It’s difficult to write about fantasy baseball this morning.
The passing of Tyler Skaggs hit me hard. Constant readers of the site may have seen me gravitate toward Skaggs more than others. Maybe it’s a product of my constant confusion of him and Patrick Corbin earlier in the decade (they were in the same Dan Haren trade, after all). Or that the article I wrote on him last year likely featured the coyest title I’ve had at RotoGraphs. Or maybe it was how each start of 2019 I found myself rooting hard for him to take that step forward. High heat. Low curveballs. Good enough changeups. The repertoire was there and he was flirting with consistent execution.
I truly believed he was going to take that next step. Really turn the page just as his life was coming together. I had seen moments when it was there, forcing me to squeeze a small smile when his huge hook was executed just right. It all just worked when he was on.
And now it won’t be again. It’s not fair, baseball isn’t fair, life isn’t fair. He deserved so much more. I can’t fathom what his family and the Angels organization are going through. It’s a brutal reminder of life’s fragility and how we cannot take for granted the joy we get from this game every single day. So thank you Tyler for being a part of this wonderful experience with all of us. You and your gorgeous curveball will not be forgotten.
But we have to continue. So here’s what I saw in the five games played yesterday, please understand if I have a little less enthusiasm today.
This one’s for Tyler.
Ryne Stanek – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. The Fratty Pirate Ryan Yarbrough followed for three frames of 1 ER ball. Whoop De Rentis Doo. Rentis? It’s a new month, you think this apartment is free?
Tom Eshelman – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. The kid threw a first pitch changeup. No, he just throws 84 mph. Wait, seriously? His first three pitches were 84, 79, 79, confusing the Orioles broadcast. And what do you know, it actually worked out as the Rays couldn’t handle
my college stuff. Eshelman’s command of the zone. This is as Cup of Schmo as you’ll find.
Jeff Samardzija – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at Loose Lips go. This is how it works, right? You need a few days of temptation for him really to sink your ship.
Adrian Houser – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaaah. When I see the Houser that Adrian built, I think But why? There just isn’t enough here for me to consider chasing the Wins as a Brewer, not to mention, how long do we really expect Adrian to be in this rotation? If you trust him, you’ll be doing your best Rocky impression before too long. Hoooooouuuussssssser! Something like that.
Tyler Mahle – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. The most impressive start of the night came from Mahle – it wasn’t close in the slightest – as he endured the Brewers and earned a Gallows Pole with 13 whiffs. It was that kind of night. Plenty of curveballs in the zone allowed Mahle to keep batters a bit off-balance while he barely touched the lower third of the zone with heat. That’s the Mahle way. With Cleveland on the horizon, I’m all for picking him up.
Clayton Richard – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Who still managed to give owners a PQS. That’s all you want, isn’t it?
Trevor Williams – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s a trio of bleeeegh outings from Williams since coming off the IL and I wonder if there really was something that was helping him prevent long-balls prior that he’s lost now, or maybe allowing 5 HRs in three games is him just catching up to the pack. I’m sure some of you were really holding onto Williams hoping he’d provide support during these times of troubled waters and maybe he’s shaking off rust as he’s faced tough offenses in the Astros and Cubs. And now he gets the Brewers next. Yeah, I’m out.
Logan Allen – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. He was looking solid until the fourth and fifth, then it fell apart as his secondary pitches got crushed – particularly his curveball. He walked guys, allowed hits on the breaker and BLAMO, there you go. His fastball is good but not great and without the strong secondary stuff, this looks to be just a streaming option and not a rostered one.
Adbert Alzolay – 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The wild nature of Adbert led to some incredible hittable pitches that Josh Bell sent a long distance but also generally led to a terribly inefficient game. Thing is, he could do plenty better next time out, but I sure won’t be around to see it, especially when he theoretically doesn’t need to pitch again until post the ASB. Just let him go if you took this chance.
Glenn Sparkman – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Spark has started six games straight. He has yet to record more than three strikeouts. That’s 14 strikeouts total. His 3.86 K/9 is almost two points lower than his 5.79 in those six games. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. Dang dude. Dang.
For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.
Matt Strahm vs. San Francisco Giants – Strahm is back on the menu and his velocity was a little up with more whiffs with curveballs and sliders last time out. Now it’s the Giants? Yeah, I’m in.
Danny Duffy vs. Cleveland Indians – I’m tempted to take the chance on Bryse Wilson against the Phils, but this is a little safer.
Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer
Tommy Milone vs. St. Louis Cardinals – The Cards are struggling with their bats and Milone is a shockingly decent play these days. Obviously Anibal Sanchez against the Marlins over this, but he’s likely gone.
Game of the Day
Zack Wheeler vs. James Paxton – Two pitchers I enjoy squaring off. Here’s to keeping zeroes on the board.
(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)
beautiful write up on tyler. thanks nick.
Watching Logan Allen last night, reminded me so much of watching Robbie root canal Ray. Continually behind in the count, throwing meatballs center cut variety to catch up, and well, now you know the rest of the story.
Love this write up as well. RIP Tyler.
You are the main reason I knew of the wonder that is Tyler Skaggs. Great write-up and great compilation.
Great write-up and tribute for Tyler.
Question about how useful Kluber will be when he returns, and when do you think he will return to the rotation? I’m contemplating trading for him. Our playoffs start August 12th, and they go for 2 weeks per matchup (h2h 6×6 category)
Might be a sneaky trade where I could get a workhorse for on the cheap
Nice write up Nick. Been reading/listening to your site for two years now and you certainly were a believer in Tyler. He will be missed by the community. I was wondering if you were going to release The List this week?
The List will come out in the early afternoon today.
I didn’t feel right working on it after I heard the news yesterday.
Ah man, for once I spurned your daily rankings and started Alzolay over Mahle. I’m regretting that one, although I broke even with Josh Bell on my team.
Thanks for everything you do!