Questioning Nathan’s Eovalution
(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)
I love sitting down to do the SP Roundup and get incredibly surprised by a great start from a name I didn’t expect. Tonight, that line comes from Nathan Eovaldi who went 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks against the A’s in his first start since 2016. That’s six no-hit frames as he was forced to leave with 70 pitches due to the whole DLH situation. What. The. Hell. So you’re wondering if this is worth your time. It was a 30% CSW with his splitter earning 3 whiffs in 13 thrown and everything being kinda meh but he went 14-for-14 on Balls in Play. His velocity sat around 96.5mph – still great and where he left off back in 2016 – but I don’t think his splitter/slider/cutter secondary pitches are all that great for you to consider this a must add. Can he settle in as a guy in the 70s? Sure, I don’t see why not. Do I think he’s going to have some turmoil in the next few weeks? Without a doubt. He’s got plenty of rust to shake off still, six no-hit innings of 0-14 BABIP or not.
Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:
Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Is this a Blame it on the Cardinals? Maybe. 13 whiffs are a good amount from Guerra, which I don’t totally buy as once again, his splitter didn’t do a whole lot. His slider was super effective though – 7 for 12 on whiffs! – but that splitter isn’t the pitch it used to be and I’m still not sold. I know, I’m expecting the mentions of his 3.70 FIP and 8.45 K/9, etc. and I’m okay with streaming here – like this start against the Cards – just not a full-time job, you know?
Corey Kluber – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Those questions you had about his strikeout and whiff rates? Gone like my money during a Steam sale.
Alex Reyes – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. If you didn’t watch this start, you should read the GIF Breakdown I wrote with 19 GIFs going over it all for you. In short, just 3 whiffs on 3 sliders in the first and nothing else good. Fastball declined in velocity as Reyes tried to focus more on throwing strikes, though he never hinted triple digits. There’s a lot of polishing left to do, but I trust the stuff moving forward.
Max Scherzer – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Oh hey, no big deal, just 29 whiffs for Scherzer, marking the second highest total of the season. Oh and a 43 CSW in 111 pitches. Aces gonna ace, alright.
Mike Fiers – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I remember I had a joke to tell you Fiers was bad last time that made me feel stupid for not thinking of it before. And now I don’t remember it. I hope it was this one. We didn’t start the Fiers. And I’m kinda sad but it was totally worth it to say no. Yeah, definitely that.
David Hess – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess truck’s here! Seriously, just two Ks David? Come on.
Brad Keller – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Keller made his first MLB start and I’ve already forgotten his name.
Joe Musgrove – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. This was against the Cubs and if I had the brass to start him, I’d be happy with this outcome. I guess I’m fine starting him next time against the Dodgers, but I wouldn’t want to roll the die again in Wrigley after. Musgrove is supposed to be command first, but 4 walks isn’t that, and he had a paltry 17 CSW in 100 pitches here. That’s bad and he should feel bad.
Shohei Ohtani – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. You’ve waited 10 days for an Ohtani start and this is what he gave you. It doesn’t hurt, but it feels like they carved out some DLC that you don’t want to pay for. What happened to good ole unlockables?
Ross Stripling – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. You cannot stop Stripling right now, though I should mention that the Phillies are not the strongest of offenses. Whatever, you own Stripling and you should keep holding for as long as there’s a good reason not to. Spoiler Alert: There isn’t a good reason thus far.
Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. If you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.
Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Yeah, this is almost as mediocre as any “the third” movie you’ll ever watch. I want more Hendricks. MORE.
Matt Moore – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. That WHIP is terrible as there is always something to hate on with Moore. Always.
James Paxton – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Pax, you’re supposed to make me feel awkward about leaving you out of the Top 10, not this pedestrian garbage that forces me to be awkward about your injury history. Don’t do this to me.
Clayton Richard – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Who kinda looks like the right Clayton 1/3 of the time. Not enough of the time, but sometimes. It is almost time for Clayton, though, as it’s been some time since Kershaw stepped on the bump. Today is that day y’all. Today is that day.
Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Dude is dope and feels dope. That’s three straight starts of 7 strikeouts while allowed 4 ER total. Are y’all buying yet?
Luis Severino – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I understand the whole deGrom/Verlander/Cole debate, but how could I say no to this?
Julio Teheran – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeah, I know I don’t have Teheran on The List and it probably upset some people. Also note that there isn’t a single pitcher there that I wouldn’t not consider for a stream (gotta love triple negative sentences!) and Teheran, well, I don’t want to trust him in most cases. It worked tonight, but are you sure his 5.11 FIP, 7.25 K/9, and 4.03 BB/9 are worth the risk next time?
Sam Gaviglio – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Sammy. Gavi. Buddy. This just isn’t going to work, like my buddy Steve who refuses to get his life in order and stop sleeping on my couch. I can hear you WELL MAYBE IF DIDN’T SLEEP ON COUCH YOU WOULDN’T.
Jon Gray – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Gray is someone I just don’t want to deal with anymore. Yes, he will have that stud start here and there, but is it worth the steady pain?
Dallas Keuchel – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Four-Seamers were up and in – like way up in the zone – while sliders, changeups, and two-seamers found their way on the bottom half and away. It didn’t really work in the end, though he did a good job of missing the entire middle of the zone. I think Keuchel is more-or-less a 3.50 ERA pitch with a sub 1.20 WHIP and that’s totally valuable in this SP Landscape, even if it comes with just ~20% strikeouts.
Sean Manaea – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Man, it’s tough to watch Manaea still struggle to jam that four-seamer inside to right-handed batters, which is the pitch that reinforces the effectiveness of his changeup and slider. It didn’t stop him from 11 whiffs here, but without that feel of spotting his heater, I’m super reluctant to get back on the boat. Get me excited again Manaea, please.
Sal Romano – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Romano, didn’t they send you back for possible E.coli? No? You sure you’re still supposed to be here?
Zach Eflin – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I didn’t love this stream, but I certainly chose it above others that did better and I deserve the L. Stupid Jays and their stupid runs. Streaming Record: 32-19.
Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Sooooo Corbin was up to 90mph in this one – that’s better, but still back to 92 – while his slider was flat out dirty via 14 whiffs in 49 slide pieces. 35 CSW in 96 pitches, but Adam Duvall had to hit a grand slam and had to get in on the action with a two-run bomb of his own. Y’all know how I feel about Corbin – sell before the market picks up on his lost velocity – and this doesn’t change that view.
Reynaldo Lopez – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Well this is stupid bad. The Merry-Go-Round wouldn’t stop in the third frame as ReyLo got bounced super early, slightly Singled Out. One of the most frustrating pitchers to own and I have no choice but to label him a Young Gun. Sure, he could figure it out next week, next month, whenever. And I do believe he will at some point, but is it worth it for you to hold until then? Probably not.
Fernando Romero – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Hoooo boy, this was a doozy. Poor Romero got absolutely shelled against the Royals, though he didn’t pitch so badly. I actually felt bad for him that the Moustakas HR left the yard, as he pitched exactly what his catcher wanted, and the ball still managed to hit the base of the foul pole. I’m not ready to drop here if you can believe it, especially with the ChiSox next.
Shane Bieber vs. Minnesota Twins – Why not, let’s have some fun.
Tyler Mahle vs. San Diego Padres – The Pads are known to be bad at heaters and even with his recent struggles, I think Mahle can do this.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Matt Harvey vs. San Diego Padres – I sound like a mad man, but the Padres are bad and Harvey increased his fastball velocity. Maybe this works out.
Game of the Day