La Quintana: Wake Up On The Dark Side

I feel like the Dad who needs to sit down next to his son and explain how the world works. I’ve been dreading this day, but it’s time for us...

I feel like the Dad who needs to sit down next to his son and explain how the world works. I’ve been dreading this day, but it’s time for us to get real about Jose Quintana following a 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks evening against the Red Sox. It’s back-to-back disaster outings after allowing eight runs to the Diamondbacks last week and I can feel how frustrated many of you are. Is he droppable? Is he worth your roster spot? Well, let’s dive into this. Hard contact looks normal at 28.2% (good!) with a 19.7% soft contact rate – his highest of his career. However, groundballs are at a career low at 37.8% while flyballs are above 40% for the first time, which is terrible considering his HR/FB rate is at a shocking 13.0% mark. Quintana has been known in his career of being excellent at beating the league average in HR/FB rate – 9.1% career mark and that includes this year’s clip – and obviously something is causing this change. The biggest one I see is a change of abandoning his Two-Seamer in favor of nearly exclusive Four-Seamers, which are being located higher in the zone as well. Pair that with fewer chases out of the zone on his Curveball and he has to rely on the heater more often and he’s getting burned on the pitch often. I’ll be the first to tell you that this isn’t the most convincing argument and it’s reasonable to believe that his 65.4% LOB rate, HR/FB mark and 3.36 BB/9 will all fall closer to career norms, making Quintana a serviceable #3/#4 on your squad. There’s also a chance that he’s a pain the entire year, bouncing back and forth and making you afraid to start him any given day. I imagine his stock is super low at the moment, meaning you have no choice but to hold, though I think I’d sit on him and not drop him yet.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Robbie Ray – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. I’ve made my feelings clear about Ray: against the bottom half of offensives, I’d love to roll with him. Against the top half, I’m super hesitant. Wanna know what’s crazy? If the schedule sticks to its current path, he doesn’t face a Top 15 offense (Dodgers) until July 5th. I’m holding through all those dates with the Padres, Brewers, Phils (twice) and Cardinals. Wait, so you don’t believe in Ray through the end of 2017? Sure don’t, but I for one understand what a good schedule does and I won’t overlook it.

Eric Skoglund – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Nope. Nope nope nope, Cup of Schmo all over it.

Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. THERE WE GO VERLANDER. Okay, this was the Royals so I can’t really be back on board but his Curveball was looking dope like a dwarf and I think we all needed this. Now please do this against the Angels and Sawx next.

Trevor Bauer – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 14 Ks. I think Bauer finally figured out that he should throw his Curveball more…he threw the pitch just 16.6% of the time in his first five starts of the year, and has since doubled it, going up to 40%+ in this outing against the A’s. It’s an encouraging change, though not one with enough results to make me think he’s a new man. Now, I want to be on the Bauer train – it can be a super fun time as evidenced here – but I can’t trow away the fact that he allowed 61.5% hard contact in this game and has induced just 13.2% soft through the entire season. The fella is a Cherry Bomb in every sense of the definition and I dislike the headaches that come with owning guys like him.

Luis Severino – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I so want to do it. Do what? You know what. He’s had five starts of 1 ER or fewer and outside his first outing of the year, he’s just had one start of 4 ER or more. Now it’s a 10.13 K/9, 2.20 BB/9 with a 2.93 ERA, 3.05 FIP, 2.83 xFIP. IPS is at 6.1. Does he really need to prove himself even more?

Mike Fiers – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Oh lord, there’s a reason Fiers was demoted just last week. But then Charlie Morton got hurt n all and here comes Fiers roaring back. No, you shouldn’t trust this.

Dinelson Lamet – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Another start, another eight strikeout performance, this one against the Cubs instead of the Mets making it carry a little more weight. Is he an instant add in a 12 teamer? Sure, I have no problem taking a flier here. Do I trust that he will be able to beneficial through the year? Not really. He has a history of poor command and a lack of a third pitch. That makes his back-to-back five inning starts look a bit in line with what you should expect, and I see a 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 BBs, 5 Ks line in his future. That’s the floor I’m expecting to see a decent amount, but clearly there’s an upside to chase as well. Take the flier, see where this goes, just be cautious.

Ivan Nova – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Solid WHIP, low strikeouts and a debatable ERA. Yep, that’s a Nova start.

Tyler Pill – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Pill got the start as the Mets patiently wait for Steven Matz to make his debut. I’d say he gets another turn in the rotation, but nothing else, making this pretty much a Cup of Schmo.

Parker Bridwell – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Because he’s a former Oriole, he’s going to succeed in L.A. Because I’m completely joking he’s a Cup of Schmo.

Ariel Miranda – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s…so…boring…Four walks and 1 strikeout? At least he survived Coors? Blegh I just don’t want to waste time writing about Miranda.

J.A. Happ – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Welcome back the DL Happ, you were allowed to be meh given DLH, but you best take the training wheels off for next time as you get the A’s in O.Co. Let’s do this.

Gio Gonzalez – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. PQS from Gio with a strikeout per inning but a terrible WHIP. That’s a headache alright.

Zach Davies – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Ehhhh not enough for me to reconsider Davies yet. A 0.50 K/BB? Make me excited Davies, PLEASE.

Vince Velasquez – 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Because it’s 2017, Velasquez is the latest to get SPOIL’D and left this outing with an elbow injury. If you were still holding him, don’t anymore.

Justin Nicolino – 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Nicolino had the leave the game with a bruised index finger as another pitcher was SPOIL’D last night.

Matt Andriese – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It looks like the Baseball Gods left the refrigerator open as Andriese got SPOIL’D as well with a mild groin strain. Womp womp.

Jose Berrios – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I didn’t get a chance to respond to comments asking if we should be starting Berrios tonight – I would have said yes – and this is all kinds of disappointing. Honestly, it’s the four walks not the Astros lineup in my view, not to mention three of these runs were incredibly eye-rolling. Three singles and a walk led to a pair of runs in the fifth, while two walks + and infield single + a double play led to another in the fourth. Just stop walking people Berrios and we’re fine.

Asher Wojciechowski – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Wojciehwjowksiski is a Cup of Schmo, which is disappointing because I was really looking forward to typing Wojchwijerijso over and over again.

Kenta Maeda – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. You should have been rolling Maeda out there if you owned him, unfortunately you had to deal with Maeda’s warts tonight. I mean, we know he isn’t a lock for a good start every time out but the odds are generally in his favor. Can’t say I’d enjoy owning him, though.

Jeff Samardzija – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. What is this Loose Lips? Yes, Loose Lips. You don’t deserve your new nickname after a start like this. Come on, 100 pitches without even entering the fifth inning?! But fine…fine…this was the Nationals and he got a bit Singled Out and blah blah blah. At least you may be able to buy low again?

Michael Wacha – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Wacha tossed 77 pitches through three, giving the hook before entering the fourth. Ouch. I like what Wacha has done this year, but I was hesitant to throw him out there this week against the Dodgers last night and Cubs next. I’d buy him after that Chicago start, though.

Chris Sale – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. The White Sox are good against lefties, you know. Yeah yeah yeah, we get it. Best part about Sale is that even when the ERA/WHIP are poor, you still get nine strikeouts out of it.

Nick Martinez – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Martinez. Are you refusing to call him Nick? NOW WHY WOULD I DO THAT.

Eddie Butler – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah…Butler is a Cup of Schmo y’all. It’s just how it is.

Chris Tillman – 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Guess what? You can’t spell Win with Tillman. Well, when he’s playing good teams, that is. I’d roll with him when he isn’t facing the Sawx or Yankees.

Bartolo Colon – 2.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Even without Trout, it wasn’t a smart move to roll with The Giant Peach. Unless you’re competing in a town’s famous annual Giant Peach race, you should never be rolling with The Giant Peach.

Tyler Anderson – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Man, this start included a three pitch inning! Welp, Anderson was racking up the Ks across his last four starts and the Mariners aren’t good against left-handers, but baseball is still baseball and so it goes. I’d still start Anderson against the Padres next time out. Streamer Record 25.5-18-8.

Sonny Gray – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This start really just didn’t go Gray’s way with stolen bags, a wild pitch, back-to-back doubles, a bunt single, etc. Really disappointing after fanning 11 in his last game and moreso that a rebound will be a tall order against the Nationals over the weekend. And then it’s the Yankees two starts later. BUT AFTER THAT he’s good to go. Sounds like a solid buy low in two weeks.

Today’s Streamer

Dan Straily vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I hate this one, but Clevinger and Godley are both over 25% owned now and I can’t pick em. I’m taking a half point here – hopefully the last you’ll see so I can get rid of it in the record. Watch, you’ll lose and now you’ll have two of em. DON’T SAY THAT.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chase Anderson vs. New York Mets – I don’t want to trust Chase either, but 11 Ks against the Dbacks are no joke and the Mets are the…Mets. I’m going to be clear: This would be a half point, but I want to get rid of those completely. If Straily works out well, this is a full point. If Straily doesn’t, then I’ll need to continue the masquerade long enough to remove them = half point. That sounds super dumb Nick. WHATEVER I DO WHAT I WANT.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jerad Eickhoff vs. San Francisco Giants – Because German Marquez is owned in over 25% of leagues, I’m going with Eickhoff against a poor Giants squad.

Game of the Day

James Paxton vs. Colorado Rockies I know it’s Nola day, but PAXTON IS BACK. Oh thank the heavens.

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.

12 responses to “La Quintana: Wake Up On The Dark Side”

  1. Rob C says:

    I know this is probably a DLH situation for Paxton, but it is super tempting to throw him back out there out of pure joy of getting a starter back from the DL.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’m with you completely.

      I’ve learned my lesson in the past, but it is so tempting to be blasphemous to the DLH Gods.

  2. bobbo says:

    Watched a bit the Tyler Anderson outing since I streamed him, and he wasn’t getting any favors from behind the plate in the 2nd. He lost command on a few too many pitches for my liking, but there were a few on the black that didn’t go his way that could have prevented the blowup.

  3. tiwaniuk says:

    Nola blown up day :(

    • Nick Pollack says:

      There’s still time…there’s still time…

      The worst part about all this is how I watch Nola, I see a 10 pitch at-bat to Gordon that leads to a walk, then a strikeout and a weak groundball single, then an opposite field Home Run as Ozuna gets jammed.

      I feel so conflicted every time since I know Nola could have been “better” – don’t get behind on Ozuna, make better pitches to Gordon – but at the same time I see this and know the results just aren’t just to what this kid can do.

      • tiwaniuk says:

        Totally agree with you. I usually watch his starts but missed this one because of the early start time.

        btw, might want to avoid r/fantasybaseball today. Everyone clearly overreacting to his performance/your love for him lol.

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Ha, it’s expected. I love that anything goes thread and it’s where people can embellish their emotions. It’s all good.

  4. Nick,
    Any chance of a Lamet gif breakdown?

    I’m super intrigued by this guy.

    I watched a little of him last night. His stuff looks pretty nasty. But he left a few hangars that should have been crushed, but were not. So he got a little lucky. He also made the Cubs look very silly a few times.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Possibly, though I think there are others that deserve the treatment first.

      If I thought Lamet was getting too much hype I’d consider it, likewise if he weren’t getting enough.

      I don’t think there’s a whole lot to expose in a breakdown, honestly. That could change, of course.

  5. Cubblue1 says:

    If Taillon was available on the wire, would you consider picking him up and dropping Maeda? This is in a 10 Team 5×5.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think I’d do that in a 10 teamer. All about chasing upside there and Taillon has the higher upside.

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