(Photo by William Purnell/Icon Sportswire)
You probably wanted me to talk about Jon Gray’s return from the minors, but there is a more pressing pitcher to discuss and that man is Danny Duffy after he went 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks against the ChiSox last night. First, yes, the ChiSox, but Duffy has allowed just 1 ER total in four of his last five starts (yes, it’s a 6 ER outlier against the Indians). Here was 37/114 CSW as his changeup earned 10/20 CSWF (plus fouls) and dominated with his heater. Here’s something fun. Prior to these five outings, Duffy has been throwing 21.6% sliders, good for a pVal of -9.5. STOP THROWING SLIDERS! is what you’re shouting and I have great news for you. He’s reduced his slider usage to 10.7% in his last five games with introducing a curveball for 18% of his pitches, returning a 1.4 pVAL. Whiff rate is suddenly 12.5% and a 26% K rate in those 31 frames. He threw the deuce under 2% of the time prior and you have to buy into this in some way. Look, I’m not elevating him to Top 50 or anything, but suddenly Duffy has value. He’s made an adjustment and has had lots of success as a result. Consider him again in 12-teamers. There’s a chance he goes Twins/Tigers/ChiSox out of the break and I’m for it.
Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:
Jack Flaherty – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Not the most overpowering start and he was pulled super early under 70 pitches due to the rain delay, but this helped and you should keep rolling with Flaherty in all leagues.
Zack Greinke – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. We’re done to a 3.18 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with a 25% K rate. Hope you guys stuck with me and Greinke.
Clay Holmes – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. You know what they say about people that live in Clay Holmes. You can sometimes hear the ghost of Swayze whispering Ditto…But seriously, I was actually pretty impressed with what I saw. Don’t like his cutter at all, changeup was fine, but 97mph heat – four-seamer and sinker – with a curveball that will get whiffs. Now I noticed him rushing his delivery after the leg kick a little bit, which could have been a product of nerves, but this was a better guy than the other start against the Dodgers. I think it’s a Young Gun hinting at possible consistency in the future, but there isn’t a spot in the Pirates rotation at hte moment (this was a double-header) and let’s move on for now.
Yefry Ramírez – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, Yefry did a thing! He now has a 14% whiff rate in his 23.1 IP, which definitely is something, but…meh. I don’t actually think Yefry is that bad, but he’s way too unpolished and you’re going to see a lot of short starts from him this year (this was 94 pitches!). Not something to consider in 12-teamers.
Trevor Richards – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I hate hope Trevor is the last Richards left standing. Please represent them well. I know you want, but please.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Give me love, give me land, give me SIX FREAKIN INNINGS. But alright, this helps everywhere -including the dub – but…what’s this? Oh you were actually set to go 7+ with under 70 pitches but you sprained your ankle and were pulled from the game. OH COME ON. Here’s to hoping he only misses 2-3 starts.
Chris Archer – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Heaters up (a little too up, actually), breakers and changeups down, and life was good. I’m amazed he threw 25 slow balls here – FINALLY – and guess what, he earned 14/25 not-in-play strikes with it. THAT’S EXCELLENT ARCHER. Please do more of this. PLEASE. Yeah yeah yeah, under five frames, but seeing that faith in the slow ball really is something special.
Gerrit Cole – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace as it’s nice to see Cole back in form. Another Gallows Pole for the man – 22 whiffs to his name 14/57 on his four-seamer! – and life is good entering the second half.
Sam Gaviglio – 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He got the early hook against the Sawx after throwing under 50 pitches in his previous start. There might be a Toby in here, maybe not. That’s not my kind of chase. Is Anderson? Ugggh not what I meant. BUT IS HE? Meh and stop yelling at me. Sorry.
Jon Gray – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. You want a detailed report of this start. What you’re going to get is this. He pounded the zone with heaters at 95mph, sliders went 6/37 whiffs, and it was good. I’m not ready to say “he’s fixed” n all that – it’s one start where the BIP went his way, balls in play that held an 87mph average exit velocity! (That’s not good) – and I’d still have hesitation moving forward.
Ivan Nova – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. We wanted a Super Nova. What we got was Ivan the super mediocre.
Martin Perez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. You know those times when you see someone you haven’t talked for ages and conversation dies about 20 seconds in? Perez, I just have nothing to say to you.
Brent Suter – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It helps, it’s also so lame that I feel like I’m watching Carlos make a joke. Uggggh Carlos…
Chase Anderson – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh, did you hear us talking about you? I’m impressed that you have allowed 5 ER total in your last five starts, but there isn’t much else to be excited about. Maybe he’s a Toby now. That’s cool.
Luis Castillo – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Ugggggh. Get your changeup together Castillo, YOU NEED IT. 3/11 whiffs is just so not you. Fastball is still good and slider is where it should be, just figure out your #1, okay?
Andrew Heaney – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yep, that’s a solid outing and you’re nodding your head in approval. I wrote about Heaney recently and you’ll see how his changeup has been the impetus for his swing in whiff rates. Last night’s game? 12/103 whiffs – double digit % – and his changeup was…good. Not great – that was his hook – but it worked, got a few swings and misses and Heaney had a solid night. He’s currently #38 on The List and I’m thinking about pushing him closer to #30. He’s still plenty undervalued in my view.
Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. After his terrible starts, he gave us an incredible outing last itme. Here? Pretty boring. It’s like all the excitement is over and we’re sitting in a room with balloons slowly falling from ceiling. It’s still not bad – I’ve had some great times in that aftermath – but the thrill is gone. This could be what Hendricks does the rest of the way, save for a few more baserunners.
Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This started blegh then Nola made it solid because that’s what he does. THAT’S WHAT HE DOES.
Jeff Samardzija – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeah, I’m still waiting for something to get excited about from Loose Lips. Right now, he will sink your ship.
Brett Anderson – 3.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Oh hi Anderson. I guess you do things so here we are talking about said things. Just kidding, we won’t because your time is precious and so is mine and I’M RAMBLING ABOUT LITERALLY NOTHING. One last thing because I go. Just one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!
Sean Newcomb – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. Newcomb has raised his tudly 2.59 ERA on June 22nd to 3.51 in four games, failing to exceed 3 strikeouts in his last three. We knew regression was coming, but not like this. Not like this…
Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s a legit VPQS with 6 Ks. Sure, that’s fine.
Mike Clevinger – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Even with one ER too many, Clev still gave you 8 strikeouts because his secondary stuff is stupid good once again. Kinda. His slider actually went 0/15 in whiffs, but 10/15 for strikes works. Believe in the new deGrom hair.
Wade LeBlanc – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. LeBlanc went to Coors and we got nothing back. Womp womp.
CC Sabathia – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. After a weak outing against the Orioles, Sabathia responded with another meh effort, this time against the Indians. I think he ultimately settles in as a 3.70/3.80 ERA, which totally plays these days, but it’s far from the near 3.00 ERA we saw briefly. It’s fine.
Zach Wheeler – 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I talked with Sporer about Wheeler in the Fireside chat that will be out tonight, which in short can be summed up as “I need to see better sliders under the zone instead of exclusively glove side in the zone.” He averaged 97.2mph on his heater, which is all kinds of encouraging, I just want to see the secondary stuff to catch up. It could and I’d be owning him in 12-teamers – this is a Win despite the 4 ER, right? – and we could be seeing a strong second half ahead. Streaming Record: 57-31.
Reynaldo Lopez – 7.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. On the plus side, he did focus on the trio of heater (still great)/slider (it’s where it needs to be) /changeup (2/15 CSW…yikes). One day that changeup will click and BAM, you have yourself a Top 50 starter. One day…
Luis Perdomo – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This 6/2 K per BB is actually impressive from Perdomo. Yes I’m overlooking everything else and he’s not good and please don’t own him, but I don’t expect much of anything from Perdomo so this is cool? I guess? Maybe? I’m just trying to be supportive ya’ll.
Jose Berrios – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. His curveball wasn’t gone but it wasn’t overpowering here. I still believe in him for the second half and I wouldn’t freak out over the recent turbulence.
Michael Fulmer – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Okay this was the Astros, I was 50/50 on if I wanted to start him, and this was atrocious. I have to leave this tweet here as Fulmer did not deserve all of this fate. Seriously, that’s probably the worst called strikezone I’ve seen all season. But hey, so it goes and I’m not hesitating throwing Fulmer against all but the elite offenses.
Austin Voth – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. We got through a Voth phase at some point, I’m now looking at some of you dreaming of a month from now when you’re back to your normal self.
Andrew Suarez vs. Oakland Athletics – There may be more options as teams decide what to do entering the break, so keep yourself updated come Saturday night.
ALL-STAR BREAK – Treat yourself to something nice.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
ALL-STAR BREAK – Yeah, it’s still the break. Crazy, I know.
Game of the Day