Not Good Nor Bad

Yesterday was a major day of disappointment, with the most frustrating outing coming from Daniel Norris who sported a line of  4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks against...

Yesterday was a major day of disappointment, with the most frustrating outing coming from Daniel Norris who sported a line of  4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks against the Rays. I was pretty high on him entering the year, hoping his added velocity from September last season was going to stick. In short, it hasn’t and the results haven’t be fun to watch: 15.8% soft contact, 38.6% hard contact, 5.18 SIERA, 4.88 xFIP, and 9 walks in 17 frames. That’s all kinds of bad. I thought that after the Cleveland outing, he would take a step forward with the Rays…and he kinda did? Yeah, this far from a good outing, but 17 whiffs across this start is very impressive, getting five whiffs off his Slider as he bumped its usage a bit. I want to jump ship here completely, I really do, though there’s a part of me that thinks he explodes for a good start this or next. If the waiver wire is barren, I think you hold here. If there are decent options out there, I’d cool with making a swap. Wasn’t he your Call Boy too? Yes he was…Streamer Record 7.5-5-2.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Aaron Nola – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. I watched this start because how could I not and I was a little disappointed with Nola. Yes, all of his hits early on were essentially infield hits, and Neil Walker’s 3-run HR was on a Curveball below the zone, but he wasn’t putting away batters and didn’t have that pristine command I’m used to. I’m not the slightest worried, it’s just annoying. Keep in mind, those balls bounce differently early on, he’s less stressed and possibly hitting those spots later. Shrug it off and have no fear in the future.

Noah Syndergaard – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Thor was looking so good and then errors and miscues made it seem like the world was coming to an end. But at the end of the day, it’s a 1.00 WHIP and 10Ks outing without a horrendous ERA. Atta boy Thor. Atta boy.

James Paxton – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Why you do this. Paxton, you kill it against the Astros and Rangers, but the A’s get your number? He had a -0.09 FIP for this start, though he had 0% Soft contact and 40%+ hard so that’s not all too telling. Whatever, keep rolling with him and don’t you dare sell unless it’s top dollar.

Chris Sale – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. If you happened to catch any of this game, Sale was as dominant as any pitcher you’ll ever see. His sole walk was a four-pitch effort that was a weird glitch and quickly forgotten. The Jays are a terrible offense at the moment, though, but it’s going to take a lot for me to remove Sale from his #3 spot. Maybe he deserves #2…

Wade Miley – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks. I know it’s three starts, but Miley has a 1.89 ERA and a 11.37 K/9 across 19 innings. Wade, don’t swim. Scratch that, don’t even dip your toe in the water trying to look all sexy and stuff. This is not legit.

Lance McCullers Jr. – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Yeah, this is pretty much what I expected from McCullers against the Angels. Solid stuff buddy, solid stuff.

Danny Duffy – 7.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Alright alright alright (my man my man my man). I have to start giving Duffy a little more credit now that he performed well against the Rangers, though if you watched some of this start, the Rangers were making good contact quite a bit (just 5.3% soft contact!) and it wasn’t the most comfortable of outings. But I’ll stop hating, kinda, as he holds a 1.32 ERA But he also holds a 4.13 SIERA and 4.25 xFIP okay okay I’ll stop! He’s clearly Top 30, don’t expect a Top 20 move from me just yet.

Marco Estrada – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. And this is why Estrada is still Top 60 as he did this against the Red Sox. Yeah, I’m not the biggest Estrada fan, but I think people are writing him off too soon. Great road ahead shcedule wise and you have to roll with him for a good while.

Scott Feldman – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Feldman Schmeldman. I think I can see the wave of questions surrounding Feldman and I do not believe him to be a consistent option through year. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you our first TEEs of the year.

Matt Shoemaker – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Is this the start of one of those patented Shoemaker runs? Like a Footlocker 75% off sale that you just can’t miss? He started throwing Sliders in his last two starts, collecting 14 Ks along the way…Sign me up!

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Nope, I’m staying Cashed Out. Move along, sir.

Stephen Strasburg – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. His Changeup was looking so mighty fine, which to me is the main indication of a good night from Stras. I’m also a fan of him permanently pitching from the stretch as it makes him more comfortably when men are on base. Keep on keeping on.

Erasmo Ramirez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Erasmo was here because Jake Oddorizzi is still hurting. He’s been known to be a guy who can hit his spots and cruise through lineups from time-to-time, but I really hate trusting him for any extended period of time. Not an add in my book for a 12-teamer.

Trevor Bauer – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. Sure Bauer, I’ll take this from you against the Twins. It’s why you’re in the Top 100 after all. Next time he’ll go 6 Ks, 3 BBs, 4 ER and you’ll hate everything.

Ervin Santana – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. I was worried about this start for Santana given that he faced the Indians. It’s safe to say he performed better than my expectations. My gut tells me that this isn’t going to last, but it’s super hard to say “don’t start him” anymore until this ride is over. I think it’ll take a pair of bad starts to convince me otherwise at this point.

R.A. Dickey – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. As Dickey would say, “Every cat has its day”. Don’t trust a knuckleballer.

Clayton Richard – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. This is way better than anyone should have expected from Richard. And it still came with a poor WHIP. At least he might be the favorite for the MFRSDPSPA?

Patrick Corbin – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Is Corbin returning? Pfffft no. Don’t do this to yourself.

Cesar Valdez – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. With Kendall Graveman out for one more start, the A’s brought up Valdez, who has had a surprisingly good minor league track record. Problem is that his stuff just doesn’t play great in the majors unless it comes with pristine command. I don’t expect this to last and the upside isn’t big enough to risk. He’s a Cup of Schmo.

Zach Davies – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. If you haven’t given up on Davies yet, you’re doing it wrong.

Carlos Martinez – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. CarMart is the latest victim of Eric Thames being a beast, but this isn’t all about that. Martinez isn’t featuring the command I expected him to have and I’m probably going to dock him a little come Monday. That K upside is alive and well, though, and it’s totally possible he makes an adjustment or two and cruises through the summer. Don’t lose the faith completely, but if someone wants to give a solid price for him, I think I’d sell.

Today’s Streamer

Adam Conley vs. San Diego Padres – I’d consider Bartolo Colon as well if I really needed another start as he faces the Phils, but Conley against the Padres seems like the safer bet to make.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Charlie Morton vs. Tampa Bay Rays Sure, he’ll get hurt at some point but as long as he’s pitching against below average offensives, I’m in.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jordan Montgomery vs Pittsburgh Pirates A Pirates lineup sans Marte and a lefty that has decent deception and decent whiffability? Yeah, let’s do this.

Game of the Day

Dylan Bundy vs Drew Pomeranz – I want to see Bundy go into the sixth/seventh without a major dip in velocity. I want The Dirty Cheerleader to still look comfortable in the Red Sox rotation. I also want Garrett Richards to suddenly be happy, but I’ll settle for two-out-of-three for today.

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.

17 responses to “Not Good Nor Bad”

  1. Henry says:

    I’m not giving up on Davies just yet. I think he can figure it out.

  2. DJ says:

    I was reading some tweets about Norris’ start and it seems the defense really let him down. Now I know that is part of the package, but from all accounts he probably should have had a better line

    • Lion says:

      I watched this game in full. Iglesias, J-Up, V-Mart all out, hurting both offense and defense. Collins, in right field, blew it twice. Once for a 2 run 2 out triple that should have been a routine fly-out. Poor Norris was set up to fail in this game. He actually impressed me with what he did accomplish.

  3. Manny says:

    Nola did experience a drop in velocity according to CBS sports from 92 to 90. Any concern there?

  4. Brent Erickson says:

    Nick I know your LOVE of Nola do I trade McCutchen for Nola and Longoria? I want to be on this Nola train.

  5. chrish011 says:

    How do you feel about Joe Jimenez? I could drop Daniel Norris or Andrew Triggs for him. Need a hitter tho. Even tho I have two SS’s, do you like Taylor Motter? Or perhaps Jedd Gyorko/Starlin Castro. Or maybe Kepler! (I really need a catcher or RF tho not to mention there are all kinds of prospects on the waiver even tho I’m good on 3B so I don’t need Yoan. Really I’m just asking, do I get best guys available or position at need?). By the way I hate I dropped Mike Wacha for Norris :(.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Don’t regret that move so much!

      Sure, one starts each isn’t looking great, but I still favor Norris long term for the season. That increased whiff rate isn’t something to ignore.

      I wonder how long Joe will stay up this time, but it sounds like you need a hitter instead. Might as well roll with the hot hand of Castro in the mean time.

  6. Alex H says:

    Not sure if you got to watch but Paxton got pretty unlucky in the 3rd inning last night. Didn’t get a strikeout on a 2-2 count checkswing to Decker to start he inning where even the Oakland announcers agreed that Decker went around and they missed the call. He singled on the next pitch.

    Then after a Raji Davis single and runners on the corners Rosales singled. But Haniger’s throw to the infield just happened by chance to hit 2nd base and bounce back toward the outfield which allowed Rosales to advance to 2nd and Davis (who had been held up at third) to score. Next two guys then struck out which should have ended the inning. But Healy then singled and Rosales (who should have been on first base if not for that unfortunate bounce on the earlier throw) scored.

    Without that prolonged inning due to the unfortunate string of events the result might have been much better. Sorry I’m just in love with Paxton and needed to vent.

    • Chucky says:

      Trying to find the silver lining in that dark cloud of a start for Paxton. Points league…he didnt get saddled with the loss, thanks to a Motter HR and he did K 8 in 4.1. Wasn’t vintage Paxton but WTH.

    • Jeff says:

      Came here to say exactly this. These things happen in baseball and Pax just had some things not go his way.

  7. Crabs Jarrard says:

    So much for the Power Quads….

  8. Chucky says:

    Watched the Nola game, as I have a vested interest as well. I kind of got that feeling in the first when he got 2 strikes on Cespedes and couldn’t put him away, foul after foul after foul. Ces singled softly up the middle, no harm, no damage. I may be wrong but, I think he had 2 strikes on every batter who reached base (admittedly didnt see the Walker HR). You said it best Nicky…Nola couldn’t put the hitters away. On the bright side, a W is a W. He’s got the Fish at home up next. in what portends to be a good start- bad start Nola, and at home too. I think Im gonna bail on Nola next week for the 2 start Vargas.

  9. Lion says:

    What is happening with C-Mart? Even the announcers for StL commenting that he seems “disinterested” and “lacking any emotion”. Maybe the potential clubhouse hazing over his new hair extensions has him pouting on the mound…

  10. Jon Mosier says:

    While I understand that, just as Terence Mann didn’t tell Ray Kinsella not to play catch with his father, you didn’t tell me to trust these youngsters. However, on your recommendation, I did pick up and start Cotton, Musgrove, and Norris this week. I suppose that I write this seeking empathy.

    Keep up the great work. Even when my lineup suffers from the vagaries of baseball, your columns keep me laughing.

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