Stripling Night

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

(Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire)

I want to address this head-on today. Ross Stripling went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks against the Nationals, lowering his season-long ERA to 2.08 with a 27.8% K rate, 6.3% BB rate, and 1.24 WHIP. Now, this isn’t fair as he’s only started 4 games and had 9 others in relief, but his last three starts have returned a ridiculous 0.80 FIP, earning 21 Ks, 2 walks, and just 3 ER in 15.1 IP. In this start against the Nats, I wasn’t totally convinced that this is going to work. He well a good 31 CSW in 96 pitches, his heater did good work, slider was thrown for strikes often, and saved his curve as a putaway pitch, but it all is just fine. Not spectacular like those prior numbers suggest, but a guy that can be a streamer if not a possible Toby. That’s about it. He’ll likely get more starts with Hill out for an extended period of time and with the Padres and Phils next, I’m alright rolling with him. Just give him a short leash, okay?

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Sam Gaviglio – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Yeaahhhhh, no. 15.7% K rate and 4.96 SIERA last year and nothing special in this start to suggest he’s a new man. Move on.

Andrew Heaney – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. The five walks are a bit annoying, but everything else here is as beautiful as it should be with Heaney looking lovely as ever. If he’s somehow still out there – was under 20% somehow entering this one – get him now. Streaming Record: 24-17.

Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Atta boy Quintana! This is a beautiful rebound but I’m still hesitant to raise you tomorrow as we all know how close that floor is, and let me tell you, that floor is so clearly lava that I expect Tommy Lee Jones is about to show up at any moment to tell me to evacuate. Let’s hope he can follow 2017’s gameplan of being blegh for the first two months or so before figuring it out.

Scott Alexander – 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Hill left after two pitches with a blister and will be missing weeks. Just let him go like a balloon that you don’t care about anymore.

Sergio Romo – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Clearly we can extrapolate this across a full game whenever Romo gets another shot at starting. #MakeRomoAStarter. If you genuinely curious why this happened, the Rays are holding bullpen games and Romo got the nod to begin this one.

Luis Castillo – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. This was a wet game against Chicago and Castillo didn’t have nearly the same fastball command that we saw in the previous outing against the Mets. However, his velocity was up to 95.4mph on his four-seamer – he only threw 10 two-seamers, probably because of the rain – and he actually elected to feature 25 sliders here vs. 18 changeups, which all kinds of crazy when his changeup is one of the best secondary pitches around. I’m willing to shrug this game off and be happy it wasn’t worse than it was.

Sean Newcomb – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Newcomb is still going changeup heavy, but the real story of this one was being able to hit the zone plenty with heaters. Nothing is standing out here that makes me think Newcomb is a Top 45 arm, but that’s okay. Just keep rolling with him.

Patrick Corbin – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Audience, let me hear you! WHAT. WAS. CORBIN’S. VELOCITY?! Drumroll please…The answer is…89mph. Womp womp. 10 whiffs on 98 pitches, just 4 on his 31 sliders and you know the drill. I’m buying that Corbin will still be a starter you’ll be happy owning, but sell while you can at the price of a SP #2/3.

Zach Eflin – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It was a rain delay and Eflin was pulled a little early with 85 pitches. Fastball velocity was hovering 95 – maxed over 97! – but his slider was hanging around 85 and I’m still questioning his chances of taking a leap to Toby. I’d look elsewhere overall.

Lucas Giolito – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey the man only walked two! And had one called strike of nine curveballs. And just four whiffs overall. With a 91mph heater. It’s so painful to see what you’ve become Giolito.

Corey Kluber – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Let’s put the worry about his breaking stuff to rest now.

James Paxton – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Paxton, we don’t deserve you. I feel like I’m saying this with a ton of arms, but please don’t get hurt. It does feel like in a month like five guys are going to go down all at once like New York Giants defenders trying to get an injury timeout. Sorry to spill that juju, I’ll knock on some Wood to make up for it. Alex, I don’t think you’re all that great! That should do it.

Clayton Richard – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Seriously, 2 Ks in 22 outs is a hilarious thing.

Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 13 Ks? That’s the #1 duder.

John Gant – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Gant’s changeup was as good as we’ve seen it earning 9 whiffs in 32 thrown and led to this seven strikeout outburst. There may be something here if he gets the starts, but I don’t think he will and that was a very heavy may. This isn’t the lottery ticket you want.

Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is the risk you take with Hendricks, but it’s worth it in the long haul. Just means that his ceiling is capped and has residency right around #40 on The List for pretty much the entire year.

Nick Kingham – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Kingham returned to the rotation as expected and gave you a PQS with five strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP. I love it. You should love it. But unfortunately the Pirates don’t love it and he was sent back down today. COME ON. The Pirates needed a replacement for Josh Harrison and I expect Joe Musgrove will take his spot in the rotation when he returns this week. It’s dumb as Kingham could legit be a #4 SP through the year but now I need to label him as one of the premier stashes. Blegh. Yes, you can drop him if you need the spot.

Rick Porcello – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. You might be thinking with 9 Ks and 21 whiffs – Gallows Pole HELLO! – that Porcello did his damage with his slide piece. Nope, just 3 swings and misses there, it was all about his 91.3mph four-seamer with 12 whiffs to his name (and four with his two-seamer!). A two-run shot in the sixth caused the lamented VPQS, but you’ll take this and keep rolling with The Thief.

Tanner Roark – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I’m not expecting the world from Roark, but he still induced under 30% hard contact here and I’m not complaining. This could be the second coming of 2016, but most likely a 3.70 ERA with a 20%+ K rate and 1.25 WHIP. That’s value it’s time to crown our first Spiderman of the year. I.e. Roark is the most successful Toby, otherwise known as Tobey Maguire.

Fernando Romero – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Uggggh this was a frustrating start. The stuff is still there…kinda, but it looked like a PEAS and less so of an exciting Spice Girl. I know, I know, Romero is one of those guys that will show up one day and not the next – he is a Cherry Bomb n all – but it’s just tough to watch live, you know?

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna give us a VVPQS. Against the Royals too and that’s annoying. But hey, it’s a dub and six Ks and we can move past this. Does this mean Sevy is below Verlander tomorrow? I don’t think soo….? Maybe, they are obviously super close.

Chris Stratton – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Blegh. We get nothing from this Stratton. Nothin’.

Dylan Bundy – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. His heater was at 92mph, his slider was cooking, he earned 16 whiffs, his command was actually pretty good…but of course he had to face Mookie Betts and the Sawx. That’s baseball for ya.

Mike Fiers – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Yep, that Fiers alright. Just x this pop-up ad and move on.

Ariel Jurado – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. You know what Jurado rhymes with? Disappointment. But seriously, he’s a Cup of Schmo and already back in the minors as this was a spot start.

Dallas Keuchel – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Keuchel didn’t get the chases below the zone that he usually does with his two-seamer, making it tougher for him to get ahead and induce the outs he normally does. He got those chases in the previous starts and it makes me wonder if there really was much separating those games and this one. I think you hold pat for now.

Sean Manaea – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. This came down to one bad inning in the fifth and it kinda stinks. He didn’t have his best stuff, but those three walks are a bad representation of his actual command in this one. I know it looks a bit grim right now, but I’m buying relatively low right now. Stay with me.

Steven Matz – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s not easy being Matz these days with just 18 CSW across 79 pitches. Just 7 whiffs and a 93mph heater all pointing to me wondering what we’re hoping for. Digging for his upside is like trying to find a closer to trust in Philadelphia. You’re just wasting your time.

Sal Romano – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. I’ll be honest Sal, I always preferred Parmasean.

Freddy Peralta – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 5 Ks. The warnings after his 13 K debut were that his command in the minors was plenty worse than what he saw in one start. Here is the command that was promised. I’m still buying if he gets more time in the rotation as we don’t quite know what frequency this will be here and he still earned 11 whiffs in just 81 pitches and showed off a decent curveball this time (and two changeups!). Problem is that Chase Anderson and possibly Zach Davies as well are returning this week, meaning he may move back to the minors. I want to see more of him, but I think the odds are this is the last start for now and you can let him go.

Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. If you own Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Danny Duffy – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. To be fair, this was against the Yanks. To be fairer, this is still Duffy. To be unfair, I’m forcing you own him for the whole season as your team lands in 10th place. Life just isn’t fair sometimes.

Jon Gray – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh come on Gray. The rest of your staff knows the rules of starting outside of Coors and against average teams – The Giants – and you, the one who even gets exceptions is the one who falters. WHAT ARE WE TO DO WITH YOU. Seriously, with all of his strikeout upside, he really does a number on ya as he goes back and forth through the year. He’s a complete Cherry Bomb and I legit have no idea what to do with him…which often means I find a way to get him off my team. Sorry Jonny, I don’t love you anymore. I love Mark.

Today’s Streamer

Daniel Mengden vs. Toronto Blue Jays – The Jays aren’t scary and Mengden just ran through the Sawx and Astros.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – It’s on the road against an average offense. These are the rules for Colorado pitchers.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Trevor Cahill vs. Seattle Mariners – I believe in his stuff + the Mariners are without Cano.

Game of the Day

Aaron Nola vs. Jack Flaherty – Happy Nola Day + Flaherty is going again. Yup.

Nick Pollack

Founder of PitcherList.com. Rotographs and Washington Post contributor. Worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.

  • Avatar JD says:

    Castillo wasn’t in Chicago

  • Avatar Jeremy says:

    Re Eflin: He was pulled because of a rain delay with 2 outs, not specifically because of the stressful frame. Kapler was furious when they called for the tarp.

  • Avatar Steve says:

    Where would you rank Ervin Santana? Looks like he’ll be back in about 3 weeks.

  • Avatar Vinny says:

    Nick! I usually try not to bug you here but I got a big offer on the table. It’s tough to take anyone else’s advice because I’ve been coming to you for years and you’ve helped me win (I also bought an AGA shirt last year!)

    I give Andujar/Corbin
    I get Belt/Greinke

    I’m a big yankee/andujar fan but an even bigger pitcher list fan. Thanks as always!

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