Bear With Me

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

(Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

I think it’s time that we had a talk about Jordan Montgomery. He faced the Tigers last night and twirled a PQS via 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks, which is good, but not great. The 0 walks are nice and I’m happy to see his Curveball hint at a 20% whiff rate, but there’s still something missing here. His fastball isn’t hitting its spot like we’ve seen before, his slider is blegh, and changeup at times works, while others it doesn’t have the deception it normally gets. It’s a step forward in the right direction from his first two outings, but he’s still not taking the steps forward that I thought he would be, like it’s back to square one again. That does mean I could be loving him a ton come June, but for now, he’s going to be demoted to around #50, maybe a little farther. It’s okay if you drop him, if you can hold for the longterm I’d like to see where that goes. The Bear hasn’t fully awoken from his hibernation and here’s to hoping he brings you some sweet sweet honey before too long.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Tyson Ross – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Would you look at this. I wrote about Ross yesterday on RotoGraphs talking about how he’s getting closer to replicating his 2015 self and I have been hinting here that he could show up out of nowhere to be the hottest pickup since the F-150’s debut. Can’t say I thought he’d look this good this fast, though. His Slider held a 22% whiff rate yesterday – that’s identical to 2015’s rate – while he’s holding a 54.5% GB rate for the year. There is a problem, however. He gets the Dodgers + Coors in his next two starts and I might want to hold back until after those outings. This was the Giants, after all.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. This was a Birthday Party and none of us are hungover. Because we’re smart.

Jacob Faria – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. SANTA FARIA! I didn’t expect Faria to get back in the groove this soon, and I’m not 100% sure he actually is. I watched a bit of this one and I would normally say “He’s totally back” but he wasn’t. His closed-off step towards home made him a bit erratic in this one, without getting a consistent feel for his splitter or fastball. Slider was on point, though, and was the real step in the right direction that earned him the line. Still a bit wary and I’m a little undecided about starting him against the Rangers next time. I’m leaning start, but it’s still risky given the inconsistencies today.

Kyle Freeland – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. This is such a blegh Freeland outing it hurts. I wonder if you average all of Freeland’s starts if they would look like this, save for 1 or 2 more ER tacked on.

Tanner Roark – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Roark is so close to being a Grave Mistake that I just don’t want to take these chances.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. He’s really loving that cutter – 21 thrown here – he only got 2 whiffs and 3 called strikes with it. Still, his fastball command is as good as I’ve seen it and there’s no reason to stop rolling with Eduardo. I really want to see those secondary pitches take over, though. If you remember, his changeup is supposed to be his best pitch and he only threw 10 in 104 pitches in this one. Not ideal.

Vince Velasquez – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s another solid start from VV and I’m sure plenty of you are dying to here me get excited about him. Sorry, I can’t. I watched this one and while his changeup did have some success against lefties – part of the reason for this game’s line – it was far from in control and not a pitch that you should bank on being the go-to secondary pitch he needs. I’m still just not seeing it here and I think there are plenty of struggles ahead.

Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. What. The. Hell. This is getting stupid now. Also stupid is that Cole has 36 Ks in three games…against the Rangers twice and Padres. Should I be discounting these performances because of the weaker teams? Do you guys think I should be ranking Cole inside the Top 10 moving forward? I’m really conflicted here as obviously he’s pitching as better as anyone, but it’s a sample size of three against questionable opponents. I guess I have no choice but to slot him behind Verlander and ahead of Nola (Darvish is falling). Wild. Oh, and enjoy your Gallows Pole with 16 whiffs.

Cole Hamels – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. There wasn’t a specific pitch in this one that did the dirty work, but I can’t deny that Hamels is still getting double-digit whiffs per start and it’s kinda exciting. I’m all for taking a chance here.

Jason Hammel – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, it’s 2 ER, but let’s be honest. You should be dropping the Hammel.

Kenta Maeda – 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. 2.2 innings. Is there a more frustrating player than Maeda? I think it’s a scenario where you’ll let yourself lose to somehow who deals with Maeda through the year as you’re better off chasing something that can be more dependable if it hits.

Dillon Peters – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Peters is a Cup of Schmo. Let’s not Peter about here.

Andrew Triggs – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Does this count as a Win? It’s four Ks and a sub 4.00 ERA. Tell me if you think I deserve the Loss, but I’m taking the Win. Streaming Record: 9-4.

Luke Weaver – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. 9 called strikes and 2 whiffs on 20 curveballs is everything here. Weaver needed a proper third pitch to compliment his great fastball/changeup combo and he’s found it. Now, I would be more on board, but his changeup was lacking a bit in this one if you can believe – not a single whiff on 21 thrown. Still, I’m on board and so should you.

Ty Blach – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. What else did you expect? His name is Blach after all.

Andrew Heaney – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s the weekend of Angels starters coming back just in time, with Nick Tropenao killing it in KC and now Heaney showing off seven strikeouts in five frames. His curveball was good, fastball was fine, and changeup was a bit hittable but kept batters off balance. I don’t see anything here that makes me excited for him, but I’m okay taking a chance on him as a Toby if all the other Spice Girls are taken.

Mike Leake – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Nothing like a good ole VPQS from Leake. Don’t expect anything more and you’ll be a happy owner.

Steven Matz – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. Just 7 whiffs this time and only 3 with his curveball. He still deserves a spot on The List, but man it’s so disheartening to not be able to get on board here.

Mike Clevinger – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. What’s weird about this one is just six swings-and-misses across 36 secondary pitches. This is a guy who’s supposed to get his damage done with the nasty stuff and instead had to rely on 12 called strikes with his four-seamer to get through it without too much damage. A 1.25 WHIP and 5 Ks isn’t so bad, but obviously the rest is disappointing. Am I too optimistic on Clev? I might be, and I think I have to take him down a little for now considering this shaky outing.

Yu Darvish – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Darvish. Buddy. Let’s get this together. That’s 13 baserunners in under five frames and you’re making owners freak out. It’s not cool and while I know you’ll probably be dominant next time out, we don’t like this good cub/bad cub thing you’re doing. Yes, you’re falling on Friday, no not out of the Top 25.

Zack Greinke – 6.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. There was some concern that Greinke was hurt early in this game, but then he came back and struck out the side. A pair of solo shots and a frustrating seventh frame removed his Quality Start (Careful, Icarus), but that sub 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks are wonderful. Keep the faith.

Chad Kuhl – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Kuhl story, bro. I’m still just so sad to see 2 strikeouts from Kuhl. It’s just so wrong. I wonder if he gets traded at the deadline as he seems like the perfect “let us try to fix him” candidate.

Marcus Stroman – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. You want to drop Stroman, don’t you. He’s holding a 7.98 ERA, 1.91 WHIP, and a stupid 13.9% BB rate thus far. I don’t blame you at all and you’ll probably feel great about it when you do. I feel obligated to tell you his .378 BABIP and 56.4% LOB rate are unluckier than raaaaiiiiiin on your wedding day (unlucky, not ironic) and his 3.83 SIERA seems a lot closer to his talent level. Sure, that walk rate needs to die in a flame built in celebration of dramatic life changes, but I think over time this will return better than the waiver wire options out there. Shallow leagues though, go right ahead.

Zach Davies – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, that’s Davies alright. He can be a streaming option sometimes, but don’t treat him like anything more.

Mike Fiers – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. You weren’t suckered in by his first start, right? Please tell me you weren’t.

Tyler Mahle – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. That command is preventing free passes. That arsenal is allowing 5 ER on 9 hits and 2 Hrs. Sounds about right.

Chris Tillman – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Guess what. You Can’t Spell Win With Tillman.

Today’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs Houston Astros I hate the matchup, but I’m getting the feeling Minor will succeed here and suddenly not be a streaming option for the rest of the season as he’s massively snagged in leagues. If Miles Mikolas is available in your league, I prefer that over this one, but I’m assuming he’s taken.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Joey Lucchesi vs. San Francisco Giants – I don’t love him like many others do, but he’s the best option for the day as the Giants don’t scare me.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Hyun-Jin Ryu vs. San Diego Padres – As long as he doesn’t cough to hard to hit the DL, Ryu’s able to be productive against the Pads.

Game of the Day

Garrett Richards vs. Jake Junis – Two pitchers I’m hoping will take another step forward. Give me that pitchers’ duel!

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.

19 responses to “Bear With Me”

  1. Manny aka DGM says:

    I know I used to joke around with you about Gerrit Cole someday getting an “aces gonna ace” but I was really hoping it would happen while I owned him. I’m as flabbergasted by this stuff as you are and I was always a big fan.

    PS – Love what I saw out of weaver yesterday. That curveball can be the difference maker.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha! He didn’t deserve it then, but he’ll probably get it now.

      The Mariners aren’t so scary, but once he does well there, he’ll get it.

  2. Bob says:

    I’m holding Ross and Minor right now, and depending on what Minor does today. I want to possibly drop one of them for Zach Wheeler. Does that sound crazy to you? I know it was the Marlins but his stuff looked filthy in his first start? I know he doesnt have a guaranteed spot but if his next two start are anything like his first they will have a hard time sending him down. Very torn here.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I wouldn’t. Wheeler doesn’t have a firm spot in the rotation and I don’t trust his command just yet.

      Also, I wouldn’t say his stuff was “filthy”. It was good, but there’s room to grow.

  3. Andy says:

    Stroman, JorMo or Chase Anderson ROS?

  4. Kyounghan says:

    Hey Nick! Should I drop JorMont for Pivetta? If you think JorMont is an option for future, I think Pivetta should be better for near future especially he is a PROBABLE START two start pitcher. Is it right?? Maybe I can Pivetta as streamer for only a week.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m okay with that if you’re chasing upside in the short term. If you have a well rounded staff already, I trust JorMont to be a better asset through the year.

  5. larry womack says:

    Would you stream Ryu @SD or Pivetta @ Atl.

  6. Kdallas says:

    Great call on Ross! Targeting him in all my faabs this weekend (but benching for those upcoming starts).

    What do you think about Hendricks right now? Got an interesting offer in my 12 team (weekly lineups) and can’t figure out what to make of it.

    I give longo (reserve bat/utl in emergency), Greene (my 3rd of 3 closers) and Hendricks.

    I get Kinsler (my current mi/2B are Taylor villar and panik in reserve) and either eugenio Suarez or Salazar to stash. With the open spots I would take Yonny Chrinos and Ross (maybe Tropeano) and roll with 2 closers/week (box and trienen) until one rises from waivers. What I can’t tell is if that would be selling low on Hendricks…my other sps are mostly upsidey…Ray, Castillo, Taillon, Morton, Mikolas, Clevinger, Ryu, Wacha (not long for my team),

    Which side do you like?

  7. EB says:

    Good stuff Nick,
    As an owner of Maeda, Im really considering cutting the rope already. Just need to determine if I should cut him to stash Jack Flaherty or pick up E-Rod? Any advice would be welcomed. ..Its a 5×5 league with QS. My current staff is:
    SP Luke Weaver
    SP Mike Clevinger
    RP Brad Boxberger
    SP Carlos Carrasco
    SP Kenta Maeda
    RP Kenley Jansen
    RP Craig Kimbrel
    SP Carlos Martinez
    SP Jameson Taillon
    SP Sean Manaea
    SP Jakob Junis
    RP Matt Albers

  8. Andrew Triggskaidekaphobia says:

    Std 5×5 H2H. Staff is Severino, Price, Fulmer, Taillon, Manaea, JorMont, Triggs, Minor, Gohara

    Would you drop Triggs or Montgomery for Ross or Faria?

    If so, how hard would you go after either (for FAAB purposes)?

  9. Wile E Coyote says:

    Regarding Triggs being a Streaming win or loss – the correct answer is that you need a new category perhaps – ties. His start wouldn’t have been regretted as a stream, but it wouldn’t have been missed either. But if pressed to choose between only win or loss, I’ll agree with win.

  10. O’hooligan McGee says:

    Archer and minor are crushing my soul and ratios today :( tell me it’s going to be ok

  11. Confortoooooooo says:

    Is Straily worth a stash in a 14 team dynasty? First rehab start today, 3 DL spots

  12. Steve says:

    I blame Roberts for Maeda’s poor outing. Too much time in between his starts. They had him in the bullpen for a few games. Too much tinerking. Guy is a good starting pitcher, let him be one.

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