Pledging To The Fratty Pirate

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

I’ve avoided diving into Ryan Yarbrough, or as I call him, “The Fratty Pirate” (yaaaar, brah), for some time now but after yesterday’s6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks, I know there are going to be a lot of questions. The Fratty Pirate pulled it off against the ChiSox, boasting a 0.99 ERA with a 3.25 SIERA across his last 27.1 frames. He even has a trio of wins in that time and 24 strikeouts with only two walks. This is all wonderful and fantastic. It’s also just three starts with three 3.0 relief appearances that will make you pull out your hair each week. Is he starting? Is he not? But alright, let’s put that aside and suggest that our bucko Ryan here is starting moving forward. What should we expect? I’d expect him to be a Toby. I just don’t buy that his cutter is good enough to hold a .185 BAA (.235 BABIP, 6% swinging-strike rate) as he tries to mitigate his poor fastball, though I love his changeup and its near 50% O-Swing with an 18% swinging-strike rate. It speaks to me as a luck-needing arm who can surprise with strikeouts here and there…while collecting cheap wins. So fine, grab him in 12-teamers, but think of him as a Toby. Does that sound good? Cool, enjoy the Greek life, just please be responsible.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Jose Berrios5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Berrios needed 113 pitches to serve a Philly, earning just 23% CSW along the way. Yikes. It’s three straight sub 6.0 IP games and it looks like we’re back in one of these phases. Don’t worry, he’ll get out of it.

Jake Junis6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. We took a chance on Junis’ slider for another day and it gave us 39% CSW and took down the Indians. Streaming Record: 62-41. He gets the Indians for another game and we may be pushing our luck here. If you’ve got nothing else, go for it.

Clayton Kershaw6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. THIS is the Kershaw we know and love, even if it was him taking full advantage of the Marlins. Kinda wild that he has yet to toss under six frames all year. 

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. 31/98 CSW with 14 whiffs, 93mph heaters, and a good mix of breakers? ATTA BOY MUSGROVE. Now it’s about sustainability. Please repeat this next time against the Reds. Please.

Matt Wisler1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeah whatever Matty. Wade LeBlanc followed for five frames of 2 ER ball and he lowered his ERA to 5.05. He needs to do a lot more LeBlancing teams if he wants to get us to take notice.

Luis Castillo6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s a lot less overwhelming than I expected going up against the Cardinals, but it’s money in the bank.

Lucas Giolito6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Great to see Giolito be the spring pitcher, not the summer arm, walking just one here. His breakers have taken a backseat, but when his heater is this good, things are fine. Yes, there’s still another gear to hit.

Walker Lockett5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Walker? Nah, I’m running away from this trap.

Daniel Norris4.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Not a bad start from Norris, who averaged 92mph for the first time all year and had his hardest heater of the season above 94mph. Hmmmmmm, there may be something here. He’s feeling his changeup a bit, his slider is decent…I’m not ready in 12-teamers yet, but deep leagues should take note.

Adam Plutko7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Huh, he had himself a Birthday Party with his far-and-away best start of the season as he faced the Royals. That’s wonderful Plutko, you’re not getting my Bud Light roster spot.

Jose Urquidy7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. HOT DANG! There’s the guy that I was kinda stoked about during his debut and then so sad after his horrid outing against the Angels. I’m picking him up everywhere. The Astros are searching for a stable arm in the rotation right with Brad Peacock on the shelf and while they’ll replace someone at the deadline, there’s a chance Urquidy becomes #5 for a decent amount of time. He packs 93/94 heat with a really good changeup and a pair of breaking balls that will earn strikes and miss bats (25% whiffs across 20 sliders and curveballs). 35% CSW overall here and I’m in. Let’s dance Urquidy, the Astros should give him another shot this week against the Cards and I’m SO in. 

Griffin Canning5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Phew, that’s better Canning. It’s not overwhelming, but 30% CSW with a good slider is perfectly fine with me. Sure, we’re still waiting for the six+ frames of domination, but steps, not leaps. We’ll get there.

Zack Greinke7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. It’s almost like Greinke and Kershaw are the same pitcher. It’s kinda cool how that’s still kept up since we brought it up weeks ago.

Brett Anderson6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. I guess the Vargas Rule continues as it’s a PQS with the seventh QS in eight games. It’s a Grave Mistake as he’s averaged under three strikeouts per game in that stretch. Yikes.

Zach Eflin4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Eflin apparently has a “heavy” body. Well, we can all agree he has been dead weight on our teams for a while, amiright? That’s the best I’ve got this morning, you can drop Eflin.

Gio Gonzalez4.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. This was a clear DLH (HAISTFMWT?!) and he’s still sporting a sub 90mph fastball. I wouldn’t be chasing this.

Miles Mikolas6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Hey, he survived a road start! I think you can guess why – 87.4mph slider. Sure, it wasn’t that great, but the pitch helped get some outs and give you a PQS. I’ll take it from 8-Miles.

Anibal Sanchez5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. He got a cheap Win as the Nats beat up Soroka, but I still feel dirty about it. He’s not feeling that cutter as much as he was prior and here’s to him getting it back. I think you need to hold Anibal in most 12-teamers.

Jeff Samardzija5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Loose Lips pulled back on cutters this time and it still kinda worked with a decent WHIP and seven Ks. If you’re hurting, I think you’re okay starting him against the Pads. It’s close, a bit risky, but I understand it.

Mike Soroka6.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Uh oh. That’s his second 4 ER game in three starts, albeit with a 0 ER in 7 IP effort in between. I think he got a bit unlucky here (about time, I guess) with nothing really standing out as abnormal, though he didn’t feel his slider as well as before. Nothing to worry about, carry on.

Trent Thornton3.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaaaah, there’s just not a whole lot to like here from Double-Tee. He’s missing what Yarbrough’s got. What’s that? The pirate mentality (Rrrrrrr). This seriously may be your worst of the year. Yeah, probably. 

Tom Eshelman3.2 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.Yeah, there’s nothing to like about this Eshel man. What are you talking about?! I love that sphere self portrait of his! That’s the Escher man. I’ll see myself out.

Ariel Jurado5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I don’t want to be Part of this World.

Jose Quintana5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Quintana had a hot spring, then cooled for the summer, and has settled in as Toby. This is more volatile than we expect (both on the ratio and K side), and it’s borderline for 12-teamers. I think you have to stick with it, but you won’t be upset if you need the space.

Masahiro Tanaka6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh. Come on Tanaka, we want that splitter back so badly. Just get it fixed, okay? You can’t go 3/32 CSW on the dang pitch.

Sandy Alcantara5.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Yep, he’s super raw and this is what we get these days. He’s a bit of a Young Gun and not something to rely on this year.

Joey Lucchesi4.1 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. Awwww, Lucchesi has been in this purgatory of better than a Toby but nothing special all year. I think you just have to endure here and keep on going. Maybe he is a Toby with a touch of K upside.

Rick Porcello5.0 IP, 6 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s a 5.61 ERA and 1.46 WHIP through 20 starts for Porcello. I still think there is some value left in him, but the Sawx may pursue a deal to replace him and give him the boot. I sure would.

Antonio Senzatela1.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Senz-A was never destined to make this work against the Yanks and now he’s been demoted for Jeff HoffmanSorry, Worstball owners.


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.


Zach Plesac vs. Kansas City Royals – I’d consider his opponent Glenn Sparkman as well, but I have more faith in Plesac’s floor.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Trevor Richards vs. Chicago White Sox – I don’t like this. The other options are his opponent Ivan Nova (blegh) and Alec Millsthe latter I’d consider but somehow the Giants are so hot right now. I’d skip this one and not risk a poor start to your week.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Cal Quantrill vs. New York Mets – This is the only logical choice. Here’s to Quantrill taking advantage of a sputtering Mets lineup.


Game of the Day 


Jordan Yamamoto vs. Walker Buehler – This might be the start that brings Elieser Hernandez back into the rotation and gets everyone super hyped about Buehler again.


(Photo by Nick Wosika/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.

2 responses to “Pledging To The Fratty Pirate”

  1. Jaybird934 says:

    More love for Urquidy or Beede in a 10 man where it’s all about potential?

  2. MW says:

    Would you prefer Urquidy over McKay?

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