(Photo by George Walker/Icon Sportswire)
After one of the greatest opening months of any season, something has gone wrong with Gerrit Cole, who went 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks against the Rays Monday night. That’s 1/6 of Cole’s entire walks in 1/15 of his games. But that’s not the glaring problem here. Across Cole’s first eight starts, he allowed a total of 3 HRs, holding these unreal numbers: 1.43 ERA (1.49 FIP!), 0.74 WHIP, 41.4% K rate, 5.8% BB rate. In his last seven games, it’s been plenty different: 4.09 ERA (4.68 FIP!), 1.09 WHIP, 29.9% K rate, 10.3% BB rate with…9 HRs. That’s triple the longballs, TRIPLE THE POWER. The culprit is his four-seamer, as it just can’t stop allowing the longballs. It was the problem last season and our biggest worry entering the year and now it’s still around for another go. The question is if this trend will continue or if he can figure out his heater again. Oddly enough, he’s actually throwing them harder in his recent games, which may be correlated, it may not. I’d imagine it’s somewhere in the middle, which still makes him clearly Top 10 – that WHIP and strikeout rate through the “rough patch” is still fantastic. If you can cash out for legit value, then I’m for it, but otherwise I’d caution you away from reacting too harshly to this. It’s a bad moment, but it’ll get better.
Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:
Trevor Bauer – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Maybe Bauer deserved the leap ahead of Nola yesterday. I considered it, favoring to hold back Bauer as he hasn’t been this good for so long yet. He may very well make the leap next week.
Trevor Williams – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. First he was a TEEs, then he was a waiver wire leper, and now he’s…still a leper. Sorry Williams, you allowed 4+ ER in five of your previous seven games before this one, and that included poor starts against the Pads, ChiSox, and Cardinals (twice!). Yeesh.
Jhoulys Chacin – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. I considered doing a major thing on Chacin today, but two strikeouts and just five whiffs? This could easily have been a Grave Mistake.
Jacob deGrom – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace as deGrom earned another Gallows Pole at 24 whiffs. Who said that Coors does things? Why would anyone say that?
Sonny Gray – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Super impressive start from Gray as he went back on his fastball commitment to throw 40 breakers on 86 pitches. The result was nearly 40% CSW and he commanded the strikezone. Probably the best start I’ve seen from Gray all season (yes, better than the 8 frames against the Jays). However, the question with Gray this year has been consistency and it’s all about if he can repeat this success. I hope he can and if you’re struggling, you may want to take that flier. I’m not buying until I see it across more starts.
Nick Pivetta – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. I think this clarifies things for everyone. Yes, Pivetta was off his game when he hosted the Rockies last week. And this was the absolute opposite as he went 48 CSW in 108 pitches. That 44.4% mark is the third highest of the year for any starter and hot damn was he good. Seriously. Which is a more believable scenario: The 1 game in 15 last week + his 2017 season is the real Pivetta or is it the other 14 games that he’s played this year. I think it’s pretty clear and don’t let his 4.08 ERA scare you away, his 3.14 FIP and 3.24 SIERA are plenty more accurate as his strikeout rate soars to 28.6% with just a 6.7% walk rate. This isn’t Jon Gray, this is legit.
Andrew Suarez – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Our Call Boy cruised through the Marlins lineup and gave us yet another win. Streaming is not supposed to be this fortunate y’all. Do I believe Suarez is someone to trust regularly? Nope, just against bottom tier offenses. Streaming Record: 42-24. Wait, 42-24? I DON’T CARE WHAT IS THE SCORE.
Tyler Anderson – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. If you’re following the Rocky Mountain Way, you ran with Anderson as he hosted the Mets. He was two outs away from a VPQS with 5 Ks and didn’t even get there. I’m not okay with this, but if you’re desperate, you might just have to keep rolling with it against the Marlins next time.
Bartolo Colon – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. The Groan Ranger with the VVPQS and one strikeout. Wait, one strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?!
Erick Fedde – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I’d say some bad things about Erick, but I don’t want the Feddes knocking on my door.
Zack Greinke – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. We had a debate in the channel about if Greinke is a disappointment or not, which was before the final inherited ER scored, turning this from a sub 3.00 ERA to a blegh mark. Still, I think he’s a solid buy-low right now as his underlying numbers speak to a 26% K rate, 1.15 WHIP, and 3.30 ERA. HRs should fall, whiffs are still up, and I can imagine someone being frustrated and wanting out.
Dylan Covey – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. Can I go back to saying Don’t Covey Thy Dylan again? Yes? Thanks.
Miles Mikolas – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. This was a terrible first inning and then four frames of bliss. Sometimes that’s just how it works, but seriously, he looked bad in the first.
Caleb Smith – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Last week I talked about how I’m slowing stepping off the Smith bandwagon and his second straight game against the Giants went worse than the first. Now it’s Coors and you want none of that, though I guess I’m cool rolling with Smith in a 12-teamer after. There are kinks to work out here, but there is still upside in the tank and after this tough stretch I can see him rebounding. EDIT: Totally forgot to mention that Smith got let down by the Marlins’ defense in this one, allowing 3 ER to score on a “double” to center, forcing him to get the early hook. Doesn’t really change the outlook, but you should know that.
Ian Kennedy – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. You’re chasing Ks if you own Ian and I guess you got what you wanted. I sure don’t want it, though.
Jaime Barria – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Noooo, I loved Barria as a two-start option this week and this is all kinds of disappointing. 33.7% CSW is solid and you got 12 whiffs on 48 sliders/changeups, but the problem is the heater and it was bad. Here’s to fixing it against the Jays – and yes, I’m starting him for that.
Dereck Rodriguez vs. Miami Marlins – He did it last time, he can do it again.
Tyler Mahle vs. Detroit Tigers – I can see Mahle spinning a decent one here against the weak Tigers. Chad Kuhl is an intriguing option with his increased slider usage, but I don’t like him against the Brew Crew.
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