Lastin’ Martin

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

I love it when prospects come up out of the blue and wow us. With the spotlight on Forrest Whitley through the pre-season, I lost sight of Corbin Martin’s strong start to his Triple-A campaign, earning the call over the struggling Whitley. And what did he do? 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks of ball as we all sat there, jaws on the floor. Velocity? Check, the man pumped 95/96 touching 98. Breaking ball? Check, it’s solid – not exceptional, but it’s good. Third pitch? Yep, a changeup that he trusted for strikes and earn a handful of swings-and-misses. Approach? Looks at his plot – IT’S THE BLAKE SNELL BLUEPRINT. So these are great things, leading to a 36% CSW in 80 pitches. This alone makes him worth the roster spot. I didn’t expect him to be this good, where now we’re debating if we’re starting him against the Red Sox. Honestly, I’d probably hold off on that one, but I think his talent will allow him to stick past that outing and makes owners satisfied against the ChiSox after. And hey, if he does well, great! Now you feel even better about owning him for the future. With McHugh in the pen and us wondering if Peacock’s new windup is really the answer, I can imagine Martin sticking around for a bit. Make the move. Also, props to @OrangeFire_ for inspiring today’s headline.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Jon Lester6.2 IP, 0 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. So Lester now has a 1.16 ERA in seven starts. On one it’s a 90% LOB rate and 8.5% HR/FB rate, on the other it’s just a 3.63 SIERA incorporating those numbers. I don’t think he’s on track for a Cy Young year as this ERA implies – duh you know this – but obviously keep running him out there. Sell high if you want, not sure what you’ll get but if someone thinks this is the Lester of old, by all Johns act like a caps lock and capitalize.

Hyun-Jin Ryu8.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. This is getting ridiculous. He’s performing even better than his stupid good 2018 season, with a slightly lower ERA, near identical swinging-strike rate, and sparkling 0.73 WHIP. Close to a no-no here as well and it’s a case of enjoying the ride as it lasts. Sell if you want as he will be limited to fewer than 25 starts this year – think of Ryu like Rich Hill in this way – but all is fine if you can’t get a good price for him. Not much more to say than that, he’s like a wonderful parade. It’ll go by and we’ll have our fun, but at some point, we’re all going with only our memories.

Jhoulys Chacin6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Chacin started the year with a 6.35 ERA in his first six starts and now has allowed just 3 ER across his last three games when we though he was down and out. It just goes to show, Cachin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it.

Lucas Giolito7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Last time out against the Indians, Giolito moved away from soldiers and curveballs to go super changeup heavy. Here, the slow ball returned – 29/105 thrown! – but he also featured plenty of sliders at a CSW of 8/22. I’ll take that! Especially with his heater sitting just under 94 mph. The Jays are easily one of the better teams to face, so I can’t take this at full face value, but who cares, you started him, we’re thrilled, and he gets them again. That’s. What’s. Up. Streaming Record: 24-18.

Zack Godley2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. We knew this would just be a bullpen game with Godley opening. This means nothing. NOTHING.

Cole Irvin7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. With all the talk of Corbin 2.0, many glossed over Irvin’s strong MLB debut…but you know what, keep glossing. I have to give this a Cup of Schmo label as I just don’t care for Steve’s stuff. Just six whiffs, a sub 88 mph heater, middling secondary pitches, it all adds up to a sub 20% strikeout rate, which is what Irvin did in the minors. Yep, don’t fall into this trap.

John Means 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Not many people know this, but in Greek, “John” means “bench”. 

Masahiro Tanaka7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Great stuff from Tanaka as he’s figuring out his splitter again – 21/27 for strikes! He only needed 73 pitches to go through 21 outs and to see a full outing with just 17 fastballs is wild and so Tanaka. Here’s to hoping he keeps it up.

Madison Bumgarner6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Loved what I saw from Bumgarner in this one – down-and-glove-side cutters all day are Bummy’s bread-and-butter, while his heater moved around as a good complement. I’m not so on the board with the 14 curveballs/changeups that returned just one whiff, but Bumgarner cruised down Madison ave against the Reds and we’re happy.

Marco Gonzales4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. He wouldn’t be Spider-Man if he weren’t a Toby and against a strong offense like the Sawx, Tobys aren’t supposed to perform. Shrug it off and toss him out there against the Twins (even if they are a good offense!).

Daniel Norris6.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. So that’s a 3.63 ERA for the year as he’s allowed 2 ER or fewer in three of his five starts…with this game being the first above 5.0 frames. Only 8 whiffs and 24/96 CSW, 90/91 velocity, and not enough for me to suggest that the ERA can stay under 4.00. If you qualified arms by being deserving of entering The Ritz or not, I’m sorry to say, but he’s Daniel NoRitz.

Blake Snell5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. This plot is perfect (I should replace my currently framed one!) as he earned 26 whiffs and an obvious Gallows Pole. He’s really good, y’all.

Stephen Strasburg6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. We’re back there now, right? 9 ER in five games with his sole “bad” start coming with 4 ER and 11 Ks, including games against the Cards, Brewers, and Dodgers. Yep, AGA.

Hector Velazquez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Sure, whatever Velazquez. I really don’t see a time when I think “you know what, I’ll go with Hella Vela today.” Unless it’s a new drink at the bar, because then definitely not. That sounds too sweet.

Max Fried5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Fried came out and said he didn’t have his best stuff here – 2.00 WHIP and a blegh ERA sure looks like it – but the studs still give you something to salvage and Fried did so via the K. Keep on keepin’ on here. This isn’t the start of the end.

Dakota Hudson6.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. He’s a sinkerballer, which means you won’t get Ks as you play the QS and ratios game. Well, he gave you a VVVPQS. If you don’t feel dirty, I’m going to make sure still take a shower.

Martin Perez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. You got the Ks and a decent WHIP, but that ERA hurts with two longballs + he got pulled early with a comebacker to the leg. He should be okay, but definitely monitor if he’s making his next start against the Mariners. Yes, I’d hold onto him if he gets it.

Jefry Rodriguez6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. A VPQS with three Ks is as good as you could hope from Jefry.

Antonio Senzatela6.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Hey, a PQS with 7 Ks and decent WHIP from Senz-A! It’s like you showed up to the dojo and they gave you a free set of robes on your tenth visit. Sorry, now you have to get a new card to punch.

Griffin Canning4.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Huh. Just two singles with every other PA turning into a K, walk, or homer. 32/101 CSW with 16 whiffs is great as his breakers earned 9/46 whiffs. The kid has the stuff, I think his walk issues settle down over time. Trust him.

Jake Junis4.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. He is two-faced n all and this is the side of the coin you don’t want to see. It’s like it has a gash or something.

Tyler Mahle6.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. A bit of a Careful Icarus here for Mahle as he allowed a two-run shot to Belt in the seventh before getting the hook. It’s too bad, this was a lovely 0.83 WHIP with 8 Ks and 2 ER through six frames prior. When is a Careful Icarus not sad? Wise words random person. Wise words.

Daniel Mengden5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. He’s still not taking the proper high four-seamers, low breakers approach and it leads to lines like this. Maybe he’ll have one of those crazy stretches he pulls off every so often, but I don’t want to touch this in the majority of leagues.

Nick Margevicius5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeeeep. I’m even surprised by the strikeout per inning that may pull some in. Don’t get lost in Marge’s hair or you’ll turn blue.

Adrian Sampson3.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Sampson makes us all do our best Stallone impression when he takes the hill. ADDDDDDRIAAAANN!

Aaron Sanchez6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Whoa, eleven strikeouts from A-aron?! 18 Whiffs?! The man showed up with his deuce and earned 9/30 swings-and-misses on the pitch. That’s stupid high for Sanchez. I’m not sure that’ll show up again as Sanchez is known for his Feral Command, but keep an eye on it. He’ll get the ChiSox again next time out and it may be a worthwhile gamble.

Steven Brault3.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks.  If you started Steven, you should be muttering it’s nobody’s Brault but mine.


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.


Jonathan Loaisiga vs. Baltimore Orioles – I’m lucky to have a variety of choices for a 7-game Monday, and I’ll go with Loaisiga surviving 5+ with solid stuff against the O’s. Could have gone with Reynaldo Lopez against the Indians and I’d go with Brad Peacock vs. the Tigers, but he’s most likely gone after his last start.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Trent Thornton vs. San Francisco Giants – He has strikeout stuff and among a sea of blegh options (assuming Wade Miley is taken), I’ll chase the Ks of Thornton vs the weak Giants.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Gio Gonzalez vs. Philadelphia Phillies – I’d bet “the field” if I could here as I hate the options today. But here’s Gio and I guess there’s a chance he pulls it off again. Yay.


Game of the Day


Jose Berrios vs. Tyler Skaggs – I don’t expect Skaggs to do well, but I want him to. Berrios should cruise in the way he does, though.


(Photo by Juan DeLeon/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.

14 responses to “Lastin’ Martin”

  1. Edwin says:

    Hey Nick! Would you accept Bieber and Segura for Ryu?

  2. Topher says:

    Just lost Glasnow from my staff. Eduardo Rodriguez, Weaver, Eickhoff, and now Martin are what I’m looking at replacing him with while he’s on the IL. Rest of my staff is pretty solid. deGrom, Bauer, Wheeler, Castillo, and Boyd. Love the upside of Martin, but I can’t pass up on one of the other 3, right?

  3. rb says:

    would you drop Whitley for Corbin Martin?

  4. Jake says:

    I’m in an Ottoneu FGPTS league and Martin is on the auction block. After your write-up, I am excited but need to figure out who I would drop. What order would you rank these guys in (thinking somewhat long-term):

    Reynaldo Lopez, Jimmy Nelson, Griffin Canning, Corbin Martin


  5. Shane DeStefano says:

    Not even teasing an AGA on Ryu man? That’s cold

  6. theKraken says:

    John means something even less awesome in English!
    Senzatela was better than the line showed – 2 of those runs were given up by the bullpen in the 7th – they were terrible. He did really well for a start in Coors. Do I like him? No, not at all but he is solid more often that you would think.

  7. Dusty says:

    This guy is lucky he’s in the AL West and not the AL Central. Being in the same division as Twins generational prospect Wander Javier would be devastating to his career HR/9.

  8. Chelsa says:

    Hi Nick. Good article, LOVE the humourous inserts! In my 10 team, roto, redraft league, someone has put Thor, Jose Ramirez and B. Hamilton up on a trade block. I am ONLY interested in Thor and Ramirez. Whom from my team would you offer to trade?

    C – J. McCann
    1B – Rizzo
    2B – Murphy
    SS – Machado
    3B – Andujar
    CI – H. Dozier
    MI – Schoop
    OF – Acuña, Dahl, Pederson & Trout
    U – McNeil & Voit
    IL – Eloy & Tatis
    SP – Beiber, Boyd, Eickhoff, C. Martin, ERod, Soroka & Weaver
    RP – Colomè, Neris, Pressly, Smith & Treinen
    IL – Heaney
    NA – F. Whitley

    Please advise.

  9. Jason says:

    Are you deploying the updated starting pitcher rankings today?

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