Downing Jameson

There are a few days a year when I feel like this guy and yesterday was one of them, with the most frustrating start coming from one of my favorite arms,...

There are a few days a year when I feel like this guy and yesterday was one of them, with the most frustrating start coming from one of my favorite arms, Jameson Taillon who went 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s horrendous. It’s terrible. It’s something I want to act like never happened and move on with our lives. Here are some stats from this game: When batters swung at a pitch inside the zone, they hit it 100% of the time. Batters held a 66.7% HR/FB rate with 38.9% line drives. He allowed a hit for every out. You get the idea. For fantasy purposes, this is Taillon’s second straight absolute clunker – 17 ER in two games after allowing 12 ER in his previous seven games – and you’re thinking you should drop him. I wouldn’t. These starts just don’t seem right. Velocity is there, movement is there…even the heatmaps are actually pretty similar to what he was doing during the year prior. You guys know I’d be the first to say “aha! He can’t throw strikes,” or “this pitch is terrible,” etc. What I grasp is he’s making more mistake pitches than usual and they have been crushed when they weren’t prior. It could be a small mechanical tweak, it could be a hidden injury, it could be tipping. The point is, this isn’t the new normal and either he misses time or I expect him to still be valuable down the stretch. That’s not me “defending my guys”, that’s me not taking the easy way out and trusting my gut. If you own him, bench him – duh – and don’t drop unless you’re desperate for help now or there are clear players that will help you.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. A pair of 2-run HRs and a poor first inning is what you see here. This was supposed to be a fantastic Sale/Carrasco pitching duel that ended with a 12-10 score. TUESDAY WAS THE WORST.

Carlos Carrasco – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. See? Carrasco was pulled in the second as he had already tallied 56 pitches in just five outs and he just wasn’t on his A-game, clearly. Today is a new day. A new day for disappointment. 

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. This was the most okay of the bad outings as the WHIP and strikeouts were good enough for me to salvage something. So at least I’ve got that going for me.

Marcus Stroman – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. You know Stroman, this was the ChiSox, you can pitch better than this. K? Thanks. In fact, this was two straight blegh starts against two poor teams and now he gets the Astros next which I’d heavily consider benching against.

Max Scherzer – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Okay, maybe Scherzer can save today…Suit man whispers in my ear. Wait, he got pulled warming up in the second inning with Neck Spasms? COME ON. Let’s hope he can make his next start as he was “playing it safe.”

Jon Lester – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. It just doesn’t stop. At least we got 9 Ks here?

Carlos Martinez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. In a start reminiscent of the One-and-Dunn, CarMart gave us an atrocious 1.80 WHIP and a terrible ERA to boot. He’s holding a 5.82 ERA, 4.15 xFIP, 4.24 BB/9, and 7.94 K/9 across his last six starts…wait this might actually be something majorly bad. His Slider and Changeup have simply not been commanding like they were prior in the year and I’m actually a bit worried that it might stick. I would give CarMart a little bit of the veteran spice that makes me believe he can rebound, but it’s the impetus for his struggles. I’d probably slot him around #25 if doing The List today.

Dylan Bundy – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh sure, Sale, Carrasco, Taillon, Manaea, Stroman, CarMart, Lester, and Archer all falter but not BundyIt’s my time to shine! Yeah, no dude. I’m happy you had your longest career outing against the Royals, but let’s be real here. Let him sit on the wire.

Lucas Sims – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I can imagine some of you seeing Sims making his MLB debut and thinking Hmmmmm, maybe there’s something here? What I see is Sims essentially hitting his ceiling last night, with a 1.00 WHIP and surviving six innings. Yeah, 3 ER isn’t really his ceiling, and he’ll obviously have more than 3 Ks in an outing – If Weaver can, anyone can! – but despite his 10.30 K/9 in 115 Triple-A innings this year, his stuff speaks more finesse than strikeout friendly. He’s still a Spice Girl and not a bad flier out there, but I’m not seeing Sims as the guy to turn to as the fix for your staff with a ~91/92 Fastball and good but not great secondary pitches.

Jhoulys Chacin – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhouylst expect it. Okay, that needs to die now until next season or so because I can’t denying that Chacin has been useful for your fantasy leagues. Thats 12 straight starts of 3 ER or fewer. 12! 20 of his last 22 games as well with a pair of 7 ER clunkers in the way. The problem here is that with the 2.71 ERA is a 4.20 xFIP, 4.00 FIP, 4.46 SIERA, 3.33 BB/9, and 7.52 K/9. Strength of Schedule has been absurdly smooth, with the Mets, Giants, Giants, Phils, Braves, and Twins coming in six of his last seven.

Kenta Maeda – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey there Maeda. Before you guys get too excited, this is just the second start all year that Maeda has pitched more than five frames. I hope you are the #5 with Brandon McCarthy and Hyun-Jin Ryu getting the axe, but even if that happens, it’s hard to be sold that Maeda will be able to give you enough production each time out.

Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. And Homer Bale goes 1.50 ERA with a 1.00 WHIP. Four of his last six starts have been beneficial, with those two bad starts accounting for 13 ERs. There’s a chance that he’ll keep that 2/3 chance through the end of the year, which would make him serviceable…I’m not saying that’s going to happen, just don’t ignore him completely.

Jose Berrios – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Berrios held a no-hitter through five against the Padres, which is like every starter against the Padres. I’m glad to see that he was able to get some confidence here and here’s to hoping it carries over to his next start against the Rangers.

Ricky Nolasco – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Today was so terrible that Nolasco – 14 whiffs n all – earned the Gallows Pole. You have to think that anyone placing bets yesterday morning would be getting at least 100:1…even if you knew he’d be getting 14 whiffs. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Jeff Hoffman – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. On one hand, it’s nice to see Hoffman actually produce for a change. On the other, he had a whiff rate under 8% in this one, which means I’m still staying away.

Sean Manaea – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Manaea got pretty messed up in the first here, allowing two hits off the bat (isn’t it always off the bat?) but then a double play ball was booted and it collapsed, forcing Manaea to throw 70 pitches in just three innings

Jimmy Nelson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Good to have some stability on this ridiculous day.

Aaron Nola – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. And Easy A got the job done. We’ve seen much better from him – 1.50 WHIP and 3 Ks is not Nola’s style these days – but I’ll take it.

Erasmo Ramirez – 3.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Erasmo had six games out of the pen for the Rays before this start with the Mariners, leading to an early exit. Erasmo is just on the outside of being consistently relevant for a 12-teamer, though I can imagine him having value for deeper leagues. Maybe. He’s really boring.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. It’s so boring…I don’t trust Sanchez like I don’t trust my ability to get water in my coffee maker every morning without spilling. That’s kinda embarrassing Nick. It’s super hard and there’s such a small margin for error!

Steven Matz – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Matz was in Coors so I’m just going to act like this never happened. Just like when I…ahem. It never happened.

Jeff Samardzija – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Loose Lips had one of the more stable starts we’ve seen – normally he’s having a high K/BB and having a 0 ER or 5 ER start. I’m totally cool with this and I’d keep rolling him out there against the Diamondbacks next time out.

Ian Kennedy – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This was the seventh of 20 starts that Kennedy has allowed at least 4 ER. Not sure I like those odds.

Mike Fiers – 6.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. We’re off the Fiers train now, right? Good. Let’s make like NBC and SHOW ME THE PEACOCK! He’s already in the rotation now with McCullers out. Okay fine. SHOW ME THE PEACOCK WHEN MCCULLERS IS BACK! Better.

Chris O’Grady – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. O’Grade Me? Sure, D-.

CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Three of his last five starts have been of 4 ER while averaging 3 Ks per outing. Yeah, no thanks. Streamer Record 55-40-12.

Mike Pelfrey – 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Yep, that’s Pelfrey alright.

Patrick Corbin – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Well this is terrible. After going five straight starts of 6+ Ks, that’s two starts combining for just 8 strikeouts, though I think I still start him against the Giants next.

Nick Martinez – 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Stop giving us a bad name. We already have it bad enough that we’re associated with the creepiest man in the world, Saint Nick.

Today’s Streamer

Luke Weaver vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Nothing is really standing out here, so why not, let’s go Weaver.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jerad Eickhoff vs. Los Angeles Angels – He’s flexed some strikeout upside and gets a great matchup against the Angels.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Adam Conley vs. Atlanta Braves  Conley has shown improved Fastball command from returning from the minors and I’d roll with him against the Braves.

Game of the Day

Zack Godley vs. Jake Arrieta – Godley is love, Godley is life, and Arrieta can be so pretty to watch.

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.

7 responses to “Downing Jameson”

  1. The deisel says:

    I am guessing that you did not watch Taillon yesterday. Not that he was great but his defense was piss poor. Statistically speaking they were the worst kind of mistakes – the kind that don’t get recorded as errors but should have been easy outs. He was basically working with a little league defense behind him. It was nothing worth losing much faith over.

    On a less anecdotal note, ever since he returned from cancer he has been throwing harder and generally less effective. I think he is caught in between power and finesse right now. He might need an off-season to figure out what he is.

  2. Max says:

    Hey nick, awesome work as always. I feel like the consistency in velo, break, and heatmaps for taillon, combined with the fact that they hit 100% of his pitches in the zone, is a clear indicator of pitch tipping. His stuff is still as good, but the hitters know whats coming. Would love to know your thoughts. Hope he can figure it out.

    • Manley Ramirez says:

      I agree — if velo, movement, heat maps the same for Taillon, then hidden injury or mechanical flaws are not logical deductions from that data. You make a good case for pitch tipping. Could also be poor defense, random bad luck or some combination of these factors.

    • The Kraken says:

      There were not hitting balls hard… except for Billy Hamilton, so that pretty much dispels that theory for me. I absolutely hate the tipping pitches argument, it is such a convenient excuse for struggles. He simply is not executing all that well and his defense did not help. Nobody has good enough stuff to just miss bats – there is all kinds of luck and sequencing involved.

  3. Max says:

    Also, just fyi maeda has gone more than 5 innings FOUR times, not twice. I know you hate him but gta be accurate.

  4. WarriorsRWC says:

    Would you drop Taillon for Conley?

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