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Keep deGrom and Carry On

Sitting at #4 on The List is Jacob deGrom, which doesn’t look all too good when he goes 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks, raising his ERA to 3.97,...

Sitting at #4 on The List is Jacob deGromwhich doesn’t look all too good when he goes 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks, raising his ERA to 3.97, BB/9 to 3.84, and a 1.37 WHIP. That is not #4, that shouldn’t even be Top 20! Right, okay. Will he be #4 on Monday? Nah, I can’t do that after such a step back. Do I think he’s Top 10 still? Absolutely. There is just so much to like about deGrom. xFIP of 3.05 with an atrocious 18.2% HR/FB rate that will fall. 12.18 K/9 driven by an absurd 15.1% whiff rate that ranks fourth in the majors. His IPS is easily over 6.0 and he has a history of great control that indicates his walk rate should be much lower moving forward. But why is he walking so many batters? That part I honestly don’t understand and makes me believe he’ll be walking fewer batters in the near future. His zone rates are similar, he’s getting more strikes with his increased whiff rates and he hasn’t wildly changed his approach when behind in the count. So the walks aren’t the biggest concern of mine, but it’s actually the amount of hard contact allowed – 37.6% compared to a career 30.4% career. That’s very worrisome and indicates that his 18.2% HR/FB, while elevated, isn’t so far off from how he’s pitching. Still, with the increased whiff rates and history of better control, I think you’re going to see a much better deGrom here on out, one very worthy of the Top 10 especially when few are exhibiting the upside he presents. I would be buying low and holding if I owned him.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

James Paxton – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Today was such a wild ride of emotion. On one hand I had to watch deGrom struggle horribly and Nola disappoint owners left and right, while Paxton and Manaea looked super dope, with Clevinger backing up my Top 50 slot for him. Regarding Paxton, my god he looked dope. It seemed like every batter had an 0-2 count against him and he threw 20 of his first 23 pitches for strikes…including an 0-2 Curveball that was definitely a strike but called for ball one. It’s crazy how good Paxton is right now. He was pulled in the sixth before hitting 75 pitches because, you know, it was DLH and all (don’t you dare think that DLH doesn’t exist anymore, there are always exceptions…), but if you had any concerns, just get rid of them. But he’s going to get injured again! Well…that’s actually a legitimate concern, but not one I’d suggest acting upon since 2017 is at Veruca levels of SPOIL’D. Be happy, be a proud Paxton owner.

Sean Manaea – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. But right, Manaea went too and it was amazing. We were doing the cast as he pitched, but I went back to watch a some of this outing and it was everything we wanted. He did an excellent job of locating his Slider and Changeup down in the zone, while hitting the edges with his heater, and he was in the seventh with under 80 pitches before the inning dragged on longer than it should have. I have been saying Manaea is a Top 25 arm beginning with this start, and while I didn’t expect him to have that great start against the Yankees previously, this start just builds on that. Have no fear, ride Manaea out until the end.

Mike Clevinger – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Facing Manaea was Clevinger, who looked pretty dang solid as well. He allowed a pair of solo shots to Chad Pinderwhich I’ll let you interpret as you like. As mentioned, I put Clev in the Top 50 this week and I got quite a bit of pushback for it. This start should quiet some of those critics, though it’s too bad he has to head to Coors + face the Dodgers in his next two starts. That’s just not cool. I don’t think I throw Clevinger out there for Coors and I’m a little cautious of the Dodgers…but after that! Sign me up!

Aaron Nola – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. And finally we have Nola…freakin’ stupid idiotic glorious don’t-leave-me-but-I-hate-you-just-kidding-hahahaha Nola. The Phillies defense did him zero favors here, as Nola induced three groundballs that all could have been double plays, resulting in just one out and getting the early hook with 73 pitches to his name after three frames. Now, I obviously watched this – I do every Nola start because I absolutely adore him – and I’ll be the first to tell you that he was out of whack. Too many deep counts, his Two-Seamer missed spots much more often than it should have, the polish I’m used to wasn’t there. This was a clear step back from his previous clunker. Do I still believe in Nola? Yes, yes I do. I understand you’re frustrated, trust me, I do. It would be silly to toss Nola aside after two poor outings, with only one really being due to his own ineffectiveness and he could have escaped it if he had a break or two. He’ll drop to 30 or so come Monday, and I’m buying super low.

Max Scherzer – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Is he #2 yet? Eh, I think I need to see one more stellar outing + Sale stumble again for that change to happen. The Top 3 are so clearly their own tier now, though.

Masahiro Tanaka – 5.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Today is a super long article because there are just so many things to talk about. We saw Tanaka have a fantastic outing last time against the Athletics as Romine was catching and it was easy to attribute it all to the backstop. Nah, the Orioles slapped him around regardless of his catcher as his Slider just isn’t…sliding. This is what I think you should do with him. If there is legitimately an improvement on the wire – Sean Manaea for example – you swap out Tanaka. If someone wants to give you an upgrade of any kind, you sell Tanaka. If there isn’t a clear upgrade, you hold Tanaka and just see where it goes. Do I expect him to rebound and be Top 30 at some point this year? Not really. But I think we can all agree he’s not this bad.

Carlos Martinez – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Excellent outing here from CarMart as he lowered his ERA to 3.08, WHIP to 1.11, and raised his K/9 to 9.86. I have to say, he’s been incredibly consistent and I may be selling him a little short on The List. I don’t see Top 10 here and Top 15 still seems pushing it a little (I can’t quote his 3.33 BB/9 as the One-and-Dunn start changes things completely), but I wouldn’t be surprised if he sits near #15 come Monday.

Luis Perdomo – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Hard contact still low at 27.8%. Groundballs at 65.6%. Line drives at 13.9%. SIERA at 3.39. Whiff rate at 10.2%. It’s really too bad that he has to go to Arizona next or I’d be telling y’all to grab him ASAP. After that it’s Cincy, Milwaukee, Detroit, Dodgers, Cleveland. Blegh, that’s not fair!

Drew Pomeranz – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Don’t look now but Pomeranz has a 3.21 xFIP with an 11.29 K/9 and 3.00 BB/9 with 26.4% soft contact with 13 innings and 19 Ks in his last two starts. Um, yes please. And the White Sox are supposed to great against lefties!

Jesse Chavez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Phew, finally a few guys that I can breeze through. Yeesh. Thanks for this Chavez, you’re a life saver. In fantasy too, right? What? No. No no no.

Mike Pelfrey – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. That’s 2 ER allowed across his last three starts. Next you’re going to tell me that Santiago is a killing it too.

Hector Santiago – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh thank the lord…Don’t own Santiago or Pelfrey. K thx.

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I ran with Guerra tonight against the Mets and might hold him for his next start against the Giants. Feel free to drop him for another streamer, this isn’t 2016 again.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Is Ryu getting another start? I honestly have no idea. No? If he does get that start, how many more before he Drews stubs his toes and heads to the DL? Don’t chase this, at least for now when he would get the Nationals next if he were starting.

Jaime Garcia – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Wait. Garcia has a 3.18 ERA?! You have to be joking. That comes with a 4.81 SIERA, .242 BABIP, 5.78 K/9, and 3.90 BB/9 on a losing team. Don’t do this to yourself.

Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Yes Arrieta. YES. If you guys have been reading these roundups regularly, you’ll can probably recite what I think Arrieta needs to do to rebound – throw fewer Sliders and make his approach focused on his Curveball and Changeup to pair with his lively Sinker. Well, after throwing his Slider 19.4% of the time across his first nine starts, Arrieta has thrown his Slider just 5.6% of the time in the last two starts. Those starts have rendered 16 Ks, just three walks and a 2.55 xFIP. Now, okay. I don’t think he’s out of the woods yet – this start was against the Padres and he’s allowed under 10% soft contact in both of these starts. Yikes. So I’m not totally sold that he’s turned the corner, but to see him changing his approach to better suit his current skillset is exactly what he should be doing. I’m willing to buy into this a bit and I’m really curious to see how the next start against the Marlins goes.

Dan Straily – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. HAHAHA IT’S OVER. NO MORE HALF POINT. On the real, Pitcher List staff member Max Eddy is a major believer in Straily, believing that his super low BABIP of .240 is somewhat sustainable. While that low shouldn’t be expected to stick around, .260 doesn’t seem too crazy to me, though he’ll have to emphasize that excellent 22.3% soft contact and lower than poor 36.7% hard contact. Strikeout wise, I just can’t believe Straily is a 9.49 K/9 man and I think 8.00 K/9 is much closer to reality. His 3.71 BB/9 doesn’t make me too encouraged though, and I think you’re looking at a Toby…maybe a Panda. He’s borderline, but certainly deserves a spot on The List and he’ll be there Monday. But all that isn’t important, let’s fix that scoreboard. Streamer Record 26-18-8.

Chad Kuhl – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Kuhl story, bro.

Chris Archer – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s 15 ER across his last four starts and I’d imagine you’re a little worried. I think all is fine and don’t do anything silly. 2.72 FIP, 3.32 xFIP, 10.78 K/9 and I think he’s the same guy we’ve seen through the years. There is some concern with a 37.8% hard contact rate and 3.06 BB/9 but not enough for me to think he’s going to be trending way down.

David Paulino – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I went into a bit of detail about this start on the Podcast as Paulino impressed me and didn’t at the same time. He’s not sticking around so don’t go running to pick him up, but I did like that his Four-Seamer and Slider stayed on the same plane for a long time, before his Slider would display its vertical drop and come in 10mph slower. He did throw a pair of 3-2 Changeups for strikeouts, which is super great to see, but it seemed more like a “whoa, that was nuts!” moment as they were back-to-back and not something I’d expect in the future. All in all, command still has plenty of work with his mechanics looking a bit sped up and not consistent pitch-to-pitch. Something to monitor here if he gets a secure spot in the rotation, but I don’t expect that to play out any time in the near future.

Mike Bolsinger – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa seven Ks! That’s cool. The horrible ERA and WHIP sure aren’t, though.

Tim Adleman – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. PQS from Adleman is actually pretty solid.

Zack Godley – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I ran with Godley in a few leagues and I’ll take it. Not great at all with a PQS but I’ll take the six Ks n all.

Antonio Senzatela – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Seven Ks are more than I expected, but the 4 ER seem about for Senz-a. I think he’s my fourth or fifth choice in the Rockies, with Anderson, Marquez, Gray, and Chatwood getting the nod first in my book.

Matt Cain – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Meh. That’s all you deserve Cain. Meh.

Kevin Gausman – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Five walks? Yeah, we’re so far away Gaus, I don’t care if this was against the Yankees. So sad to see you so far away.

Austin Bibens-Dirkx – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Bibens-Dirkx – a name I am more stunned than anything to make a pun out of – is getting A.J. Griffin’s spot in the rotation for the time being. It’s a Cup of Schmo, let’s move on.

Ian Kennedy – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m sure at some point Kennedy will have that one good 7 K 1 ER start and that’s when we can consider Kennedy as a possible streamer again.

Matthew Boyd – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Yep, still Boyd Watching. I get a feeling this is going to be hobby of mine for a long time.

Today’s Streamer

Chase Anderson vs. New York Mets – I don’t want to trust Chase either, but 11 Ks against the Dbacks are no joke and the Mets are the…Mets. I’m going to be clear: This would be a half point, but I want to get rid of those completely and Straily allowed me to rid those from existence. So no more of that.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jerad Eickhoff vs. San Francisco Giants – Because German Marquez is owned in over 25% of leagues, I’m going with Eickhoff against a poor Giants squad.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Chatwood vs San Diego Padres – This is in Petco and Chatwood can get the job done against a bad offense outside of Coors.

Game of the Day

Corey Kluber vs. Jharel Cotton Kluber’s back! Cotton is in the majors some more! Yay!

Nick Pollack

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

  • Hanjy says:

    Someone in my league offered me Aaron Sanchez for Ervin Santana. I think its a good trade for me but I am worried cause Sanchez can’t stay healthy.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you hold Santana. I prefer Sanchez for the second half, but Santana warrants more value now than Sanchez.

  • Rory says:

    I just traded for Kluber, after Paxton dominating yesterday do we betray the DLH gods??

    • Nick Pollack says:

      In roto, I wouldn’t. Paxton was the exception, not the majority.

      H2H, really depends on your situation. I think you’re okay doing it if you need the start, but if it’s a luxury, I wouldn’t do it.

  • Benivan Stanciano says:

    Bregman is available in my league. Who would you drop of these: Maeda, Godley, JC Ramirez, Odor, Dyson or Hanley.

  • Soggy Arm says:

    Is Berrios and McCutchen a good offer for deGrom? Switch out Cutch for Yo or Conforto?

  • My Seven Rizzos says:

    What are your thoughts on Peacock? He seems like, if he’s stretched out, he could dominate.

  • Joey F says:

    Need to pick: Jimmy Nelson vs. LAD or Randall Delgado vs. MIA?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Go with your gut, both high risk pitchers.

      I think I lean Nelson just because we’ve seen more of his upside and has a better chance of going deep if it goes well.

      Would hate to start either one.

  • Hanjy says:

    I have a lot of injury prone Pitchers, you think I should trade Paxton for Lester? Or Darvish for Keuchel?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Nope and nope. Hold Paxton and Darvish.

      If this year has taught us anything, it’s that no pitchers are safe from injury.

  • Manley Ramirez says:

    Great work on the staunch advocacy of Manaea. A testament to your ahead of the curve insight!

    As for Clevinger,I think part of the pushback is that unlike Manaea, you never really talked him up much prior to the rankings jump. We don’t know why he should be so highly regarded when a)he’s had poor walk rates through his career and b) the Indians don’t even seem committed to keeping him in the rotation. Ok, he had another solid start. So did Wheeler, another high walk rate guy, with a better pedigree (at least pre-injury) having a good month. And he sits at #73.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Great point on the lack of communication regarding Clev and I’ll definitely keep that in mind moving forward.

      Not a bad comparison at all between Clevinger and Wheeler, though I think there is a major difference that resulted in their gap this week. With Wheeler, I think we kinda know what he is at this point – 3.72 ERA/3.88 xFIP/3.95 FIP with a 3.72 BB/9 kinda says it all. IPS at 5.5 as well. Only one start above 6 Ks and mostly 4/5 strikeouts outings. He’s not really all too exciting, honestly.

      Meanwhile, I think Clevinger is a better upside pick that I would much rather gamble on to be a solid asset ROS. He has a more polished repertoire and a Fastball that I trust to be located more frequently than Wheeler’s.

      A history of poor walk rates might be the first thing that I’m able to excuse if I see a pitcher with solid control in multiple starts. In his last two starts before this one, I mentioned that what I saw of Clevinger wasn’t someone who was trying to hold back a dog on a leash, but instead had a good grasp on putting his heater where he wanted to. It seemed like he’d taken a step forward and now he has three straight starts totaling 5 walks. I’m a believer that the 26-year-old has made an adjustment.

      And about the Indians’ commitment to Clevinger, I don’t really follow that. They were able to demote Salazar because they trusted Clev could take the role easily. If we get back to a point of returning Salazar to the rotation – whenever that would be – I wouldn’t be shocked to see Tomlin get the axe or possible another arm gets injured. It’s not a large enough concern for me to not take the flier on him.

      Lastly, thanks for pointing out Manaea! Nice of you to say that.

  • Jaybird says:

    Re: Junior Guerra. Why isn’t it 2016 again?? Looks like he’s picking right back up where he left off. Just found him on my waiver wire and was trying to introduce myself to him, only to be even more confused by what I’ve found so far. With the Brewers offense much improved over last year, seems his fantasy worthiness could hold steady even if he regresses slighty as a pitcher.

    Also, anxious for more of your thoughts on one Dinelson Lamet. Thanks in advance for any guidance.

  • Cesula says:

    Would you trade Tanaka and Todd Frazier for deGrom?

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