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Knocking On Wood

As I mentioned yesterday, there were three pitchers hyped by the end of Spring Training labeled as excellent sleepers. After exhibiting a better release point and uptick in velocity, Alex...

As I mentioned yesterday, there were three pitchers hyped by the end of Spring Training labeled as excellent sleepers. After exhibiting a better release point and uptick in velocity, Alex Wood was a darling among many. So much for that after he went 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks against the Giants.  Yes, he’s safe to drop, just go with the next hot hand.  There is a lesson to be learned here and it’s an important one.  These guys are a dime a dozen, and there is a big reason why they aren’t drafted until ultra late in the draft (well, unlike Aaron Nola who is just baller and people are silly) – they have floors that can fall right underneath them at any point and make their value tank overnight.  Don’t believe that this doesn’t apply to Aaron Sanchez or Juan Nicasio.  The timing has worked out for them so far, but they could turn into the next Shane Greene or Anthony DeSclafani when all is said and done.  I like the former more than I did those last two names in 2015, but you get my drift.  Be careful out there.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Mat Latos – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. What.  This is the polar opposite of your atrocious beginning to 2015 and I don’t know how to feel.  Oh wait, yes I do.  Blame it on the Athletics.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks.  Color me super impressed.  Don’t forget that Ubaldo had a fantastic April a year ago before falling off in typical Jimenez style, but that doesn’t mean you have to ignore the ride while it’s running.

Hector Santiago – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, Santiago earned at least 7 Ks just seven times out of his 32 last season.  Didn’t think he’d burn one of those so soon in the season.  That’s not how it works.  That’s not how any of this works.  Thanks for the tip, bud.  Anyway, Hector is fine to start based on the matchup, just don’t go crazy with the guy.

Kendall Graveman – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks.  This is what you’re hoping from Graveman on a given night.  Yup.

Phil Hughes – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks.  Hughes not allowing a walk?  Shocking.  Hughes holding a 4.50 ERA and just four strikeouts?  Just as shocking.  For those unaware, none of this is shocking.  

Derek Holland – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Welcome to Holland, king of the blegh.  Long may he reign far away from my team.

Nathan Eovaldi – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. The strikeouts are a bit surprising from Eovaldi, and I’m not sold that we should expect them often moving forward.  Meanwhile I question his ERA/WHIP upside, though his groundball tendencies should make him hold a higher floor than what we saw tonight.  Nothing good enough to trust outside of favorable matchups, but decent for deep leagues.

Robert Stephenson – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Our begrudging Call-Boy wasn’t all too great, though his struggles came just one out before solidifying the dub in the 5th.  I wasn’t all too impressed with what I saw, with a middling Two-Seamer Fastball that had decent but underwhelming command and a Curveball that didn’t have all too much bite.  His Changeup was easily his best of the lot, but there is still much polish left to add (I’ll concede that both his walks came with two outs and the bases empty on full counts to Maikel Franco), making him a pitching prospect you can ignore.

Adam Conley – 1.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Here I was thinking that I’d get a good look at Conley, and he A) struggled mightily in the first B) didn’t survive the 1 hour and 25 minute delay.  Want to know the funny part?  I’d still take this start over Wood’s.  Burn.

John Lackey – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Lackey was a bit lucky last season, featuring a 3.77 xFIP and 82.6% LOB rate that had me lacking Lackey in all my leagues.  Looks like it’s starting to bite him in 37-year-old season.  Sure, the Diamondbacks are a solid offense but this is inexcusable.

Jake Peavy – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks.  Those who were thinking that a Geezer Quality Start Battle could return this season just saw two of the possible contenders get eliminated before they heard the second bell.  Ouch.  Peavy is better than this, though better is like 1 ER and 2 baserunners fewer.  Whoop de freakin’ do.

Mike Fiers – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks.  Fiers value lies in wins and strikeouts for those desperate in deeper leagues.  He didn’t do either of those things today because he’s a jerk.  I wouldn’t go near him in all but the deepest 12 teamers, but those that are looking for his value, it’ll show up in the future.  Can’t speak too highly about the ERA/WHIP that will be paired with it though.

Tanner Roark – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.  Please keep this up Roark so we can have Giolito ASAP.  But wouldn’t it be someone like A.J. Cole first?  Dude, just let me have my irrational hype.

Charlie Morton – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. How much food would a Chuck Morton chuck?  A lot if he owned him on his own team.  :(

Rubby De La Rosa – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks.  The Cubs were in town and this went exactly as you would expect.  Rubby could provide deeper league value, but it’ll happen when he’s playing much worse offenses.

Today’s Streamers

Matt Shoemaker vs. Texas Rangers – Risky risky risky, but if you need a major impact entering the weekend, Shoemaker has the biggest upside of the pitchers that are going to hanging around the wire.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nate Karns vs. Oakland Athletics – I like Karns more than your average joe, especially when he gets to the horrid Athletics.  Don’t let their name fool you, they aren’t a good team.

Game of the Day

Jacob DeGrom vs. Philadelphia Phillies – There are a lot of great games Friday, including two young pitchers getting shots in the rotation, a sprinkle of aces, and deGrom getting his first start of the season against a poor Phillies team.  Should be a ball.  Or a strike.  We’ll just have to watch to find out!  Oh God I need to go to bed.

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.

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