Off With The Hoff

There are times when I think I give too much of a leash for certain players and I need to recoil sharply in a hurry. One of those players is...

There are times when I think I give too much of a leash for certain players and I need to recoil sharply in a hurry. One of those players is Jeff Hoffman who has just been dreadful lately and pitched to the tune of 3.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks against Pittsburgh Friday night. Yes it was in Coors, but that’s no excuse for this kind of outing. I have been putting the wirting on the wall lately if you have been listening to the podcast and reading his roundups, as Hoffman’s whiff rates have been atrocious since his incredibly hot start. We’re talking an overall whiff rate of just 5.6% over his last seven starts. Overall! That’s over half off from his 13.0% mark through his first four outings. I wouldn’t really call this the Coors effect – two of his seven were played out of Colorado and they hovered around 7% – and I’d simply let him go. It’s safe to drop Hoffman and I’d aim to pick up other hot hands like Patrick Corbin instead of Hoffman. Maybe we’ll come back to it later this season, but for now it’s just not wise to hold on.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Yu Darvish – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 12 Ks. I really wish I got a chance to watch this one as I’m sure it was a pure joy. Darvish earns the Gallows Pole with the largest tally I’ve seen since starting this award at 28 whiffs. 36% of his total strikes earned came on swings-and-misses. Absurd. What’s most entertaining about this is last time he started, I was debating with a sharp commenter that Darvish maybe didn’t deserve the Aces Gonna Ace label anymore.

Chris Sale – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Speaking of which, Aces gonna ace. I love how he’s so far-and-away the Cy Young winner.

Max Scherzer – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna struggle and become quite apparent that he isn’t going to contest the #1 SP rank anymore. I should mention that he allowed back-to-back-to-back HRs to the first three batters he faced. Don’t do that Max.

Mike Fiers – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. This is getting absurd and I hate it so much. PLEASE LET PEACOCK STAY IN THE ROTATION. But how could the Astros deny a 2.36 ERA and 10.18 K/9 with a 6.1 IPS across his last ten starts? The question is if you should believe it enough to continue rostering him through the end and I don’t think you really have a choice at this point. I would say keep a somewhat short leash and I don’t really expect a sub 3.50 ERA from Fiers over the long haul.

Alex Wood – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Imagine a night where everything that could go badly save for injury, could happen. Wood allowed the opposing pitcher to get six RBI, four with a grand-slam, two with a pop-up that Wood dropped himself…all six with two outs. Unreal. Those last two were unearned, obviously, but man this is just terrible. This isn’t the proper collapse that dictates a rugged 2nd half for Wood, just one really really bad start that you just need to put behind us.

Aaron Nola – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Easy A is well deserving of his nickname now as I present to you two stats: Nola’s first 12 games of 2016 – 9.81 K/9, 2.65 ERA – and Nola’s last nine games of 2017 – 9.97 K/9, 2.64 ERA. It’s been a long road to get here, we debated plenty if Nola really was any good or not, if his consistency was bad or maybe I was just too harshly struck by Cupid’s arrow, but man it feels good to be a Nola owner.

CC Sabathia – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Dating back to May 16th and through his DL stint, Sabathia has a 1.62 ERA across his last nine starts. He also is averaging under 5 Ks per game, a 4.10 xFIP, 3.24 BB/9 as well, which makes me a little too cautious for a 12-teamer.

Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. If you’re rostering Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Jake Arrieta – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. This was just his third game all season with 0 walks to his name and while it’s a good start all around, it doesn’t make me less fearful for his next time out. His feel goes in-and-out too frequently these days.

Homer Bailey – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Hey, Homer Bale actually did well here! I didn’t see this as a good start to make but he managed to survive Miami. Still need to see more than this if I’m going to be trusting him in the second half, but at least is schedule gets easier moving forward.

Matt Garza – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. The winner for the most boring line of the night goes to…me waiting to get take out from the local Mexican joint. But seriously, don’t trust Garza or he’ll make you feel like this.

Carlos Martinez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. CarMart got Singled Out, though he clearly didn’t have his best stuff either. He’s been fine this year, no real complaints outside of the famous One and Dunn game, I just want to be more excited about being a CarMart owner, you know?

Trevor Bauer – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. More than a K per inning? Check. A terrible ERA/WHIP? Check. I wonder if I could win a game of $100,000 pyramid just hearing stat lines.

Alex Cobb – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. This is such a Cobb start. His IPS is surprisingly solid, but he’s not striking out enough and he really shouldn’t be this successful. I just don’t want to do this.

Jaime Garcia – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, he’s still a Brave! And had himself six RBI in most likely his final start for Atlanta as the Twins finish up the paperwork or whatnot to finalize the deal. Good for you buddy, but you’re never good for owners.

Steven Matz – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Okay, okay, how many whiffs? Six?! Nope, staying away.

Anibal Sanchez – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s weird to see Anibal be the more productive Sanchez. Yes, this is the sorry state of Aaron.

Paul Blackburn – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. He’s a Cup of Schmo, move along sir.

Zack Godley – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. I wrestled with this one and found myself starting him in some leagues and benching in others. 10 Ks are gorgeous to see after his sad display last week and now that he’s not facing the Nationals, it’s going to be a fun ride til the end. He only has two expected matchups that are questionable – a date in Coors and against Houston – but otherwise he’s free to go. Faith in Godley can lead you to success.

Trevor Cahill – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. After four games of only four free passes total, Cahill doubled that in one outing and it all fell apart…against the Giants, no less. The striking part is that it also came with just one strikeout and clearly there was something wrong with him. I’d imagine he’s going to recover, but this does push him down one rung of the ladder as it could be the start of a trend.

Marco Estrada – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Like 60-year-old Gloria at the local diner, I’m still waiting.

Ian Kennedy – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I had to bend the rules to find a streamer and this is what I got. I deserved this. Streamer Record 48-36-12.

Andrew Moore – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Whatever, Moore. What’s important is the absolute bomb you gave up to Aaron JudgeIt. Was. Glorious.

Jeff Samardzija – 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ugggggh. I need to drop Braces Loose Lips a little come Monday unfortunately as he just isn’t keeping up his side of the bargain. This was the Padres, Samardzija, get it together.

Ervin Santana – 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I know we’ve been done with Santana, but not we’re really done, right?

Trevor Williams – 6.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I pity the man who starts Mr. T.

Ubaldo Jimenez – 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. As if we expected anything different.

James Shields – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Shields alright.

Ricky Nolasco – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Is Nolasco on the Anti-List? Jimenez definitely is, not sure about Nolasco. Readers, who would you put in that bottom 5-10?

Today’s Streamer

Luis Perdomo vs. San Francisco Giants – Not an exciting pick at all, but the best floor of your options as he faces a meh offense.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Dinelson Lamet vs. San Francisco Giants – Y’all know my overall distaste for Lamet, but he can strikeout a bunch and gets the Giants.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tim Adleman vs. Cleveland Indians – This is a complete crapshoot with Gausman vs. TBR, Conley vs. TEX, and Senzatela vs. STL. I’m going with Adleman just because he has some believable K upside.

Game of the Day

Danny Salazar vs. Marcus Stroman – Salazar is back and Stroman’s Slider has been super good. Over/under 13.5 Ks between them?

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.

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