I Don’t Wanna Hold Your Hahn

We’ve seen plenty of waiver wire arms pop up out of seemingly nowhere to have themselves a great outing and the latest to catch everyone’s eye is Jesse Hahn who put...

We’ve seen plenty of waiver wire arms pop up out of seemingly nowhere to have themselves a great outing and the latest to catch everyone’s eye is Jesse Hahn who put up a dazzling 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks against the Angels last night. I watched this outing and can see why some are excited – A lively Fastball with movement that induced a ton of groundball outs and a big hook that earned whiffs. Unfortunately, there are plenty of reasons that this just won’t work. 1) I don’t trust Hahn to live down in the zone for strikes nearly as much as last night…not to mention how often the Angels batters rolled over pitches that were well over the plate 2) He doesn’t trust his Changeup and I doubt it will become a proper third pitch 3) This was the Angels who are Trout and little else and, maybe most importantly 4) There isn’t room for him in the rotation. Sonny Gray is expected to return in the next two weeks or so and Kendall Graveman is nearly back. Mix that with Sean Manaea, Jharel Cottonand Andrew Triggsand you have a full rotation that doesn’t include Hahn. It’s possible Triggs theoretically gets the boot, but with the way he’s performed outside of his last start I think he stays. All in all, Hahn just isn’t a great investment to make and there might just be one more start left with his name on it that I don’t love since he’s not playing the Angels again.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

JC Ramirez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. With all the talk about Hahn, I think the more intriguing start last night actually came from Ramirez, who followed up a 9 K performance in Houston. I think he still has inherent risk and his next three starts are far from favorable (Texas, Houston, Detroit), but if he’s showing some upside during that stretch, I’ll be so ready to grab him for the White Sox, Rays, Marlins, Twins after. Also, I had Ramirez labeled as tomorrow’s streamer and Chen rained out today, so let’s just count this one: Streamer Record 11.5-6-2.

Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I’m impressed Cole. I can’t say I expected you to do well against the mighty Cubs, but you did just that and made me rething my ranking of you. Top 25 ahoy!

Ervin Santana – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Soooo remember how I said that he would slow down once pitching against good teams? Now he’s faced the Indians and Rangers and he still holds a 0.77 ERA and 0.66 WHIP. This is getting absurd and while I’m still not a believer and you should sell high, sometimes guys simply outperform what they are supposed to do. Now, keep in mind the luck Santana is getting – 99.0% LOB rate, 3.97 xFIP, 4.04 SIERA, and .129 BABIP – but to his credit just 24.1% hard contact, over 5 Ks per star, 7 IPS, and a 2.57 BB/9. It’s not all luck here. There’s a good amount that is making us reconsider Santana from what he is – a pitcher that is overall inconsistent and doesn’t carry the upside that resembles a Top 25 arm – but I’m still not buying him ROS. It’s going to take more than a good April to do that.

Dallas Keuchel – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I can feel the hype train coming. The steam billowing in the distance, the worried commuters hoping to make it through the turnstiles in time, the rush of wind as the tons of steel make its final turn along the tracks. Keuchel spun a complete game reminiscent of 2015 and it was against the Indians, one of the better offensive squads around. Surely I have to believe he’s Top 20, right? Right? Ehhhhhh things are going too well for Keuchel out of the  gate – 1.88 BABIP, 100.0% LOB rate, and a super unsustainable 11.5% line drive rate. His FIP sits at 3.70 – 50 points higher than his 2015 counterpart – and the biggest difference is the strikeout production. Keuchel averaged over 6.5 Ks per start in 2015, this year that’s over a full tick lower under 5.5, which isn’t nearly as ace-like (notice I’m not using K/9 since Keuchel’s IPS is super good at 7+ thus far and would skew what really matters – how many strikeouts you get) . Sure, that’s not bad at all and I’d be stoked to be a Keuchel owner, but this isn’t 2015 all over again as the luck will fade and Ks will still be missing. Speaking of “aces”, let’s go to Clayton.

Clayton Richard – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Sike. That’s the wrong Clayton!

Clayton Kershaw – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. There we go. Aces gonna ace. I watched a bit of this and I have to say, it wasn’t prime Kershaw at first. Then he settled down and was preemo Kersh but it’s weird when you realize your Dad isn’t superman, you know?

Kyle Hendricks – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Hendricks finally righted the ship against the Pirates, which is good to hear and he’s still a Top 40 arm…but I have to be careful putting too much stock in this 3 K outing against one of the worst offenses of 2017. Good news is he gets the Phils, Yanks, Cards, Reds, Giants all lined up. Just kidding that’s great news. Let’s hope he can take advantage.

Zach Davies – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Speaking of Hendricks, here’s Davies who also has been tumultuous and did some good for owners against the Reds. I was all for giving up on him last time out and I’ll be the first to say that I should have looked at his schedule: Cards, Pirates, Mets, Padres are all coming up now. While Davies has a low floor that could break even against these players, I think you take your chances here.

Wade Miley – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 8 Ks. Six walks. There will be people telling me that it’s time to trust Miley, but a .182 BABIP with nearly 40% hard contact and that horrendous 4.85 BB/9 tells me this party is going to end soon. He can’t keep getting away with it.

Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Too bad Luke Weaver is still in the minors or Estrada would have called him out of the Cardinals’ dugout. See Weaver? This is how a Fastball/Changeup combo is done. That’s three straight luscious outings from Estrada and there isn’t much reason for me to think that he isn’t well worth a spot on your team.

Patrick Corbin – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. It was Corbin against the Padres. The Padres like to strikeout. A ton. I am so hesitant to put any faith in Corbin, especially when he has less soft contact than last year and his repertoire is exactly the same.

Austin Pruitt – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This was supposed to be Erasmo but with the uncertain rain it turned into a bullpen game. Pruitt went over 50 pitches and simply isn’t stretched out enough to start so let’s just move on.

Michael Wacha – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Man Toronto is bad too and Wacha is doing a decent job of taking advantage of his super good schedule….which has three more to go in Cincy, Atlanta, and Miami. Sure, why not. Don’t love him as my last guy in a 12 teamer but I’d be owning him.

Ty Blach – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Blach is replacing Bumgarner in the rotation and did a serviceable job trying to keep up with Richard Kershaw. I don’t see a whole lot of upside here, but maybe a stream against weak opponents like his next start against the Padres? Yeah I’m cool with that.

Josh Tomlin – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. This is one of the better starts we’ll see from Tomlin this year. That is not a joke. THIS IS NOT A JOKE.

Dylan Covey – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Great, because I’m working on little sleep here, I’m now seeing Covey and thinking of a young Cove. Awww, here comes Covey now. “I prefer just Cove” Sure you do Covey…This totally isn’t because I was called Nicky as a kid and dislike it a lot now, I swear. Oh yeah, about Covey. He’s not good.

Scott Feldman – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Feldman Schmeldman.

Andrew Cashner – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks. As always, I hope you Cashed Out a long time ago.

Jordan Zimmermann – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Don’t expect air to fill up this Jordan. That’s the best you got? Like what Jordan heard when he was in AA?

Joe Ross – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It was Ross in Coors after he looked like he needed a start or two to get into a groove. Of course I benched him and let’s forget this happened.

Felix Hernandez – 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Felix got Felix’d and is now getting his shoulder inspected because of dead arm. Prince Felix has returned.

Danny Duffy – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Has it begun? Is Duffy’s hard contact and lower velocity finally catching up to him? This was the White Sox after all, a team that Duffy is supposed to trounce like Shaq dunking on Mugsy. Fun fact: Shaq didn’t even know someone was trying to guard him. Why are you talking about basketball? Anyway, if you own Duffy, I’m all for selling given people expect the world of him, I’m still ultra cautious that he falls off the table this season. Don’t undersell though, if the market isn’t there just ride it out.

German Marquez – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. This is why we don’t get excited about young Colorado arms. Yes that includes you Freeland and Senzatela.

Today’s Streamer

Daniel Norris vs. Seattle Mariners – Yeah, I actually don’t want to throw Norris out there until I see him put it all together in one start, but 17 whiffs against the Rays last time out was a good sign and I just don’t want to trust arms like Wily Peralta and Wei-Yin Chen.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Edinson Volquez vs. Philadelphia Phillies – There really is nothing else outside of Weaver against the diamondbacks or Fiers against the Indians. Like I’m going to favor those instead.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Adam Conley vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Conley gets another easy opponent in the Phils Pirates (rainouts are fun) and there really aren’t any other options to go with here. If Lance Lynn is still out there somehow, I’d prefer him against the Reds.

Game of the Day

James Paxton vs. Daniel Norris I want both of these southpaws to succeed. Kill Bart Kill. Kill Bart. Kill Bart.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Nathan Smith says:

    I think the best indicator for Keuchel’s success is how low he can get his Zone% while still having a good K/BB ratio. He is majorly succeeding at that this year, but if they raise the zone mid season (which is in discussion) he will be boned.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Definitely, there’s been a ton of ink spilled about Keuchel not getting the calls around the edges last season that he did in 2015 and he’s been getting them more often this year as well.

      Not sure I believe they will change the strike zone mid-season, but I think the bigger question is if he’ll sustain the trend he has already set in April.

  • Avatar QQ says:

    Would you do Bregman for Duffy if you needed a 3B?

  • Avatar wuvius says:

    Would you trade Bundy for S. Marte? Already have really good hitting though. Currently in 1st place in my league so I can afford to hold him. Rest of my staff is Manaea, Cmart, Taillon, Carrasco, Pineda, Gsellman ,Vargas / 12 team redraft (QS instead of W)

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Definitely not. I understand that he’ll benefit in the second half, but that’s a major overpay given the amount of time he’s missing + a wasted spot on the bench.

  • Avatar Ryan says:

    Ervin Santana has allowed 3 ER or less in 38 of his last 42 starts, 237 of his last 265 innings, he has a ~2.50ERA in that span. I’m not sure what else he needs to do to get some love

    • Avatar Ryan says:

      I get that his periphals suggest that he’s getting lucky but he’s consistently outperformed them for a good while now, if he’s only gonna have 5 bad starts out of every 40 then I’ll take that, no pitcher is immune from the occasional clunker. Even Kershaw has 4 starts out of his last 40 where he allowed 4 or 5 runs

      • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

        You’re not wrong here at all in that Santana has had one heck of a stretch and I’d be rolling with him.

        I’m essentially treating this like Santana had one full season of being great and we’re looking now at the season ahead. Imagine it’s February and we’re talking about Santana. Are we going to say “he’s going to stay the same” or are we going to say “2017 is going to be a regression year” ?

        That’s what I’m getting at. In his last 23 starts, Santana has a 2.03 ERA and a 4.03 xFIP + 4.08 SIERA. A .230 BABIP that is no way sustainable. A 7.51 K/9 that is fine, not studly. This doesn’t scream someone that should be a Top 20 pitcher in 2017, and that’s where a lot of people are coming from.

        I still have Santana in the Top 50 and there’s a small chance that if those immediately in front of him struggle that he’ll be in the Top 40. But that’s it. I have to assess these guys from this point moving forward and I can’t expect Santana to look like an ace ROS 2017.

  • Avatar JerryOnDrums says:

    Yo Nick! Who you think turns it around quicker? Gausman or Maeda?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I’d bet on Gausman since the Orioles are going to keep trusting him + it’s hard to imagine his career ability is suddenly gone with his Fastball.

  • Avatar Chance Cranford says:

    Hey Nick! So I’m following the advice of not trusting Santana ROS so I want to sell him high. Problem is my pitching staff is Scherzer, Quintana, A Sanchez, Happ, Kennedy, McCarthey, Oh, Kelley, K-Rod.

    I have an offer for Adam Jones and one for Kyle Seager.

    Are these good trades for me or should I holster Santana?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I would love to get Kyle Seager for Santana. I’d imagine once he returns (probably tomorrow or Friday) you can flip him for a more secure starter than Santana, like Taillon, Fulmer, Paxton, etc.

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