Eflin Through The Out Door

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

(Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

I haven’t really done a big dive on Zach Eflin for a while and after last night’s 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks game against the Nationals, I think it’s time to get serious here. Eflin had himself a wonderful run through the first half, but it has been atrocious since July 9th: 5.53 ERA, 18.5% K rate, 6.5% BB rate, and 1.49 WHIP in 8 starts. That’s killing your team. The problem here is in his heater, a pitch that is still showcasing improved velocity (up to 95mph the last two games!) but his command just hasn’t been there. Meanwhile, his secondary pitches just aren’t enough to sneak by without a strong heater. His primary secondary pitch is a slide piece that is returning a 12% whiff rate and 46% zone rate. That’s not enough if he doesn’t have a big whiff pitch in his back pocket to complement it. His whole approach hinges heavily on his heater creating outs and it just isn’t doing enough these days. I think you’re best looking elsewhere down the stretch – even streaming if you have to. Don’t put yourself in the way of this Zach attack anymore.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

David Hess6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess Truck’s here! Okay, that is just 3 ER over his last three starts, but I still just don’t see a guy that should have constant success. Sorry bud.

Chris Stratton8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Whoa, it’s the Stratton from Augusts past! He might not get much more time in the rotation and this shouldn’t stick so don’t do something silly and waste a pickup on him.

Patrick Corbin7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Corbin went 40/95 CSW. Hot DANG! Really nuts to see that with 91 fastballs + sliders but that’s what Corbin does. What are we thinking, 4 years, $90M to the Yanks in the offseason?

Odrisamer Despaigne4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. All he has going for him is the sexiest name in baseball…Despaignewhich means we listen from afar. Way way afar.

Carlos Rodon7.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Rodon got the Yanks and still produced. It’s kinda nuts how good he is at going up-and-in to RHB and he did it constantly with heaters to induce plenty of weak outs here. The walks are gross, but it was by design a bit as he kept cheating too far inside often. Just 26 CSW on 107 pitches is belgh, but he’s killing it with weak contact. I think he can make this work through the end of the month, though even with this feather in his cap, I’m still not starting him vs. Boston.

Stephen Strasburg6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, I’m cool with this. Fastballs are his biggest problem and it worked well here paired with 8/22 CSW on his changeup + curveball landing for strikes to get ahead. I’ll take it and trust Stras moving forward.

Jon Lester6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. He picked off Amed Rosario and it was great as he earned a PQS against the Mets. Sure, just three Ks, but I think that’s fine when we’re talking about #TheGreatRegressionOf2018 n all.

Gerrit Cole6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces almost aced. It’s a Dusty Donut with a 4 ER game but 1.00 WHIP and 8 Ks. You want to enjoy it, but you feel kinda dirty doing it.

Sam Gaviglio5.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Last time out against the Orioles, Gaviglio relied on his slider and had himself a day. Sliders did make their return, but it came with just 7/31 CSW and that’s all kinds of whack. So much for this. Streaming Record: 82-41.

Noah Syndergaard6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. 12 baserunners and 4 ER? Thor, buddy, this is getting out of hand. Sure, you earned a share of the Gallows Pole at 18 whiffs, but just nine called strikes as you were just too hittable once again. He didn’t have a single called strike on 40 secondary pitches (yes, 14 whiffs, but we need them falling in the zone too!). His changeup wasn’t located down enough, slider wasn’t enticing enough, landing off the outside corner as opposed to under the outside edge, and his curveball hung more than William singing Ricky Martin. He’s a thrower, not a pitcher, and I hope he figures it out.

Masahiro Tanaka7.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Tanaka was so good with his splitter save for a handful of pitches and they were punished by the ChiSox. Yep, the ChiSox. It’s frustrating as he was Singled Out a bit here as his stuff was actually pretty good – and against the ChiSox! – so I’d warn you not to alter the course after this one.

Brett Anderson2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. And here’s the floor that we were expecting. And unlike other arms, this only comes with 1 strikeout, giving you nothing to salvage from it.

Jon Gray6.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Well…Gray is supposed to give us strikeouts to salvage but he instead earned just six whiffs total as his slider and curveball were just not there. I’m not counting him out after this, but I’m just as disappointed as you are. I’m amazed that I have to go all HAISTFMFWT?! on him.

Today’s Streamer

Jakob Junis vs. Detroit Tigers – As long as he faces weak teams, I’m fine taking a chance on Junis’ slider.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – He’s improved his velocity and makes for a decent streaming option the rest of way.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

John Gant vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Not much of a choice here, hopefully he can go 5+ strong.

Game of the Day

Aaron Nola vs. Max Scherzer (again) – It’s another matchup of these two studs. Happy Nola Day to all!

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 “Eflin Through The Out Door”

  1. Pitcher GIFs Fan says:

    Please tell me the title of this article is a reference to Zeppelin. I mean this is already my favorite site, and just keeps getting better…. also wanted to shout out for the work you did on the list, it is much appreciated sir!

  2. Perfect Game says:

    Which two do I drop in a standard roto – QS, K, ERA, WHIP?


  3. David C. says:

    Nick, are you starting Junior Guerra tonight @ CIN? Gaviglio did me in last night!

  4. BigMomma says:

    During the 1st two weeks of fantasy playoffs Phillies have 4 of their 5 series against Marlins and Mets. I’m holding Eflin through those tasty match-ups.

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