It Gets The Jose Again

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Thursday's games.

(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

I said it after each of his last few starts and I’ll say it again. Jose Berrios looks lost. During his 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks start Thursday night against the Angels, Berrios didn’t earn a single whiff on 17 curveballs thrown – the money pitch that is supposed to be the gamechanger, while failing to get a single called strike or whiff on all five changeups. That means he had to rely on his heater to do all the work and, well, you saw how that turned out. When he was cruising in the opening weeks, his entire repertoire was gelling with movement and locations and now, well now even his velocity isn’t on his side, holding a 93mph heater after averaging 94+ the entire year. I’m not going to tell you that this can’t be fixed, but this is four straight starts of shrugs – tallying just 4 strikeouts in his last three – and you have to question what your gameplan is. He gets the Cardinals next and I’m all for giving him a rest until something changes.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Mike Foltynewicz – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh alright. Only four whiffs total in this outing and a BABIP heavy success story against the Fish, but it works and we can call it a rebound after his last start.

Tyler Mahle – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. This is incredibly mediocre with just five frames and only two strikeouts, but I’ll take that dub with a 0 ERA and 1.40 WHIP all day from Mahle. I’m super undecided about how I actually feel about Mahle as his secondary stuff is really lacking, but he does an excellent job of moving his heater around the zone. I just can’t endorse more than as a Toby in 12-teamer with a short leash, but I really want to believe there is another gear at some point. Streaming Record: 23-12.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I have to say, I’m impressed. It isn’t easy strolling into the Bronx and collecting 8 Ks with just one hit and 0 ER against the Yanks, but there it is. I benched him and it’s incredibly frustrating after getting bad luck in his previous starts we rolled with him that it all goes his way when we elect to give him a breather. Regardless, you should feel confident in Erod moving forward and I’m even considering giving him a sturdy Top 40 spot.

Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Greinke doesn’t need your 91mph velocity.

Jordan Lyles – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Lyles is back in the Padres rotation and this is going to last just as long as Firefly. A full season! Wait…no…it will end way too soon.

Miles Mikolas – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. 8-Miles faced the Padres, 8-Miles performed as you expected. Atta boy.

Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. We talk about Roark on the recent OTC podcast and I’m still wondering if his batted ball profile – 23.7% soft, 29.5% hard contact – is playing out just like his 2016 season where he boasted a 2.83 ERA despite a 4.32 SIERA. Either way, he’s not on your wire and if you own him, I’d imagine not many are looking to buy, so hold on tight.

Walker Buehler – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. I like him as the premier Spice Girl these days and the fella is cruising, with 70 strikes on 93 pitches here. It’s about time the Walker fans over the past four years got it right.

Jhoulys Chacin – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Jhoulys did this in Coors? Wow, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Seriously.

Mike Leake – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at that, it’s Leake’s ceiling! Oh great, now the roof is letting in the rain? I will never stop making this joke. Mike isn’t the worst of the worst, but I have a tough time telling you which nights he’ll show up and that makes him someone I’ll overall avoid in 12-teamers.

Caleb Smith – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I was hoping for Smith to put a stamp on his future by cruising through the hot Braves offense, but he got into plenty of deep counts and racked up 101 pitches with just one out in sixth. His last start featured a solid heater without the excellent secondary stuff we’d seen prior and this outing was more of the same…without as good of a fastball. It’s not time to jump off yet, but I do want to see a step forward next time out, even if the stat line isn’t great. Just show me more than 6 whiffs across 49 secondary pitches next time against the Dodgers.

Garrett Richards – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh sure. I wanted to see more from Richards against the Twins, but zero walks made for a low WHIP and that ERA isn’t terrible. Okay it’s not great. I’d still trust Richards moving forward, though.

Vince Velasquez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. A PQS with 12 Ks and a 1.00 WHIP from VV? I will take that every day of the week and even if they made up a day called Frunday. The Giants struggled during this entire series against the Phils and I wonder if it exposed how they can’t handle four-seamers above 94mph – VV, Eflin, Pivetta. Anyway, it’s starts like these that inflate Velasquez’s numbers wildly, so play it game by game instead of trusting the whole data set. Also, enjoy your Gallows Pole with 16 whiffs to your name.

CC Sabathia – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. CC has been on a fantastic run, but this was against the Sawx and that was an easy pass. Play the matchups and this can turn out well.

Ty Blach – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This is what I should call a Ty Die. But I won’t because I’m better than that. Just like you’re better than actually rolling with Blach.

German Marquez – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He pitched in Coors against the Brew Crew – a team struggling offensively – and still paid the price. Just avoid Marquez unless it’s a really bad team on the road, like the Mets last time out.

Chris Tillman – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. Say it with me y’all. You Can’t Spell Win With Tillman.

J. A. Happ – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. That’s two straight starts now where Happ has looked way off and I do wonder if this is something that can be easily adjusted or if he’ll continue on a downward descent. My gut says I’m hungry, while my instinct says Happ should rebound from this quickly. I understand wanting to drop or bench him, though I kinda think you’ll be fine starting him against the Mets.

Ian Kennedy – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You ran with him to steal some strikeouts against the O’s and were met with Kennedy’s horrific floor. Ouch. This doesn’t change things with Kennedy, but this is sure to sting.

Today’s Streamer

Andrew Suarez vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – He’s been pitching well in his first three starts of the year and it could carry over against the Pirates.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Eflin vs. New York Mets – He’s had an extra two points of velocity in his last two starts, I’ll wager he keeps it again as he faces a weak offense.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Ivan Nova vs. San Francisco Giants – It’s ace day, leaving me only a handful of options. He’s right at the cusp of being called a streamer, but it’s Nova or nothing as I detest the other options.

Game of the Day

Chris Sale vs. Aaron Sanchez – It’s Sale + watching Sanchez possibly make his fastball work can be a thing of beauty.

Nick Pollack

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

40 responses to “It Gets The Jose Again”

  1. Avatar David says:

    Love the title even if Berrios feels too sad to laugh about!

    Watching Mikolas I am always surprised that he is not piling up the strikeouts more, any thoughts about why?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      It’s not uncommon for a pitcher that pounds the zone as much as he does to have shorter at-bats than others. Considering that his approach is returning results, I’m not sure we’ll see the 7-8 strikeout games often, but I’ll take 4-6 as he continues giving us these great ratios.

      There may be a time he adjusts moving forward as he goes through the peaks and valleys of the year. He certainly has the talent for it.

  2. Avatar AC says:

    Nick, would you drop Godley for Mikolas or Mike Fulmer at this point? 9-team mixed, and my other SP are Severino, Car-Mart (DL), Manaea, Paxton, Morton, McCullers. I realize Godley has had the misfortune of facing the Dodgers 4 times in a little over a month, but the peripherals seem to suggest command/control issues are playing a part, and at least Mikolas seems to have the better of him there.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Long term, Godley is still the best option there, though I understand in a nine-team that you have the luxury to look elsewhere. I’m okay moving Godley for Fulmer.

  3. Avatar Barry says:

    With Car-Mart going to the DL for awhile, who would you grab from the following options:

    Heaney, R. Lopez, Triggs, Mahle, M. Gonzalez, Mengden or stash Cahill or Nelson. Thanks in advance for your response.

  4. Avatar Mike says:

    Nick,

    I was offered the following in a 12 tm H2H QS instead of W keeper league

    Get:
    Shark
    Buehler
    Danny Duffy

    Give
    Tyson Ross
    Newcomb

    A couple things holding me back.

    Not sure how I feel about Duffy and would love your opinion of him.
    Don’t like the fact that it is 3 for 2, seeing how I’ll have to drop a guy from my roster that I feel is strong. I have still have to drop someone to activate Gohara (or do I just drop Gohara?)
    This is the guy I was looking to get Shark and Richards from, do I counter with Shark & Richards for those Ross and Newcomb? Or do I try a Shark/Richards & Buehler for Ross/Newcomb & Pomeranz and Gibson?

    Yesterday you said try Shard & Richards for Pomeranz and Gibson.

  5. Avatar SM says:

    Hey Nick, streaming VV worked out beautifully yesterday! I think I’m going to roll with Suarez in Pitt tonight, how do you feel about Gonzales in Det? I’m thinking about passing, they’re sneaky good against lefties and he’s a guy I actually don’t believe in his underlying metrics. What do you think?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I think Suarez is the better play while Marco is better than the worst options but not someone I’d feel confident with.

  6. Avatar Lieonlion says:

    Putting it out there for all us dynasty folks:
    Can we get a Nick pitcher list that considers dynasty value as well, maybe monthly? I know there were ranking articles done in spring training. But an update sure would be nice. Pretty please?

    • Avatar Salem says:

      Seconded!

      Don’t want to be greedy – and I’m sure I’m not alone in really appreciating all of the effort, excellent insights and bad puns we already enjoy – but when transitioning from redraft leagues to keeper/dynasty leagues, being able to differentiate between short term value and long-term assets is one of the more challenging aspects. Maybe it could even just be callouts in existing articles rather than something new?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      This is actually in the cards! I think there will be Dynasty updates in June/August/October.

  7. Avatar Steven says:

    Hey Nick would you start Price tomorrow @ Blue Jays? He has a history of being quite good vs the Jays but his injury/performance as of late has been worrisome. Also if you don’t mind rank these streamers tomorrow.
    Eflin @ Mets
    Ross vs Cardinals
    Gibson @ Angels
    German vs Athletics

  8. Avatar detonatorkid says:

    Happ was dropped after last night. Holding Sale, Darvish, Godley, Manaea, Castillo, Fulmer, Rodriguez, Ross and Pivetta. Should I make a move.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      It would be Ross or Pivetta, though that’s pretty even. Might as well wait and see how Happ performs first.

  9. Avatar omar says:

    Love using Yahoo’s rarely updated projections to try and sneak a trade for some underperforming starters. How do you feel about this:
    Give: Junis, Gausman, Faria
    Get: Fullmer, E-Rod, Heaney

  10. Avatar RECYCLED! says:

    What’s with the Corbin photo? We’re watching reruns over here over dere.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      It’s happened like four times with this one post.

      I have no idea why, I have a lovely Berrios photo set for this. Just fixed it again.

  11. Avatar theKraken says:

    Berrios wasn’t good last night but it wasn’t as bad as the line looks either. He was pulled with on out in the sixth with a runner on first in a tie game – at 78 pitches. Of course, the runner from first (and then some) scored which inflated Berrios line and gave him the loss. That is inexcusable game management. Molitor pulled Berrios in a tie game with a low pitch count. If you are going to pull a pitcher, then you don’t let him start the inning – you don’t put a guy in a situation where he can only lose the game unless its pitch count or a heap of trouble… after he kept you in it. It is all the more laughable when you remember that he left Berrios in for 110 pitches in his first start of the year and pulled him with a short pitch count in a shutout in his homeland. I am just hoping that Paul reads this comment although I have pretty realistic expectations about that.

  12. Avatar Beauford says:

    Nick… quick questions. Is Faria a better stream than Suarez? In need of IPs and Ks. Thanks!

  13. Avatar Fletch.F.Fletch says:

    Why is a swinging strike better than a strike looking? Both strikes the hitter was deceived.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Whiffs are better indicators of domination than called strikes.

      • Avatar Fletch.F.Fletch says:

        I understand that’s the accepted theory but I don’t understand why.

        Wouldn’t there be arguably more deception on someone thinking a pitch isn’t even worth swinging at but in realty it is in the zone? Also you’ll never make contact if you never swing.

        Just been curious in recent years who swinging strikes are valued so much more than a strike looking. Is it because it brings subjectivity into the analysis? (Umpire)

        • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

          There’s an argument for called strike threes here, but not all called strikes are the same.

          Let’s say it’s a 2-0 count and a batter takes a called strike.

          That’s not domination, that’s often a batter looking for something else and electing not to swing at it.

          However, swinging strikes are intent from the batter every time, with a positive effect for the pitcher. It’s also a skill that is more believable to be repeated against multiple batters as opposed to inducing a batter not to swing.

          • Avatar Fletch.F.Fletch says:

            Thanks Nick. So is it fair to say a swinging strike is 100% objective metric while a strike looking has too many variables and subjectivity to be used in any statistical analysis?

            Swinging strikes not a greater sign of dominance, just a more trusted metric of a pitcher fooling a hitter. Makes sense. Good talk rusty. Thanks.

  14. Avatar Play Ball says:

    Nick,
    Great content, as usual. I’m looking to package Jansen and Corbin for another top arm. My targets are Stras, Cole and DeGrom. In what order do you prefer for ROS in a standard season, long roto using (K/QS/ERA/WHIP)?

  15. Avatar DodgerTom says:

    Nick, who do you prefer rest of season, Miles Mikolas or Luis Castillo?

  16. Avatar Nick says:

    Do you keep track of the Gallows Pole leaders anywhere?

  17. Avatar Let's Play Two says:

    I have a deal in place if I want it…Jansen/Corbin for Stras. My closers are Jansen, Knebel, Allen, Vasquez and Doolittle. I traded for Jansen to package with Corbin for a top starter. What do you think? Worried about injury history with Stras? I already have Thor and Pax with an injury history.

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