An All-Star Castillo

My love for Luis Castillo is pretty transparent, though after two rough starts I was treating last night’s game against the Cubs as a make-or-break outing for the rookie flamethrower, and...

My love for Luis Castillo is pretty transparent, though after two rough starts I was treating last night’s game against the Cubs as a make-or-break outing for the rookie flamethrower, and he did not disappoint with a line of 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Castillo needed this outing after two starts of not showcasing the command we grew to love. My only question now is how long he’ll be able to stay out there this season. He’s already thrown 146.2 innings with 128.2 in the tank from 2016. I’d imagine three more to have him sit in around 160+ where the Reds will draw the line. I hope I’m wrong about this as I’d love to see him pitch to 180 and open the door for an extended 2018 campaign, but this is most likely scenario.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Gio Gonzalez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. And Gio just keeps pumping out solid outings as his schedule is oh-so gorgeous. Yes, the FIP/xFIP say he should regress, but again when he does regress, it’s well within reason he doesn’t fall so far down. There’s no reason to do anything but hold if you’re a Gio owner and start him in all matchups ahead.

Kyle Hendricks – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. This is pretty much the ceiling for Hendricks as I think the seven inning starts are behind him and 6 Ks are as good as it’s really going to get. This is lovely n all as the Reds continue to struggle offensively, though it’s hard having a ton of faith that he’ll be productive each time out.

Madison Bumgarner – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces taking a step back and not acing. Stupid Stanton with yet another HR to ruin this Bumgarner start. There is a part of me that is considering slotting him down to #6 or #7, but I have to believe Bumgarner only gets better through the end of year.

Jacob deGrom – 7.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. deGrom, you had to step up as Greinke killed it against the Astros and you blew it. You’re better than this.

Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Gray just keeps dominating as he’s held a 1.88 ERA over his last nine starts. Even his 2.91 FIP and 3.31 xFIP give him the friendly nod as his low .216 BABIP is evened out by a 68.3% LOB rate. nearly six Ks per starts as he holds a 6.3 IPS in that time. Love it.

Andrew Albers – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Albers is a Cup of Schmo. Next please.

Mark Leiter Jr. – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. What, another Cup of Schmo? You’re the worst assistant ever. I’m doing my best sir.

Zach Davies – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. I guess this is a rebound for Davies after he blew up for 6 ER and 11 hits against the Twins. Remember, he had a stretch of four games where he surrendered just 3 ER total prior to that clunker…nah if you listened to the cast that week you’ll know we weren’t really a fan of him then and this start doesn’t do enough to make me a fan now.

Miguel Gonzalez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Miguel…No.

A.J. Griffin – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Griffin was labeled as a possible two-start option this week for those in need and came through for his first start, albeit acting like the TEEs that he is. Alright Griffin, just one more blegh outing and we’re good.

Ivan Nova – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Speaking of boring, Nova is back at it with just 4 Ks across six frames. He really does like to toe the line of being serviceable and harmful.

Danny Salazar – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Man, Salazar is simply on a tear. I really do hope he can keep pitching like this and if he closes out the year on a high note, there’s going to be a ton of discussion about his 2018 draft stock. My feeling is he’ll be over-drafted as it’s still too small a sample to say that his floor has been raised dramatically, but for the sake of this season you should be treating it like so. There’s a difference between ranking for 30+ starts after a long break and for 5-7 when on a roll.

Alex Wood – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Hmmmm, velocity was back down to 91.5mph in this outing against the ChiSox so while I want to fully believe that’s he back to being an ace, I do wonder what it’ll be like in September. Why not his next few starts? Because he gets the Pirates, Brewers, and Padres next and there’s no way I’m expecting Wood to falter there even with diminished velocity.

Dinelson Lamet – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. An easy streaming pick as Lamet faced the Phils but don’t get complacent. The tough schedule is about to hit and I don’t have confidence we’ll be happy with the man he becomes by the end of it. Streamer Record 62-45-14.

Tyler Skaggs – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I think I’m okay with this. That 1.80 WHIP and 3.80 ERA aren’t getting me pumped, but six Ks work. I’m not a giant Skaggs fan with his essentially two-pitch mix, but this is solid against the Harper-less Nats, who still have Rendon, Zim, and Murphy.

Bartolo Colon – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah yes, a super boring start from Paul Funyun as he returns to the man he is. I’m still just hoping isn’t so bad that he can’t give us one more season.

Kyle Freeland – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ugh, a PQS from Freeland as I have to acknowledge that this is serviceable, especially with a 1.00 WHIP and 5 ks. It was against the Braves, though, so don’t treat this like much.

Wade Miley – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s Miley alright.

Sean Newcomb – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. Newcomb when into Coors and gave you a VPQS with 8 Ks. That’s a whole lot better than expected, though four walks are definitely in line. He’s such a risky play and I’d hate to gamble with Newcomb unless he has a good matchup.

Rick Porcello – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This looks like one of his starts from last year, as he was often “good, not great” with more extremes on the great side than bad to help him keep an ERA near 3.00. That’s two straight good outings from Porcello and while I want to believe he can be a sturdy Toby for your squad, it’s hard to make that investment so quickly.

Chris Smith – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Don’t take this the wrong way, but I wish I could be as excited about you as much as 12-year olds are. What are you talking about? Well, he’s everyone’s favorite winter holiday, of course. (Shoutout to Matt for making this Christmas pun). Smith, you will forever be known as Snowflake.

Dan Straily – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Bleeeegggghh. Remember when you were an exciting add? Please return to that. Please.

Jason Hammel – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. This is Hammel’s first real misstep in a while, which is a bit surprising as it came against the A’s. However, he allowed three HRs in the first three innings and coasted otherwise, which makes me a little less cautious than if he labored through multiple frames to allowed nine baserunners and 4 ER. I don’t think any of us are big fans of Hammel in the first place and I’m not going to fall on a sword to defend Hammel, but I feel like that should be noted.

Brad Peacock – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Peacock was absolutely cruising through three innings before hitting a wall in the fourth, including walking in a run and needing to strikeout the side to avoid more damage. Keep in mind, this was in Arizona – not the easiest place to pitch – and Peacock fanned nine while walking just one. I’m sticking with Peacock here.

Blake Snell – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Good to see just one walk, but everything else is still screaming Stay Away.

Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. The difference here were a pair of HRs in the fourth that tallied three earned runs. Otherwise, Verlander killed it with zero walks to his name and eight strikeouts. I’m not totally ignoring the HRs because that’s not fair n all, but I’m still fully on board here. Also, Verlander was the winner of the Gallows Pole with 15 whiffs if you’re keeping track.

Marco Estrada – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. There were talks of Estrada being traded via the waivers (more likely just being blocked from the Astros), and I’m sure the Jays loved how much Estrada hurt his value here. Looooved it.

Anthony Banda – 4.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. There is upside in Banda, but man did he struggle against the Astros. It’s okay kid, plenty of people do and we knew better than to throw you out to the wolves.

Mike Leake – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Oh right, Leake, the man who was a TEEs for about six weeks before falling completely off the map.

Today’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. San Diego Padres – I know it didn’t go well against the Mets, but this is still your best bet.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Edwin Jackson vs. San Diego Padres – Yeah, this is crazy. It’s EJax! But it’s also the Padres and he’s been surprisingly serviceable for the Nats in his five starts + a cheap way to earn a Win.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chris Stratton vs. Philadelphia PhilliesI just finished up my second article over at FanGraphs talking about Stratton (it’s why I’m a bit behind today, sorry!) and I’m on board for the short term, especially against a weak team like the Phils.

Game of the Day

Yu Darvish vs. Carlos Rodon – Two major strikeout threats matchup while I want to see if Rodon can handle a difficult opponent. Jimmy Neslon vs. Gerrit Cole is another fun one as well if you’re all ready to watch some ball.

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.

6 responses to “An All-Star Castillo”

  1. chaz says:

    Not sure Stratton is still in the rotation, unfortunately. Matt Moore is listed for Friday

  2. Brent Erickson says:

    In a 10 start a week points league. Rough night! Benched Castillo and Peacock for their sunday starts and was left with deGrom and Verlander to start. I know it was the right move and encouraged by their starts.

  3. Max says:

    “As the Reds continue to struggle offensively”

    Reds over last 14 days:
    wOBA – 3.43 (4th in the league)
    wRC+ – 104 (8th in the league)

    lol what? Hendricks had a good outing against a good lineup, give him his due.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Oh snap! I totally deserve that.

      Last time I had checked they were 25th in the last month in wOBA and near the same for two weeks.

      Three double digit games of 11, 10 11 against the Padres bullpen + Jimmy Nelson fixed that, bringing their last month to 17th.

      Definitely doesn’t warrant “struggle offensively” like I said there.

      On a complete tangent it does make me wonder if we need a better metric to judge a team’s recent success. I think if I applied the VPR idea I had in 2015 it might work. Sounds like an off-season article I’ll have fun with.

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