(Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire)
I know plenty of you believe I have an irrational love for Michael Fulmer. Like it’s a bias and unjustified and I’m pushing an agenda, too blind to see it. I like to imagine the majority understand that would be a really dumb thing for me to do so understand that I’m a bit excited when I see the man return after his lengthy DL stint to a 4.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks in 77 pitches. I wonder if his success is rooted in his early pull (he didn’t see the sixth = no way to ruin it!) but I was a bit annoyed to see 17 foul balls on 51 fastballs thrown. 23/77 overall with just 20 CSW is okay, not great. I still need to see more to really believe in it, but I think a lot simply let him go and wanted nothing more to do with Fulmer. That’s why he’s the lead guy today – you’re wondering if there’s value here. If he’s exactly like this…probably not. And worse news is that he gets the Yanks (no), ChiSox (yes!), Houston (no), Indians (no) next. That’s not good. There may be something here for the Royals and Twins after to close out the year, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. There’s a chance he still pulls it off, but I’m a bit hesitant with how average he looked here + the tough schedule. Next year Fulmer, next year.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Diego Castillo – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. This was a Rays patented False Start as Jalen Beeks followed for 5.1 frames of 3 ER ball and 4 Ks against his former team the Sawx. It’s just not enough for me to encourage, even if he got a Win because of it.
Rich Hill – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Be like Jack and Jill. Chill on the Hill.
Sean Manaea – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. This is so boring and I know the Twins are bad against LHP, but even so Manaea only gave you 1 strikeout. HAISTFMFWT?! I think he’s a Toby and nothing more the rest of the way. That’s okay, but nothing to get excited about.
Dan Straily – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, whatever Straily. You’re not getting my Norris Light.
Jason Vargas – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. The man won a co-share of the Gallows Pole at 14 whiffs. WHAT IS THIS. It’s only the sixth time in 15 starts he’s had over four strikeouts, so let’s not go nuts here. This isn’t a Vargas Rule for Vargas. It just isn’t.
Mike Foltynewicz – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Atta boy Folty, we had a bit of a divide for a brief moment, but now we’re back on track and it’s wonderful. Thanks for all you do.
Gio Gonzalez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Gio, buddy, it’s too little too late like shooting a 3-pointer down 20 in the final minute. Sure, it’s cool n all, but this is a lost cause.
Matt Harvey – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey, he’s still a Red! And I don’t understand fully why but I guess the Reds couldn’t find a proper suiter at the deadline and the Brewers – with all their questionable SP options – elected not to take a chance on Harvey. Welp, at least we get a better sense of his ROS schedule now, which includes Cards and Padres next. I think I’m down for that.
Alec Mills – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. The General had his first career start and it was glorious. Too bad he’s heading back to the minors when Mike Montgomery returns (probably this Wednesday) and when I say too bad, I mean I’m amazed he earned 14 whiffs and a share of the Gallows Pole with such mediocre stuff. Alright, not that bad as his slider works – 11/14 SNIP – and he was able to elevate his 90/91 heater for some effectiveness. No, this will not last. Move on here.
Jake Odorizzi – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Odorizzi elected not to be bad this time as he kinda lives the life of a Cherry Bomb. It’s not a happy existence, but keep him in mind if he’s a possible streaming option for those hail mary weekends.
Erasmo Ramirez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Erasmo was the super back up Call Boy and he pulled it off once again despite facing the Diamondbacks. That’s a 1.13 ERA with a 4.37 SIERA in these three starts and when that comes with an 18% K rate, you know I’m not buying what he’s selling. He’s on the bad side of being a Toby and I don’t think he’s worth your time save for desperate streams.
Ryan Borucki – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Meh, it’s a 4.12 ERA on the season now for Borucki with a 1.53 WHIP and a sub 90mph heater. You know this isn’t what you want.
Alex Cobb – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I led with Cobb last time he started, telling you why it’s not worth the chase. Then of course he kills it against the Yankees and I get more eyes looking back at me saying “Come on Nick, TELL ME I CAN DO THIS!” I’m not your Dad, you do you. Me doing me is personal, but if you must know that 2.24 ERA comes with a 4.37 SIERA (same as Erasmo!) with a 16.4% K rate (worse than Erasmo!) and .257 BABIP (lower than Erasmo!). This ain’t gonna last, don’t kid yourself.
Brad Keller – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. BK, it’s not what you crave. You can do better. I know, last time I did that and I think BK thought you were talking to him. He’s not this good and this isn’t even that good.
Dallas Keuchel – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Good to see Keuchel look like his 2015 self, too bad I’m still super worried moving forward. You keep starting him n all, but man I wish I had more confidence in him.
Reynaldo Lopez – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Ayyyy he was his good self! He threw 32 sliders + changeups in 111 pitches as his heater was still the man of the hour. Just 8/32 CSW (25%) from secondary stuff tells you enough. He’s still a Young Gun, but I’ll gladly take the win. Streaming Record: 80-40.
Wade Miley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Don’t Wade, don’t even touch the water with Miley. It’s gunky n stuff and you know you want no part of it.
Dereck Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I was on the fence about this being a DLH or not and I shouldn’t have overlooked the magic of D-Rod. He’s on a crazy run and ain’t nothing gonna break his stride.
CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I was fine rolling CC out there with this one given that A) He wasn’t on a pitch count B) I trusted that he didn’t need more time to get feel back to his cutter and C) It was the Orioles. Way to be a hoss.
Mike Clevinger – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. I think I’ll take a PQS from Clev if it comes with 8 Ks and a 1.00 WHIP. Be happy and I’m still curious where he lands entering 2019. Should he be over Madison Bumgarner?
Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. When you’re Spiderman, you’re still going to have some clunkers like it’s your third time in the spotlight. Just don’t dance during..no…why are you dancing?
Miles Mikolas – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 12 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Mikolas headed to Coors and got Singled Out. I ran with him here and I’m a bit disappointed, but it doesn’t change anything moving forward. Sometimes, 8Miles is going to have to go through some stuff.
Joe Musgrove – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Musgrove was pulled with 61 pitches because the Pirates needed a pinch-hitter in a bases-loaded situation. ADD THE DH FOR THE LOVE OF JOHNNY CUEETTTOOOO. CUEEEETTTOOO.
Zack Godley – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. The Mariners had a field day in the third but overall Godley actually pitched well. 27/75 = 36% CSW and zero walks is HUGE. It’s really too bad but I wouldn’t steer away.
Andrew Heaney – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Now with Heaney…I’m scared. The critical pitch for him all year has been his changeup and guess what! He threw just four in 93 pitches. That’s not good. That’s not good at all. I think the talent is in him and at some point we could easily see him put it together for a full year, but for now it’s best to move on and hope days come in the future where the gang gets back together. Fun late round pick next season.
Drew Hutchison – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Man, there were times when we wondered if Hutch could turn into a solid starter. Those days seem so long ago now…
Clayton Richard – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! This is what his mechanics should produce every day. It’s amazing when it doesn’t.
Antonio Senzatela – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Senz-A is not the master you want to study under. It’s like asking Jerry Smith to teach you martial arts. It’s a terrible idea.
Hector Velazquez – 2.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Well, yeah, that’s Velazquez. Eduardo Rodriguez is returning next week and I imagine he’ll be taking HV’s spot. I wonder what his middle name is…Drew Pomeranz followed for 4.1 frames and allowed just 2 ER with two strikeouts and I’m still not touching it. He’s not the man he once was.
Lucas Giolito vs. Detroit Tigers – I know it sounds crazy, though there aren’t any other good options and Giolito hasn’t been so bad lately with better breaking ball command, and improved changeup, and increased velocity. I’m looking for a QS here and we might get it.
Derek Holland vs. Texas Rangers – He’s right at the 20% mark, allowing me to take this one. The only other play I see is Chase Anderson against the Pirates if he’s around. And a desperate play with Pablo Lopez against the Braves if you really need the volume.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Sam Gaviglio vs. Baltimore Orioles – Looks like he’s getting the two-start week, which means he gets the Orioles again and could have another field day.
Game of the Day
Nick Pivetta vs. Aaron Sanchez – Sanchez is finally returning while Pivetta is trying to get back on track. An interesting game all around.
Reading Heaney is now droppable hurts my heart. He was such a steal early on. Sad.
Matthew “The Red Knight” has quietly been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past two months.