The Wheeler of Time

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

(Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire)

There wasn’t really a performance that I wanted to dive into a ton with y’all from Friday’s games, so let’s instead talk about Zack Wheeler who went 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks against the Giants. It’s been a ridiculous season for Wheeler, holding a 3.37 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 24% K rate, 7.5% BB rate, while upping his overall whiff rate to 11.2%. His HOTEL doesn’t suggest much regression save for a low 8.1% HR/FB rate (3.86 SIERA), but what I really should be talking about is his recent eight game stretch of 1.19 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 26% K rate, and 5% walk rate. It’s come against plenty of weak teams (Giants, O’s, Marlins, Padres, etc.), but his ROS schedule is favorable and I don’t see why he can’t be a 3.00 ERA guy the rest of the way. If you’re looking for the biggest swing in Wheeler’s favor, it’s been better command of his fastball, specifically elevating it with consistency. There’s a reason I talk about elevating a lot – it works. Really well. Now, I still have some concerns about his slider/curveball/splitter mix being consistently solid through 2019, so I think I’ll be slightly lower on Wheeler than the rest of the crowd. Still, here’s to a great September ahead.

Corey Kluber – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 36 CSW, 15 whiffs, and all is right in the world of Kluber.

Michael Kopech – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Clearly Kopech is the true #BringerOfRain. Just one whiff in 36 pitches is pretty meh, but he did a better job of elevating four-seamers. Still a little too middle and 95.5mph average, but Red Sox and rain and we can’t judge too harshly.

Brett Kennedy – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. BK, it’s not what you crave.

Brad Keller 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ummmm yeah, it’s not what you crave. Seriously though, I don’t trust either of these arms on a given night + they have plenty lower ceilings that my 6’4″ self is super uncomfortable staying in for any reasonable amount of time.

Andrew Suarez 7.0 0 2 0 BBs, 5 Ks. The Mets are a wonderful team. I don’t think Suarez is someone you’d want to hang around your roster for an extended period of time, but I’ll take this win. Streaming Record: 86-41.

Jaime Barria – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Barria is an occasional streamer and surprised us with a solid outing against the Astros. I might have to go with Barria down the stretch as a Call Boy, but I’d suggest not trying to roster him.

Jhoulys Chacin – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. I don’t think I can say that with a straight face as he’s allowed just 7 ER total in his last five starts and the Nationals aren’t the strongest team out there. No reason to stop rostering Chacin these days.

Anibal Sanchez – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Glad to see Sanchez back on track and eradicate the worry that he was falling off the cliff after that liner to the calf. That poor animal! Anibal. His name is Anibal.

Jordan Zimmermann – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Sorry Jay-Z, you’re not getting my Norris Light. You did that befo– I DON’T CARE. I like it.

Dan Straily – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Enjoy the Birthday Party Straily. You don’t really deserve one, but enjoy it.

Jose Quintana – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. I know what you’re thinking. Nick, that’s three starts of just 4 ER from Quintana, these seven Ks are the highest since June 6th! There must be something here. What I did see is a sudden spike in curveball usage to 37.5% – the highest of the season as he’ averaged 25% deuces for the year – and it returned 11/33 CSW. Solid, not overwhelming and making me say “Oh! Now he’s fixed.” Just a good day and I’d imagine he pulls back on the curveballs moving forward as he reverts back to mediocrity. Womp womp.

Tyler Glasnow – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Glasnow, this is fantastic and it was against Cleveland! 34% CSW in 79 pitches as he pounded the zone incessantly, though I am a little disappointed in how many sliders were completely terrible, spiked into the dirt. There’s still risk of course, but it’s certainly hard to argue against rolling with Glasnow here on out.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey, he was productive again! It kinda is a Cherry Bomb situation from Pivetta, though I’ve been hesitant to call it that consider I believe he’ll be more sweet than bomba. Oddly enough, his secondary stuff wasn’t all too great in this one as he elected to pull away from his best pitch for just 10 curveballs thrown. Duuuude no. Don’t throw that changeup 14 times, IT’S BAD. His four-seamer was legit, though, with 21/61 CSW and 35 SNIP. Generally when Pivetta is bad, it’s due to his heater getting slammed and this was not that. Good job surviving the Cubs, now you have a solid schedule ahead (Marlins, Nats, Mets). Let’s hope Pivetta can take advantage.

Antonio Senzatela – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Senz-a is still so far away from earning my trust.

Framber Valdez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Ehhhh it’s productive, but I don’t really trust it from Framber. He pounded the glove side corner nearly exclusive with his fastball, though rarely hitting the top of the zone as well. Meanwhile, his curveball was all over the place and I’m just not seeing enough for me to label him a Spice Girl. Sorry bud.

Jameson Taillon – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Taillon, you’re my hero. He’s even elevating four-seamers to go along with curveballs and sliders down. A little too many fouls for my taste – 31/103! – but seeing that eye level separation is a wonderful thing. He’s really found his groove.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid stuff from Ryu who you should keep starting as long as he’s on the bump. I’d be surprised if he survives the rest of the season, but let him ride, let him ride.

Austin Gomber – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Solid outing from the backup Call Boy, though those 10 hits returning just 2 ER while striking out 3 is putting a lot of pressure on the BABIP to go your way. Still an iffy streamer to me.

Zack Greinke – 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces almost aced. I just can’t hand that out when we get 3 ER allowed, though the 5 Ks are fine and a sub 1.00 WHIP is always cool. I wonder what his draft stock will be next year, it almost certainly will be lower than his 2018 performance demands given his age. Maybe it’ll be something to take advantage of.

Homer Bailey – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. It’s just not what you want.

Nathan Eovaldi – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Eovaldi got a bit saved from the rain here. I wonder if there is some injury, honestly, as he’s just not as sharp as he was during the opening month and change with the Sawx.

Stephen Gonsalves – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. If you’re ever looking for the definition of a Cup of Schmo, look no further.

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. It was against the Tigers and I think I’ll take this. Yeah, you want one fewer ER, but a PQS with 10 Ks and 1.00 WHIP is lovely. Enjoy the Gallows Pole with 16 whiffs.

Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. The 1.00 WHIP helps but everything is so dang boring and unhelpful. Roark has been on a wonderful run and I don’t think this is enough for me to get off now. But still. Blegh.

Andrew Cashner – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Yep, that’s Cashner alright.

Drew Hutchison – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s been weird to see Hutch back in the mix again. Not weird, kinda sad. We had come to terms with his fantasy irrelevance before, but to see him return and still be just so ineffective…it gets to you, ya know?

Mike Fiers – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Well well well. It’s been a super long Vargas Rule for Fiers and it’s gotten to the point that we can’t listen to it. I know. We have to try just one more before letting him go. I really do get the feeling it’s going to be a tough September for this TEEs, though.

Aaron Sanchez – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Even with a handout like the Marlins, Sanchez just couldn’t perform. Poor guy, you know he wants to but he’s simply not in the right state. You’re saying he’s bad on the road? Ugh, no. Just not in the right state of everything. I just realized I can’t properly type out waving hand motions and it’s kinda killing this whole bit. Don’t start Sanchez. Donezo.

Mike Leake – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. When a guy is known to be a “Quality Start Machine” while striking out few and sitting around a 4.00 ERA, you know this floor exists. Like looking at the buttons on the elevator and saying “I know you’re hiding something.”

Today’s Streamer

Steven Matz vs. San Francisco Giants – He’s essentially a Toby and this should work.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Pablo Lopez vs. Toronto Blue Jays – There are some other desperate options including Jacob Nix hosting the Rockies and San Gaviglio on the other side against the Marlins. If you need Ks, Gaviglio is slightly the better play.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Matt harvey vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Not much to choose from here and I think Harvey can pull this off.

Game of the Day

Clayton Kershaw vs. Patrick Corbin Kershaw has been killing it like he does and Corbin is also kinda dope. Should be a fun one.

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.

2 responses to “The Wheeler of Time”

  1. Frankie says:

    It’s time to juggle our SP for the playoffs matchups.
    Drop A Sanchez v BOS next week or bench him in hopes of using his 2 starts following week @SF, vWAS?
    Options to replace him for next week might be Cahill 2 home NYY, TEX, R Lopez 2 home DET, LAA or Minor home vs LAA (following week 2 starts @LAA, @SD!)
    I’m leaning towards Adding Cahill and Minor for next week, dropping Anibal and Gomber.
    Approve or Deny H2H categories?

  2. Perfect Game says:

    I dropped Wheeler after his start yesterday and picked up Marquez at your suggestion. I’m in a shallow 10-team standard 5×5 season-long roto league. I’m managing my GS pace and being selective who I start and when now. The only game I like Wheeler ROS is at home against Miami. Marquez gets the Giants on the road and at home…should be good for K’s, QS and ratios those games. Wheeler – and now Marquez – was my Bauer replacement (was my favorite). Current staff includes Severino, Cole, Verlander, Nola, Kluber, Marquez and Pax. Not starting Pax against OAK his first game back, and his schedule is tough. Keeping him on DL so I don’t have to drop anyone for time being.

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