Into The Woods

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

(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire)

I think a decent amount of you were surprised to see Alex Wood ranked at #48 on The List yesterday and after last night’s 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks, I think we should have a talk. His rank comes down to three things: 1) His 3.60 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 21% K rate don’t speak to a guy hinting at a Top 30 status and more of a glorified Toby. 2) He’s fresh off a DL stint and isn’t completely out of the woods yet. 3) He now hasn’t fanned more than six batters in nine games. 4) It’s a clump of guys and there really isn’t a major difference between #41 and #48. There really isn’t too much more to say about it. He’s a guy that does not define your week, but generally doesn’t make you lose it. He has certainly been better over the last two months – 2.78 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 20% K rate, 7% walk rate with an IPS just under 6.0 – but even that isn’t so good that I’m on board as a big impact play down the stretch. It all helps, he gets Top 50 status because of it and should obviously be started constantly in 12-teamers, but those asking for a Top 35 rank I just can’t get on board with.

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

Mike Fiers7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. And Fiers just keeps on cruising along. It’s wild and a Vargas Rule through-and-through. I can’t wait for the tweets pronouncing me “wrong” for expecting him to regress before the end of the year. Hey, I’d be super glad if I’m wrong here, I’ll always root for a pitcher to do better than I expect. Pitchers are whats up, ya’ll.

Bryse Wilson5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. If you missed this one, definitely check out Andy Patton’s GIF Breakdown of this outing on the site. I watched it as well and was pretty impressed. Methodical sequencing with his heater, rarely giving in as he stayed away from LHB and elevated effectively, paired with some great changeups down and away. His slider looks legit as well with aggressive movement away from RHB and I wonder if this is something that can stick. If he gets more chances in the rotation, I’m down to label him a Spice Girl – his changeup and slider + elevated four-seamers = 12/87 whiffs yesterday and I see a solid overall whiff rate moving forward without a lot of walks. I think we’ll have to wait until next year to get a full dosage, though, which means I’m okay with a speculative add but monitor it closely.

Hunter Wood1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. You thought Hunter was the focus today, didn’t you. I was so excited. Yeah, nothing induces excitement like a False Start, alright. Ryan Yarbrough followed with 5.1 shutout frames with six strikeouts and it was lovely and I’m as surprised as you are that he has twelve wins this season. But hey, that’s baseball.

Chris Archer4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Archer was having his best start in a pirate uniform and was pulled with leg discomfort caused from an at-bat. ADD THE DH! I’d guess that he doesn’t miss a start here, I’m just sad he couldn’t finish this one strong as we haven’t gotten that great start from him in Pittsburgh yet. And no, his changeup wasn’t back – just 6 thrown on 76 pitches. Womp womp.

Derek Holland5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’m a little annoyed he couldn’t go a bit deeper into this one and he got saved in the sixth after getting pulled with two runners on, but Holland gave us another solid outing and all is good in the world of baseball. Streaming Record: 76-40. I’d keep rolling with him as he faces the Rangers and Mets (again!) next.

Jorge Lopez5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Huh. I guess this Cup of Schmo managed to survive for a night. Enjoy the Birthday Party.

Zach Wheeler7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Hot dang, you just can’t stop Wheeler. Gallows Pole winner here with 21 whiffs to his name en route to 38/117 CSW as somehow he was allowed to pitch through the seventh frame. His last 12 starts have been crazy good – 2.43 ERA, 27% K rate, 7% walk rate, 1.00 WHIP with a 3.48 SIERA to boot – and his increased velocity with elevated four-seamers mixed with better secondary stuff have all worked well. I still question if his slider and splitter can be the pitches they need to be longterm – 6/42 whiffs here – but considering how he’s using his heat, it can work well. Now where does he go in next year’s drafts…

Chase Anderson6.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Chase has been falling in his last trio of starts after a smooth month and change and it’s nice to see him rebound here. Not trusting it to stick, but this is nice.

Gerrit Cole5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna kinda ace. That’s a horrid WHIP and a 3.60 ERA is fine. Not aceish, but fine. Like Alex! Thanks for the Ks though, they always help like $50 a month to pay my cell phone bill.

Austin Gomber5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. It’s the same as Cole minus three Ks and it’s enough for me to be hesitant as a streaming option moving forward, especially with a four-spot in the BB column. I still might dabble, but I want more Gomber. MORE.

Homer Bailey6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I think if you were rolling with Bailey, you’re super satisfied with a VPQS and five Ks. That’s the baseline we’re working with here.

Marco Estrada5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I want no part of Estrada down the stretch. Even if he rattles off plenty of solid outings, I’m not sure I can trust him at any point the rest of the year.

Lucas Giolito6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. A PQS with a 1.17 WHIP and six strikeouts? That’s…serviceable. And a lot more than I expected to say about Giolito. We may have a decent Young Gun here for 2019.

Corey Kluber6.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Dude, Kluber, I’m not liking this. I know it was the Sawx and you still had a ton of whiffs, but I want the feeling that I’m too low on you. Right now? I’m not feeling that. At all.

Stephen Gonsalves1.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. The story coming in was Gonsalves had control problems and his strikeouts in the minors were more about sequencing than overpowering stuff. What I saw was a guy that has good deception with his slinging delivery and spotted a decent amount of heaters, but not consistently enough. His slider and changeup were both terrible, while I see upside in a huge low 70s curveball. I can imagine with some polish that Gonsalves can turn into a Spice Girl, but for now he’s just a Young Gun. I wouldn’t chase this just yet.

Felix Hernandez6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s back in the rotation which means Prince Felix is ready to disappoint once again. It really is too bad.

Andrew Cashner6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Well, yeah, it’s Cashner. The man with a 16% K rate, 1.50 WHIP, and 4.84 ERA.

Rick Porcello7.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Porcello, I’m not liking this whole Cherry Bomb schtick you’re pulling these days. You really shouldn’t have a 4.14 ERA. It’s hurting me. No, don’t stop starting him – A 1.14 WHIP, 23.5% K rate and 15 Wins all help you. It’s just that 1.25 HR/9 and 71% LOB rate that’s burning us.

Bartolo Colon5.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. We don’t call him The Groan Ranger because he makes us emit sounds of joy, you know.

Today’s Streamer

Sam Gaviglio vs. Baltimore Orioles – I have very few options here so I’ll take another stab at Gaviglio throwing a ton of sliders as the Orioles are terrible.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jakob Junis vs. Tampa Bay Rays – There is nothing here. Seriously. Nothing. I don’t like this – I think he’s too volatile – but whatareyagonnado.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Matt Boyd vs. Chicago White Sox – I like his improved velocity + the ChiSox n all.

Game of the Day

Michael Kopech vs. Jose Berrios – This game has everything. Debuts. Curveballs. A taste of envy oozing from everyone watching Kopech’s fastball. I’ll be writing the GIF Breakdown of this game tonight barring a nightmarish outing. Get pumped.

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.

4 responses to “Into The Woods”

  1. Scout says:

    Notwithstanding Derek Hollland’s upcoming matchups, gotta pivot to Glasnow, right?

  2. Glenn says:

    Could you please elaborate on your dismissal of Fiers? I picked him yesterday to stream, and a 7-inning line of 1 H, 1 BB, 8 K and 0 ER, making it 18.1 innings with a 21:1 K:BB through three starts with the A’s, has me wanting to keep him.

  3. Vinny says:

    Is Tony disco turning a corner and becoming a backend arm in a 12 teamer or still just a streamer?

  4. AJ says:

    I’m on the verge of cutting Archer as we head into the playoffs of one of my leagues. Guy hasn’t gotten past the 4th inning since he was traded. What a waste of talent.

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