For the most part, I’ve been avoiding Kris Bubic as he continues his path of development in the majors without a single game of Double-A or Triple-A on his resume. It’s been a season of trying to wrestle his command while fine-tuning his approach but after yesterday’s 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 33% CSW against the Pirates, I may be willing to dive in a bit more.
The major facet I’ve overlooked is his success with high changeups. I’ve heard a lot of praise for high changeups across the last few weeks and while I do understand their appeal – they often get called strikes or even weird swings as batters realize they’ll fall in for a strike – without a strong pitch that lands low, Bubic may not be able to get away with an “all high” approach. Curveballs could be that pitch and they were a little here, but not enough for me to think that he has this nailed down yet. Bubic’s future schedule is luscious, though, and he may be a sneaky streamer down the stretch. Between Duffy/Singer/Bubic, you may have the Royals to thank for a strong end to the year.
Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:
Gerrit Cole vs BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 27 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Aces gonna ace. It’s great to see Cole being the man we expected again, earning a Gallows Pole. Love seeing the Yankees turn to him for the seventh and earn a shortened CGSHO while hitting over 100 pitches through six.
Aaron Nola @ MIA (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Aces gonna ace. He was flirting with a no-hitter through five and had everything working. Sigh, that Easy-A…
Brandon Woodruff vs CHC (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 12 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 36% CSW. Aces gonna ace and earn a King Cole. Okay, maybe he’s lost the AGA label a bit this year with his lack of consistency, but we’re sure happy to see him flat out dominate in this one. Four-seamers were back in style at 96/97 mph and his sliders did their job at 40% CSW. You weren’t benching him before and you’re certainly not now.
Kenta Maeda vs CLE (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 28% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Man, he’s just so good, doing the full neck-beard approach Dallas Keuchel aims for, but with more whiffs and strikeouts.
Jon Lester @ MIL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Of course Lester does this. He’s been a bit of a Cherry Bomb all year regardless of opponent and this was him at his very best with 42% CSW across 33 cutters. Now he gets the Twins and I’m out again, but maybe the Pirates after. Maybe.
Blake Snell vs BOS (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Aces gonna ace with 103 pitches. No surprise seeing the BSB in full effect from Snell, though he didn’t get his curveball working at all in this one and tossed maybe a few too many fastballs out of the zone up high. There’s still a little bit of tinkering and polish left here, but the stuff is certainly peaking.
Daniel Castano vs PHI (ND) – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 17% CSW. You had no expectations of Castano and with just one strikeout in 3.2 frames – HAISTFMFWT?! – you have no reason to change that.
Blake Parker @ MIA (ND) – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 36% CSW. It was a pure bullpen game and we expected a good amount of these with the Phils having plenty doubleheaders in the near future. Let’s move on.
Andrew Triggs @ TB (ND) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 17% CSW. Poor Triggs, he had to leave this one early with an injury. That’s been his career and I can’t help but feel for the guy.
Luis Castillo @ STL (W) – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 35% CSW. Aces gonna ace as Castillo pulled a Hercules and went the distance. Like real distance, not this Nola/Cole stuff. His changeup was as good as we’ve seen, but the real hero was 61% CSW on sliders that kept batters guessing. Perfect timing Castillo, please keep this up for just a few more starts.
Jacob deGrom @ TOR (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 30% CSW. Aces gonna ace. Just 14 whiffs? You’re slacking.
Masahiro Tanaka vs BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW. Solid work Tanaka, you’ve been an under-rated arm for many, this time leaning a bit more with fastballs than normal, albeit still right under the 40% usage. He’s in a great place and keep riding it.
Caleb Smith vs SEA (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 40% CSW. Hey, that’s 40% CSW from Smith! His fastball found the plate effectively, unlike the first game of the year, though he threw just 40 pitches and I wouldn’t be activating him from your IL yet. He may be worth it for his last start of the year, but he doesn’t have the volume yet to start next time out.
German Marquez vs LAA (ND) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 25% CSW. Atta boy Marquez! Hosting the Angels in Coors is no easy feat and you made it work. You got a bit fortunate here with heaters and your curveballs were far from sharp, but there were decent sliders in the mix and it worked out. Bad news is that you’re hosting the other Los Angeles team in Colorado next time and I can’t expect the same good fortune then. Then it’s heading to San Francisco, which is…questionable. But hey, Arizona follows and that may make it worthwhile. Recognize the value of Marquez’s roster spot, though, and gauge if he’s worth the 10-day stash for that Giants start. You may not want that.
Casey Mize @ CWS (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 33% CSW. Once again, Mize goes fewer than 80 pitches and despite the great overall line, I’m still highly cautious. His cutter wasn’t acting at its peak, his splitter went just 2/14 on whiffs, and he’s not looking like a finished product. He gets Cleveland next and there’s a chance that works, but the ceiling is capped and I would look elsewhere first.
Erick Fedde vs ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW. That’s a 2.00 WHIP in five innings. Remember kids, Don’t Trust The Feddes.
Shane Bieber @ MIN (L) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW. Aces gonna ace, even with 3 ER. His stuff is still electric and it’s remarkable seeing a 32% CSW on curveballs despite so many being bounced. He’s cool.
Adam Wainwright vs CIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Ehhhh, alright I’ll take a VVPQS from Waino. I had low expectations for Wainwright this year and that fact that you’re running with him through the end at this point says a lot. Just keep in mind that it could be more starts like this.
Lucas Giolito vs DET (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 22 Whiffs, 32% CSW. We’re back to the double-helix of inter-twined fastballs and changeups with Giolito and while it returned a ton of whiffs, it allowed the Tigers to be a patient at the plate. His slider wasn’t as effective as we’ve seen in the past, either, with just 4/18 CSW and adding fueling to the walk machine. I’m not worried about him at all though, and he’s a must-start the rest of the way.
Griffin Canning @ COL (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 27% CSW. This is better than I expected from Canning, especially when his slider was all over the place. Curveballs showed up in a big way as his premier #2 pitch at 35% CSW and fastballs avoided the heart of the plate making a performance that makes me consider him more for that Arizona start next. At just 17% rostered, he may be a decent streaming candidate there next week.
Steven Brault @ KC (L) – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW. Yeah, I feel like this is a standard Brault line these days. His slider has the highest ceiling of his arsenal and it went 1/10 CSW here. Blegh.
Yusei Kikuchi @ ARI (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW. Blegh, I wanted at least one fewer ER here against the poor Arizona offense, but at least the WHIP is solid and you got five strikeouts. That’s a Loss though – Streaming Record 25-23 – and it’s a little shaky for the Giants next time out. I think I’m still leaning start, but his command wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen. 47% CSW on 19 sliders is mighty fine though…It’s a toss-up.
Mike Fiers @ TEX (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 27% CSW. Fiers got the Rangers and was so close to making it worth your while as a proper Toby. Womp womp. Now it’s likely Coors + the Dodgers and if you were rostering Fiers, now is the time to drop. At least you got a Win out of this.
Chase Anderson vs NYM (L) – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW. He needed 67 pitches for just eight outs and the Jays pulled him before it got worse. His cutter was horrible as it fell far out of the zone often, while his changeup struggled to find the plate and edges. I wouldn’t consider him at all in the final weeks.
Keegan Akin @ NYY (L) – 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 15% CSW. He wasn’t nearly as sharp as last time, even if he didn’t get the results he deserved on his slider. Now it’s Atlanta? Yeah nah. Asher Wojciechowski came in later and got rocked, in case people were wondering if he’d make it back to the rotation this year. I doubt it.
Luis Garcia vs OAK (L) – 0.0 IP, 4 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks – 1 Whiffs, 22% CSW. This is a different Garcia from the one on the Astros as he poorly opened for Jordan Lyles – 7.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW. Yeah, I don’t care about that line from Lyles across 115 pitches, though his curveball was a little better than it has been, with plenty of effective sliders as well. Nah, still out.
Alex Cobb @ NYY (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 37% CSW. Great CSW, but the Yankees are heating up and Cobb’s mistakes were demolished. We’ve been out on Cobb for a bit though, so y’all are okay. Right?
Josh Tomlin @ WSH (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 31% CSW. I’m not sure why you would have gone with Tomlin as he’s far from his former passable Toby days. You’re not going to find a Win here.
Trevor Rogers vs PHI (L) – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 34% CSW. Rogers’ fastball wasn’t nearly what we wanted it to be as he failed to elevate and kept batters’ eyes low in the zone. Slider/changeup were both solid but not as good as they needed to be with that meh heater and SHAZAM! That’s 8 ER on the board. A little unlucky and he didn’t deserve this barrage, but he’s been better, too. I’d hold back on taking this risk for the rest of the year unless he swings heavily in the other direction and even then it’s a major gamble.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my streamer picks under the condition of sub-20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Justus Sheffield vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – He’s hovering the 20% mark and has decent enough stuff to make this work against a poor Arizona offense. Few options otherwise, with Trevor Williams against the Royals as the only other clear choice (blegh).
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(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)