What has gotten into Joe Musgrove? He started the season strong with a 1.54 ERA and 18% K-BB rate through his first five starts, then he took a step back against the A’s for 5 ER followed by last night’s atrocity of 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks against the Cardinals. This one hurt. And I know what most of you are likely thinking: Musgrove’s velocity was trending down and it caught up to him! What’s wild is that he was throwing a 92./93 early, which is exactly what we want to see, but his two-seamer was 90 mph and he was gassed in the fourth having thrown over 70 pitches for just nine outs. I watched a good amount of this one and he wasn’t as precise as I’ve seen him before. Well duh, five walks! It’s more than that. The second frame had a pair of 0-2 pitches that landed as hits, one a fastball well-tugged glove-side and the other a changeup that stayed up inside the zone.
It was particularly frustrating since he looked so good in the first at-bat of the frame to Marcell Ozuna who walked on ball three (1-0 was easily a strike), but that’s not an excuse. It’s more that I’m not considering Musgrove as broken. Sure, he flew open with his shoulders a little too often in this one, and lost some steam as he was punished and doing this two starts in a row is going to give it a bigger spotlight. The Diamondbacks are next, though, and I’m not too scared of them, even if they have the 7th best wOBA out there. If you want to bench, by all means. I think Musgrove figures this out quickly.
Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:
Luke Bard – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Yeah, whatever Luke, the crazy thing is Felix Pena coming in as the False Starter and going 7.0 IP of shutout ball, 3 baserunners, and 7 Ks. WHOA BABY. It’s the first appearance this year over 5.0 IP and the third over five strikeouts, but it’s hard not to consider this. It’s his second Win of three False Starts and it seems the Angels are believing in this method for Pena. Good luck playing the game of predicting when Pena pitches next, but monitor the situation and throw him out there if it’s not a tough matchup.
Carlos Carrasco – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Carrasco allowed 4 HRs last time out and had an ERA around 5.50. Now it’s sub 5.00. In one month, it’ll be sub 3.80. Don’t worry about Cookie, buy low and keep cruising.
Patrick Corbin – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Let’s just forget about last week, okay?
J. A. Happ – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Finally. FINALLY. 6/57 whiffs on his four-seamer works for me as Happ got the strikeouts we were looking for. I’m not completely sold he’s fixed n all, but you certainly can do worse in 12-teamers. Here’s the hoping he’s more than your standard Toby.
Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Sure, whatever Roark. I want nothing to do with you like waking up at 5:00 to some ridiculous animal screeching its head off. I feel like this referencing something. Ahhh, the Youts probably won’t get this. The Youts? Are you ok—MY BIOLOGICAL CLOCK.
Yu Darvish – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 6 BBs, 7 Ks. This is ridiculous. I guess I’m happy with this…ish…but that WHIP is terrible and we want more frames from Darvish as he walks everyone. Just 25/97 CSW here against the Marlins and we’re still in the middle of the woods. Which way do we go to get out of here? The man simply can’t control his fastball like he used to and this is going to take time. At some point it’ll click, but like learning guitar or riding a bike, you won’t know when your body says “hey, this is easy why was this hard before?” He gets the Reds next and it’s risky but the Reds have been hot and cold all year. I may just go with it and see what happens.
Mike Leake – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Leake has the #1 HR/9 rate in the majors yet was able to stave off the Bronx Bombers. Don’t let this go to your head.
Mike Soroka – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s not as overwhelmingly amazing as we’ve seen before, but Soroka continues to thrive and make owners excited. If you’re looking for another gear in the K department, it may take some time, though. He still needs a touch of polish on both the changeup and slide piece.
Luke Weaver – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. We’ve been amped on Weaver and this train keeps on CHUGGING. What’s going to surprise you, however, is the 27/104 CSW – blegh – and just 3/22 on his changeup. His cutter is doing work with 14/20 strikes, but this wasn’t as strong of a performance as last week against Coors. He’s not so locked in, but obviously we’re still riding this one.
Wade Miley – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Not only did we get the Win and decent ratios, but seven strikeouts too! Just the third time since August 2017 that Miley has fanned seven batters. Yeah. Streaming Record: 23-17
Chris Bassitt – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. This is getting nuts as Bassitt currently holds a 31.6% strikeout rate, backed by a 12.0% swinging-strike rate. All of his pitches save for his sinker are earning whiffs, well above 12% swinging-strike rates on his four-seamer, slider, curveball, and changeup in the small sample. Crazy. You could argue his first real test is coming ahead against the Mariners (TEX, @TOR, @PIT, CIN are his four starts thus far), but it’s not such a gauntlet that you should avoid this start. Go for it.
Kyle Freeland – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. We’re all hesitant about Freeland these days, especially in Coors, and if there were ever a team to do well against in Colorado it would be the Giants. I’ve already dropped Kyle, I suggest you do too, but if you don’t I get it. It’s a Free Land.
Rich Hill – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhhh I want a little more, Hill. If I’m enduring your health problems and #Dodgeritis n all, can you give me a sub 3.75 ERA and 1.20 WHIP? K, thanks.
Mike Minor – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Well we knew Minor wasn’t going to be this ridiculous through the year, but I don’t see this as a start to get off the boat. After all, he gets the Royals next and don’t overthink this. Just hold and keep on keeping on.
Trevor Richards – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. On the positive side here, Richards is featuring a cutter that had some success last night. On the negative, his fastball is getting crushed and his changeup was hung often. If you haven’t dropped yet, please do. There has to be something else to chase.
Michael Wacha – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Finally Wacha had a matchup that he could take advantage of…and he did the opposite. I’m out like Voit stealing second.
Manny Banuelos – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s uncanny how Banny Manny is slamming all and any teams. This was a train wreck. Well, so is he. Touché.
Ryan Carpenter – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This carpenter needs a few more days before he can rise in the ranks. Easter isn’t until next year. Welp, it’s going to be a while then.
Derek Holland – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Holland was Still ILL and in Coors so this was a clear avoid avoid avoid. I know it sounds crazy, but I haven’t dropped Holland yet as I do believe he will be a solid asset through the year, but maybe give him one more start to get back on his feet.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Pablo Lopez vs. New York Mets – It’s the only real choice I have and I don’t love it, but PabLo obviously has the ability to have a productive night.
Michael Pineda vs. Detroit Tigers – It’s a double-header and all of my favorites – Tony Disco, Turnbull, Perez – are well above the 20% threshold now. Womp womp. Pineda’s slider hasn’t been terrible during his rough stretch, so I’ll take the chance it works against Detroit.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Lucas Giolito vs. Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays are bad and feel bad and Giolito is looking solid.
Game of the Day
(Photo by Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportswire)