The Monty Ballin’ Problem
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)
I know it’s not the flashy and big stake in the ground lede today, but I feel like I should talk about Mike Montgomery who went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks against the Dodgers yesterday. Since taking over as a starter for the injured Yu Darvish, Monty has allowed 1 ER or fewer in each of his five outings, going six strong in his past four, good for a 1.21 ERA. That’s something and I’m sure many are asking why he’s not on The List and if he’s worth the roster spot. I see him as a streamer and nothing more, which could fit your bill and his future starts against the Dodgers (again), Twins, and Reds, could easily work. At the same time, you’re setting up for a Grave Mistake – 16.7% K rate – while his .188 BABIP, 0.61 HR/9, and 94.8% LOB rate as a starter point to a 4.20 SIERA. He’s having a ton of success with his changeup (21.7% whiff rate this year!), though I don’t think it’s enough for me to overlook the massive floor. It’s a bit of a Vargas Rule, but more of a “sure, against the right matchup” situation. Don’t treat it as anything more.
Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:
Cole Hamels – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s a 3.41 ERA with a 23.4% K rate for Hamels. I imagine he settles around 3.80/3.90 this year, but with his 11.6% whiff rate, you best be happy with him at the end of your staff.
Rich Hill – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He returned from the DL to face the Cubs and say TO HELL WITH YOUR DLH! as he cruised for a wonderful night. No Win though because we need that daily reminder that wins are stupid, but we are all so happy with this. Reminder, Hill should be on The List at about #70 and I’m dumb and mentioned it in the notes. Moving on, I won’t ignore how much of a headache Hill will be moving forward, but if he’s treated like a back-end option, then go ahead. Have a ball. He gets the Cubs again next, but if he survives injury, it’s the lovely Rockies Road, Angels, and Padres to close out the half. Go for it.
Eric Lauer – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. El. O. L. elected to rebel against his name and have his best start of the season against the A’s. 13 Whiffs as well as he was primarily two-pitch with his heater and cutter. And he still has a 5.47 ERA. Nope. Nope. Noooooope.
Freddy Peralta – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Peralta is back and dominated with his fastball, just like he did against the Rockies. The Cardinals + Reds are next and let’s hope this Cherry Bomb doesn’t walk six again like he did against the Twins.
Sal Romano – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Sal’s come a far way from “It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.” but as the essence of that joke details, an F still means you got half right (or in this case, about 33% of his starts).
Jose Berrios – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I’m sure some of you were scared by the Red Sawx, but when Berrios is cooking, there’s no way you take him out of the kitchen.
Tyler Chatwood – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m impressed. Chatwood was able to strikeout more than he walked. He’s still the most miraculous starter out there this year given how he still has a job given a 20.3% walk rate and I’m just here to see what the end of season stat line is.
Domingo German – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. I considered leading with Domingo today, but I’m still uneasy about his consistency. I know, this was great, with 38 CSW in 96 pitches and over 50% curveballs + changeups. He was grooving against the Mariners – the Mariners! We’ve seen his command disappear, however, and this was the first start that his changeup was actually decent since his very first start against the Indians. I don’t have any qualms rostering him and hoping it sticks, though I’d wager it slows down soon, if not next time against the Rays. Fine, I’m starting him against the Rays, but you know what I mean.
Felix Pena – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. The Angels are dying for decent options in their rotation, allowing Pena to make his first career start at 28-years-old. Pretty solid slider here with 7 whiffs on 27 thrown, but I’m very hesitant to put any faith in this. Move on.
Blake Snell – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 7 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s a tough schedule for Snell and he doesn’t care, with 30% breaking balls leading to a 32 CSW against the Astros…wait, is that seven walks? What. He struggled to get his four-seamer up in the zone, with a decent amount of pitches falling off arm-side. A bit lucky to have 10 baserunners and just 1 ER, but I’ll take it in the end.
Justin Verlander – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace, legit this time, with Verlander destroying the top of the zone with heaters. 37 CSW in 122 pitches (30%) and you should feel wonderful. A Gallows Pole here with 24 whiffs, though I feel weird awarding that when he had far-and-away the most pitches thrown. Hmmmmm.
Paul Blackburn – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. If you wanted a vacation to MediocroCity, Blackburn’s got the hook up for you. He’ll even spot you a free drink at the Motel 6 bar with just Coors light and Evan Williams available.
Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s just like the good ole days where Sale would dominate and still get a No Decision. Ahhhh, nostalgia.
Kenta Maeda – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. That’s two straight games of a high walk rate and I’m concerned. It’s also two games back from his DL stint, but you have to wonder if it’s still affecting him. Maeda doesn’t do this.
Dereck Rodriguez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Wins are a stupid thing. I was all ready to take the “L” here, but then I saw he got the dub and matched with six strikeouts, I think that deserves another win from my Call Boy. Tell me if I should change it, I don’t want any handouts. Streaming Record: 43-24 He gets the Padres next and yes, I’m rolling with that.
Jameson Taillon – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. To start this game, Lorenzo Cain reached on a dribbler up the first base line, then Jesus Aguilar smacked a two-run shot on a poor 3-2 slider. After that, he cruised for 4.2 frames. He held a 33% CSW…though the slider wasn’t as sharp as it usually is, so much so that he pulled back its usage to just 13% after not having it in the first. I’m not worried here.
Jason Hammel – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. If you haven’t dropped the hammer yet, stop being such a disciplined and by-the-books carpenter. Live a little.
Carlos Rodon – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Rodon got the Indians a second time and this is more like what I expected. Not the worst K/BB and a decent WHIP, but the 4 ER are blegh. Nevertheless, it was a tough matchup and you have to wonder if he’ll be better against the A’s and Texas next.
Mike Soroka – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Soroka noooooo. Too many pitches in the middle of the zone as the Soroka I know and love sits on the edges. Really disappointed with this one as it came against the Jays, though I’d stay strong as he gets a lovely Reds + Cards schedule ahead.
Dan Straily – 1.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Danny, the first round knockout of the world.
Vince Velasquez – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. A massive 38 CSW on 97 pitches here as Velasquez did plenty of work with his four-seamer (save for a poor one down the middle for a longball), per usual. However, breaking stuff wasn’t all too good and it cost him, with a hanger to Tommy Pham and a general lack of confidence. Not my favorite chase as his secondary pitches aren’t all there and his floor is super low, but worth it if you need strikeout upside.
Luke Weaver – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Just so you understand what we’re dealing with now, Weaver has allowed 4 ER with 10 walks without exceeded four strikeouts in any of his last three starts. The teams he’s faced? Reds, Padres, Phillies. Dude. Come on.
Jaime Garcia – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. There is no Cherry Garcia. Only Bomb Garcia.
David Hess – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here!
Matt Koch – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. If Matt is on your roster, you already have Too Many Kochs. But seriously, I have to give you the HAIGFMFWT?! treatment too after this lovely 0/2 K per BB. Seriously, that’s a challenge through 17 outs.
Jefry Rodriguez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. He got the call for the Nationals in his first career MLB start and he’s a Cup of Schmo through and through. So it goes, kid. So it goes.
Marco Gonzales – 6.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Marco met with the Yankees and the expected happened. Next up is the Sawx and I wonder how bad his ratios will look after to make people overlook that he’s still solid against lineups outside the Top 5.
Jason Vargas – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. It must be weird to be Vargas, having a rule named after you that you will never be a part of again. That’s what you get for not earning a single strikeout (HAIGFMFWT?!)
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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