Picking At Skaggs

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

(Photo by John Cordes/Icon Sportswire)

There are times when I have to just throw my hands up in the air. I’ve done that through the year with Tyler Skaggs as I haven’t truly believed what he’s done yet had no choice but to slot him into the Top 20 on Monday’s list. Now my hands have risen to the sky once again as he returned a 3.1 IP, 10 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks masterpiece of disaster against the Rays Tuesday night. There really isn’t so much to be said – his fastball has been the rock in his arsenal and it was terrible in this one – but more than I wanted to say how I’m not just giving up here. Skaggs has been so good for a long time this year, this wasn’t a big smack of regression to the face that now he returns a 3.70 ERA the rest of the way. Expect a rebound, not a freefall.

Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:

Zack Godley7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Dude. What. It’s like Castillo and Godley had a meeting to say “I think it’s time we stopped ruining Nick’s life and actually live up to our preseason hype.” I absolutely love how Godley looked here. 39/104 CSW with 10 called strikes on Sinkers, pounding the zone with cutters and 12/37 whiffs on his curveball. IT’S EVERYTHING I’VE ALWAYS WANTED. Now it’s a 2.64 ERA, 30% K rate, 7% BB rate, 1.08 WHIP and ~6 IPS over his last five starts + 1 IP in relief. Obviously inflated a ton by this start and it comes after two starts tallying 7  ER, but boy is it intriguing to see Godley on his feet like this. Really three starts in his last five have been vintage Godley now and given the landscape of starters, this couldn’t have come at a better time. Oh and enjoy your 19 whiffs Gallows Pole you beautiful man.

Matt Boyd8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. That’s three starts of success from Boyd after plenty more terrible ones behind him. Was there a change? Yes and it’s not one that I like: He’s throwing more fastballs and they haven’t been bad. This isn’t the model of consistency that is going to last from Boyd and his ~90mph heater. I wish I had more to say about this but it seems like a small sample of wonder and not a second-half stretch of dominance.

Danny Duffy5.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Good to see Duffy rebound after a bad start against the Tigers, now with his 3rd shutout performance in his last five starts. He’s acted like a Cherry Bomb in the strongest sense, with as he hasn’t had a start with 2 or 3 ER in any of his last 21 starts. Daaaaang. Now, there was a bit of Blame it on the ChiSox here, but he’s still favoring that deuce over his slider and it’s working. Don’t go wild with Duffy, but with a schedule of Twins, Cards, and Jays ahead, I’m on board.

Wade Miley7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh come off it Miley, Over/under 3.5 ER in his next start? I’m taking the over.

Ryne Stanek1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s another False Start with Ryan Yarbrough stepping in and getting a Win despite 6 ER to his name. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

Masahiro Tanaka6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. The Orioles traded away Schoop before this game and after a little tension in the first that forced over 30 pitches from Tanaka, he cruised easily thereafter. I think someone reminded him how terrible that lineup is now. Seriously, it’s really really bad.

Jake Arrieta7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Arrieta got the Sawx and didn’t care. 12/22 SNIP (Strikes Not In Play, i.e. CSW + Fouls) on his changeup is a welcome surprise as he had been leaning heavily on sliders prior. There’s a reason he’s Spiderman and hopefully he’ll carry that title through to the end.

Walker Buehler7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Ahhhhh there he is. I’ve been waiting for Buehler to flex his muscles again and after killing it through May, we really haven’t seen that upside return. Until now. I think this is closer to who Buehler really is the 33/105 (they let him throw 105 pitches!) arm that we saw here than the 4 IP 5 ER type games.

Tanner Roark7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Roark took advantage of a sad, sad Mets squad. He’s back on The List n all, I’m not ready to call him Spiderman or label him a Toby just yet. That floor is too apparent still.

Dereck Rodriguez7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I know it’s a 2.59 ERA and 1.09 WHIP since becoming a starter in June, but I have to say, it says a lot about how many blegh options are on the wire when we’re excited about Dereck freakin’ Rodriguez, a guy with a sub 20% K rate and is as Toby as they come. Come on Nick, 7 Ks tonight! Let me be thrilled! By all means, be excited! He’s commanding the ball great these days. He’s also boasting a 8.2% whiff rate that doesn’t hint at this being all too great in the long haul. There’s also Blame it on the Padres here as well and…yeah you get the idea.

Homer Bailey8.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Bailey was the reluctant Call Boy and would you look at that, he pitched a complete game loss against the Tigers. It’s just two starts y’all, don’t do anything foolish moving forward, but you caaaaaan…puuuuttitontheboooooooard YES! Streaming Record: 63-36. Look at that, it’s palindromic!

Trevor Bauer6.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Aces wanna ace. Okay maybe not as the ERA and WHIP are okay, just three Ks from Bauer is like getting a slider at a steakhouse. It’s not what you wanted.

Trevor Cahill6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. There he is. The wonderful model of a man that could win you your second half. Grab Cahill now and enjoy the ride until he gets injured.

Jon Gray7.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It started terribly, but Gray picked it up for 33/92 CSW as his slider was as good as we’ve seen it. I’m feeling better about Gray these days, who has a stronger focus on hitting the lower half of the zone with his heater. Not that I’m a big fan of it, but at least it’s not middle-middle anymore. Small steps, y’all.

Charlie Morton6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. One walk Morton is a wonderful thing.

Drew Pomeranz5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. This is the Pomeranz we know and hate. Four walks and 3 Ks? It’s just not necessary Pomeranz, I haven’t called you your nickname is a long time BECAUSE YOU DON’T DESERVE IT. You’re on a winning team with a great curveball, let’s figure this out and maybe you can escape the 80s.

Clayton Richard5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s the Wrong Clayton? Wait, what is holding? Is that a sign? No Clayton, NOOOOOO–HAISTFMFWT?!

Kyle Gibson6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhh I want a little better than a PQS and 1.33 WHIP from Gibson, but at least we got 6 Ks and not a large enough distaste for me to start starting him.

Mike Leake6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. A PQS with four Ks? Sure, why not from Leake.

Jameson Taillon6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Jameson got the Cubs and after holding back sliders against the Indians, he unleashed the beast with a 25%+ usage rate. The only blemish was a three-run shot on a terrible 0-2 curveball to Javier Baez. Noooooooo. I still love the man and so should you.

Kolby Allard5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. He was who we thought we has! HE WAS WHO– But seriously, this is 90mph of decent command and absolutely nothing to chase in a 12-teamer. Seriously. Just a Cup of Schmo who will spin off a few more HAISTFMFWT?! if he gets more starts…which he probably won’t given the acquisition of Kevin GausmanYes, that only improves Gaus’ value, not enough for me to call him a must-add, though.

Jack Flaherty5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Flaherty has allowed at least 3 ER in five of his last seven now, with just one game in that time finishing the sixth. Strikeouts are still alive n all, but his lack of third pitch is starting to rear its ugly head. I’m still a fan giving the lack of strong starting options overall this year, but it’s making me question where to rank him entering 2019.

Jon Lester5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. The regression continues as Lester’s ERA now rises to 3.22. Just 50 points to go.

James Shields7.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Jimmy Bucklers earned eight strikeouts with 16 whiffs against the Royals, but he still can’t change the man that he is. Be true to yourself, y’all.

Bartolo Colon5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s the Groan Ranger alright. I think this might be the dusk of his career, I look forward to the attention come September.

Sam Gaviglio2.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Annnnd this is why Gaviglio still hasn’t made The List.

Dan Straily3.2 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Straily, meet floor of lava. Floor of lava, Straily.

Yefry Ramírez5.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Poor Yefry, I actually think he isn’t a terrible pitcher. He just plays on the Orioles and it makes everything worse. Definitely a lot of polish missing, but I’d consider him a Young Gun if it weren’t for the organization. It’s too bad, really.

Steven Matz0.2 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. When I said Matz wasn’t as good as he was pitching, I didn’t mean to go and Felix him like this. That’s just cruel.

Today’s Streamer

Nick Kingham vs. Chicago Cubs – Okay. I don’t expect this to go well after how poorly he looked last time out. I was tempted to do Jake Junis against the ChiSox instead and that might be the safer play ultimately (there’s really nothing else).

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Trevor Richards vs. Philadelphia Phillies – Very limited options here and I’ll go with the guy who has allowed 3 ER in his last four against a weak team. Don’t trust it, but not much of a choice as I don’t care for Mike Montgomery.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Milwaukee Brewers – He’s been killing it and pitches out of Coors.

Game of the Day

Noah Syndergaard vs. Washington Nationals – Okay so we are actually getting Thor back now, right?

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.

20 responses to “Picking At Skaggs”

  1. Frankie says:

    I realize it’s anybody’s guess really, but how do you think the Dodgers plan to manage their rotation for the next 4-6 weeks — barring any injuries. Will a 6 man limit their IP and thus keep Buehler and Stripling in the rotation? How do you see Urias, Ryu affecting the starters? Thx!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      But there are always injuries with the Dodgers.


      Expect Buehler and Stripling to be starting if they are healthy.

      • theKraken says:

        I think they are going to ride Buehler hard. I think the whole DL thing was of the phantom variety just to manage innings… I find it also very weird that LAD was active at the deadline and didn’t add arms!? They have to have a plan right? If so, it probably includes a bunch of WB. Personally, I am not thrilled if that is the case as I would rather see WB managed gently as opposed to just grinding him down for a few months straight.

  2. Derek Nolan says:

    Derek Rodriguez is boasting a………

    Also, I watched a little of Allard and genuinely can’t figure out why he is a top prospect, can you enlighten me?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Sorry about that! It got cut off somehow. It’s fixed now.

      Allard had a 2.80 ERA in 109 IP this year in AAA, which itself warranted hype. He can be an effective MLB starter, but his low strikeout rate will make him fantasy irrelevant.

      In short, his command makes him serviceable for the MLB = some hype as a prospect.

      • Derek Nolan says:

        I guess he can be effective, but when I saw he was the number 22 prospect, I expected stuff closer to Flaherty or AJ Puk or at least Kyle Hendricks command/movement. He just seems like a guy

  3. ashtray says:

    You kind of left us hanging on the Dereck Rodriguez blurb.

    “He’s also boasting a”

    .. a WHAT!?! The suspense is killing me!

  4. Booger Powell says:

    I’ve had Flaherty awhile, he’s been fairly meh for a few weeks now. Godley, Castillo, Buehler and Kyle Hendricks are all available on the wire.
    What move would you recommend?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hold Flaherty, any other guys to drop?

      Buehler > Godley = Castillo

      Hendricks after Buehler is need more stability. Looks like a shallow league, so I’d favor those other three and their ceilings over Hendricks’ floor.

      • theKraken says:

        Flaherty is a nibbler. He needs a way to miss bats in the zone. He has a weapon for chases, but he needs a way to get some weak contact or miss bats in the zone. I hate watching him pitch – so many 0-2 counts that evolve into 3-2 is how he struggles to get through 6 IP. His recent struggles are a lack of offerings at chases in predictable chase counts IMO. It would be cool if he was working on a third pitch, but I haven’t seen it. I don’t like it when a young guy rides one pitch the way he does – the focus needs to be on development IMO, not immediate results. I am very happy with his overall 2018, but I wish it was trending the other direction.

      • Booger Powell says:

        besides Flaherty, my SP are: Grienke, Arietta, Heaney, Price, Mikolas,Taillon, Maeda

        Thoughts? Thanks again.

  5. Fletch.F.Fletch says:

    I’ll take a quality start and 9 k/9 for Gibson all day long against the Indians offense. And how about Jon Gray’s efficiency. I think he was at 78 pitches thru 7 innings! Looked like he might go for a Maddox CG in under 100 pitches. So many first pitch groundballs.

  6. theKraken says:

    Bauer has really struggled with command in 2 of his last 3 starts. Weird to see it not getting attention… Its like the whole world is finally realizing how good Bauer has been this year and are busy looking at that, while he has actually had really poor command recently outside of that brilliant start v PIT. I get that the results haven’t been poor, but that is just a product of his stuff and the depth of his arsenal this year. He doesn’t need to hit spots right now. I just checked the log and it actually goes back to 3/5 of his past starts with 4+ BB. I am a bit worried that the second half won’t match the first where he never walked 4…

  7. Zim says:

    I have Taillon, McCullers, and Buehler in a keep-forever league, with a plan to keep 1, and trade 2. Any thoughts as to who I keep for 2019?

    I appreciate your work, Nick!

  8. Big League S. Choo says:

    Bailey looks resurgent. He was a top 20-30 pitcher just a short few years ago and I look at him as that going forward now that he is finally healthy.

  9. Mike says:

    Regarding your comments on Archer and his move to Pittsburgh affecting his value. The Pirates have decreased their fastball usage every month since the beginning of the season, at least among their starters. There is no reason to think that trend will not continue with Archer.

  10. Bbboston says:

    ROS: Morton?

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