Refusing To Stand Pat

(Photo by Wilfred Perez/Icon Sportswire)

There are times that I’m conflicted about what to do with a pitcher and right now I’m there with Patrick Corbin. His numbers are still elite after his 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks line against the Dodgers Wednesday night, though for the second straight start he’s averaging 89mph on his fastball. Keep in mind, Corbin was averaging 93.1mph on his four-seamer in his first six starts, the games where he was truly dominant. These last two have returned a 13.6% walk rate with a 4.34 SIERA despite the solid shallow numbers and it screams sell high to me. A massive four point drop on his fastball is not something to ignore and is a massive element of his success as it makes his slider more devastating with a larger speed differential and having less time to react. Given that Corbin still holds a 2.12 ERA with a 2.62 SIERA and 34.5% K rate overall, I think it’s time for you get him on the market. One start is a fluke, two starts is an indication. More times than not, that turns into a third start and we all know that creates a trend.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Jaime Barria – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I thought I was going to lead with Barria today. Then I watched it. Then I realized this is not the tree to sit under and yell loudly up at the branches. He sports a ~90mph fastball with cut-action on it, a decent changeup and slider…and that’s about it. I’m impressed that he was able to pull this off in Coors, but I just don’t see a pitcher primed with enough command to make me think he can do this often. Sorry, I won’t be singing a song about Barria after just meeting him.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. The end line is wonderful and I’m sure you’re breathing a sigh of relief after his last outing…but I watched this one and wasn’t all too impressed. The Pivetta we want is the one using his breaking pitches to get the job done and they were pretty mediocre in this outing. Fortunately, his four-seamer was able to do the dirty work, but when things go south, it’s at the hands of the heat. I don’t like the idea of banking of his fastball often, which means I need to see Pivetta get his curveball and slider working again next time for me to keep his lofty rank.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. The dude can’t stop killing it and I hate it but I have to respect it. I’m an emotional man, not a blind man. No, he hasn’t found a third pitch yet and the overall numbers here aren’t so hot – 89mph heater, 5 whiffs (0 called) across 27 sliders – but you have to keep rolling if you have him. I’d sell if someone believes in this longterm.

Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Sorry Cole, no Gallows Pole for you today. 16 whiffs is clearly off your game.

Jaime Garcia – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. 5 Walks and 3 strikeouts? Jaime, you know just how to ruin a perfectly fine evening.

Gio Gonzalez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. 34 CSW across 110 pitches as Gio did his thang against the Padres. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Gotta Gio all the way.

Wade LeBlanc – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. This game was against the Jays in Canada. Wade LeBlanto.

Joey Lucchesi – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Definitely not a Fuhgeysi as Joey has given us no reason to drop him just yet. I think it will only take one or two before this bandwagon comes to a screeching halt – as much as a wagon can – but this was against the Nats and you have to keep on rolling.

Jose Quintana – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Quintana as that makes three straight games totally 1 ER. Yes, the TIARA has been removed if you didn’t know that already.

Sal Romano – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s a bit weird to see seven punchouts with just six whiffs. It’s also weird to see that this start raised his K rate to a monstrous 14.4% mark. That 3.83 ERA? Yeah it comes with a 5.16 SIERA. Next!

Zach Wheeler – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Solid recovery from Wheeler, but it was against the Reds and I have no faith that you can repeat it against a decent offense.

Alex Wood – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. On one hand, Wood gave you just 90mph. On the other, that was still more than his opponent Patrick Corbin and Wood squeaked out another helping outing (save for the 1.60 WHIP…). I guess you just keep going with it even if I think it spells an inevitable descent into mediocrity.

Carlos Carrasco – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 14 Ks with 23 whiffs en route to a Gallows Pole as his curveball was absurd – 21 CSW on 41 thrown with 14 whiffs. Unreal.

Bartolo Colon – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The Groan Ranger churned out another one here. I can’t deny that there is some magic at play here with Colon, but if you want to rely on his .211 BABIP and 9.8% soft contact, by all means.

Reynaldo Lopez – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. ATTA BOY LOPEZ. His fastball was just as good as ever – he’s amazing at busting left-handers up-and-in – and he was more comfortable with his changeup in this one than the last few starts. Slider was decent as well, but still a little lacking. Nevertheless, I wonder if we were being too harsh on ReyLo as that fastball does set a wonderful foundation. He has an easy schedule coming up and if he keeps moving in this direction, I don’t see why he can’t keep giving you at least six frames per start.

Daniel Mengden – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. I love this. He had 20% called strikes and did damage with his heater against the Astros and it makes me feel comfortable rolling with him…once he gets past his next start against the Sawx. Then we can add away for this Toronto start.

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. We already Cashed Out and Andrew gives us a PQS. Yep, still staying away.

Francisco Liriano – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, there’s the Liriano we all know and hate.

Eric Skoglund – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh Skoglund. Yes I’ll say your name every time I write about because I simply love it. Not your actual pitching performances, though, you represent the wire as much as Bubbles and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.

Tyler Anderson – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhhh I was kinda hoping Anderson could live up to his 30% K rate in Coors against the Angels, but he just wasn’t feeling it here. Don’t take the blue pill, though, and keep rolling with him in decent matchups moving forward.

Junior Guerra – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Yes, it’s a terrible ERA and WHIP, but Guerra featured 20 whiffs and it came mostly via 15 whiffs across 71 heaters. That’s incredibly impressive. So impressive that I find it hard to trust. Like really hard. I consider him a streamer, maybe a roster spot in a deep 12-teamer, but there’s too much risk here.

Masahiro Tanaka – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Tanaka was actually looking solid in this one, then a solo shot in the 5th followed by Chad Green allowing an inherited runner to score in the sixth turned it into a dud. So it goes, keep rolling with Tanaka as he doesn’t get the Sawx every night.

Trevor Williams – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Williams has been a TEEs and after this one, it’s a 3.13 ERA with a 5.32 SIERA. Remember, the K/BB is terrible – 15.8%/10.9% – and .223 BABIP + 80.9% LOB rates still have ways to go. Stop holdin’ like Caulfield.

Rick Porcello – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The Porcello train finally had a layover in the Bronx, which is a popular place for arms to take a break and stop the hype for a moment. Yeah, we all kinda wanted to see Porcello tough it out even against one of the best lineups out there, but go easy on the kid.

Chris Stratton – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. With few great options out there, I banked on Stratton pulling it off against the Phils and while those 7 Ks help, the rest puts you in the hole for the week. Womp womp. I think I pass on Stratton as a streamer for a little bit. Streaming Record 22-13.

Ryan Yarbrough – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Oh right, Yarbough, the band Jimmy Page was in before turning it into Led Zeppelin. You may see those 7 Ks and think he can turn this over under sideways down start into a whole lotta love for your squad, but it’s what should never be.

Wei-Yin Chen – 3.0 IP, 9 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Wei-Yin gave you a bit of Chen music with this outing and we all hate getting some Chen music. It’s like if jazz infused with Polka and country. Jalktry. No one likes Jalktry.

Today’s Streamer

Tyler Mahle vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Not my favorite but I recognize that Mahle can be super good when his fastball command is rolling, which is more often than not.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Suarez vs. Pittsburgh Pirates He’s been pitching well in his first three starts of the year and it could carry over against the Pirates.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Eflin vs. New York Mets – He’s had an extra two points of velocity in his last two starts, I’ll wager he keeps it again as he faces a weak offense.

Game of the Day

Jose Berrios vs. Garrett Richards – I absolutely adore watching Richards pitch and I’m waiting for Berrios to get his act together.

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

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Comments


Nick Pollack

Well, it depends on the situation you’re in. Don’t love Kuhl overall – this is a strikeout play – Marco Gonzales isn’t a bad stream if needing a start.

GB

I really like the potential of Jose Alvarado but need some MI help in a dynasty league. I have a one for one trade offer I am mulling over. Pull the trigger?

Matt

Somewhat vague question but, if you were to flip Corbin for a pitcher on this list, how low would you go?

Name

Came here to ask the exact same question. Who would you be targeting for Corbin and maybe a bat as a package deal?

Nick Pollack

I’d focusing on targeting a hitter, not a pitcher. Plenty easier to look like “I want to invest in hitter” instead of “I’m afraid of Corbin.” Dealing a pitcher for pitcher makes the other owner question the deal innately.

Not sure where I’m slotting Corbin come Monday, but it won’t be so far right away as he theoretically could rebound and hasn’t performed poorly because of it just yet. I’d say somewhere in the 20-25? Godley won’t be there FWIW.

SM

Nick would you stream VV this afternoon? H2H league, nice WHIP lead, chasing ERA. On one hand the Giants have been dreadful lately but on the other I don’t know if I trust him to not blow up my ratios. My judgement is clouded bc the last time I owned him was his 16k job on a Thursday afternoon against the Pads a couple of years ago.

Mike

Nick,

12 tm H2H league with QS instead of W. Guy is looking to deal Shark & Richards, would you deal Pomeranz, Gibson, Ross, or Newcomb for either?

This Guy

Good morning Nick. I’m also a Corbin owner, not happy to see the above numbers. Is your position as strong sell, at this point or should be wait for another start? What could be slowing his pitches down?
thanks brother-

Nick Pollack

That’s up to you, if he performs poorly in the next one, the value will drop massively.

Keep in mind, I’m not saying dealing him for 75 cents on the dollar. The market for Corbin is still super good.

Let’s say you deal him now and he does well next time. You most likely have near the same value back anyway, so no value lost.

Max

RE: Corbin, could he be going through a dead-arm period or just be fatigued? Does he need a 92mph FB to be effective?Seemed like yesterday that he didn’t have control of his secondary offerings more than anything.

Just wondering how hot this potato is in your opinion?

According to brooks his FB was a tick higher than his last start (still down 3-4 ticks from earlier). http://www.brooksbaseball.net/velo.php?player=571578&b_hand=-1&time=game&minmax=ci&var=mph&s_type=2&gFilt=&pFilt=FA|SI|FC|CU|SL|CS|KN|CH|FS|SB&startDate=01/01/2018&endDate=01/01/2019

Nick Pollack

Good call on the tick higher – still 2.5 behind but the initial source I saw had him lower.

It’s possible he gets out of it, but seeing such a drop is very concerning. I have a feeling he won’t eclipse 91mph next time.

The mindset being calling him a sell is that he’s not considered a discount yet. Selling means you’re making a lateral move and retaining value. If he performs well again, great! You can still flip back to something relatively close to this.

If he falters at a lower velocity next time, then you can expect the market to crater.

Play Ball

Regarding Corbin, even with the lower velo he’s still been effective in his last couple starts. Also, I noticed he throws a 2 and 4-seamer giving different looks on his FB. What concerned me about this start was the wildness (walks and wild pitch and couldn’t throw the slider for strikes). Maybe the velo doesn’t come back. If that’s the case, do you still see him as a top 20 going forward or is this a time bomb waiting to go off?

Nick Pollack

I’d argue that the lower velocity means batters aren’t as enticed to swing off the plate as often, evidenced by an overall 18.5% O-Swing rate last night (34.2% for the season), which leads to worse counts and more walks.

Lower velocity also gives batters more time to decide if they should swing at a slider or not, meaning that his slide piece – a pitch that holds a sub 30% zone rate and relies on swings off the plate – was passed on more often than usual.

Velocity does a lot :-/

Play Ball

What do you think is causing the drop in velo? Hiding an injury? Seems a little early in the year to chalk it up to fatigue.

theKraken

Corbin gave up some really hard contact last night. It could have gone a lot worse early on, but he actually faced the minimum through 3 – fueled by good fortune no doubt. I don’t know if you watched the start, but Corbin really only struggled with command in that last inning. I think the reason that SL generates so many swings and misses is that it isn’t really thrown for a strike – if guys lay off it is a ball. I am not a Corbin expert but I did watch nearly every pitch last night. Personally, I was buying early on, but he looked awfully human last night.

Ionescorhino

Would offering my Corbin for his Mazara aiming too low? What would be a good OF to target for Corbin? 12-team redraft.

NH

Would you make these two trades?
Sale for Nola & Pollock
Mikolas for Buehler

Jessica DeLine

As an Angels fan I’ve been following Barria for a while. He doesn’t have any impressive stuff but he keeps getting the job done. No level of the minors seemed like a challenge for him and at 21 he’s young and getting the job done in the majors. Fan from dominate, but a very steady performer. Was surprised to see him K 7 over 5 innings though. He’s a low K pitcher.

theKraken

ReyLo seems pretty similar to the guy he has been for three years now, which is just wildly inconsistent with stuff hat doesn’t match the results. I am not really a fan of pointing out things like BABIP, but he is running .202 with a strand rate above 80%. He is exciting but tough to trust!

NH

What should I do with these four pitchers? Should I drop, keep or trade.
Morton, Bettis, Corbin and Faria

German is available in my league

Cup of Schmo

Hey Nick,

Ideally, which player(s) would you be targeting for something like Corbin + Matt Adams, or Corbin + Eugenio Suarez?

Let’s Play Two

Didn’t Corbin take a ball off his pitching hand/finger last start? Could that possibly be the cause of the velo drop or was his velo down that start prior to getting a ball off his hand?

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