Joe’s Rossier

After hitting the minors for a good while, Joe Ross returned to the Nationals rotation in the heavy rain and produced a sterling 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0...

After hitting the minors for a good while, Joe Ross returned to the Nationals rotation in the heavy rain and produced a sterling 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks line against the Mariners on Tuesday night. The main complaints about Ross have been surrounding his questionable Fastball command and lack of a proper third pitch. Seeing this line will make you think it’s been fixed and Ross is en route to an incredible 2017 campaign. Yeah…not really. I watched a heavy amount of this start and there was plenty of great luck going Ross’ way, like groundballs on poor pitches resulting in double plays, bad Sliders that were swung through purely on being vastly different than what was expected, and a Changeup that induced little confidence. Sure, it was raining a bit and this may have been a cause for some of his struggles, but outside of a good handful of well executed pitches, I didn’t see the polish I was hoping to find from Ross in this outing. I think he should still be owned in all 12 teamers, but I’d sell if someone is buying.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Ervin Santana – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Here we go again. Santana’s last five starts have been: 0 ER, 6 ER, 0 ER, 5 ER, 0 ER. I find it amazing that people can really buy into a guy with a 4.10 FIP, 4.74 xFIP, .136 BABIP, 3.47 BB/9, and 91.5% LOB Rate. Here’s a great reference point: The Almighty Kershaw has a .244 BABIP, and 83.3% LOB Rate. Why do you believe Santana can be better than the best pitcher on the planet or even be equal to it? This is going to stop and you’re not going to like it. To be fair, I’m not saying he’s going to be a waiver wire fodder type. I think he’ll still be rosterable when he crashes, but he is not a Top 30 pitcher. He’s like a Top 75 pitcher. Sell sell sell if you have serious buyers.

Clayton Kershaw – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I feel terrible for Kersh as this was a CGSHO in the bag until a two-base “wild pitch” that scored a runner from second. Man, that’s rough. Sale for #1, right?

Jon Lester – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Well hot damn Lester, way to prove me wrong and give us the start we weren’t expecting you to give us this year. Now, it was the Giants and we all know how blegh they’ve been, but who cares, this is a studly start and I’m giving Lester solid points for this.

Lance Lynn – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Whoaaaaaa Lynn! Was it with it tonight with studly 10 strikeout games?! I didn’t think he had it in him this year, settling more for your middle of the road quality starts than an extremely good outing that could win your week. I don’t buy we’ll see this often at all, but it has to give owners confidence to keep rolling with him over other upside options, right?

Jordan Montgomery – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Thaaannnkkk you Monty. It’s about time you lived up to the peripherals you’ve given us and settled down that walk rate. He gets the A’s next and I want to own him in 12 teamers.

Matt Shoemaker – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. So it isn’t the 8+ K performance that we normally see when Shoe is on a roll, but it certainly constitutes success and we should all be happy about it.

Lance McCullers – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This is great McCullers, but just five innings? Can you please not get to 96 pitches so fast next time?

Dylan Bundy – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. After Bundy’s disappointing outing against the Tigers, this is a solid rebound, though his Fastball command still isn’t where we want it to be. He hasn’t made the full transformation from a thrower to a pitcher just yet and I’m still selling.

Danny Duffy – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Duffy took care of the Yanks last night as his velocity was above 94mph again. I have Duffy in the Top 20 because how could I not, though I still have my concerns that he’ll hit a wall this year and have a disappointing second half. Obviously I could be totally wrong there and he cruises through the year, but there’s the nagging feeling I have that his durability hasn’t been properly challenged, we saw a velocity drop last year, and he has an injury history.

German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. The Phils aren’t good and Marquez is good enough to take advantage. Don’t go crazy about this one, it’s just a streaming pick and nothing more. Streamer Record 21.5-16-7.

Matt Harvey – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhh I wanted to see more with Harvey against the Padres – especially not four walks. There’s talk of his release point being off with a different arm angle, though I’m not buying that his is the cause of it all. There’s a ton at play and I feel like you’re better off chasing other upside options.

Johnny Cueto – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. This is better Cueto. I’m not giving you a major bump now, but this is better.

Jordan Zimmermann – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Was JZ on the Anti-List? He has to be in contention, no? But this is a good outing! Yeah, and Saturdays are awesome but there are six other days in the week.

Alex Cobb – 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. That’s 10 ER in the last three starts and this one came against the Angels. I’m still sitting out on the whole Cobb experience.

Carlos Carrasco – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Dear Terry Francona, Thank you so much for bringing Carrasco back out into the seventh so he can walk a batter and tack on another ER – Signed, everyone in QS leagues. I don’t expect this to be his DIPS catching up to him and the wheels to come off after his hot start. Keep riding Carrasco, you’ll need him.

Tyler Glasnow – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. We’re still a good distance away from trusting Glasnow regularly against bad teams. I can’t even see my house from here!

Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Congrats on the PQS Corbin, I’m happy someone can find value in this mediocre outing.

Joe Biagini – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He threw 77 pitches this time out, with his previous season high at 68. Man the Blue Jays are really speeding up this whole “stretch him out” thing! It’s kinda hard at this point to believe 90-100 pitch starts are in his near future at this rate, which means Wins will be super tough to come by and Biagini is a terrible add for QS leagues. Still, with the horrendous situation of the Blue Jays’ rotation, I have to imagine he continues to get the ball, making some upside here with his groundball tendencies and good walk numbers (albeit, not so much here nor last start). Fringe 12 team roster spot, leaning wire for me at the moment.

Rick Porcello – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I don’t think there’s a better time to buy Porcello than now as he holds a 4.35 ERA and 1.44 ERA with a 3-5 record. Under the hood is a 9.00+ K/9, sub 2.00 BB/9, 3.69 SIERA with a .364 BABIP and 68.4% LOB rate. Now, there is a number that does make me super scared – obviously this isn’t a guaranteed steal – which is his 43.2% hard contact rate, though I have to believe he figures that out (his medium contact is a low 40% and soft contact is near his 2016 levels) and pitches closer to his DIPS with the same K/BB numbers. Let’s be honest, I’m sure he’s being considered as “droppable” in some leagues now, so that wart is well worth the cheap price he’ll cost you.

Jimmy Nelson – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. Tough to see this after Nelson gave us 16 strikeouts in his last two starts, but let’s be honest. This is closer to what we should be expecting from Nelson across the season.

R.A. Dickey – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Dickey told me that his cousin’s best friend was Justin Timberlake. It was actually Justin Jeffre. Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer.

Jose Urena – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Here’s to hoping you didn’t trust Urena’s hot start and ran with him against the A’s. Please.

Andrew Cashner – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. This is why we Cashed Out, y’all.

Dylan Covey – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Don’t Covey Thy Dylan.

Amir Garrett – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Until that command gets figured out, I really hate endorsing Garrett. I know he’ll have a good game or two – heck I’m sure a few back-to-back even – but man is it risky each time out.

Jesse Hahn – 2.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Speaking of Fastball command, Hahn threw 51 pitches across 2.0+ innings (he allowed a single to start the third) and he’s far away from where he needs to be to warrant a roster spot…

Zach Eflin – 6.0 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. …and with Eflin, it’s really far away.

Jhoulys Chacin – 0.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.

Christian Bergman – 4.0 IP, 10 ER, 14 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. This is the kind of start that makes me want to create the opposite of the Minimalist Score where I keep track of who allows the most total ER, Hits, and Walks across a start. I’ll call it the WHERST (Walks, Hits, ER, STart). Correct me if I’m wrong, but a WHERST score of 26 from Bregman here has to be the current leader, no?

Today’s Streamer

Tyler Chatwood vs. Philadelphia Phillies – The Rockies don’t have a bad staff when they pitch outside of Coors, okay?

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Clevinger vs. Cincinnati Reds – He’s still owned in under 10% of leagues and will get at least one more turn in the rotation. Let’s do this.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zack Godley vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Even with his struggles against the Brewers last time out, I think this start is worth your while.

Game of the Day

Jose Berrios vs. Chris Tillman I think we all want to see where this Berrios ride takes us.

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 Jon Mosier says:

    No comment on Bergman’s negative game score?

  • Avatar Andrew says:

    I think Cobb did rather well after allowing two solo shots from Maybin and Trout in the first inning. He was a bit unlucky since he let two runners on base and was replaced by Farquhar who allowed the 2 ER. Kevin Cash tends to let his starting pitchers roll on for too long even they obviously look out of gas because he doesn’t trust any of the relief pitchers not named Colome, and it’s resulting in a negative way for fantasy owners owning Rays pitchers.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      He also had ball four against Maybin called as strike three…

      I really just don’t see Cobb being a guy I’m excited to own, which means in most cases I’d rather use his spot as a streaming option.

  • Avatar Turkey Baloney says:

    Nobody is buying (or paying) Ervin Santana as a top 5 SP or comparing him to Kershaw except for you that I have heard. Why not celebrate his success to the season and acknowledge that he has been good? Nobody is looking to deal Kershaw, Sale or Scherzer for him. Who is buying into him? There are a bunch of people that have missed out on some great starts.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I mean, well of course he’s been good! I feel like it’s important for me to keep expectations in check when I do these roundups instead of telling you guys what you already know.

      The Kershaw reference was to articulate *why* we don’t expect it to continue and also to remind everyone what the proper benchmarks are when I recite stats like LOB rate and BABIP – knowing that around .250 BABIP and 80% LOB is elite is helpful even when not having a discussion about Santana.

      I’ve been in many leagues where people see runs like Santana and suddenly he’s their favorite pitcher on the team and he’s totally having that breakout season and they’ll ride it for the entire season. My job here is to let you know when that is happening and when it isn’t.

      I don’t think I ever said you should be getting to get a Top 5 arm. What I’m suggesting is if someone is selling a Top 30 arm – Severino, Wood, Stroman, Nola – for Santana, I would be buying.

    • Avatar joshschrecongost says:

      Well someone in my league traded Strasburg and Cruz for him and Jones, so some less experienced people may buy into him as an ace.

  • Avatar GoFish says:

    ROS: Monty or Ross? You have Ross above Monty in rankings but now you’ve seen Ross pitch.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      It’s pretty close, honestly. Ross’ upside is a tinge better, but I think Monty is a better pitcher overall.

      Monty is safer, Ross if you need a more upside heavy pick.

  • Avatar David says:

    Similar to what you said about Carrasco, Cobb in his last TWO starts has been brought out for an extra inning to face the order a 4th time. Yesterday it was in the 8th where after 7.1 innings of 2 run ball, he gave up singles to Trout and Pujols before the bullpen came in and let them score. Bad managing to let him face Trout and Pu a 4th time. Cobb isn’t elite without his changeup, but he’d be a solid #4 type guy if Cash was a better manager.

  • Avatar ErvinsCrusader says:

    Not again! OK Santana’s last five starts have been: 0 ER, 5 ER, 0 ER, 6 ER, 0 ER. But why conveniently end there?

    Santana’s last forty-seven starts have been: 0 ER, 5 ER, 0 ER, 6 ER, 0 ER, 1ER, 1ER, 0ER, 0ER, 1ER, 2ER, 2ER, 0ER, 1ER, 3ER, 2ER, 6ER, 1ER, 0ER, 2ER, 1ER, 2ER, 1ER, 3ER, 0ER, 2ER, 1ER, 2ER, 5ER, 5ER, 5ER, 3ER, 6ER, 2ER, 1ER, 3ER, 2ER, 3ER, 2ER, 0ER, 2ER, 1ER, 1ER, 2ER, 2ER, 1ER, 0ER.

    We see he’s currently in a stretch of 2 clunkers in his last 4 games. Prior to that he went 24 straight starts with only 1 clunker. Before that stretch he had a 4 clunkers in a 5 start stretch, after a 14 start stretch with no clunkers.

    Let’s say he goes on another bad stretch of 4 clunkers in 5 games, fine all the naysayer sabermetric slaves get to jump for joy and say “see I told you so,”and then when he goes on another 43 game stretch with only 3 clunkers they get to go “don’t buy it he’s going to crash xFIPBABIPfart” 40 times.

    Yes his BABIP and LOB% are unsustainably low/high right now (0.136 and 91.5%, respectively), so there is certainly some regression coming, but not enough to label him as a top 75 pitcher and not enough to warrant this perpetual disrespect! No one thinks he’s better than Kershaw, but he’s certainly better than the discredit he’s been getting for the past year and a half. He’s clearly doing SOMETHING to consistently outperform his “peripherals” if he’s been doing it for 300+ innings now.

    He’s generating more soft contact than he ever has, up to 23.4% from 19% last year and 16.4% career average. This goes along with his LD% which is down to 14.4% from 21.7% last year and a 20.1% career average. While he doesn’t strike a ton of guys out, he gets them when it counts. Minnesota has a very good defense. This enables Santana to tailor his approach on the mound to nibble and pitch more to induced soft contact most of the time, and rely on the great defense behind him to make the play. But when he’s got runners on or it’s later in the game he can dial it up a bit.

    I suppose if you can get a top 20 guy for Santana then sure, but calling Santana a top 75 guy is so insulting. Especially with how volatile and hard it’s been to come by good, relatively consistent pitching this year. Who would you sell Santana for that will be better or more consistent if you can’t get a top 20 guy?

    This poor man. He could cure cancer tomorrow and people would still say “yeah, but he didn’t cure AIDS, and his xFIP says he is actually the cause of the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo”.

    • Avatar ErvinsCrusader says:

      This crusade won’t end until we get just one “Aces gonna ace” for Ervin!

      • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

        And why would I give him that?

        I think that’s exactly the point I’m trying to make. He’s not an ace, he’s a good pitcher who’s on a once-in-a-career run. His crazy good stats so far have acted like one, but it’s not something we should expect.

        I’m not saying drop Santana. I’m not saying he’s bad. I’m not saying he shouldn’t be rostered through 2017. No one is saying these things.

        I’m saying that he’s playing over his head and there will be people thinking that he’s a definitive Top 30 arm this year. His stock is SUPER high and there are plenty of reasons why he won’t be close to the guy he has been thus far.

        It’s my job here to let people know when guys are overperforming, noting which performances are most likely to be repeated and which are going to be in flux.

        I think we’re somewhat on the same page with Santana, but as another commenter already mentioned, Santana is warranting a price that doesn’t speak to what we should actually expect from his ROS.

        I feel bad that I made you write this long piece describing why Santana is worth it on your team. Of course he is! We just need to not have the expectation that he will continue near where he is right now. There’s just so much telling us that he’s pitching above his head.

        One last point that I’ll make here:

        When his LOB and BABIP rates normalize, you can’t expect everything else to stay the same. It means more laborious innings, shorter games, more at-bats, which means more chances to walk batters. It all goes downhill when those numbers.

        I think I’ve spent enough time articulating how I feel about Santana and made it clear why I feel the way I do and I’d be surprised if this changes at some point this year. If you don’t agree, that’s fine, but there isn’t much else to talk about here.

  • Avatar sticki says:

    Best streamer for tomorrow: Clevinger, Wacha, Robbie Ray, The Dirty Cheerleader, or Tyler Anderson?

    And who would be your next two?

    Any from those you would avoid?

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      I think I’d avoid Wacha there and be okay starting the rest.

      I’d be hesitant to start Ray if I couldn’t afford a terrible WHIP, and Tyler Anderson could be surprisingly good given his last three outings.

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