What are we to do with Kenta Maeda? Tonight’s 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks line against the Cubs elevates his ERA to a horrid 5.20, with a 1.62 WHIP and 5.05 FIP to boot. Things just don’t look pretty, even if he’s missing bats around a 14% mark. Tonight was especially rough against the Cubs, earning just 5/74 whiffs and failing to miss a single bat on his slider, a pitch that holds a 23% swinging-strike rate for his career. Things are clearly off everywhere with his walk rate rising to a near 11% mark (7% career!) and the only startling luck stat in an elevated HR per nine at 1.63…which even lowered to his 1.16 career rate is still a poor ERA. What I’ll say is this. I don’t expect Maeda to pitch this poorly moving forward – yes the underlying numbers for his outings thus far don’t suggest that, but that’s because he deserved it based on how he’s pitched. I just don’t think he’s locked into being this bad of a pitcher for the 2019 season. At the same time, the Dodgers have two arms in waiting in Ross Stripling and Julio Urias and with Maeda’s struggles and the Dodgers inclination to limit Maeda’s innings, a possible shift to the bullpen could happen soon. #Dodgeritis is real n all. I’d hold for now – I really hope he gets that next start against the Pirates – but monitor this closely moving forward. If you can make a swap for an oft-recommend SP arm, I’d go for it.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Carlos Carrasco – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Carrasco left this one after a collision guarding the bag at first. He should be all set moving forward, but it really is too bad as this was the redeeming start we wanted so badly from Cookie.
Domingo German – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The Angels are far from a real test, but German is soaring in his opportunity in the Yankee rotation. And there was much rejoicing. There’s no reason to hold back now, keep on keeping on.
Pablo Lopez – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I had a lot of hype for PabLo entering the year. Quickly, I reigned it back a bit…and maybe I shouldn’t have? It’s a 26% K rate and 4.5% walk rate thus far with a 2.80 FIP through five starts now and that has to raise a few eyebrows. Alright, this one was the Indians and his heater was under 93 mph (where’s the 94/95 we were promised?!), but his whiff rate is still up there – 8/26 whiffs on just four-seamers! – and I wonder what he could be if his curveball developed fully. I will bring a touch more caution here as his current .329 BABIP sounds kinda right at the moment. It’s part of the reason his walk rate is so low – he’s feeding the zone with heaters a little too much. This is where he needs that deuce to step up.
Ryne Stanek – 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. A clear opener for False Starter Jalen Beeks who had himself a day with 0 ER and 7 Ks in 4.2 frames, good enough for a Win. I have no qualms with those in heavy SP restricted leagues going with Beeks and Chirinos, but standard 12-teamers are going to get burned a good amount.
Spencer Turnbull – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. The good news here is he pulled away from sinkers in favor of his much better four-seamer. The bad news is that he elected to toss just 23 breakers on 94 pitches. Turnbull, buddy, you have such a good set of breaker balls, USE THEM. Please. Two strikeouts are just not going to cut it, I don’t care if this was Boston or the dang pope, THROW YOUR FILTH.
Zack Wheeler – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. If you didn’t watch Wheeler’s start today, you missed his best fastball of the year. It was glorious, earning 23/69 CSW on just sinkers and four-seamers. 35/105 overall as he’s still struggling with his slide piece (1/12 CSW on the pitch = bleeegh) and his splitter would come and go, but when that fastball works and averages 98 mph things are going to be just fine. WHY DID I LOWER YOU.
Andrew Cashner – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. There are few things more inspirational than seeing Cashner produce lines like these. I can do anything…Yes you can Johhny, yes you can.
Daniel Poncedeleon – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I’m sure to get a good amount of questions regarding Poncedeleon and I’ll say this. His four-seamer is solid – he features it up and he gets whiffs and outs with the pitch easily. His other options? Pretty meh. It’s a big looping curveball that I see more of as a strike-getting and possible quick out earning – not a pitch to turn to deep in counts – with a changeup that has flashes of brilliance and can also float for a strike. That four-seamer is strong, though, and if he earns more time starting (he was replacing Michael Wacha who could return for his next start, but will probably miss another couple), I’d be willing to stream him against weak offenses. A full-on roster spot, though? I think in most cases you’ll have better options as I’d hold back on starting Lion’s Ponce against the Nationals next week.
Luke Weaver – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. While Weaver’s fastball wasn’t as strong as it was last time out, I can’t help but be encouraged by his changeup command – 15/23 strikes – and ability to go 8/8 earning strikes with cutters. The real test comes next week against the Cubs (these Pirates are kinda meh) and I’m leaning toward letting Weaver fly. Streaming record: 15-10.
Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s been weird to say, but Corbin has been one of few steady aces so far this year. Atta boy.
Zach Davies – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Fast and I talked about Davies a bit on the cast today and we both settled in on a Toby, with Fast pushing more toward 12-teamer avoidance ASAP. This looks just like that. Womp womp.
Nick Margevicius – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Are you happy with this? A 3.60 ERA and 5 Ks with a horrible 1.80 WHIP? Don’t you want better in life? I just can’t get behind Margevicius this year, especially when I get the sense that I’ll have to talk about him in the First Pitch podcast and embarrass myself trying to pronounce his name once again. Yay.
Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This one was a test for Quintana, coming in hot after feasting on the Marlins and Pirates prior. It doesn’t come without worry, though. 27% CSW with just a 7.9% swinging-strike rate is a bit questionable, as his curveball wasn’t as special as it was the last two starts. A lot of heaters in the middle of the zone as well, though changeups worked super well at the bottom. I don’t know. I feel like this is a little hot streak and not the massive renaissance we want it to be.
Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. So here’s the thing. The Tigers are bad, but 10 Ks are 10 Ks. And 37% CSW is all kinds of rad. His fastball velocity was also down again to 93 mph (and not the 94/95 from last time), forcing him to throw over 50% sliders. That’s not the dominant Sale we know and love. We’re not out of the woods yet, but obviously we’re all happy that he gave us something solid along the way.
Jeff Samardzija – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Loose Lips is back and he’s doing the absolute minimum to stay on your teams. SOUND THE HORNS! WE HAVE OURSELVES A TOBY! I just realized the Toby Horn is really just him saying “Hiiii.”
Trevor Williams – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I wrote about Williams’ success on Rotographs today – read it here because you’re awesome – and the conclusion was simple: he pounds the zone early and nibbles late. The Diamondbacks are bad and didn’t take advantage of his poor pitches early in counts, and paid the
iron price. Williams is officially a Toby & a Vargas Rule at the same time.
Matt Boyd – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s far from the sexy outing we’re accustomed to from Boyd, but against the Sawx, I think we’ll take this. I want to see more separation between his heater and slider (more elevation, more sliders down), but this is fine.
Zach Eflin – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Eflin struggled so much, he allowed 3 RBI from the opposing pitcher. Seriously, Wheeler had himself a day. This doesn’t really do much to change my view of Eflin either way, which I guess is bad news since we want to get back on the Eflin train.
Sonny Gray – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Better separation today between Gray’s heater and slider, but still not high enough with his four-seamer. That’s okay, the slider is dope – 8/20 whiffs – and you feel dope for grabbing him. Well, he had 3 ER though. I SAID YOU FEEL DOPE. Yes, yes I feel dope. GOOD.
Wade Miley – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Miley receiving seven Ks? Was is this, Cyrus telling her groupies that she’s leaving the room? He gets the Indians next and that’s a clear start.
Frankie Montas – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This might blow your mind, but Montas earned himself the Gallows Pole today with 17 whiffs. WHAT. nine on his slider and splitter combined and another eight on heaters. But there’s a catch. Remember last time when I was pumped that he threw more four-seamers than sinkers? Yeeeaaaah, that went out the window here – 48 sinkers, 13 four-seamers. Womp womp. But it worked! True! Maybe Montas doesn’t need that four-seamer after all. I still think he does a bit, but if his splitter and slider are both working like this, it doesn’t really matter, does it. Keeping rolling with the fella.
Hector Velazquez – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Velazquez got game two of the doubleheader and I’ve already grown tired of writing his blurb. Why are you still reading this. STOP.
Homer Bailey – 1.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Why don’t we like Homer Bale? This. This is why. I can’t even feed my family with this.
Jeff Hoffman – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. With Kyle Freeland nursing a blister, Hoffman returned to the bigs – this time without a rainout. He wasn’t all that great, though, and needed a heavy reliance on curveballs to get it done…a deuce that earned just five whiffs on 41 thrown. I hate to give him the label, but I don’t really have a choice right now. Hoffman, you’re a Cup of Schmo until further notice.
Michael Pineda – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. We were hoping for a proper bounceback from Pineda and we didn’t quite get it, but the Astros are tough and it’s understandable. His slider is still missing a little of its bite right now, forcing Pineda to even throw 11/86 changeups. What is that about. I think I saw Pineda scold his slider after the game. DID YOU SEE WHAT YOU MADE ME DO?!
Chris Stratton – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Even against a banged-up Yankee offense, Stratton couldn’t keep it together. I can hear those with picket signs outside now. Chris won’t be missed! CHRIS WON’T BE MISSED! Suddenly I feel lucky I’m not named Chris. Sorry Chris.
Erik Swanson – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I’m not sure that this is Erik’s SwanSong, but I’m not sure how many more these he can take.
Trent Thornton – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. His curveball had moments, but this ain’t about getting dem Kodaks, it’s about getting dem outs. On the real though, 19/27 strikes on deuces is mighty pretty. Too bad I don’t like anything else from Double-T, the horrible off-brand hotel chamomile beverage.
Kevin Gausman – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. A super disappointing start from Gausman here, who didn’t have nearly the same four-seam command that we saw previously. A touch of bad luck as well, including Yasiel Puig‘s longball on a dang good four-seamer. Keep starting the guy as Gausman fights for his possible crown as this year’s Spider-Man.
Lance Lynn – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Lynn just did all of y’all a favor for the future months. Just remember this start the next time you think he’s worth a pickup. He will destroy your team. It is known.
Ivan Nova – 4.0 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Another disaster for Nova as we collectively forget that Nova is in any way an option to be rostered on our fantasy teams. Ivan it to stop.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Jordan Lyles vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – This isn’t me being a massive Lyles fan, but he should be able to handle the snakes, right?
Caleb Smith vs. Philadelphia Phillies – His ownage rate is at 10%. Still. I know, I don’t get it at all. On the real, CC Sabathia vs. Los Angeles Angels is the real stream as I just can’t believe Smith is still this unowned. All of this is wrong. Smith is owned near 50%, CC is above 20% and pitching tomorrow instead of today. Blegh. Looks like I have to go…either Trevor Cahill against the Yankees or Anthony DeSclafani against the Braves. Cahill it is and I hate everything.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Jerad Eickhoff vs. Miami Marlins – That curveball is legit and the Miami offense is not.
Game of the Day
German Marquez vs Washington Nationals – He’s back in Coors and I want to see how this works out.
(Photo By Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire)