In Clevelopment Hell

Old roundup.

After four straight Quality Starts and six games where he tallied just five ER to his name, Mike Clevinger has hit a wall in his last two starts, allowing 5 ER in 4.1 frames last time out to the angels and going 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks against the Red Sox Monday evening. That’s 10 ER in just 7.1 frames with 6 walks and 7 Ks. Ouch. There really isn’t much to talk about here as it might get a bit worse before it gets better, with Clevinger slated to face the Yankees next, which means I’m okay with you letting him go. However, teammate Josh Tomlin is expected to miss a “start or two”, which gives more opportunity for Clevinger in the rotation. I can see a scenario where even when Tomlin returns Clev could have pitched well against the Rays (25th in wOBA over the last 30 days) and either earned a rotation spot outright or someone else is hurt. Okay, but what’s his schedule like if that does happen? If Clevinger is pitching every five games…Yankees, Rays, Royals, Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, Orioles, Tigers…not the best but not the worst. I think if you have decent streamer options or an intriguing upside play you make the switch and let Clev go.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Alex Cobb – 3.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Today had a trio of horrendous starts from a few pitchers that are on a good amount of teams. I’ve been preaching my Cobb distaste, but this was against the Astros and I don’t think many of you rolled with this even if you did own him, so I’ll hold back.

Michael Fulmer – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Soooo let’s talk. First thing is first, let’s assess the strikeouts, which I’m sure people think are terrible looking at a 6.41 K/9, but when you realize he’s holding an IPS of 6.7 that becomes about 5 Ks per game – the same as Kenta MaedaThink of it more like a 7.50 – 8.00 when he pitches so many innings. More importantly, though, you’re concerned after a 5 ER and 6 ER game in two of his last three starts. How can you not be concerned? Well, what I’m going to tell you is that Fulmer pitched pretty well save for a tough fourth that included an error by Ian Kinsler that should have been a double play…which led to a four run inning. Then he got pushed into the seventh – Careful, Icarus – where he got two more ER to his name (one from a forced retaliation HBP). What I’m getting at is this isn’t a pitcher who is laboring and struggling mightily. It’s like the Nola struggles vs. the Cueto struggles. This is much more Nola than Cueto. I think that makes sense, right?

Gio Gonzalez – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. And the magical season of Gio continues, lowering his ERA to 2.66 with an IPS of 6.5 as he took a no-hitter into the ninth. Y’all know I’ve been preaching regression for Gio like everyone else in the fantasy world…but I have to admit that he’s earned his success in July. Only 3.1% VH for the month with a great 25.8% PH rate, a 3.64 scFIP is still 1.5 points off from his 2.14 ERA but it’s still acceptable. Should we be looking at this and saying “okay, he’s been pitching better this month, now he’s going to beat the peripherals for another two months” ? I’m not sure I buy that. What’s most likely to me is that he goes about 3.60 ERA rest of the way with a 1.25 WHIP and 8.50 K/9. That’s fine. Nothing to write home about, but you don’t want to drop him.

Danny Duffy – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Solid stuff Duffy, velocity still low at 93mph, but it may be time for me to accept that he’s found the way to adapt without the same velocity. Whoa whoa whoa, this is major news Nick. I said “might”, that leaves room for doubt! To be fair, he’s been hovering around #30 since he returned from injury and velocity or not, he’s not moving, so that doesn’t change a whole lot anyway. At least he didn’t strike out only four batters for a fourth straight game.

Marco Estrada – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This was only the second start in eight games where Estrada didn’t walk at least four batters. Yeah, it’s been that terrible. Still way too soon to think he’s fixed – especially when he faced the ChiSox – but this is noted. Oh, and Estrada earned his first Gallows Pole of the season with 17 whiffs. Nice going fella.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ubaldo has 15 Ks and 3 ER in his last two starts. Sign him up!  Ahhhhhh just playing. If SSS (Small Sample Size) ever applied, this is it.

Matt Cain – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Who invited Frank to the party? Sidenote: I’m totally digging this new term.

Nick Pivetta – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Pivetta continues his narrative of being a good streamer and not a good roster player as he shouldn’t be trusted against halfway decent offenses. But look, we got the Braves and BAM! There’s a dub. Streamer Record 55-39-12.

Luis Severino – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace, but can you last more than five frames next time? You’ve been doing it so often that this is shocking. Which is a good thing, but obviously a bad thing.

Jose Urena – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. If you roster Jose, Urena boatload of trouble. Just so you guys don’t think I’m phoning this in, I’m aware of his 3.70 ERA over his last ten starts. With a 5.6 IPS, 6.91 K/9, 3.05 BB/9, and 5.01 xFIP. And that’s me cherry picking a good range of games!

Doug Fister – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. You know Doug, having a phrase named after you doesn’t really work if you don’t live up to it. Fister had previously gone three straight years with a sub 6.00 K/9 and suddenly has a 7.00+ now, which means a Grave Mistake isn’t what he’s resigning you to. Ah who am I kidding, you’re still averaging under 5 Ks per start.

Charlie Morton – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Solid, I’ll certainly take this. Just stay healthy and let’s celebrate your good schedule down the stretch.

Cole Hamels – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s a PQS, but everything else is fantastic. Hamels needed a start like this after his recent struggles, though I need to see one or two more before getting back on this train.

Felix Hernandez – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. That’s two straight 4 ER starts after three beautiful outings. I was hoping he’d recover against the Rangers, but that would have made too much sense. He gets the Royals + Angels next, so don’t do anything rash.

Paul Blackburn – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. He was supposed to be today’s super reluctant Call Boy but then he started a day early and saved me the trouble. He had a 2.25 ERA in his previous five starts – not supported by a 4.99 xFIP of course – and it didn’t go well. Not too shocking, really.

Mike Foltynewicz – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. I think this kinda validates my Folty hate this season as I went with Pivetta over Folty in this matchup. This was the Phillies and Folty regressed to his lackluster self despite having good outings against much tougher teams. You can’t trust him y’all – that’s the life of a PEAS.

James Shields – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Stop being such a Frank. Okay, we know that’s never going to happen, but I feel like you need to know where we stand, Shields.

Today’s Streamer

Paul Blackburn vs. San Francisco Giants – The Giants are bad and should feel bad. I’m not a Blackburn fan but he has the best matchup and holds a 2.25 ERA through five…even though it’s a 3.38 K/9 and 4.99 xFIP. So you’re saying you hate this. Sure do, but I gotta have someone and I guess I’ll roll the die here. It’s the life of picking a streamer every. Single. Day. Okay so Blackburn got moved up and now I’m left with…well, uh…there’s…Okay this is total coin flip territory, which are better odds than I see any of this. Let’s go CC Sabathia against the Tigers. Sure, why not.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

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

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

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

Game of the Day

Chris Sale vs. Carlos Carrasco – Yeah, this looks to be one super fun game. I’ll also be dancing to Carlos Martinez vs Jimmy Nelson for obvious reasons. Oh and then there is Lucas Sims making his MLB Debut, can’t miss that one either. Hey Janice! Cancel all my appointments today.

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 “In Clevelopment Hell”

  1. Andrew says:

    Hey Nick,

    With Amed Rosario getting called up, I flipped andrelton simmons and melancon for Jeff the Shark Samardzija to make room. What are your thoughts on his recent performances? Worried that he’s been inconsistent, but intrigued by K upside. Did I give too much?

    Rest of staff included mad bum, a wood, car mart, taillon, L Castillo, J Happ and Conley for context.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you did well. I haven’t lost faith in Samardzija – or as I call him Loose Lips – just yet.

  2. Asher Dratel says:

    I feel like Severino’s outing last night got shortened by 2 or 3 ABs where guys just kept. fouling.

    But still, last year Sevy would have gone 5 innings but also given up 6 ER.

    • Fletch47 says:

      Came here to say this. 30 Foul balls in 5 innings. That’s a lot.

    • The Kraken says:

      He was very fortunate to earn that win. He was melting down in the 5th inning. Everyone’s starts would be better if not for those few problematic at-bats. Gio was a Dee Gordon away from throwing a no-no.

  3. Benivan Stanciano says:

    Would you trust Fiers against the Devil, Rays?

    • Nick Pollack says:


      If I needed another start this week, yes. The Rays are 25th in wOBA in the last 25 days.

      Not a big fan of Fiers, though.

  4. miles says:

    why do you call jordon montgomery the bear?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      It’s derived from a Game of Thrones character named Jorah Mormont (i.e. also JorMont). He’s from Bear Island and his family is associated with a Bear.

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