Double Folty

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

(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

It’s time that we had the Mike Foltynewicz chat after going 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 10 Ks last night against the mighty Cubs. He’s now sporting an impressive 2.87 ERA – 8-of-9 starts with 2 ER or fewer! – 27.9% K rate and a 7.47 H/9 that is making you all kinds of excited. But there are problems. Lots of problems. That elite K rate? It comes with an 8.9% whiff rate and I just can’t get behind Folty “stunning” so many batters with his stuff like Aaron Nola to make that sustainable. I didn’t mention his 1.34 WHIP either, fuelled by a horrid 11.8% walk rate, nor his 9.5% HR/FB rate that is sure to climb. This adds up to a near 4.00 SIERA with a 36.4% Hard contact rate and I’m thinking we have ourselves a premier sell high candidate. No, I’m not saying he’s not worth a spot on your roster on 12 teamers – of course he is, I’d even say roll him out there til it slows down in 10 teamers – but I sure do not believe in Folty’s stuff to continue racking up these strikeouts while his walk rate and hard contact mitigation is this poor. It’s too bad, I wanted this to come full circle after being high on him way back in 2015.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Wei-Yin Chen – 4.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Honey, I’ve got a weird vibe tonight. I’m looking to put on a record that gives me a cozy feeling. Songs that feel a little to close to me and slightly uncomfortable. Ohhh, you want some Chen Music. You know me so well.

Jordan Lyles – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. I feel like I’m at a 30-year reunion right now. Wait, Lyles? Jordan Lyles?! The same guy who holds a 5.30 career ERA over 713.0 innings and held a 7.75 mark last year and never exceeded a 17.0% K rate?! HOW THE HELL ARE YA! I did some quick digging as I always do and while he is boasting a harder fastball this year, it’s more because of his time as a reliever as he averaged 93.2mph here, aking to his previous days as a starter. He is throwing more changeups but it’s meh and yesterday’s damage was done via the deuce…which has gained about 4 inches of drop…nah I can’t buy this. I just can’t, too small of a sample for me to write off so many years of mediocrity. There is a chance that he keeps up that 16% whiff rate on his curveball and doesn’t get killed by his heater now, but a very low one at that.

Trevor Williams – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Okay, this is super weird. Williams isn’t supposed to have 0 walks, let alone six strikeouts. Seriously, it’s the only game without a walk and only the second above five Ks, third above four. Still holds a 5.15 SIERA as he retains the TEEs label.

Jaime Barria – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I know, I know, 2.13 ERA through five starts and you’re tempted. I still think he’s a TEEs as he sports a 4.30 SIERA, .250 BABIP, 83.3% LOB rate, and a super low 4.0% HR/FB. His stuff doesn’t scream “great induced contact” or consistent strikeout production either – sub 20% K rate – and I think you’re better off just letting him sit on the wire.

Jose Berrios – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. HE HAS RETURNED. And by “he” I mean Berrios’ curveball, which was horrific in the past three outings. After combining for just three whiffs in his previous 52 thrown, Berrios had nine across 33 whiffs with his deuce in this one. It’s wonderful and start him with confidence now.

Ty Blach – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Looks like we have ourselves a Blach Ty Affair. Unless you have a ton of friends, don’t expect to be invited to many this year.

Jhoulys Chacin – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. Seriously, it’s a 5.15 SIERA with a 16.1% K rate and 10.3% BB rate. Yeesh.

Yu Darvish – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Darvish was doing classic Darvish things until a leg cramp pulled him out with just 61 pitches. It’s too bad as he had already accumulated 10 whiffs and – get this – FINALLY started throwing more sliders as he bumped its usage to 42% in this one. That’s the change we asked for, that’s the change we got, and that’s the performance we wanted. I’m buying.

Jack Flaherty – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Flaherty returned to the bigs and didn’t overly impress, but got the job done against the Twins. I think he hasn’t proven himself fully just yet, so hopefully he can twirl another gem next time out against the Phils and retain a rotation spot when Reyes shows up.

Zack Greinke – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. 1.01 WHIP with a 26.6% K rate and 3.2% BB rate. That’s lovely. The 3.46 ERA isn’t ideal, but a 3.08 SIERA indicates better days ahead…wait, 43.7% hard contact? What. Greinke, please let me forget I ever saw that.

Daniel Mengden – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I’ve been saying that we can pick up Mengden after his starts against the Astros and Sawx and what does Mengden do? He kills it against both the Astros and Sawx. The Ks are still low – never exceeded 6 and holds a 6.44 K/9 this year – but I think he’s worth your time as a Toby.

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. He got a bit Singled Out here, but the command is still solid from Wood. Top 20 upside is still gone without that velocity (89.3mph today) but the command makes him super viable.

German Marquez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This game was in San Diego against a below average offense. Yep, that’s the recipe for a good Marquez outing.

Noah Syndergaard – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace, for the most part. One more ER and you don’t get the label. It’s weird that we can’t expect Thor to give us 6-7 frames of dominance err day with his stuff. Really weird. What isn’t weird is Syndergaard winning a Gallows Pole with 17 whiffs.

Anthony Banda – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Banda was called up to enter the Rays rotation – finally – and I can’t say I loved what I saw. Just a two-pitch approach of heaters and changeups (where did his curveball go?) and not enough upside to chase in 12-teamers…for now.

Gerrit Cole – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. HE IS MORTAL. And still with 7 Ks and not even that damaging of ratios, BUT MORTAL.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. He allowed 3 ER early and settled in after, tallying 11 whiffs by the end of it. Really poor CSW of 18 in 98 pitches, though. Ehhh I’m still buying low here. I think Erod can spin off a gorgeous run and make you feel like a genius.

Masahiro Tanaka – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. This game against the Nats was Cano’d suspended after the top of the sixth, with Tanaka getting pulled for a pinch hitter despite his decent 72 pitch count – I WANT THE DH. Nothing all too interesting here to make me reconsider him one way or another, though I would like to see more than 2 Ks, you know?

Gio Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Not the best idea to start Gio against the Yanks, who made his walk habits show up like a friend awkwardly inviting your ex to a party. This isn’t the evening I wanted to have. 111 pitches through just five frames is as blegh as it gets, but brush it off and keep rolling with Gio.

Tyler Mahle – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This is the second start in a row where Mahle wasn’t as precise with his heater as he normally is, allowing for harder hit balls and 4 ER to his name. Still upside in the tank, but with the Cubs and Coors next, I’d take a backseat for a moment. Streaming Record: 23-14.

Josh Tomlin – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Remember when Tomlin was the reason Clevinger wasn’t getting starts? That was something.

Ian Kennedy – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. You own Kennedy for strikeouts and he gave you a decent amount. The ratios are going to be bad, though. You know all of this. WHY AM I HERE.

Mike Leake – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. As Fast put it in the cast, this was the Minor Leake that I experienced living in my NYC apartment yesterday. The outing destroyed all teams that were caught in its wake.

Francisco Liriano – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, there’s the Liriano we all know and hate.

Jaime Garcia – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. There is no Cherry with this Garcia, only Bomb.

Reynaldo Lopez – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. At this point, I’m ready to lose to someone willing to endure Lopez through the season. I hope he turns it around and I truly do believe in his repertoire in the longterm, but it’s clear that ReyLo needs plenty more time to get there. Go ahead and chase another option.

Mike Minor – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It was Judgement Day for Minor as way back in mid-April I determined May 15th as the day that we can properly assess what kind of pitcher Minor will be moving forward. Y’all don’t need me to tell you that he’s not someone you want to own right now. Maybe he needs more time, maybe he will never get there, but don’t hold your breath. I’ll let you know if something comes up that makes me raise an eyebrow.

Today’s Streamer

Jake Faria vs. Kansas City Royals I imagine he’ll be on the wire for a decent amount leagues after his latest blegh outing, and I’d be okay doing this. Faria fluctuates and could turn it around here.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs. San Diego Padres – He’s collected 14 Ks in his last two starts and it could continue against the lowly Pads.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Nick Tropeano vs. Tampa Bay Rays – I think he can be a Toby this year and the Rays don’t scare me. Zach Eflin against the Cardinals is something else to consider, but he’s owned in over 20% of leagues, giving Trop (not in Trop) the nod.

Game of the Day

Trevor Cahill vs. Chris Sale – It’s Sale being dominant + Cahill coming back from the DL and hopefully looking decent.

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 “Double Folty”

  1. Barrett says:

    How do you feel about the continued success of Wade LeBlanc going into Sunday against Detroit?

  2. ionescorhino says:

    My hitting is off the charts. But to get there, I got rid of every viable top-tier starter. Put it this way, my “aces” are Manaea and Mikolas. Anyways, I dropped Reynaldo for Peralta. I have a cap on total season moves, so it adds even more challenge. I need to pick up judiciously. I thought I’d find a SP roster by just using the wire, but this is a tough league. Still could be done, I think. Do you see any of these arms beyond a stream– Tropeano, Kingham, Cobb, Guerra, Triggs, Bobby Wheeler, Eflin, Lynn, Giolito? I don’t, with the possible exception of Kingham if he sticks around.

  3. Brandon says:

    With Reynaldo’s performance last night, would you still prefer him over Chase Anderson and/or Samardzija?

  4. theKraken says:

    Folty seems like the classic BB-fueled K guy. The day he cleans that up is the day he is no longer a K asset. I know he has the tantalizing arm but he isn’t very good at pitching as he doesn’t throw a lot of strikes or mitigate hard contact well. I think he would be a stud in the bullpen – I get that they don’t have anyone to take his place – just speaking to the stuff and approach.

  5. theKraken says:

    I hate to say it but I think something is up with Thor this year – maybe its just mental. He has played a weak schedule – he should be mowing these teams over. I don’t look at team rankings, but none of those match-ups look scary. Any other ace would be killing it with that schedule. Basically, he is as bad as ever at managing contact (BABIP problems) and he is now having trouble putting guys away, which is where the pitch counts are coming from. When I watch him there are lots of deep counts and foul balls. In the past he could just go straight at guys and get lots of quick outs, but he doesn’t look like the same guy right now.

  6. Manny DGM says:

    Hey Nick – just a heads up but the front page isn’t loading with any new content. I ended up finding this after going to the SP roundup section.

  7. David says:

    Would you do this trade Nick? Offered Jacob deGrom and Ian Kinsler for Brian Dozier and Gio Gonzalez. I have Dee Gordon so willing to part with Dozier.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d make that deal, but if have Gordon, I’d replace Kinsler with something else if possible.

  8. Gene says:

    Drop C. Anderson or A. Heaney for either Kingham or Flaherty?

  9. Kyle says:

    I’m going to have to drop Reynaldo but I’m going to have to wait until Monday since I’m out of moves.

    Going forward from there, would you say: Heaney, Pivetta, Caleb Smith, Gausman, Roark, Kyle Gibson?

  10. Jessica DeLine says:

    Eventually you will come around on Barria (and Ohtani). Barria had a pretty average K rate in 6 minor league seasons but his impeccable control earned him a 3.37 career average there. His ERA has outperformed his FIP pretty consistently as well. He’s done nothing but perform at every level and should do the same in the majors but probably only with 1 start per week.

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