Back And On The Black

Would you look at this. Brian Johnson, who has endured plenty on his path to the majors including a line drive to the head, getting robbed at gunpoint, and overwhelming anxiety was...

Would you look at this. Brian Johnson, who has endured plenty on his path to the majors including a line drive to the head, getting robbed at gunpoint, and overwhelming anxiety was called up for a spot start for the Red Sox and absolutely dominated with a 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks and shook us all game long. Keep in mind, this is the same Brian Johnson who looked disappointing as anything in 2015, made a career of sounding just like another vocalist, and got a solid meh in his previous outing on April 18th. He’s being sent back down to the minors for now so this isn’t really all too fantasy relevant, but I want to make sure you guys aren’t stashing him for his next callup. His command is fine and he has a solid loopy Curveball but I see plenty of blegh outings in his future with some moments of brilliance. Possible streamer with upside of being a Toby. That’s it.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Buck Farmer – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Okay, this was a really weird day that contained so many beneficial line from starting pitchers. I mean just look at this, 11 Ks from Barmer? Don’t you mean Farmer? No…I mean Barmer. At least, that’s what we normally call him given his time in the majors has shown poor command and minimal upside through the years. I took a look at this and what I saw was a guy getting first-pitch strikes galore, then using his Changeup to get guys fishing out of the zone after – 22.3% whiff rate overall! Obviously if he can do this every time then I’m a believer. To his credit, in his nine starts in AAA this year, he lowered his BB/9 to just 1.65…I dunno. I mean, this is all moot for now since he got optioned back to AAA afterward, but I guess I’d consider him if he gets the call again – Jordan Zimmermann is all kinds of bad – just don’t go crazy here.

Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 15 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Hooooo baby! He recorded just six outs that weren’t a strikeout. Wow.

Chase Anderson – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 11 Ks. Chase had just one start above 6 Ks all year (7 strikeouts on 4/12) before this one. He also allowed 20 ER in his last five starts prior. Yeah, I’m not buying this one bit.

Brandon McCarthy – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Of course McCarthy is going to struggle mightily against the Giants and cruise through the Cubs bats. Of course. This start was the fifth straight he’s had of exactly one walk as he lowered his FIP to 2.92 and sits near a 8.00 K/9. As long as he’s healthy, he really needs to be owned.

Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. The legend of Estrada continues as his K/9 now rises to 10.22, and both his BB/9 and ERA dip to 2.23 and 3.15, receptively. Even better is that the first pitch of the game was a solo shot that accounted for his sole ER allowed. Funny how that works.

Dallas Keuchel – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Good to have you back, I understand if you benched him for DLH, though I wonder if that really applies for one skipped starts as opposed to a proper stint. I’ll think about this.

JC Ramirez – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. The magical ride that is JC continues to help out your fantasy team. Yeah, that Ks have gone down as he’s pitched more to contact and there are plenty of signs that this won’t keep up (35.4% hard contact, .390 FIP, 3.83 xFIP, dwindling 6.90 K/9), but I’m still going with him until he hits a major wall and that K upside is still there with his Slider if he feels up to it in a given game. Speaking of magical rides, that’s eight straight wins here. Put it on the board! Streamer Record 25.5-16-7.

Tyler Danish – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 6 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m upset that Danish is just a Cup of Schmo and isn’t someone to roster or I’d be making Kent Brockman puns all day. I refuse to roster a team until I have my Danish!

Ty Blach – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Even after this start, his ERA is higher than his striekout rate: 3.83 ERA vs 3.47 K/9. Yeah.

CC Sabathia – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Don’t look now, but that’s 3 ER allowed over his last four starts. He’s also faced the Royals, Rays, and A’s in that time…he’s a questionable start against the Blue Jays, but definitely not for the Red Sox after.

Adam Wainwright – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Speaking of three game stretches, Waino has now allowed just 1 ER in his last three games, enduring the likes of Coors and the Cubs. There does seem to be a fix here, as his Cutter has dramatically improved during the stretch, earning a 3.7 pVal in four starts while returning a -3.6 mark across his first six starts. This elevates Waino from an “Avoid” to someone I’d consider given the matchup. Are we at the point that I’d throw him out there against the Dodgers? Ehhhh I’d prefer not to, honestly. It’s a nice run and I know the offenses he pitched against, but it’s a small sample and the Dodgers are pretty dang good.

Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. A 2.37 ERA with a 4.34 FIP, 3.56 BB/9, .257 BABIP, and 36.8% hard contact rate? Riiiiiiight.

Vance Worley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Let’s all be happy for Vance. He doesn’t get to feel like this often.

Michael Fulmer – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Fulmer has yet to not throw a Quality Start all year. He also has a 6.9 IPS and is on pace for an easy 200+ innings. All over my face please.

Jharel Cotton – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Hey, he’s back! And still kinda meh. To be fair, the Yankees are a solid offense and he was one out away from Quality Start with a sub 1.00 WHIP and near a strikeout per inning. Don’t love him against the Indians, but I think I’m in for Toronto + Miami after.

Adalberto Mejia – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Mejia has yet to allow more than 3 ER in an outing…but his IPS is just over 4.0. Womp womp. I worry about his walk rate (5.06 BB/9) and 5.49 FIP does him no favors. And this is while facing the Royals, Rays, and ChiSox twice in four of his five games. Don’t do this to yourself.

Yu Darvish – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna…be lame? Here’s a fun stat for you: Jacob deGrom has over double the amount of 10+ K outings than Darvish has (5 vs 2)…with a better walk rate (3.38 vs 3.88 BB/9) and a much better FIP (3.12 vs 4.00). Just saying.

Zack Wheeler – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. At least the walks are downish? I’m still waiting for that one start to make me really believe Wheeler has figured it out. In the meantime, I’m just kinda waiting. Maybe it’ll never come and I’ll call him a PEAS? Ehhh not sold on that yet.

Bronson Arroyo – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. So close Arroyo, but you need one more inning if you want to add to your QS tally against Weaver. The GQSB 2.0 wages on…

Jake Odorizzi – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh, you’re better than this Odorizzi, especially against the Twins. Who’s crowned as the King of the Tobys right now (i.e. Tobey Maguire) ? I’m leaning to giving it to Odorizzi if he doesn’t already hold the crown.

Kyle Freeland – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. If you still own Freeland in a 12-teamer, I suggest you reconsider. Don’t even care about the PQS.

Clayton Richard – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! A guess a PQS and five strikeouts isn’t so bad, right?

Jason Vargas – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. About 2 baserunners per inning and just 2 ER. Gotta love that 93.8% LOB rate…and 3.18 K/9 to go with it. We all knew this wouldn’t last.

Jerad Eickhoff – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh, it’s too bad to see Eickhoff go in this direction after a solid 2016 that could have been a launching pad for a better 2017 season. Welp, drop away if you haven’t yet.

Zack Greinke – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Come on Greinke, that’s two of your last three with 4 ER or more. Then again, he’s gone 11 Ks and 12 Ks sandwiching that 4 ER start…Whatever, let’s just move past this and be thrilled about your 6.5 IPS with a 10.45 K/9 and 1.74 BB/9.

Danny Salazar – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. The bad news here are the five walks. The really bad news is that the Indians are going to move Salazar to the pen and keep Clevinger in the rotation when Corey Kluber returns this week. Ouch. It’s been tough being a Salazar owner and I understand dropping him now if you’re in a bind…but I would surprised if Salazar stays there for too long. Given how many injuries we’ve seen this year (Charlie Mortonyou too?!), you have to think there’s another opening at some point in the near future for Salazar. Hold if you can.

John Lackey – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. You know Lackey, we’re aware of this HR/FB problem you’re having (21.0%) but walking four batters is just making it all so much worse. I still believe better days are ahead where he’s a solid member of your staff but I totally get letting him go for now if there are options you can stream in his place.

Wade Miley – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. I remembering interning at a recording studio where the guy at the front desk had the greatest voice over. “This is WADE,” he’d conclude every time he picked up the phone. That Wade was cool. This Wade…not so much.

Gerrit Cole – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Cole, that’s two starts in a row of super lame outings (also just 8 Ks total in three starts!) and against the Braves and Mets! Don’t tell me you’re back to being the King of Really Good again. Please, no one wants that.

Rob Whalen – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. It’s your straight forward Cup of Schmo. Carry on.

Mike Foltynewicz – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I haven’t talked about PEAS pitchers this year, but I think it’s pretty clear that Folty is one of them. He’s just never going to put together the definitive stretch you want from a guy that can hit 95+ and have solid breaking pitches.

Today’s Streamer

Joe Ross vs. San Diego Padres How is he owned in under 25% of leagues?

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jordan Montgomery vs. Baltimore Orioles – The O’s don’t like lefties and Montgomery is looking solid.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Anderson vs. Seattle Mariners – Seattle doesn’t like LHP and Anderson is on a roll.

Game of the Day

Clayton Kershaw vs. Jon Lester – It’s lefty appreciation day.

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.

4 responses to “Back And On The Black”

  1. Dan says:

    Nick, you are a Toby.

  2. Aguy says:

    Would you trade Bundy + Eduardo for Fulmer?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Depends on my state of SP. If I had depth already yes, it’s a good 2-for-1. I imagine in a good handful of cases I’d like to keep the depth with Edu and Bundy, though.

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