Bleeeegggggh.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Spencer Turnbull vs. Chicago White Sox – There are some other desperate options for the final day – Sandy Alcantara against the Phils if he’s available, Trevor Williams against the Reds could work, but I’m going with Turnbull’s recent hot streak for a date against the Tigers. It’s been a long year, here’s to hoping we go out the right way.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

None – This is it y’all. It’s been a blast hanging with all of you this season. Seriously.

 

Game of the Day

 

Garrett Richards vs. Robbie Ray – Let’s rid ourselves of the memory of Richards’ last start and hopefully witness a ton of strikeouts today.

 

(Photo by Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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