Not My Perez

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

What a wild ride it’s been for Martin Perez. He’s been fantasy irrelevant for years, then returned from injury this year to shock us with over two ticks of added velocity and a new cutter, improved his 7% swinging-strike rate to 11%+ in a heartbeat and has carried our teams for weeks. But last night was a nightmare in this luscious dream to the tune of 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks as he fell apart in a heartbeat in the third frame. The cutter earned some whiffs, but it didn’t pound the zone like we’ve seen previously and his fastball, well, it’s a mix of the steady 94/95 we’ve been seeing…but just on his four-seamer. His two-seamer is pulling down the velocity close to 93 mph and I wonder if the clock is nearing midnight. It’s not the time to jump off the Perez train just yet – it’s really just one bad inning, though the back-to-back four-walk games prior against weaker offenses may have been a hint of the lack of command and effectiveness that reared its ugly head here. The Indians are next and that’s a wonderful matchup to see if Perez is the man we elected to take our roster spots.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Sandy Alcantara6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh come on Alcantara, this is just mean to the owners that will buy into you now and you’re delaying Zac Gallen just a little more. Okay maybe not on the latter point as the Marlins likely will wait until they are confident the Super Two has passed (end of June?) but still. Stop this nonsense. But maybe he’s figured it out? You know what I do when I figure things out? I walk five batters. Every proper celebration needs free passes, you know?

Luis Garcia1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Yeah yeah, whatever Garcia, step aside. Felix Pena followed and returned 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. It’s time Pena gets more love as he’s raised his strikeout rate to 25% with a 13.5% swinging-strike rate and lowered his WHIP to 0.98. Yeaaaaah, I’m in. 32/98 CSW with 8/36 whiffs on sliders. I think he helps more than hurts now in 12-teamers.

Hyun-Jin Ryu7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. A colleague of mine suggested Minor would be better tonight since “the Mets are hitting lately.” Well, due to those ferocious Mets bats, Ryu now has a 1.48 ERA on the year. This is absurd.

Tyler Beede6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. I can imagine some streamed Beede and you were rewarded. Blame it on the Marlins. Much better time than his season debut, still far away from being considered on The List. There just isn’t enough here at the moment.

Dakota Hudson6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhh okay. The man is a Toby with limited K upside, meaning that he could turn into a Grave Mistake if you put faith in the guy. I get that he’s allowed more than 3 ER just once in 11 starts and is a QS king right now, it’s just not my cup of tea, especially with that horrid 10% walk rate, creating a 5% K-BB rate. Bleeegggghhh.

Jason Vargas7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Wow, we really are doing a Vargas Rule on Vargas now, aren’t we. That’s his fifth 1 ER start in his last six and this was against the Dodgers. Wild. I feel like the baseball universe is unbalanced when Vargas Rules are in play. It just doesn’t feel right.

Chase Anderson5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Heyyyyy this worked as Anderson continued holding off the ERs in his brief return to the rotation. Definitely, don’t buy it continuing and he’s certainly not worth your time, but this is cool. Streaming Record: 38-23

Jake Junis6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. You can look at the 5.35 ERA and turn away. That’s fine, I feel you. He’s also had 7 Ks for two straight games in the sole two starts that he’s featured his slider over 50% of the time.

Charlie Morton7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The man has been the quiet ace – maybe the Ace of Diamonds in that respect – and here’s to hoping you get close to 30 starts out of him this year.

Manny Banuelos5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Look at him go, the uncanny Manny Banny.

Mike Minor5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Another Gallows Pole for Minor at 21 whiffs (37/113 CSW) as his changeup earned 11 on its own. A touch of Careful Icarus as it fell apart in the sixth via a Jorge Soler three-run shot, but we’ve reached the point of must starting Minor every time he hits the bump. This is a very good thing.

Jerad Eickhoff6.1 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. This was a toss-up start against the Cards and it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t encouraging either. I understand if you want to drop, by all means, go ahead. I wonder if there’s really anything much better on the wire and Eickhoff should be better moving forward. It’s a poor stretch that he should get out of.

Taylor Clarke2.0 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I won’t judge him too harshly hanging out in Coors, but I sure ain’t thinking that his low 11 strikeouts in 17 frames ratio is going to dramatically change any time soon.

Kyle Freeland3.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. What a disaster of a season for Freeland. Poor guy, really. Yeah, yeah, HAISTFMFWT?! I wanted to give the dude a break for once.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hey, this is almost the same blurb as the Eickhoff one. It’s a bit dire right now for Musgrove owners (like me in oh-so-many leagues) and I’m sticking with him. He doesn’t have the best schedule – Brewers here and Braves next – but the skill set is there for Musgrove. If there are options on the wire, go ahead and swap as I doubt Musgrove will get snatched up. If it’s thin, hold on tight. I imagine waiting a start or two will be more beneficial in the long run.

Carlos Carrasco6.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Carrasco currently holds a near 5.00 ERA with a 3.32 SIERA. Is this a Jon Gray / Nick Pivetta case? Is he the ultimate Cherry Bomb? Kinda? I see this start and its 50% LOB rate and .450 BABIP and think Oh Come On, but also understand that all of his secondary pitches were out of whack. And to see his changeup perform so inconsistently is…worrisome. That’s been a major element of his arsenal for years and a sudden -3.7 pVal is startling. But it’s Carrasco and I’m seeing another buy low opportunity as the whiffs are still there + his changeup feel should return. Don’t make a silly buy low deal for him, but consider a flier or two.

Yusei Kikuchi3.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Hooooo boy. Have you dropped Kikuchi yet? No? Go go go. 10 outs and not a single strikeout? HAISTFMFWT?! He’s a Toby that is blowing up in front of you, it’s just not worth the ceiling at this point. 


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.


Tyler Mahle vs. Washington Nationals – It’s an easier matchup for Mahle who still has the upside to kill it on a given day.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Lance Lynn vs. Kansas City Royals – The strikeouts have been flowing and the Royals have been wildly susceptible to the way of the K.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Zach Plesac vs. Chicago White Sox – I think he brings enough to the table to give owners a solid start with his heater and changeup. Trevor Richards against the Padres is another option.


Game of the Day


Jon Duplantier vs. Zack Wheeler – I’m curious what Duplantier brings to the table and if his control issues are legit or not + it’s Wheeler!


(Photo by Brian Rothmuller/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.

16 responses to “Not My Perez”

  1. Greg says:

    What a good buy low on Carrasco. A Hendricks?

    • Nick says:

      I offered Paddack and Taillon for him this morning. Not sure if that’s fair, Paddack has his fair share of struggles recently and is on an IP limit, and Taillon is out for awhile, but we’ll see.

  2. Jack says:

    You say to chill with Eickhoff and I get it. But you also say Felix Pena is a help in 12-teamers. Which do you like more?

  3. Karl says:

    Do you see any glimmer of hope in Freeland as a dynasty asset? Or is he purely “avoid at all costs” at this point?

  4. Manny DGM says:

    Would u drop musgrove to stash Alex Reyes?

  5. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick

    Just wanted to take this time to tip my cap on an absolutely outstanding job with streamers so far this year. I feel like it’s been harder than ever to effectively stream but you somehow have an even better record going this year. Well done and thanks as always!

  6. Overwhelmed By Analytics says:

    Not so sure Carrasco is a buy low.

    His WOBA and xWOBA is above league average; high hard hit rate and exit velocity; xSLG and xBA is higher than league average; 4.07 FIP; 1.94 HR/9; GB% 7.2% lower than last year.

    His xFIP and SIERRA are good at 3.33 and high K-BB%.

    He only has 2 quality starts.

    His ERA at same point in time last year is 4.11 compared to 4.98. WHIP at this same point in time last year was 1.14 compared to 1.31 – he’s getting hit a lot more.

    His track record wants me to believe he’ll end up with his typical low-mid 3 ERA and rack up those quality starts. But, there’s something off about him and the Indians pitchers this year.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      You just detailed *exactly* why he’s a buy low.

      He has been bad, those metrics you quoted showcase that he has been bad.

      But he also has a track record that carries past the ~6 starts that have weighed down his numbers this year.

      I’m not ranking him as a Top 15 pitcher right now – he’ll be sent to the Tier 4 purgatory with Thor – but if those underlying numbers were great, he wouldn’t be a buy low as people wouldn’t be selling him at that price.

  7. Overwhelmed By Analytics says:

    Would you take Morton over either Carrasco or Buehler ROS?

  8. Frankie says:

    Martin Perez… one more start. Fair enough.
    But what if there is a Cherry Bomb/Toby on the wire? Lynn, Chirinos, Urena, even our boy Porcello?
    Would you make the swap now or wait til the @Indians outing next week?

  9. Gibby says:

    Is Kyle Gibson worthy of more love (#50)? He has 2x 19%+ Whiff% pitches: change (23.44%) and slider (28.02%). And his xFIP (3.34) and Sierra (3.70) are very nice.

  10. Ryan says:

    Carrasco is one of those guys who is either totally on or totally off. In a roto league he’s a solid #2-3 starter with ace upside since at the end of the year the good stretches usually outweigh the bad, but in an H2H format that Cherry Bomb potential is just scary, because he can single-handedly tank your week moreso than other pitchers in his same tier. I recall last year there was some work on pitcher volatility, whatever happened to that?

  11. Fletch.F.Fletch says:

    Just wanted to say that per Statcast the homer that Eickhoff gave up to Wieters had an XBA of 0.020. Garbage! If you look at the gamelog you can see that 50% of his BBEs were under .200 XBA.

    Little bad luck yesterday?

  12. Ryan Edwards says:

    First and foremost; you’re my guy. I have much respect for you and this site. With that said, I want to try to add to it’s success. I see all the love for Hyun and the AGA label in this column. Why not, he’s killing it. But he’s pretty much always killed it when healthy. I would have picked him up early on if not for the “he’ll be injured within two weeks” stuff. I’m just saying; past history doesn’t always foreshadow the future. Players get hurt. Sometimes players get hurt in succession. Maybe try not to knock some guys because they’ve had a few injuries in the future when you know they have the potential to earn the AGA label. I love this site, have a master’s degree in communication and have been playing fantasy sports for 20 years. I’m only writing this to try to help with what I think is the best resource for fantasy pitchers on the web.

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