Shoemaker’s Mark

Nick Pollack reviews every single starting pitcher's performances from Friday's games.

There was a time when Matt Shoemaker was the king of the waiver wire. He’d go on magical stretches, feeling his splitter and front-dooring lefties with two-seamers like it was his J.O.B. Well, it was, but stop ruining my groove. Shoemaker has been thrown plenty of turmoil in the last few seasons, though he made a statement tonight with a 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks line against the Tigers. Yes, the Tigers, so innately raise your eyebrow like a famous rock, but he really was feeling that splitty, earning 8/21 swinging-strikes with the pitch as he kept it low a good amount of the time. Can’t say I was impressed by his slider, though, and I heavily question if his heaters are good enough to properly set it up in future starts, but at least we can now confidently throw The Cobbler into the grab bag of possible streamers if the matchup lines up. Not worth the 12-teamer roster spot for a fortnight, but I see you Matty Nice. I see you.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Marco Estrada6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Remember the talk that “Estrada needs his curveball” to be successful? How about six shutout frames with just two deuces thrown? Nah, the man needs to hone in on changeups low and heaters up, and he was…okay at it today. A lot of hugging armside and it went his way today. Good luck trying to figure out when it’ll happen again.

Joey Lucchesi5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. This is exactly what you want from Lucchesi, still sporting an effective Churve as he resisted being a Fugghesi. Those talking about his “third pitch” should understand that it wasn’t meant to be – it’s just a four-seamer at the same velocity band as his sinker. THAT DOESN’T COUNT – but the Giants are bad and Joey cruised. I don’t like the 5.1 frames, nor that he’s still just two-pitch and I’m not buying for a repeat season.

Ross Stripling5.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. There really are few things that I dislike more than #Dodgeritis and here we had Stripling, killing as he did last year when comfortable in the rotation, cruising at just 76 pitches with an out in the sixth…and pulled. WHY. WHY MUST YOU BE WHAT YOU ARE. Maybe it’s an early season thing. I’m hoping it is. My gut says it’s #Dodgeritis as the gruesome virus snickers at me, latched onto the neck of Dave Roberts. Must…remove…starter…Whatever, if you own Stripling, rejoice that he helped your team and start him again next week.

Gerrit Cole6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yep, he’s still the King of the Nats, pulling in his first Gallows Pole of the year with 20 swings and misses.

German Marquez6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. We debated for months and we finally got another game from Marquez. So which one was he? He was the good kind, for the most part. Not overwhelmingly so, but yeah, the good kind. This was the Marlins on the road, though, so don’t get upset when I say I’m not convinced yet, but this is nice.

Trevor Richards6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. His slider wasn’t good, but the Rockies weren’t able to take advantage of his fastball and he survived. Richards’ changeup did work – 25% whiff rate – but consider me still skeptical. I don’t think a slider with a 3/23 CSW is enough to pair with his changeup moving forward, especially with a meh heater at 91.5mph.

Matt Harvey6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. I’ve labeled Harvey as a possible deep sleeper this year and while the ratios are definitely in line here against the A’s, just 8 whiffs overall are super lame. Just 3/26 on his slider is blegh as he struggled to locate down in the zone effectively. A good amount of heaters up, though, and cooking at 94mph is a good sign. Just give me that bender down and there may be something here to trust as a streamer.

Yusei Kikuchi6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. A Quality Start from Kikuchi with a .67 WHIP and five Ks? Wesei YES PLEASE.

Charlie Morton5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Just five frames is a bit disappointing, but he didn’t kill you against the Astros + eight strikeouts is lovely. Poor Chuck isn’t going to last through the full season, though, and that’s such a shame.

Matt Boyd5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Are you a Boyd Boy or BeeGee? (Boyd Girl –> B.G., courtesy of our own Alex Fast.) You might be after 19 whiffs (one off the Gallows Pole), using his slider down and heaters up. Good to see 91/92 and not 89/90 from Boyd and I’m down to clown with Matty as long as he’s facing average or worse teams…which might be a decent amount given he’s in the AL Central n all. Tonight was the Jays and that’s all kinds of bad, too, so let’s take our small grains of salt as we down this gallon of hype juice. It’s what plants crave.

Derek Holland4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. I watch a good amount of this and Holland was pulled with just 71 pitches for a pinch hitter. I don’t think he pitched as bad as the line suggests – 35% CSW as his slider induced nine whiffs – but he may have been saving his curveball/changeup for the 5th and 6th…and never got a chance to use them. I’m sticking with him as the Ks are there and this could have been a QS. Hopefully he introduces those other secondary pitches earlier next time…? Streaming Record 0-1. IT’S BACK Y’ALL.

Freddy Peralta3.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Peralta is the not the young Brewer pitcher you’re looking for. He could go 9 Ks in 5 frames next time out, but you’ll be dealing with a whole lot of this. What’s this? What’s this? Mr. Skellington, you seem lost.

Robbie Ray5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 9 Ks. Hey, it’s the line that Peralta wants to be! You knew what you signed up with from Ray, but for those in roto leagues, you should be happy. I see Ray as having two types of games. Either a game where you’re trying to explain to your family just how good this man is and why he’s acting like a Cy Young candidate and others when your spouse says “wait, this guy is the good pitcher?” This was one of the latter and that’s okay. If this is what gets paired with those five-game stretches of bliss, I’m all for it. Yes, that’s a 1.80 WHIP, but 9 Ks and he’ll have a 0.75 WHIP to back it up next time out with the same strikeout production. Just breathe, it’ll be fine.

Jack Flaherty4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll take “Why We Shouldn’t Overvalue Spring Training Starts” for $400, Alex. Just kidding, I still love Flaherty and this changes nothing. Remember, the Brewers are legit. Seriously, I want nothing to do with that offense, especially in their home park. *Shudders*.

Nathan Eovaldi5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I find it a bit concerning Eovaldi turned to his cutter just about 20% of the time here, resulting in just 2 CSW in 18 thrown. Yikes. Without that pitch, he couldn’t go upstairs effectively with his 97mph heater – 1 whiff on 37 thrown – and it all fell apart. Don’t add an e and get cute, I want the cut.

 

Today’s Streamer

 

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

Reynaldo Lopez vs. Kansas City Royals – There are a decent amount of options here – Jakob Junis on the other side, Pablo Lopez even if he is hosting the Rockies, and even Spencer Turnbull against the Jays for the desperate – but I’ll go with Lopez as the Royals offense is atrocious and ReyLo has a history of going deep into games.

 

Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Jeff Samardzija vs. San Diego Padres – I considered Corbin Burnes against the Cardinals, but there’s a risk of blowup there + Samardzija has more potential to go deeper into his game.

 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

 

Caleb Smith vs. New York Mets – Not a whole lot of choices here and while I did consider Ivan Nova spinning a decent outing against the Indians, go for the home run and hope Smith’s hot spring can return at least seven Ks against the Mets.

 

Game of the Day

 

Stephen Strasburg vs. Noah Syndergaard – I know, Bryse Wilson, Brandon Woodruff, Yu Darvishand Pablo Lopez are all pitching, but these are two studs facing off! Lots of whiffs, lots of slow-motion, LOTS O FUN.

(Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Perfect Game says:

    Same question from a previous post about Taillion BUT FOR BERRIOS INSTEAD as team owner doesn’t want to move Taillon.

    Would you move Freeland and Strahm to get Berrios in a trade or does it not offer much improvement for the cost? And is it a fair offer to the other team?

    I’m in a shallow 10- team standard roto using QS instead of W. Current rotation includes Buehler, Clevinger, Marquez, Flaherty, Freeland and Strahm. We have 1 P slot, 4 SP slots and 3 Bench slots total. Most in my league are carrying 5-6 SP. The FA market is limited to mostly streaming options with only Musgrove, Pivetta (scares me), Ryu and Urias in your top 50 as potential multi-start holds to replace Strahm.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Wait a second. This trade is essentially Freeland + Strahm for Berrios + Pivetta/Ryu/Urias/Musgrove?

      Yes, I’d make that deal and pick up Ryu in the short term.

  • Avatar Steve says:

    I watched approximately half an inning of Ray’s start to know all I needed to know about why his line was the way it was. Dude couldn’t find his mechanics if they were gift-wrapped and handed to him. I’m betting he bounces back as well.

  • Avatar Ionescorhino says:

    Any word on King Felix? I just saw a blurb on rotoworld saying he’s not fantasy worthy. But have you watched him at all in spring? Is he really done? Seemed like lingering injuries all last year.

  • Avatar Paul McKinley says:

    I went through all your columns from last year during March/April and here’s the totals I got for your streamers (Did not double check for errors but saved the individual stat lines):

    IP 157.2
    ERA 3.664
    WHIP 1.215012723
    SO 129
    W 9

    I think that is pretty good esp considering you have to pick someone everyday. I’ll use my obvious abundance of free time to compare to the other months.

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