From Wealthy To Porcello

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

How worried should we be about Rick Porcello? After tonight’s 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks, he’s allowed 17 ER in his last four starts combined, with 10 strikeouts across three of them. He got a bit Singled Out in this one, but just 20 CSW in 90 pitches and not even escaping the fourth frame tells a massive story. His slider wasn’t nearly as effective here – it hasn’t been in three starts – and I’m beginning to wonder if the magic is wearing down and we’re getting a closer look at 2017 repeating. I’m not ready to fully jump ship as he did have nine strikeouts last time out, but he’s definitely not attacking the zone and making batters uncomfortable like he did earlier in the season. The Thief should be falling to the late 30s on Monday, which dictates a hold, but he could fall farther still. It’s a bad situation, but I have to acknowledge his terrible floor exhibited across the entirety of 2017.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Steven Matz – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Is there a pitcher with more consistent boring stat lines than Matz? His 7.6% whiff entering last night is atrocious, making me believe his 8.23 K/9 is surprisingly inflated, and he’s still holding a 4.00+ BB/9. Please do yourself a favor and run far, far away.

Blake Snell – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Snell deserves it. Aces gonna ace. And this was against the Red Sawx! For the THIRD TIME! That’s a 2.78 ERA, 9.80 K/9, and a sub 3.00 BB/9, adding up to a near 1.00 WHIP. That’s luscious and all thanks to a shift away from changeups and to more breaking balls. Believe it.

Danny Duffy – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. In case you forgot, Duffy allowed 14 ER total in his previous two starts, 30 ER in his previous six. Yep.

Nick Tropeano – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Our call Boy was absolutely lovely against the Jays, earning a 30% CSW with 14 Whiffs on the back on his slider. I’ve called Trop a possible Toby this year and while I’m not totally sold that’s what we’ll get ROS just yet, he’s certainly beginning to look the part. Streaming Record: 29-17.

Luis Castillo – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I thought about leading with Castillo, but you guys have seen me do that enough. It wasn’t the fanciest of starts – just 10 whiffs in 90 pitches – but he cruised through the lineup, and now has five straight starts of 2 ER or fewer after starting the season with five straight starts of 3 ER or more. He’s close to being the man we thought he was.

Josh Lucas – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Lucas was the latest Rays “opener” and it feels so weird that I have to keep doing this. I need a term for this…Done Rays? Ex-Rays? I’ve got nothing tonight guys and I need your help.

Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yeah, I know it’s not the greatest, but he’s not hurting your team and that’s a QS with a dub, 3.00 ERA, and five Ks. That helps.

Dylan Bundy – 9.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. It’s pretty ridiculous how tumultuous of a year it’s been for Bundy. Even with 21 whiffs here for a Gallows Pole + 14 Ks, a CG with a 0.33 WHIP, how much can we still trust him? You don’t have a proper answer and that’s the issue. Personally, I’m letting him fly forever now in roto, but you can’t get rid of the idea that maybe, just maybe, next time is when his fastball command falters and he gives you a 7 ER clunker. It’s in your best interest to let that idea die, though you have my sympathy.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. The Digglerx is back! And he actually came super close to winning a Gallows Pole because baseball is super weird like that. Just so you know, he’s a terrible choice for a long-term play – 12.7% strikeout rate in 69.1 frames last year.

Zach Davies – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It was a DLH…or was it? Well, yeah, but Davies isn’t someone you’d start anyway sooo…no? You didn’t do it. Good. Don’t do it next time. Good. I’m going to move on. Good.

Marco Estrada – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. I’m still waiting for Estrada to get it together like a Washington DC fan waiting for a ship. That ship’s name? Santa GiveMeADamnChampionship.

Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey Felix! Whaat. When was the last time you made fantasy owners super happy? I dunno, maybe back on April 15th? Yeah that sounds about right. Glad I can help. Well, you’re not. That’s kinda the point.

Ivan Nova – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You made a Grave Mistake and it hurts. I get it. Well, not really because I’ve learned my lesson by now, but I’m trying.

Mike Clevinger – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Clevinger earned his four strikeouts in his first four outs, then proceeded to fall apart against the Astros, especially in the fifth and sixth. It’s incredibly frustrating after handling Houston just fine last time, especially with just six whiffs after tallying 10%+ rates in each of his last seven starts. I still love ya, but figure it out, bud.

Lucas Giolito – 1.1 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. This is just so sad now. Just skip his start. Don’t demote him, just make him skip a start. Say he’s injured. Say he needs a mental break, whatever, just give him some time to get his shtick back without making him go through the slog of the minors again.

Today’s Streamer

Ross Stripling vs. San Diego Padres – It’s a matchup made in heaven.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Daniel Mengden vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – I don’t expect this to last, but it’s rolling right now.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Cincinnati Reds – It’s the Rocky Mountain Way to let Marquez roll against the Reds – even at home.

Game of the Day

Sean Manaea vs. Patrick Corbin – Is the velocity staying low for Corbin? Can Manaea hit the inside corner to RHB?

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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Comments


jeff

You’re always talking about Snell needing to throw more breaking balls. Aren’t you at all concerned about his slider usage dropping a lot in his past 3 starts despite it being his best pitch (backed by pitch values)?

His SL% in his past 3 starts including yesterday are: 5.5%, 6.1%, and 5.9%. His CH% was really high in his 2 most recent starts before yesterday but it went down to 8.9% yesterday.

Nick Pollack

I was definitely concerned about the Baltimore start where he elected to go 35.6% changeups suddenly and it was his worst start of this season.

I would like more sliders, but as long as curveballs are still elevated – last start was still 30% breaking balls despite 6.1% sliders! – then the result should follow. His two breaking balls are surprisingly similar.

Yes, I would like a little more even distribution, but I don’t think it’s necessary. The real focus is not hinging on his changeup and trusting either his curveball and/or slider.

Bob

I am happy to see Castillo righting the ship after a very tough start to the season. I must say though, I am still sad that he’s not (and may never be) Luis Castillo of 2017. I’ve played and watched baseball for my entire life and I have no explanation for the loss of velocity. If he was 33-35 I would understand it. But not in a 25 year old. To lose 2 mph in basically 6 months is very, very strange. I don’t know if he’s going to get it back. Now it seems unlikely, I was hoping this was the year he takes a Luis Severino type jump forward. Now I am just not sure that elite ceiling happens. He could obviously still be a very good pitcher though.

Nick Pollack

Yeah, I know what you mean Bob.

I think it’s too early to fully give up on the velocity returning this year – we’ve seen plenty of arms gain it through the season – but you’re right that his ceiling is lower because of the drop.

Burt Beehind

Came here to comment on the velocity as well. How can he possibly be “the man we thought he was” without the velo?

Nick Pollack

Close! Not the man but close!

But fair, I should have acknowledged the velocity and made it clear that the ceiling is lower until that comes back (which it still could).

ThisGuy

Good morning Nick!
I have a stash question for you, today. I’m in a 12 team, keeper, points league. I currently have Gohara (head he’s headed back to AAA upon return) and Kingham. I want to bring Alex Reyes up from my minors next week, and will need to drop Gohara or Kingham. Who would you drop?

thanks Nick, have a great weekend!

ThisGuy

Thanks! I was thinking the same thing, just hard to let these guys go!
Sorry i posted twice, it wasnt’ showing up 🙂

ThisGuy

Good morning Nick!
I have a stash question for you, today. I’m in a 12 team, keeper, points league. I currently have Gohara (head he’s headed back to AAA upon return) and Kingham. I want to bring Alex Reyes up from my minors next week, and will need to drop Gohara or Kingham. Who would you drop?

Nick Pollack

If you need help now, Bundy for Godley works. I think Godley will be better in the second half, but it’s not a large enough gap to turn me away.

MH

Nick, apologies for the long winded question. Would you start Minor tonight v KC? I’m in a 14 team H2H league. Down 10 K’s and 1 QS. Despite having a 1.13 ERA and 1.00 WHIP my ratio lead is tenuous at best. The rest of my starters for the week are Sevy v LAA, Lyles @ LAD, Mikolas @ Pitt, Richards @ NYY (may sit too). Opponent has Richard @ LAD, Shields @ Det and a stream if he wants. Thanks!!

MH

Nick, apologies for the long winded question. Would you start Minor tonight v KC? I’m in a 14 team H2H league. Down 10 K’s and 1 QS. Despite having a 1.13 ERA and 1.00 WHIP my ratio lead is tenuous at best. The rest of my starters for the week are Sevy v LAA, Lyles @ LAD, Mikolas @ Pitt, Richards @ NYY (may sit too). Opponent has Richard @ LAD, Shields @ Det and a stream if he wants. Thanks!!

Nick Pollack

I think Shields/Richard will blow up for your opponent, meaning that you have a little more wiggle room given Sevy and Mikolas.

I think you sit Minor, play Lyles, and see where you’re at for Richards.

Play Ball

I apologize if this post shows up as a duplicate. Having issues with the website.

Wood, Reyes, Archer, Castillo, ERod, Smith, Heaney and Reyes are available. I’m in a standard, season-long roto using QS, K, WHIP, ERA. In what order would you take either of them for long-term acquisition for ROS?

Nick Pollack

Whoa! That’s a lovely WW pool.

Play the matchups as best as you can. Wood, Castillo, Reyes, Smith, Heaney, Archer. No need for you to risk the Archer situation given those many options.

Nick Pollack

I’d pass, personally. A little too risky even with his strides and success last time.

Also, did you have the same commenting problem with this one? We’re hoping we resolved the issue.

Ryan DC

Thanks for all the good work, Nick. Please advise: Taillon, Fulmer, and Godley have reliably had at least one blow-up start between them each week, tanking my ratios in my 12 team H2H league. I just grabbed Wacha and Pivetta off the waiver wire as reinforcements, but Tyson Ross, Caleb Smith, Jack Flaherty, and Andrew Heaney are still available. Worth dropping one of TaiFulGod for a waiver add, or should I sit tight and hope for better things?

Swfcdan

Love your work but Godley above Bundy is total crackers. I own and watch both and Bundy has been infinitely more impressive. It’s been 3 bad starts when his velo dropped a lot, now it’s back up he’s back to being a strong 2-3 pitcher with great K’s. Godley has looked abysmal lately and I’m trying to sell hard as I think he might just not be that good.

Not even buying Marco Gonzales a little bit? His control has been terrific and is not far off a 9 K/9, think you are selling him WAY short.

I’m the UK guy. Just letting you know that I never get email notifications even though I always tick that box below. Does it work for anyone?

theKraken

I like Porcello’s floor. If 1.40 WHIP (in a tough division) and K/ above 8 is the floor, I consider that a strength. You didn’t have to buy him as a #1 or even a #3 probably – so you can pick and choose the match-ups and streaks. He was out of the top 100 to start the year I believe… I don’t think he is elite or even close – but he is not bad in any case, not as bad as people think at least. I think he is a very high volatility guy, but his floor isn’t that low. People want him to be worse than he is, heck people call him a thief, but he is a pretty good pitcher. I’d much rather have him than a young guy with a much lower floor and probably a lower ceiling. I would have a hard time ranking him myself… but this guy gets a lot more hate than he deserves. Maybe he should just automatically be in the 30s despite pitching above or below that level? It seems to be where he regresses to.

Gene

Has Tyson Ross developed a reliable 3rd pitch or is he still sticking to a fastball / slider mix?

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