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Start Lance A Lot

A polarizing player in the off-season was Lance Lynn, who missed all of 2016 with TJS and many stayed away from him because he was such an unknown. After his first...

A polarizing player in the off-season was Lance Lynn, who missed all of 2016 with TJS and many stayed away from him because he was such an unknown. After his first two starts didn’t breed confidence, his last four have been stellar including Friday’s 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks against the Braves. That’s a four start run of 25.0 IP, 23 Ks, 0.72 ERA, and 0.92 WHIP. Soft contact at 23.2% in that span and 50.8% grounders. Now, the teams haven’t been the strongest (@ATL, PIT, @MIL, CIN) and there may be rougher times ahead as he’s slated to face the Red Sox, Cubs and Dodgers (twice?) across the next month. Still, I’m riding this one out for all it’s worth and Lynn could be definitively Top 35 by the end of the year. That’s beautiful stuff for a guy drafted at the end of your drafts.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Michael Fulmer – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. With Paxton and Nola on the DL and Taillon looking unimpressive against the Reds, I’m thrilled to say Fulmer has taken it upon himself to lead the Power Quads. I hope this start quells your fears about his strikeout upside, while also understanding how I believe he will go 200 frames this year. Dude is a beast.

Jason Hammel – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoaaaa Hammel! It’s just your second start all year under 3 ER and that’s cause for celebration! How about a “watch list” add? Let’s do that.

Zack Greinke – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Greinke went into Coors and didn’t let that stop him from being a beast. Am I starting to love everything about Greinke? Yes, yes I am. Give me two more good starts and you know what’s coming.

Michael Pineda – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. I felt the need to do some digging on Pineda as he has yet to blow up in owners’ faces yet, allowing only 12 ER total in six starts – and this one was against the Cubs! The main thing I found was his Fastball (which is really a Cutter, but whatever) is being located higher in the zone this year. More specifically, high and tight to right-handers and elevated to lefties. With the flyball revolution happening, pitchers are adapting with more  pitches up in the zone, making it tougher to get the barrell on the ball with a more curved swing path. At the same time, he’s getting more groundballs at 50% so what on earth is going on here. I want to believe Pineda has figured it out, but I just can’t say that yet. He’s in the 40s now, possibly moving to the 30s on Monday, but I still have a little more faith in Severino at the moment.

Yovani Gallardo – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Is this a Birthday Party? It feels like a Birthday party even if that means just three strikeouts. More importantly though, is that Gallardo’s teammate James Paxton is the latest to get SPOIL’D (Starting Pitcher On Injured List…Dang. I think I’m going with this one over The SPITS) as he was placed on the DL with a forearm strain. That sounds terrible, because it is terrible, but apparently he’s expected to miss only 1-2 starts. I don’t think I’ve ever heard 1-2 starts and the pitcher came back after just one start, so treat this as 2-4 starts. I feel terrible because I joked about Paxton hiding an injury after his last startWhy must I be right about the wrong things?

Yu Darvish – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace..ish? That WHIP is bad because Darvish has a – *gasp!* – walk problem and you want more than five Ks from Darvish. What ever, at least he hasn’t been SPOIL’D yet.

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. A 2-run pop from Kendrys Morales was the main blemish here, but 11 Ks and a sub 1.00 WHIP over six frames is all kinds of dope. It’s weird considering Archer Top 10, but given the struggles of Lester/Arrieta and Thor/Bumgarner/Kluber hurt, it’s suddenly in question. What a weird season.

Jimmy Nelson – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. This start was shortened due to a long rain delay, meaning there wasn’t enough time for Nelson to blow this one, ZING!

Phil Hughes – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. A 2.00 K/BB?! You’re slacking Hughes.

Kenta Maeda – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. The IPS is still terrible but at least everything else checks out. Still don’t love Maeda, but there’s zero reason for him not to start the heavy majority of games he pitches now.

Stephen Strasburg – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Ugh, four walks? I don’t care if you hit a longball Stras, I want you to survive past the sixth instead of a WHIP north of 1.50.

Kyle Hendricks – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I feel like this is the ceiling for Hendricks these days. It’s not all too impressive – still a bad WHIP and just 5 Ks – but 0 ER over 5.1 works. Don’t expect more than this.

Miguel Gonzalez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I led with Miguel a few starts back and I still feel the same: Gonzalez is a TEEs and that 3.13 ERA is going to be a lot closer to his 4.70 SIERA soon. Miguel…no.

Chad Kuhl – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Kuhl story, bro.

Jesse Chavez – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. I’m happy it worked out for those who ran with Chavez, but don’t come round this neighborhood again.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Edu settled down nicely after a poor first inning and I’m still liking him around #50 or so. There’s room to grow, but that floor is still apparent.

Bronson Arroyo – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Awwwww I totally thought Arroyo was going get another QS under his belt to battle Weaver. That’s still stuck at 3-1 Weaver after two weeks…I wonder if that will ever change.

Jhoulys Chacin – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it…

Dallas Keuchel – 8.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I know I just pushed Keuchel into the Top 20 and all and seeing this against the Angels is all kinds of worrisome.  His Fastball command wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen this year and his feel for his Changeup wasn’t on point like normal. I’m giving him another start to right the ship before changing anything on Monday.

Tom Koehler – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Koehler alright.

Wade Miley – 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Miley was stuck in an infomercial as he was struck by NOT ONE! NOT THREE! But two line drives in two consecutive at-bats in the first inning leading to an early exit. I know you are all holding your breath on this one as he was diagnosed officially with a left wrist contusion, which means he may his next start? Who knows. If you had him as your final fringe starter, go ahead and drop him now.

Danny Salazar – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. A low IPS, good amount of Ks, bad WHIP, questionable ERA. What separates Salazar from Robbie Ray?

German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Should I bring back last year’s blurb? Marquez is the prime example of someone that I just can’t own because he plays for Colorado.

Andrew Triggs – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Ehhhh this doesn’t really change anything either way for Triggs. Detroit is a decent offense while he got nearly a K per inning and only one walk.

Francisco Liriano – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Yikes, we know it’s playing with fire when it comes to Liriano, but against the Rays we all were hoping for a little better, no? We’re going to be having this dance all year.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeah that looks bad and you’re ready for the Cup of Schmo label. Well you’re not going to get it. Whaaaaaat. I’m intriguied with Pivetta and I think there’s upside to be found here when he’s not facing the Nationals, who are far-and-away the best offense around. But of course he probably has just one start left before Nola makes his return. Guess who he’s slated to get next? The Nationals. Womp womp. Maybe he sticks and Eflin leaves when Nola returns? A man can dream.

Rafael Montero – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Montero doesn’t have the same aura of awesomeness that the rest of the young Mets staff have and I wouldn’t be chasing after this in 14 teamers let alone 12 teamers.

Mike Foltynewicz – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. One of my twitter followers put in the time to make this image and I feel bad that it didn’t work out, while also hating myself for smiling at enjoying the execution of this piece of art. I’ve been labeling Folty for a long time as an K upside streamer and not someone that will put it together consistently, and looking back I don’t think I made the wrong roll of the dice (I even said “I’m not confident Folty can get 6+ strong…”). Sometimes it just comes up snake eyes.  Streamer Record 13.5-12-4. 

Matt Cain – 3.1 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 6 BBs, 2 Ks. Ahhhh there he is.

Today’s Streamer

JC Ramirez vs Houston Astros – I wrote about Ramirez in yesterday’s GIF Breakdown and his strikeout upside is legit. The worry is Fastball consistency, but there are always going to be warts when streaming.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Alex Cobb vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I don’t like Zach Davies since he’s playing the Cardinals for the second straight time and I still don’t trust Daniel Norristhough roll with him if you need strikeout upside. I think Cobb could get a cheap win as the Jays would theoretically be throwing out Mat Latos or some poor replacement.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Blake Snell vs. Kansas City Royals I still worry about Snell long term with his walk issues, but the kid holds a 3.45 ERA with solid K upside. That itself warrants an outing against the Royals. Alex Wood against the Pirates is my secondary Call Boy for the day even after his disappointing start last time out.

Game of the Day

Clayton Kershaw vs. Clayton Richard WHO WILL BE CROWNED KING OF THE CLAYTONS? The tension is killing me.

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Andrew Kovacic says:

    Love your articles every day. Don’t want to nitpick, but in the Fulmer paragraph – “Taillon looking unimpressive against the Pirates.”

    Also quick Q if you are up for it:

    I have been tanking my pitching categories and don’t know what to do because my squad should be good for a 12 teamer, but we are talking consistent 5+ ERA, bad whip.

    Do I hold tight, or trade for a low key top 20 arm like Taillon?

    Verlander, DeGrom, Lynn, Bundy, Nola, Harvey, Devinski, Neris, Bud Norris.

    • Andrew Kovacic says:

      I’m also holding JC Ramirez, ERod, and Berrios, but don’t consider them part of the core yet.

      • Nick Pollack says:

        I’d say Berrios can be swapped if you need the help. I’m not sold he’s going to be a major splash prospect after what we saw last year.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Oh lord, thanks for the catch! Fixed.

      I think you do need another arm here, though Verlander and Harvey could be picking it up in a big way soon.

  • Chtid says:

    Keuchel was cruising until they sent him back in the 9th inning. After a couple got on base, his relief gave up the runs. Only so many times you can run through the order effectively.

  • jakerg23 says:

    Nick. You killed Paxton. Please never joke. Sincerely, a proud Paxton owner.

  • AC says:

    For Ks, would you go with Glasnow v. MIL, Chaill v. LAD or Bauer v. KC?

  • Colin says:

    Salazar’s start last night was super weird. Even when KC was grounding out, Salazar had to throw at least 4-6 pitches for it to happen, and not because he was constantly falling behind in the count.

    KC just would end up spoiling good pitches instead of putting them in play, taking the ball, or whiffing. This along with Salazar’s 7 K’s were what drove his pitch count up by the 4th and 5th innings. KC’s batters are dead last in the league in walks drawn.

    Salazar also threw 63.3% of his pitches for strikes last night, and other than a double and Hosmer’s HR he only gave up singles throughout the night. In fact, up until the 5th inning Salazar had only given up FOUR hits; 3 singles and a double.

    Normally Salazar gets his pitch count driven up because of his wildness and walks, but I think the outing against KC had more to do with Royals batters being free swinging and in protect mode for most of the night. Unfortunately, KC happened to foul off some good pitches before sitting them down.

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