Reasonable Doubt

I know this is going to be weird, but I want to talk about Jordan Zimmermann today, who went a startling 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks against...

I know this is going to be weird, but I want to talk about Jordan Zimmermann today, who went a startling 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Well this is getting interesting as he’s holding a 2.25 ERA over JZ’s last three starts, including the Red Sox and ChiSox. I joke around about how bad Zimmermann is often, but there may actually be something to this. Right before those three outings, Zimmermann said that he’s tweaked his slider grip, which of course made me look at its numbers in these recent starts. Get this, in his previous 10 starts, his Slider got a total of 22 whiffs, an average 2.2 per start. In these last three? 17 whiffs or 5.67 per start. Hmmmmmm. Now, he’s also used the pitch a bunch more as well – he tossed 33 in both this start and two prior after his previous top two counts were 29 and 21. This is a lot of talk about just one pitch here and I’m not totally sold that this is the renaissance that JZ has been dying for, but in a deeper league where he might be available, there could be some value here. Not enough to chase in a 12-teamer, but I’d consider adding him in a dire situation.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Francis Martes – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Yeah, I was planning on leading with Martes but then Jay-Z had to drop that bomb and so it goes. Martes is the latest Spice Girl in our lives and I’m sure you’re considering adding him as the latest flier and that’s cool with me. Why not? He’s been a heralded prospect for a while and his Curveball is legit. I smell hesitation Nick. Well, duh. He’s a thrower and not a pitcher with a third pitch (Changeup) that is far from a proper third option. It makes me favor Faria more who has two good weapons in his backpocket that he favors often. No reason not to chase Martes, but then there’s also the question of what happens when McCullers returns, which means Martes isn’t even sold for his next start…which would be Oakland and I think you ride with that.

Corey Kluber – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. We need this in our lives, Kluber.

Francisco Liriano – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Is Liriano the new Devil? Considering he’ll do this then give up 7 ER with 4 walks next time, I might start doing that. BE GONE FOUL BEAST.

Jhoulys Chacin – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Chacin will do well when Jhoylst expect it. Now Chacin hasn’t been so bad lately – 3, 3, 2, 2, ER totals his last four starts with a 8.51 K/9 in that time – but seriously, this is really not something you want to take a chance on.

Julio Teheran – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Most impressive here is that this was against the Nationals. I still dislike Teheran and this isn’t enough for me to get back on his side – he’s just two games removed from 7 ER and five from 9 ER…

Jason Hammel – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks.  Has Hammel returned to being someone we can depend upon in QS leagues? That’s three straight while walking just one batter…he’s stop using his bad Changeup and favored more breaking balls…maybe if I’m desperate? Still not chasing in 12-teamers unless really desperate.

Amir Garrett – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Garrett can show up one day with a good amount of strikeouts, while get completely shelled the next. I’d call him a Cherry Bomb but he doesn’t have that fun upside enough to really call him that. I prefer the term “Not-On-My-Roster”.

Brandon McCarthy – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Ehhhhh pretty lame from McCarthy here, but it was the Indians and you got a good ERA/WHIP, so whatever. But zero Ks McCarthy? How am I supposed to feed my family with this?!

German Marquez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. He got a Win, a 1.00 WHIP, and a 1.80 ERA. Works for me. Streamer Record 35-22-10.

Taijuan Walker – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Taijuan returned from the DL to face the Tigers and did a mighty fine job. I still don’t love Walker – he doesn’t have a firm putaway pitch and is susceptible to the longball. I’ve heard people say “but the humidor is coming!” as if they forgot he pitched in SafeCo before this season. Doesn’t matter if it’s not a HR friendy park, Walker finds a way. He’s the Baskin Robbins of starters.

Chad Kuhl – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Kuhl story, bro.

Mike Montgomery – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Monty another crack at starting and went – holy smokes – 88 pitches in this game. My biggest concern was the pitch count and to see him stretched this far is phenomenal. With Kyle Hendricks now expected to miss extended time, Monty is going to be in the rotation for quite a bit and I’d consider him for QS leagues. After a start of 88 pitches, 90+ can be expected in the future and can be a help even in 12-teamers.

Sam Gaviglio – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. This was a TEEs and you know it!

Matt Garza – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ah yes, Garza is making owners feel like this. 

Matt Harvey – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Harvey, the greatest PEAS of them all.

Dylan Bundy – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks.  And here comes the regression. I actually think he’ll rebound believe it or not, but these starts are kinda expected. I think one day it’ll click for him regarding approach and how to set-up hitters and put them away – he clearly has the tools to do that. You can’t bank on that now, though.

Brian Johnson – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Johnson left this game with shoulder discomfort, making any owner who rode with him against the Phillies super frustrated. Welp, I wonder who the next gun for hire is. Hopefully he’s harder than this rock.

Jake Odorizzi – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. And this is why I’m telling you to chase Spice Girls instead of rostering Odorizzi.

Edinson Volquez – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. That was a fun ride, wasn’t it? Back to the wire for you Volquez.

Ervin Santana – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Santana is back to his old ways – good against bad teams, bad against good teams. This was the Mariners = good team. It’s like he was super lucky before or something.

Michael Pineda – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. And this was with Hicks saving a Grand-Slam in the first inning that resulted in just 1 ER. Pineda hasn’t really changed from last year, honestly. Still a much better gamble than a ton of SP Landscape though. This season really is stupid.

Matt Shoemaker – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Shoemaker is worth a spot on your team when he’s hinting at one of his patented hot streaks. I didn’t know it got this cold in L.A. during the summer.

Mike Leake – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Wait, so Leake shouldn’t have an ERA under 3.50?!

Johnny Cueto – 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. And Cueto takes another step back – against the Royals, no less. Yes a major drop is incoming, I’m thinking 40s?

Andrew Cashner – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. You Cashed Out, right? Good.

Tanner Roark – 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh Roark, you’re just not that good fella.

Jeremy Hellickson – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Look at Hellickson, totalling four strikeouts + walks. Of course he can only muster one K though…I used to call him the Devil, but he’s not tempting anymore. Now he’s more like a snake pit. Yep, definitely not going in there.

Daniel Gossett – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Believe it or not, I think there may be a few starts in there for Gossett. Deep AL-Only leagues take note and don’t give up too soon. Decent heater that can go mid 90s and two pitches as well in the tank he can whip out.

Miguel Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Miguel…No.

Today’s Streamer

Zach Davies vs. St. Louis Cardinals Blegh, I hate this. I’m not denying a point either way here, but I wouldn’t roll with this one. Sorry for those who thought it was Biagini/Guerra, I completely messed up my dates in the previous article.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Joe Biagini vs. Chicago White Sox Biagini is still so underowned and should be rostered, really.

Junior Guerra vs. San Diego Padres He’s owned under 25% of leagues after his last start and you should be on board.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Clevinger vs. Minnesota Twins – He should be owned and he’s probably not. Welcome back Clev.

Game of the Day

Matt Strahm vs. Los Angeles Angels It’s Strahm! My February self is super excited and there’s a chance he sticks for a while. PLEASE BE GOOD.

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.

15 responses to “Reasonable Doubt”

  1. Big Cat says:

    Hey Nick, what are your thoughts on Homer Bailey? Worth a pickup in a 12 team? Would have to drop Joe Ross or Buck Farmer….honestly I’m on the fence about all 3 of them.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think you can drop Barmer for Bailey. Ross, however much of a headache, still has more believable upside.

  2. Lion says:

    I have to drop 2 by EOW? Who should it be:


    I know Shoemaker and Roark don’t have much love, but are highly owned and will be picked up right away, while guys like Montgomery, Biagini, Clevenger, Chatwood will probably stay available for future. (I say probably because they have been until this week when I picked them all up.) So I guess I’m asking if these guys really are worth owning over those two for the rest of the season.

    It’s a keeper league and daily streaming is outlawed. (have to keep a pitcher for 48 hours before dropping)

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I want to hold:

      Monty, Clev, Biagini.

      I’m fine dropping any two of Chatwood, Straily, Shoe, and Roark. I think Chatty is an easy drop EOW given he has to face ARI and LAD on the road, then host CIN and CHW in Coors.

      Between the other three, they are all really close. Go with your gut there.

  3. James Sargent says:

    Drop Odorizzi for Faria or Martes?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d grab Faria.

      • Beauford says:

        Dropping Odorizzi too… who’s best pickup between Wacha/Clevinger/Happ/Jon Gray/Faria… already picked up Biagini yesterday

        • Nick Pollack says:

          Need help this weekend: Clev.

          A little safer long term and willing to wait another week or two? Gray

          Want to take a fun flier that may be better than the others? Faria.

          Want innings now and don’t need high upside? Happ.

  4. eugene purdy says:

    Julio Teheran is 1-4 with a 7.25 ERA at home and 5-0 with a 2.89 ERA on the road (although he gave up 7 runs in Cincy but everybody hits in Cincy). Perhaps he has some value as a streaming option for road games.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Interesting point, to be fair I generally ignore Road/Home splits unless park factor is a major thing.

      More often, it’s a SoS situation or just sheer sample size and I think there are other variables that take more weight than Home/Road splits to help determine if I want a guy or not.

      Still, interesting to note, thanks!

  5. Sticki says:

    Drop Cueto for Biagini? 12 team redraft.

  6. The Kraken says:

    The problem with that Strahm start is the pitch count. He will be hard pressed to earn a win in 75-80 pitches.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Of course, I wouldn’t be throwing him out there as a streamer.

      I am excited to see how he looks in those limited innings, though. I can imagine him becoming a lock in that rotation if these early starts go well and he has the stuff to make an impact in 12 teamers.

  7. Brent Erickson says:

    I need a Wannabe shirt.

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