In Love With The German-O

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

(Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)

With The Bear on the DL for up to two months, the Yankees looked to Domingo German to give them some decent innings and all he’s done is throw shutout ball, including yesterday’s no-hit line of 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks against the Indians. Yes that’s gorgeous and miles better than what I expected. I watched this one and the biggest shock to me was the feel for his changeup, which he confidently threw against RHB, and earned 11 CSW across 24 thrown. His curveball is the primary secondary pitch and performed well, but to see the comfort with the slow ball was a welcome surprise. He also kept to the Yankee style of low fastball usage (25 out of 84 pitches), mixing all three options (curveball, changeup, fastball) somewhat equally. I liked what I saw here, though I’m not sold that his command is actually this good. He’s getting the Spice Girl label and will show up relatively high on The List today, but he does get the A’s next – a Top 10 offense – and that may bring some trouble.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey, Estrada did his weak flyball/good BABIP shtick and it worked finally. Still not ready to sign up fully in 12 teamers as I’m waiting for the Ks to return – just 5 whiffs here – but good for you fella.

Chad Kuhl – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. This might sound weird, but I don’t think Kuhl did anything all too extraordinary here. I wanted to see a massive uptick in secondary pitches or a huge amount of whiffs with one pitch, but I’ve got none of that. This was one of those great days where BABIP was on his side and he executed his two-strike pitches. Unless I see one of those two variables, I don’t think you should believe this to be consistent in any way.

Eric Lauer – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nah, sorry Lauer. You just can’t be trusted like the clear cop-gone-bad in too many terrible movies. Lauer?! It couldn’t be.

Ross Stripling – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. The provocative child did his thing, and when I mean “thing,” I mean induce a shrug on his best day. If you roll with ross, you’ll get stoned.

Andrew Suarez – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. So that’s a 3.06 ERA with a 0.96 WHIP, 27.7% K rate, 3.1% BB rate, and 53.3% GB rate. It’s also 51.1% hard contact. Do I like the stuff he brings to the table? Not really. Fastball is alright, breaking stuff doesn’t speak elite and his changeup is blegh. I think this is a streaming option with the possibility to become a Toby, but not a Spice Girl.

Chris Archer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey his fastball was great! Hey I have no idea if it will be again next time!

Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s Arrieta, which means I’m going to be talking about his secondary pitches…and they weren’t so great yesterday. Actually, his slider – the offering I’ve kinda given up on from Arrieta – was more consistent than his changeup or curveball and that makes me raise an eyebrow. Will it stay that way? Ehhh I don’t think so. However, Arrieta is unreal at mitigating hard contact thus far – 17.6% hard contact! – so that .228 BABIP doesn’t seem so ridiculous at the moment. I don’t wonder if we’re going to see anything close to his 23% K rates of the last two years, though.

Alex Cobb – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. What has been the thing holding back Cobb since his return from TJS? His changeup – the golden split-change that fuelled strikeouts and grounders – was flat out terrible, often acting as a circle-change instead of excellent vertical drop. That pitch returned yesterday, earned a 22% whiff rate across 32 thrown. That’s…really significant. So significant that it makes me consider Cobb to re-enter The List today as he could be 12-team relevant. I won’t have real faith until I see him do it at least one more time, but it’s certainly something to monitor.

Matt Koch – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Koch? Oh, yeah Pepsi is totally fine. But he has a 2.13 ERA with a 0.99 WHIP! and a 51.5% F-strike rate with a .214 BABIP and 87.7% LOB rate. 41.1% hard contact, 13.7% soft. This is a TEEs y’all.

Chris Sale – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. And this is why you’re #3 #2.

Max Scherzer – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 15 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Obviously he’s #1 today, but where does Kershaw fall? I legit don’t have an answer for you yet. I always struggle with where to put injured arms. Probably around #15…? Oh, and enjoy your Gallows Pole with 24 whiffs – just one more than Sale.

Andrew Triggs – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Y’all know how volatile Triggs can be, but with a date against the O’s, Triggs took advantage with 15 whiffs and 32 CSW (96 pitches). Slider and curveball did their work while his two-seamer darted plenty and found gloves. This is the ideal, but with the Yankees next I’m hyper-aware of the risk on the table. By all means, chase it against the Jays next, but I’m sitting that one out.

Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’ll keep moving up today as Thor and deGrom fall a little, should Cole sit above Verlander though? Of course Cole has overall performed at a higher level, but is that what we should expect moving forward? Questions…questions…

Michael Wacha – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Good changeups here from Wacha, pretty meh everything else. The Pads are next though and he’s good enough to take advantage.

Mike Clevinger – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 10 Ks. Hot damn this is gorgeous, especially as it came in the Bronx. You know what my favorite part is? Going 12-for-38 on whiffs with his slider. I should note that the Indians bullpen is hurting mightily right now, forcing Clev to show up for the 8th frame when in any other circumstance he would have been in the showers by then, resulting in a Careful Icarus with two extra walks and both of his ER. Don’t hold it against him. He gets the Royals next and you bet your bottom dollar I’m pumped. Expect a raise this week as the #1 concern was his secondary pitches not acting like their usual self and this is clearly not that.

Kyle Freeland – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Freeland is sporting a 1.17 WHIP with a 7.68 H/9 as he’s inducing just 26.5% hard contact paired with a solid 22.2% soft contact rate. I think there’s some value here for Freeland to be a decent Toby…if he didn’t play in Coors so often. On the road against middling to poor opponents or bad teams in Colorado are the only times I’d roll with Freeland.

Jake Junis – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Was his slider dope? Yes. Like super yes. 13 whiffs alone with the pitch and a 21 CSW across 47 pitches. Gorgeous. Did he sport a solid third offering? Nope, not a single deuce and just six changeups, all against lefties. Was his two-seamer effective? Ehhh it was fine, he still favored four-seamers nearly 2:1 to two-seamers and we eventually want that flipped. These are the questions to ask after each Junis start and as long as one of them clicks, Junis could churn out a line like this. He gets the Indians next, which I’m hesitant to roll with, so play your situation right. If he is locked in, it kinda doesn’t matter who he’s up against and vice versa.

Jon Lester – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, this could have been a lot worse than 2 ER, but Lester you’re not making me want to keep you in the Top 40 with blegh performances like this. For realsies.

Shohei Ohtani – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Yep, I’ll definitely take this. Good to see him back on the field and starting – it’s good for baseball and that’s really what matters in the end – and let’s hope he can keep himself on the bump consistently. I have low expectations but a man can hope.

Dan Straily – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Ehhhh there’s still plenty left to take care of here from Straily. I can see him being a streamer at some point, but I’m not taking that leap until I see at least one solid outing here.

Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Dude, Thor, buddy. When I wrote that pre-season article striking fear into the hearts of Syndergaard fans, I didn’t expect you to give us four walks in a given game. That’s just dumb. You know what is also dumb? After yelling about his .334 BABIP in 2016 and .337 in 2017, guess what that mark is in 2018? .336. This is crazy.

Kyle Gibson – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. It was the end of Gibson’s solid two-start week and he did it justice with a QS, sub 1.00 WHIP, and eight Ks to his name. Was the slider prevalent again? You betcha, going 7-for-25 to help out with 15 overall whiffs. Now it’s LAA, MIL, DET and I’m not so in love with this, but if there aren’t many options, sure, have a ball. Streaming Record: 21-11.

James Shields – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. The fella was sporting a no-hitter through six. I was a bit relieved when he allowed a hit in the seventh as I was removed from the purgatory of watching a James Shields start.

Matt Boyd – 7.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Even though I am still Boyd Watching, I do recognize that a 1.00 WHIP and 5 Ks helped. Still really don’t like him for 2018, but I understand.

Mike Soroka – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Well this didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but now that he has a rotation spot for the foreseeable future – Anibal is going to the pen and McCarthy got wrecked over the weekend – I’m willing to brush this one off and keep holding. Seriously, his trio of fastballs are such a joy and I don’t think this outing was representative of his overall ability.

Chase Anderson – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. You know what’s weird? In what is probably the last start for Chase on many of your squads, the fella actually had his highest whiff rate of the season at 13.7%. I’m not saying that to ensure that you hold onto him tight – if there is a Spice Girl out there, sure make the swap – but more that I think there’s still hope for Chase to turn it around during the 2018 season.

Brandon Finnegan – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Remember the hoopla around Finn at the start of 2017? Now it’s all about the circling fin.

Felix Hernandez – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Now that Felix doesn’t have the same movement or velocity, his margin of error is plenty smaller than previous seasons. If it isn’t clear from the stat line, Felix made a lot of errors. Maybe he twirls good starts in the future, but I’m thinking he’s going to act more like that broken NPC from Zelda 2 more often than not.

Doug Fister – 6.1 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Ah yes. There’s the Fister we all know and hate.

Today’s Streamer

Fernando Romero vs. St. Louis Cardinals – Given only seven games and limited choices, it’s between Romero and Homer Bailey against the Mets. I’m totally undecided, so I’m going with the more exciting player.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs. Detroit Tigers – Minor is better than most people think and the Tigers are as bad as most people think.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chris Stratton vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I know he had that terrible start, but it looks more like the outlier instead of an often occurrence.

Game of the Day

Fernando Romero vs. St. Louis Cardinals – I get the feeling any start from Romero could be incredible. It could also be atrocious, but let’s focus on the incredible.

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.

26 responses to “In Love With The German-O”

  1. Bob says:

    I have Soroka and I really don’t like what I saw yesterday. He’s now given up 6 hits against the Mets and 7 hits in 4 innings (although two were infield singles) against the Giants. His stuff is far from Dominant. My other options on the waiver wire to replace him are Caleb Smith who you surprisingly said in your last writeup has “top 30 potential” and Trevor Cahill. Thoughts on swapping out Soroka for either of those two?

  2. Jack says:

    Can you rank these pitchers on who you think will be better long term – Jon Gray, Rich Hill, Marcus Stroman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Trevor Cahill, Caleb Smith

  3. Pablo says:

    Hold onto Weaver or start streaming with guys like Faria, Gibson, Anderson, Caleb, Aaron Sanchez, Minor?

  4. Dave says:

    Hi Nick. Thank you so much for these daily recaps, they are an absolute joy to read. My question is, who are the current Spice Girls? The current list on the glossary page looks slightly outdated.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Thanks Dave!

      I don’t have a concrete list at all times, but the current names include (I may be forgetting a few):

      Walker Buehler
      Caleb Smith
      Nick Kingham
      Mike Soroka
      Mike Minor
      Trevor Cahill
      Reynaldo Lopez
      Fernando Romero
      Domingo German
      Nick Pivetta
      Tyson Ross
      Joey Lucchesi
      Jake Junis

  5. Barry says:

    Yes, I’m still trying to upgrade at SS (Semien/Marwin). I’ve been asked about my interest in Simmons who has been outstanding so far batting in the 5 hole in a good Angels lineup.

    I’d be willing to deal my SP4 thru SP6 for him if you think it is a fair deal or stand pat. Manaea, Mikolas, or Gray. Thanks again for your feedback.


  6. Ionescorhino says:

    I traded Severino for Gary Sanchez. Please tell me it wasn’t a grave mistake. It opened a SP spot and picked up German on Saturday, which was good. 12-team Redraft

  7. Beauford says:

    Pick up Castillo for the 2-start or keep Gibson?

  8. M says:

    10 points for the craig ferguson reference

  9. Dan Doherty says:

    Hey Nick, I’m undergoing the Anderson dilemma today. I picked him up last year and fell in love but I’ve been really concerned about his performance this year. I’m in a 12-teamer with a rotation of Manaea, Godley, Thor, Nola, and Clevinger so I guess I don’t necessarily need Anderson. Should I drop him for a Spice Girl (Domingo, Minor, Caleb Smith, Cahill, Ross, and Lopez are the ones available in my league) or stash him until he wakes up?

  10. Block says:

    Syndergaard – What does the .336 BABIP say exactly about his remaining numbers? NL only keeper ($16 one more year on contract). Panic or Patience?

    • Kyle says:

      FWIW, Thor is still throwing instead of pitching. The one exception that I’ve seen this year was his start against the Cardinals a couple weeks ago. His change-up and curve usage was great, and he actually started “looking” the part of an “ace”. By that, I mean that he didn’t get a panicked look on his face with every poor call, deep count, or man on base.

      I’m amazed that with this guy’s tool kit, he still looks like a scared, lost little boy out on the mound most outings. I love Sale and Scherzer, but could you imagine the impact they would have if they had Syndergaard’s physical gifts? Both S & S have an intensity, confidence, and competitive nature that drive what pitch tools they do have to make them top-shelf hurlers. Thor – not so much. As a Syndergaard owner for the last three years, I had high hopes that Micky Callaway would work his pitching coach magic on Goldilocks, but it doesn’t appear that he’s having much of an impact at all.

      At this point, I think Syndergaard owners across the land might be willing to chip-in to get this kid to a sport’s psychologist.

  11. Scott says:

    Where are the k’s for arrieta? This is the 4th time he has gone at least 6 innings and had 2 or less k’s. Are you selling?

  12. theKraken says:

    How different is managing hard contact v maintaining a low BABIP? It seems like two sides of the same coin to me, with the implication that one is luck and one is skill.

  13. theKraken says:

    Clevinger just needed to get those walks going to bring back the Ks. Just kidding mostly – he was great yesterday. That was the best start of his career, no?

  14. JPR says:

    I need 2 for this week:

    Faria at Balt
    Lopez home Pitt
    Minor home Det
    Caleb Smith. Home Atl
    Weaver at San Diego

    Leaning Minor and Faria. Would love to run Smith out there but the Atlanta offense scares me a bit. Your thoughts? Thanks

  15. Jeff says:

    Hey Nick, love the stuff and would lvoe your opinion on a trade I have been offered.

    Should I deal my Sean Manaea and Kelvin Herrera for Yu Darvish (OR Dallas Keuchel) and Ryan Braun?

    Context: This is a 12 team H2H with QS instead of Wins and OBP instead of AVG. 3 keepers each, Darvish would be a 17th round keeper option and Manaea a 19th. Keuchel and Braun would not be keeper worthy. Always trying to improve my SPs, and Braun would either be my UTIL or trade bait. Trading Kelvin would leave me with Chapman, Strickland, and Rodney as closers (I usually try to carry 4).

    Would you make that deal? And given the ROS and keeper implications, would you prefer Keuchel or Darvish? If it matters, I usually stream a few SPs each week.

  16. Let's Play Two says:

    Do you see anything in particular that should be concerning about Thor? Why the lack of K’s, more pitches per start and walks than accustomed to seeing from him?

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