I’ve Cotton Inkling

Entering the season, I was pretty high on Jharel Cotton with a solid FB/CH combination that should be amplified with O.Co as his home field, mixed with a good Curveball...

Entering the season, I was pretty high on Jharel Cotton with a solid FB/CH combination that should be amplified with O.Co as his home field, mixed with a good Curveball and a Cutter/Slider that had plenty of whiff potential. I think it’s time to do a full-on review after his 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks night against the Angels. A 5.68 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 3.79 BB/9 is atrocious to say the least, but man this is still so much to like! His heater is getting whiffs at a whopping 11.6% rate while pounding it for strikes 58.4% of the time, he can throw his Slider for strikes as well with solid movement, and boy has he been unlucky – 61.3% LOB rate and a .319 BABIP despite over 20% soft contact and being a flyball pitcher (flyball heavy pitchers should have lower BABIPs than the average pitcher). I think this is a situation where Cotton needs some time to keep his confidence afloat and not try to do too much. I’m willing to buy that he had some bad luck, then tried to do too much to compensate and got himself into more trouble. The skill set is here, his BB/9 was over 3.00 just once across his minor leagues seasons, K/9 could easily be 8.00+ with upside for more and a 3.50 ERA season is within his grasp. I’m not saying hold onto that now, just don’t be hesitant to grab him if he starts performing.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

A.J. Griffin – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I would have led with Griffin but I don’t think there is a whole lot to say. The Padres are one of the worst offenses around and I don’t like the idea of rostering Griffin outside of streaming spots. He’s in TEEs through and through – 4.27 xFIP, .200 BABIP, 83.3% LOB rate, 36.7% hard hit rate – and don’t get suckered in by his K/BB numbers (8+ and sub 2), that’s going to turn to ~7 and ~3 soon enough.

Carlos Carrasco – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Kinda weird to see Carrasco as one of the few Tier 2 guys actually acting like it while not having a shred of injury whispers. Some are calling for regression – 90.3% LOB rate and .211 BABIP thus far – which is totally understandable with his 1.86 ERA, but even a 3.01 FIP and 2.94 xFIP sounds great to me.

John Lackey – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. BOOM BABY. Okay so you didn’t start him in Coors because that was the smart thing to do. And I’m sure you’re upset about it – don’t be! This means you now have the confidence to start him next time out against the Reds and beyond.

Max Scherzer – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s hard to not love that amazing GIF from Redditor /u/Eflitz11. I can just hear Dusty go “Well, I don’t know…”

Dan Straily – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. So it’s going to be this kind of year again Straily, eh?

Julio Urias – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Whoaaaa 6.1 innings Urias? He needed to allow just 3 baserunners to make it that far. Essentially, he needs to be Kershaw to go that deep. Just sayin’.

Zack Wheeler – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Wheeler, I want to be excited for you but dude you gots to stop walking batters. PLEASE.

Hector Santiago – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure Santiago, I guess this is fine if you were forced to start Santaigo. Not sure why you would but I’ve heard weirder things. Like Dan Jennings being the Marlins manager? Seriously, how did that happen?

Ubaldo Jimenez – 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This is a good outing from Ubaldo. Yeah.

Mike Bolsinger – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Hi everyone, please meet Mr. Bolsinger, the mayor of Bleghtown where our food is New Hampshire by-the-slice Pizza and our movie theater plays Paycheck on repeat.

Antonio Senzatela – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I have no interest in chasing Senz-a. He doesn’t come across as a pitcher that can do enough to justify the clear risk.

Matt Andriese – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. I’ll take this Andriese and if you can give me another good outing over the weekend, you’ll be back on The List. Make me a believer.

Charlie Morton – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll be doing a GIF Breakdown of this start today (woot!) and I don’t see why he shouldn’t be owned everywhere. Well, I’m benching him against the Yankees, but outside of that I’m all for rostering Morton. Streamer Record 16.5-13-4. 

Ivan Nova – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Two walks! Nova clearly has a lost a step. In all seriousness, I think these are the kind of starts that we should be expecting from Nova.

Alex Meyer – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 7 Ks. The Ks are nice, but the walks will always be around like that friend of a friend that allows has to tag along.

Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Here’s a great stat I saw about this outing: Jimmy V struck out his 7th batter with two straight 99mph pitches. If you think he doesn’t have it in the tank still, I just don’t believe you. I think he has a few adjustments to make but if someone is selling I’m buying.

Kyle Freeland – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. There’s the Freeland I’ve been waiting to show up. At the same time, I can’t really put stock in this as it was Coors + Cubs. CoorsCubs. Course, Cubs? Why did Freeland do so badly? Ohhhh of course, Cubs. Cubs course! Alright I’m done with this.

Tim Adleman – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Don’t add Adleman, just be idle…man. Wow Nick, what a zinger.

Adam Wainwright – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. What are we chasing from Wainwright upside wise? Ask yourself before you crash yourself.

Mike Pelfrey – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. This is so Pelfrey and that’s pretty sad.

Jeff Samardzija – 7.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. You know what’s crazy here? That I started to wonder if I was warming up to Loose Lips given his value has finally dropped to reasonable levels. Here he allowed 4 ER before finishing the first and then went on excellent run, allowing 2 ER, 5 Hits and fanning 9 without a walk in his final 6.1 frames. Not sure if I totally buy it, but I have to admit I’m curious.

Robbie Ray – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks. If you read The List on Monday, you’d see me rant about Ray for a good paragraph, highlighting his 50% hard contact allowed. Last night’s was 54.6%. It’s crazy to me, he misses so many bats but he’s “effectively wild” when the wild is poorly placed inside the zone instead of over the guy’s head. I really don’t see how we can expect the walks to come down and ERA to sit under 3.70 this year. You’re expecting him to rediscover himself as a pitcher without any real path to doing so.

Wily Peralta – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Stop being so Wily!

CC Sabathia – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. For realsies, the hope of CC being a sneaky add is like a pop-up blasting music these days. It’s not sneaky, no one wants it, and hurts more than helps.

Chris Young – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Young tooks Kennedy’s spot in the rotation and did exactly what we expected.

Drew Pomeranz – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Come on Pomeranz, I was so happy calling you The Dirty Cheerleader and meaning it again! But no, you had to make mistake pitches against Thames and Broxton and got yourself in a 5 ER hole from the first inning. Blegh. I’m still buying here but this is super annoying.

Bartolo Colon – 5.2 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. The Giant Peach just isn’t as juicy as he once was.

Jerad Eickhoff – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Eickhoff met the Mariners and they gave him a ride. His last three starts have been all kinds of disappointing, tallying 5, 4, 5 ER each and collecting just 10 strikeouts. Not a bad buy low though as he gets the Rangers, Pirates, Reds, Marlins next after facing the Dodgers, Cubs, Mariners prior.

Jered Weaver – 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Weaver, I’m saying this is one group-of-three that are all the worst start of the day. Sorry bub.

Jake Arrieta – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. I was worried about Arrieta in Coors, but not 9 Runs (four unearned)! As crazy as this sounds, I’m still starting him against the Cardinals. I’m not giving up just yet.

Ariel Miranda – 3.1 IP, 8 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Some were curious about Miranda given his 3.55 ERA before this start, but this outing against the Phillies should be enough warning to stay away as much as possible. If you do not have a replacement Starting Pitcher, one will be provided for you.

Today’s Streamer

Joe Musgrove vs Atlanta Braves I’m not liking where Musgrove is at right now and I need to get rid of this silly half a point in the W column, so let’s go .5 here. But what if you don’t get a Win. THAT’S A RISK I’M WILLING TO TAKE. I’m rescinding this one and going Luis Perdomo against the Texas Rangers instead. Still a half point, but the more I look into Musgrove, I really don’t want to take a chance on him, while Perdomo has allowed 20% hard contact this year and the Rangers are hitting so poorly at the moment (save for facing Jered Weaverbut that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone).

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Miguel Gonzalez vs Minnesota Twins I hate this. I really do. It’s this or JC Ramirez against the Tigers and I just have a bad feeling about that one. Or Martin Perez against the Friars but it’s Martin freakin’ Perez. Half point here as well.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jesse Hahn vs. Texas Rangers – The Rangers are a poor offense and Hahn even with his command problems could return a very favorable outing.

Game of the Day

Yu Darvish vs. Luis Perdomo – It’s Darvish against the Padres while Perdomo could have a surprisingly good outing.

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.

13 responses to “I’ve Cotton Inkling”

  1. Alex H says:

    Best part of that Scherzer GIF is watching Wieters’ eyes going back and forth between Max and Dusty. “Come on Dusty, make the right choice here…”

    • Nick Pollack says:

      It’s such a good GIF.

      I remember having to say things like in college as well to make my coach put me out there for another inning. The point many don’t realize is that 90% of pitchers feel this way but don’t want to ruffle feathers and disrespect their managers.

      Scherzer is another animal of course.

  2. Rob C says:

    Regarding Arrieta, could his start potentially be considered a Singled Out start? He didn’t give up the long ball, if I recall correctly, and a lot of those hits were singles.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Good call, not to mention the error that made things last longer than they should have.

      The three walks is what made me shy away from giving him the label. Generally Singled Out is for a high WHIP that should have low if BABIP was in line. His three walks don’t help the cause.

      I’m kinda willing to throw this start out.

  3. Facenda says:

    I was about to pick up Musgrove and stream him. He certainly would seem more likely to get a W than Perdomo. Curious what spooked you into changing your pick.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Noticed he’s getting just a 7.7% whiff rate on his Slider as it’s getting less movement.

      It’s more that I want Musgrove to be the man we saw last year and he hasn’t shown it yet. I’d rather go for Perdomo.

  4. Judd M says:

    I would encourage anyone who is looking at the box score thinking “Samardzija gonna Samardzija” check out the first inning of last nights game. That was all on Eduardo Nunez who has no business being in left field. Shark did his job and was welcomed with poor defense. He is a definite buy low and his underlying stats suggest good things are to follow.

  5. SP says:

    Eddie Butler and Christian Bergman are joining rotations this week. Any deep league potential there? Looks like both are having good seasons in AAA. Currently desperate for pitching like everyone else.

  6. Charles Leroy says:

    No Charlie Morton Gif analysis? I feel like Pablo Sandoval. Sad Panda.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I know! GIF Breakdowns take a long while to whip up and it’s getting harder and harder to find the time.

      I’m hoping to squeeze it in later today to have it up for tomorrow morning. We’ll see.

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