On The Skaggs

After striking out 26 batters in two AAA starts, it was hard not to get excited for Tyler Skaggs‘ return to the majors yesterday and he gave owners an excellent 7.0 IP, 0...

After striking out 26 batters in two AAA starts, it was hard not to get excited for Tyler Skaggs‘ return to the majors yesterday and he gave owners an excellent 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks line. Clearly I have to be all aboard this train after this kind of performance, right? Ehhhh not so much. Well, obviously I’m owning him in all 12 teamers and maybe some deep 10 teamers, but I wasn’t super impressed during this 2016 debut of Skaggs. His Fastball is coming in around 91/92 mph (hit around 95 mph in the earlier innings due to adrenaline before slipping near 90 mph in the later innings) and it relied on excellent command down in the zone to get hitters out. The Changeup needs a good amount of work, though his deuce looks ready to rack up a handful of strikeouts here and there. The way I see it, Skaggs doesn’t have enough movement or zip on his heater to avoid clunkers if his command isn’t impeccable like it was yesterday, while he doesn’t have a proper go-to secondary pitch to earn him strikes when hitters are locked in on his heater. That Changeup just isn’t good enough yet. It gives me a bit of worry, and while I’m still going after him, I’ve already reserved a lovely seat on the bench for him in his next start against Boston.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Bartolo Colon – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. The Big Apple got it done in a big way, especially since this is coming off a 6 ER clunker against the Cubs. I’m not the largest Bart fan, especially with that 36.8% hard contact and just 15.7% soft contact, though he is still good for a stream against NL Easy rivals.

Bud Norris – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Our Call Boy was smooth as butter against the Rays, and has his most trouble in the earlier innings after he allowed his only two hits across the first two innings, while intentionally walking the Dodgers catcher to get to Archer. If you’re still doubting Nud Borris who is throwing 95 mph with finally a great breaking ball, I’m not sure what else he can do.

James Shields – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I have to hand it to Shields. He now has a 1.71 ERA over his last six starts, with his last two coming against the Cubs and Tigers. I can hear the sound of your mouse running to the other tab to go pick him up in your league…but wait! There’s more! Over that span he also has a 4.50 K/9, 4.85 FIP, 5.14 xFIP, 5.37 SIERA, and just 10.6% soft contact. Still want to pick him up?

Tom Koehler – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. For those of you thinking I don’t give Tommy Boy enough credit, his last two starts have been solid against the same team – the Phils. Before them, he allowed 18 ER across five outings, which included teams like the Reds and Mets. Please don’t do this to yourself. 

Jerad Eickhoff – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Oh baby I love me some Eickhoff. I sure hope by now you do too.

Ervin Santana – 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Santana has the occasional upside to do silly things like this, and I may be underselling him as he’s featured a 2.07 ERA over his last seven starts. It does come with a 3.16 FIP as well, though the strikeout production we once expected has disappeared (just one start over 5 Ks in that time) and that floor needs some serious Swiffering as it’s incredibly dirty – he had a span of five starts earlier this season where he allowed at least 5 ER four times. This outing tonight was against the Braves, so take this with a grain of salt though he gets the White Sox next on Sunday, which isn’t such a bad stream if you’re taking a swing at a decent ERA/WHIP to close your week.

Chris Archer – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Archer’s velocity is trending up and the results are coming with it. He’s getting more whiffs on his Slider (10 total last night alone!) and this may be the time to chase Archer. Obviously there is a major chance he regresses next time out as the velocity dips below 95 mph (it was 95.5 yesterday), but it’s starting to look like a good bet to make.

Lucas Harrell – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Don’t be a doofus and bench Lucas.

CC Sabathia – 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Come on CC, you’ve been terrible over the last month, why couldn’t you just be bad for one more start?! Damn Yankees better stop winning or we’ll be bad for so much longer. We can get such a good haul for Andrew Miller right now (hello Nationals!) and I will be so sad if we don’t deal him before the deadline.

Sonny Gray – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. This is certainly encouraging from Sonny, though I’m not ready just yet to bring him back into the fold. Give me another solid start and we’ll talk.

Andrew Cashner – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. So that Slider is helping with the Ks, but the rest of Cashner’s abilities caught up to him yesterday. To be fair, this was against the Jays and far from the easier opponents he’s used to in the NL. If he’s still a Padre next week, I’d be rolling with hoe for the forseeable future against the Brewers/Phils/Mets

Gio Gonzalez – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s pretty boring but you’ll sure as hell take this from Gio.

Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. I don’t know about you guys, but after that 93/91 scare, this velocity chart is kinda frightening. It’s not incredibly drastic and may be understandable that he had a small dip in the later innings, but obviously not something I’m thrilled about. I wouldn’t sell based on this, but I’d listen to offers.

Chad Bettis – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Bettis has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter not named Gray and maybe even Gray.

Jaime Garcia – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Is Garcia seeing the light and coming out the other side? Maybe. Or maybe the Mets aren’t all the great and Garcia had himself a good day.

Kyle Hendricks – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Two walks? 3 ER? Blegh. Well fine, seven strikeouts are more than welcome, I’ve just come to expect greatness every time out from Hendricks. Do you hate me now? No no no no, love you buddy. We’re going to be okay.

Marcus Stroman – 6.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. The Ks are back! Yay! And so are the ER! Yay…oh wait. Yeah.

Matt Garza – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Once again, Garza is making owners feel like this.

Carlos Martinez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. There was a lot of talk about Nola being too high in The List, especially compared to Mr. Martinez over here. Well here’s just one reason why CMart didn’t get more love. That BB/9 is now 3.09 with a 7.47 K/9, which is really questionable when his FIP is 3.69 and xFIP is 3.93. Not really the kind of under-the-hood numbers you expected to see from Carlos.

Danny Salazar – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. I looks a bit worse than it was as he threw a ton of pitches in the first inning due to an error and it clearly took a toll on him the rest of the way. He’s still inside the Top 20 and I don’t see him falling outside the Top 25 barring injury – which I can understand you may be worried about with his “elbow soreness” but I wouldn’t stress about it.

Matt Cain – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. At least he hit a HR that you don’t get credit for on your fantasy team. Yay…

Patrick Corbin – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Corbin has a 5.31 ERA through his 21 starts this year. Ouch.  

Felix Hernandez – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks.  You hear that sound? That’s the sound of thousands of owners groaning at the same time as they wonder what they are supposed to do with Felix. Here’s the answer: hold. Wait for that one really good start that is going to come at some point then see what the market is like. If someone is buying, sure go ahead, though I worry about y’all under selling him when his value can go back up in a hot moment.

Mike Pelfrey – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. God Pelfrey is so bad.

Nick Martinez – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Remember when Martinez had like a 2.00 ERA after a month plus last season? That was sooooo hilarious.

Chris Tillman – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. YOU CAN’T SPELL WIN WITH TILLMAN. But for real, obviously disappointing, though it’s why he’s outside of the Top 50. At least there were no walks?

Cody Reed – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Reed allowed a 3-Run HR to Matt Cain in the second and that’s all you really need to know about this start. Reed is a good streamer against poor teams, but you best know to sit him otherwise.

Dillon Gee – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Gee, I wonder why anyone would start you…I know why! Because he used to be a decent ERA guy! A) Not really and B) That wasn’t a question, I was talking to Gee. Ohhhhh.

Doug Fister – 4.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.  Blegh. When it rains with Fister, it hits you like a clenched hand. You mean like a fist? A Fist of love. No wait, pain. A Fist of Pain.

Steven Wright – 4.2 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Ho boy, it’s just getting worse for Wright as he’s allowed 24 ER in his past six starts. This was against the Tigers though, so I’m not fully on the “go ahead and drop him” bandwagon. I am curious what he does against the Angels who have been super hot over the past month.

Francisco Liriano – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. You may have been asking on Monday why Liriano wasn’t on The List after striking out 13 batters last time out. This is why. And it’s incredibly sad.

Today’s Streamers

Adam Conley vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Conley can do well given a weak opponent in front of him. Other options include his opponent Zach Eflinas well as Tyler Duffey against the Braves if you need some K upside in your life.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Robbie Ray vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Ray fanned ten batters last time out and those Ks are flowing like Lannister locks. 

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Ivan Nova vs. Tampa Bay Rays Not much else to go with other than Nova, but he gets a good matchup and has found his groove with the Yanks. I don’t expect his success to last, but might as well roll with him while he’s hot.

Game of the Day

Gerrit Cole vs. James Paxton There are a lot of good games today (Manaea v Darvish, Shoemaker vs Duffy, McCullers v Tanaka, Strasburg v Carrasco, etc.) but I’m itching to see if Paxton can pick it up where he left off + the added bonus of watching the King of Really Good take the hill for the Pirates.

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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