How The Cookie Crumbles

You know who is going to be a hotly debated arm entering 2018? Carlos Carrasco, especially after his glorious 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks line from today...

You know who is going to be a hotly debated arm entering 2018? Carlos Carrasco, especially after his glorious 8.1 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks line from today will massively improve his numbers for the entire year. Going 8.1 frames allowed him to hit 200 innings on the nose, while he brought his ERA down from 3.43 to 3.29 and boosted his K/9 from 9.95 to 10.17. These changes might not sound that big, but it turns Carrasco’s narrative from a questionable Top 10 SP to a “definite” one to many. Not me though. Carrasco will be at #11 or #12 come Monday, which may come as a surprise. Here’s the problem with Carrasco: He’s a VPR/kVPR darling. And that’s a bad thing for a top tier arm. If you’re unfamiliar with VPR, it means Carrasco is incredible volatile – one day he has a start like this, the next he’s allowing 5 ER in five innings. On paper, it looks like a 3.00 ERA, but in your league, you just lost a week because your stud starter tanked. Then, there’s the matter that this is the first season above 185 innings and just second with more than 25 starts. He’s not this durable. (That can be said for a few others as well, but he’s one of the major ones.) I want to be a bigger fan of Carrasco – I have been a more vocal advocate in the past – but it’s looking like 2018’s ADP will not classify Carrasco as a good value play.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Kyle Hendricks – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Oh great. Just great. Really really looking forward to the paragraphs I’ll have to write to defend my “outside the Top 30” ranking of Hendricks next season. I can sum it down to one sentence. “Unless he is Greg Maddux, I can’t trust a guy with an 86mph Fastball to be consistently great for my team.” There will be more to add later, but that’s the core principle.

Sean Manaea – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice to see Manaea end the season on a good note. I’m still conflicted on the southpaw as on one hand he has the repertoire that could play as a Top 20 guy. On the other, he’s dipping in and out of “locked in mode”, a product of his side-winding delivery, which makes his walk problems + high pitch counts a constant headache through a full year. Do I want to own Manaea next year? Yes. Do I want to reach for him in the Top 200? Probably not. Maybe. Not sure how it’ll play out yet.

Bud Norris – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, it’s Nud starting again! It reminds me of that moment of bliss we had for a few weeks in June of 2016 and I miss that. He’s a free agent now hopefully he joins a team that will Send Nud to the rotation and possibly bottle up that magic. In all likelihood, that’s not happening, but a man can dream.

Daniel Norris – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Man, just three more frames and Norris had himself the MS crown. You know the deal with Norris -“how’s the velocity?” – and it was bad. 91.5mph. Womp womp.

Danny Duffy – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Speaking of which, it’s #DuffyVelocityWatch2017 for the last time and…yeah it was bad too…also sitting at 91.5mph. That’s actually really bad for Duffy and the results followed. Can’t say I’ll be targeting him next year.

Dillon Peters – 5.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Peters made it work out despite four walks. Good job bucko, I think your Curveball is kinda dope but the rest of what you’re bringing to the table has to step up its game. What super rad sentence, Nick. Thanks duder.

Ervin Santana – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Santana faced a tough offense and wasn’t terrible as he cruised through the Indians. He was on a pitch count (just 57 thrown!) as he’s starting the Wild Card game on Tuesday, but he could have gone 7+ in this one. Regardless, I see him as a Toby for 2018 – not someone to chase, but not someone that should hang on the wire.

Lance Lynn – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. And Lynn was able to recover, still walking plenty of batters, but making it all work. Somehow. I wonder what kind of deal he lands in the off-season as I suspect many teams will look at 2017 and scoff in the way I do. Save for that one team that will think they are getting a bargain. Spoiler Alert: They won’t.

Ivan Nova – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Nova took a pitch off his index finger when squaring to bunt. #DontHateTheDH

Jacob Faria – 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. This wasn’t expected to be a beneficial start as Faria hadn’t started a game for over a month. Obviously a low pitch count and who knows what kind of rust would be there in the Bronx. I think he’s going to be slept on a little bit come 2018, as I’d like drafting him in the final rounds and taking that flier. I think he has the repertoire and the right approach to be successful across an entire year.

Edwin Jackson – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Well now, Ejax, way to step it up in your final 2017 season, showing teams that maybe, just maybe, you’re worth a signing in the off-season. You won’t be in my Top 100 – sorry kiddo – but I’m rooting for you.

Brad Peacock – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. So this is…fine. 1.00 WHIP, 3.60 ERA, 2 strikeouts, 1 Win. I’ll take that. But please, Astros, don’t look at this start and say “Meh, he’s not made for our rotation.” YES HE IS. For the love of all that is holy, Peacock better be in your rotation come March. HE BETTER.

Miguel Gonzalez – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s a PQS from Gonzalez with a 1.00 WHIP and 5 Ks. Yep, that’s a Win. Streamer Record 84-60-17. Three games to go!

Sal Romano – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. There’s the K upside that made you consider Romano and I’m a little surprised it showed its face again. FYI, that 3.83 BB/9 isn’t going anywhere and everybody isn’t thinking wonderful things about Romano despite what your instincts are telling you.

Brent Suter – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Suter or later, you knew this would happen.

Dylan Covey – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Don’t Covey thy Dylan.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. What a wild season for Eduardo as he ends the year with 24 starts, 137.1 IP, 4.19 ERA, 9.83 K/9,  3.18 BB/9, and 1.28 WHIP. Are you cool with this? I’m not cool with this. It’s about 6 Ks per start, which is good, but the WHIP is blegh, the ERA hurts, and 6 Wins total isn’t helping anything. Yes, this final start brought everything down a bit, but what can we really expect from Eduardo next year? He’s worth the flier at the end, but man it’s hard to expect much.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Teheran alright. AND DON’T YOU FORGET IT.

Sonny Gray – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 2 Ks. I watched a decent amount of this one and Gray just didn’t have the feel for his heater and breaking pitches that we’ve seen over the last three months. Entering this game across his last 16 starts, Gray had a 2.43 ERA, 8.37 K/9, 2.79 BB/9 with just 25.9% hard contact allowed. Now, I don’t believe that is the Gray we’ll get all of 2018, but I’m inclined to believe thatit indicates better than his 3.55 ERA and 3.16 BB/9 he held for the full year.

Today’s Streamer

Luiz Gohara vs. Miami Marlins – Gohara did well against the Phils and I don’t love this one, but there aren’t any other options to turn to. That includes Tyler Skaggs against the Mariners, who I just don’t trust.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Kyle Gibson vs. Detroit Tigers – Just one more time Gibson. PLEASE.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jordan Montgomery vs. Toronto Blue Jays – I’m not even sure this is happening as the Yankees are silly like that and it’s the last day of the season. Backup options are Nick Pivetta against the Mets, Luis Perdomo against the Giants, Anibal Sanchez against the Twins, and Blake Snell against the Orioles.

Game of the Day

Gerrit Cole vs. Stephen Strasburg – Can Cole recover after three terrible games? Will Strasburg dominate in his limited time on the hill? Let’s find out.

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.

9 responses to “How The Cookie Crumbles”

  1. Dan says:

    Gibson getting Friday start

  2. Snerd says:

    Susan Slusser reported on Twitter that Manaea told her he started on some ADD meds midseason and lost 25 pounds, causing the velo drop. He wants to gain 10-15 lbs for next year. Might be something interesting to monitor in the offseason.

  3. Jimmy Jin-Joynt says:

    Hey Nick! Love this site. Found it just three weeks ago, via one of your Fangraphs pieces (also nice). Wish I would have known about it earlier. Will definitely be checking in over the offseason. And, don’t be so hard on The Shark, as he’s a beast in my NL-only league that uses K/BB ratio and IP!

    • The Kraken says:

      It is really great content all year long. I know when I first stumbled across this site, I thought I might just be catching a good little window, but they actually do a great job of cranking out content on a regular basis.

      • Nick says:

        Hey, thanks Kraken. I know we don’t always see eye to eye, and it’s great to hear you appreciate what we do here. Always good to have a proper discussion on the hotly debated arms.

        Hope to see you back again for 2018!

    • Nick says:

      Thanks man!

      And Loose Lips definitely gets more value in that league, no question! Unfortunately he’s not nearly as valuable in standard 5×5 leagues.

  4. jasonmoe says:

    Hey Nick, would you rather start Stratton tonight against the Padres (who seem to be putting up a lot more offense than expected these last couple weeks) or Berrios tomorrow against the Tigers?

    My worry with Berrios is that he mentioned he was tired recently, and it seems to be affecting his performance. But I’m down in the championship and need to cover a bit of ground with only 3 days left! Who do you think has the better start?

    Thanks for the advice!

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