Jameson Tailloff

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

I wonder, how do you feel about Jameson Taillon? I certainly did my fair share of endorsing him in the preseason, seeing an arm that could turn into the Aaron Nola mold of success with his new slider, and push his strikeout rate to 25% or so with stellar ratios. Well, so far so bad after tonight’s 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks line pushes his marks to a 4.06 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 19% strikeout rate. Yeeeesh. I need a shower after that K rate. So what’s wrong with him? A couple things. First, I expected his curveball to take a large role as a strikeout option, earning a 45% strikeout rate in his career prior and having a new pitch to feature inside the zone, allowing the curveball to get featured as a chase pitch. Entering this start, the pitch held a 6.7% strikeout rate, with a horrid 5.2% swinging-strike rate. Not ideal, very small sample of 58 pitches, but still not the path we’re hoping for. Tonight was a little better – 4/16 whiffs – though half came on Zack Greinke swings. I’ll say this. Be patient. Velocity is still there for the most part (a slight drop, under a tick), the slider is performing well, and we’re dealing with small samples. I think there’s still plenty of growth left in this arm and I can’t imagine that the market for Taillon right now makes it worth your while to sell. No, he won’t turn into a Toby. Maybe not prime Nola, but he’s going produce through the full year. Just stick with it.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Luis Castillo6.0 IP, 0 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. We are oh-so-close to that AGA label. He really does deserve it, I just would really hate to have to remove it from him after all we’ve been through…and this start wasn’t your typical Casty outing. Whiffs? Just 9 in 101 pitches, en route to an…18% CSW. What. That’s stupid low. His slider wasn’t great, his changeup earned whiffs, but not the crazy amount we’re used to and…breathe. 97+ mph fastball for the first time this year, batters simply put the ball in play more this time round. Everything is good, if not better with that velocity, and Casty will get that label soon enough.

Zack Greinke7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Another 0 ER performance from Greinke as he’s trying to beat Castillo to that AGA label. Castillo deserves it way more! Sure, but Greinke has two straight years of an AGA label that he’s trying to reclaim. Big difference. I’m not the only one that feels Greinke gets a little shafted, am I? Yes, his stuff isn’t as overwhelming as the man above him, but despite the velocity he lacks, the Zack Attack is packed with a knack to attack the black with tact, forcing the man in back to yak and yak as batters hack and hack without a SMACK. That’s a fact. 

Marco Gonzales7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Hot dang, that’s a lovely start from Gonzo. 38/98 CSW is fantastic, though I was a bit surprised at his cutter’s lack of effectiveness while watching this one. He made up for it with his changeup and keeping his sinker elevated + curveballs for called strikes + but to think this wasn’t even peak Gonzo…huh. Did you realize that he hasn’t allowed more than 3 ER in a single game all season? Maybe we’ll never get there – that’s a true Toby, the one and only Spider-Man.

Ross Stripling4.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Baseball is the ultimate sport of drama. You may think of the days in October where innate tension is built into the game, dozens of seconds giving breath to every pitch, the hypotheticals, the possibilities of success and failure. The ball is thrown and the tension returns. It’s wonderful and torturous, it’s our desired purgatory placed in the hands of a man standing on dirt. There’s also these days of the regular season, laced with the soap opera contained inside one word: Dodgeritis. Despite Stripling look plenty better here and in his recent outings, off the bullpen he goes with the season debut of Rich Hill coming round the corner. In deep leagues, I understand holding onto Stripling as he could be back in a few weeks when the next inevitable charade occurs in Los Angeles. In 12-teamers, though, I’d imagine there’s something you want off the wire. Go and make the swap as that roster spot can be oh-so-valuable.

Trevor Bauer8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Just three strikeouts and six walks aren’t what we wanted, but the WHIP is still fine, the ERA is lovely, and we’ll sleep easy.

Jon Lester5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I labeled this a Still ILL against the Dodgers and I’m pleasantly surprised that he gave you five strong innings. Nothing all too special here, pitchers were a bit too middle-middle for my liking overall, but I’d say this is fine. Start Lester as your Spider-Man contender until further notice.

Aaron Nola6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure. It inherently looks like I should be thrilled to see Nola allowing just 1 ER, but he wasn’t at his sharpest against the Marlins. Yeah, that Marlins. Better two-seamers glove side running back to the corner, but just 3 whiffs on 30 curveballs is not the man we know. Nola, Easy A, BUDDY. I want to live every day like it’s your day. GIVE ME THE DAY TO LIVE FOR. I do think this was a step forward, though, and keep the faith while buying low where you can.

Caleb Smith6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. YOU CAN’T STOP THIS MAN. Sure, he allowed another longball via an elevated slider, but 19 whiffs, 35/102 CSW, and still getting through six innings despite a 16-pitch at-bat in the first inning is fantastic inside Citizens Bank Park. That’s a 34% K rate and just a 6.5% walk rate in 29 frames now, for those counting at home. Why wouldn’t we be counting at home. 

Trevor Cahill4.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Bleeeeegh. If Cahill can’t handle the injured Yankees, he can’t handle your roster. Streaming Record: 15-12. It’s ony because I had to choose someone! There was no correct answer today.

Gerrit Cole7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Are you worried about Cole? Don’t be worried about Cole. Gallows Pole with 22 whiffs today + 99 mph on his final pitch of the night. Mmmm MMM.

Masahiro Tanaka5.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Well this isn’t good. At all. The 3.60 ERA for Tanaka looks about right, but the 1.28 WHIP and 21% K rate? Yeah that’s not right. It’s speaking the language of a Toby and, well, Tanaka isn’t that. Is he? No, he isn’t. The splitter’s whiffs are way down and the cause of all of this. The most inconsistent pitch in baseball n all. It’s a pitch that fluctuates, I can’t imagine it’ll stay as a 12% swinging-strike rate pitch for long, moving closer to the 20% mark and lifting his strikeouts with it.

Rick Porcello6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. The Tigers aren’t much to deal with, but Porcello isn’t much to handle either. The result is a PQS, which we can all nod our heads to as we forget this start ever happened.

Julio Teheran6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. A PQS with 7 Ks from Teheran? Ehhhhh, it was a disappointment last time against the Indians and I wanted a little better than this as a rebound. Y’all know my thoughts on Julio – not worth it in 12-teamers – but I’m always rooting for pitchers to do well. Do I think Teheran will over the year? No. Do I want him to become a fantasy asset? Definitely. Maybe in a few weeks.

Taylor Hearn0.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Poor guy, this isn’t to say that Hearn is mediocre and will always be a Cup of Schmo, but he had a 7/39 CSW in his MLB debut. Next time, kid. Nick, say the thing. Nah, I won’t do that to him. Not today.

Jordan Zimmermann3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Jay-Z, this isn’t the Blueprint for success.


Today’s Streamer

For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.


Jerad Eickhoff vs. Miami Marlins – That curveball is legit and the Miami offense is not.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Derek Holland vs. New York Yankees – They don’t even have Clint Frazier anymore. Frazier! And Holland is in Oracle Park and currently sitting at a 13% ownage rate. Wild.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Wade Miley vs. Cleveland Indians – I’d consider Pablo Lopez against the Phils, Kyle Gibson against the Orioles (is he an option in your league?), and even Dereck Rodriguez against the Yanks for those searching for more Sunday options. Why not, toss Zach Davies against the Mets in the pile too if you’re desperate for another.


Game of the Day


James Paxton vs. Madison Bumgarner – Two strong left-handers face off in what could be a phenomenal pitchers duel.


(Photo by Jimmy Simmons/Icon Sportswire)

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.

28 responses to “Jameson Tailloff”

  1. Luciano says:

    I read that Zack attack run at least 3 times, for pleasure. Nicely done. You don’t see a rebound in the next few starts for porcello? Is his name cache blinding my logic?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      It’s possible, Porcello is at heart a Toby. I’m okay starting with against the weak 1/3 of MLB teams.

  2. bp says:

    You may want to use the Greinke rhyme every time he pitches well. It’s great.

  3. Mark says:

    Nick would you drop Stripling in a 12 team redraft to stream Miley this weekend? Or hold him for the multi inning relief?

  4. Karl says:

    Nick would you trade Domingo German for Caleb Smith in a dynasty H2H Points league?

  5. Phil says:

    Nick, love your work.

    Just for the love of everything holy, never give Castillo his AGA label! We know exactly what’s going to happen when you do :)

    Things are cool just like this.

  6. TobiasFunkeAnalRapist says:

    I watched the Taillon and Castillo starts and noticed a few things. Taillon gave up a few hard hit balls but there’s no way it should have been as bad as it was. It seemed like every person who got on base came in to score. Also Polanco really killed him, I noticed 3 different balls which directly added runs to Jamie T’s line, including a triple polanco didn’t run down hard by Zack Greinke lol, and a double by Christian Walker which was catchable and he didn’t even try for. Also the same thing happened with a triple by Dyson, they were just hitting the ball to Polanco and reaping the rewards. The opposite goes for Castillo who actually got very lucky including putting 3 guys on and then when the game should have been called for a rain delay they had the braves try to hit with the bases loaded while it was pouring. Sure he had a good line but he wasn’t fooling anyone yesterday. Great work!

    • theKraken says:

      I did not watch the Taillon start, but I have seen a lot of them. He kind of has a knack for finding his way into trouble – the final line is often worse than he pitched overall. I don’t know what to tell you about it, but there is just that last piece missing.

  7. Sgt. Hulka says:

    HA! You closed your Greinke write-up with some good stuff — but you JUST MISSED sticking the landing!
    [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZB52NEPJxUs ]

  8. Kyle says:

    Nick, on days like yesterday where there are no good streaming options, have you ever thought about just not picking anyone? You could score it as a W if every eligible streamer fails to have a decent game. Just seems kind of unfair for you to get an L on a day where you basically called the streamers correctly.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ha! That’s an interesting idea – bet *against* the field!

      But I think it’s alright. I’ve certainly gotten my fair share of Wins when I didn’t want to do it, so I’m not too worried about the overall record.

  9. Crenshaw says:

    Good morning, Nick! Thoughts on Canning coming up? Worth a flier in 12 team point leagues?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I wouldn’t staff Canning unless I had a free spot for whatever reason.

      He would certainly be on The List if he was planned to debut on Tuesday (complete hypothetical) FWIW.

      I don’t often give opinions of prospect arms until they make their debut, his low FB rate suggests a propensity to stay down in the zone (meh), but his small sample this year is obviously something to take note.

  10. DJ Sour Milk says:

    Dynasty points league keep everyone: Price or Beiber

  11. Johnson says:

    It looks like Stripling is scheduled to face the Giants Wed. in both the score app and yahoo.

  12. Dirty Glasses says:

    Hello, Nick, always enjoy your (and the team’s) work. In a 9-team 5×5 league with a season innings limit and about 80-90 SPs currently rostered, is it time to drop Stripling for Holland who is still sitting out there?

  13. Leather Tuscadero says:

    Nick I have Mikolas & Darvish, whilst on the wire Caleb Smith, Boyd, TRichards and Rodon are available.
    Make any move or stand pat? thx……..

  14. Jack says:

    Nick! What are your thoughts on Gio Gonzalez? I figure he’d be somewhere on The List pretty much right away, no?

  15. I Am The Liquor says:

    What are your thoughts on selling Smith high? I have him in a keeper league where I am intentionally in last place in an effort to put together a great team next year. Do you think Caleb has keeper potential or should I move him after his last few good games?

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