ReLax With Pax

Felix Hernandez hit the DL today with a strained hamstring, opening the door for the hard-throwing southpaw James Paxton Entering 2014, I was on the Paxton hype train.  Then when he...

Felix Hernandez hit the DL today with a strained hamstring, opening the door for the hard-throwing southpaw James Paxton Entering 2014, I was on the Paxton hype train.  Then when he returned fresh as a daisy for 2015, I was there waiting for him on the platform like a beau in a black-and-white film. Thankfully I wised up enough not to buy into him for his 2016 debut as he went 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks, though there may be something here. He was flashing high 90s heat all game and his own error cost him a bunch in the unearned run + extra batters department in the first inning, but enough of the excuses. I’d take a flier on him because why not. His ceiling is super high and it’s plausible he gets there, which is most likely a lot better than the bottom of your staff in a 12 teamer.  Just don’t be too shocked when he blows up or strained a muscle and BOOM he’s gone for two months.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Zach Davies – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Whoa Davies, don’t spend all your upside all at once! Complete sidenote:  You know how people say “don’t spend it all in one place!” but also commend people for saving up for something they want?  WHAT’S WITH THE MIXED MESSAGES.

Jon Lester – 9.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace.  Nice seeing a start like this from Lester when he is normally good enough and not mind-blowing.  Like your last relationship? Sigh…Yes.

Michael Fulmer – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Look at our Call Boy, dominating teams like it’s his J-O-B. Yeah, he’s played against super bad teams each of the last three starts, but the dude is killing it as he’s found his confidence for his Changeup. I want to ride this out for as long as possible – he’s sticking around given that Anibal Sanchez is moving to the bullpen (ABOUT DAMN TIME) – as this could be very legit.

Adam Conley – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Super impressive from Conley who has shown that he can have a ballertastic game here and there.  I don’t suggest believing in Conley over a stable producer like, say teammate Wei-Yin Chenbut note the upside if you need it.

Max Scherzer – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks.  Scherzer needed a big rebound like this, I don’t care if it came against the Phillies.  Aces gonna freakin’ ace.

Jacob DeGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Guys.  GUYS.  DeGrom is back and it. Is. MARVELOUS.

Mike Fiers – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. It’s about dang time you had an upside laden start. Too bad you’ve already damaged my trust and we’re not gonna be talking for another week or two.

Aaron Sanchez – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks.  Solid outing from Sanchez, who has had a much better floor than I expected him to.  He’s not expressing top of the line upside either, which means Sanchez is maturing right in front of me and it’s kinda weird.

Sean Manaea – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks.  This is a Top 5 start from Manaea easily, and I would not buy into this being a regular thing because…Blame it on the Twins.

John Lamb – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Whoa, Lamb went into the wolves’ den in Colorado and left with all of his wool still intact.  Unfortunately, it was because he was so bold that his prey didn’t know what to do.  You can only pull that stunt once and get away with it.

Trevor Bauer – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks.  Don’t do it guys.  Bauer will make you cry in a corner wondering how it’s possible to love someone ever again. NEVER AGAIN.

Mike Bolsinger – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Pretty run-of-the-mill Toby stuff, which is Bolsinger’s upside.  When that’s the best you’ve got, it can be tough to put up with his low floor.

Matt Shoemaker – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Okay, so the baseball gods loved him a bit when he should have been Singled Out, yet he escaped with just 2 ER to his name.  In other news, that’s 31 Ks in his last three starts and there’s no reason not to keep grinding this rail as you pull off every special move you can think of.  Don’t forget the manual as you land!

Miguel Gonzalez – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Miguel…no.

Cole Hamels – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Over the last two starts, Hamels has gone from hot schtuff  to not enough.  Step it up kiddo.

Masahiro Tanaka – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Given that this came against Toronto, this isn’t so bad. That lack of strikeouts is pretty annoying, but whatever.

Danny Duffy – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. He was the original Call Boy until Fulmer’s start got bumped up and we had to get super happy about that. Nevertheless, Duffy is kinda impressing me now, but only against weak opponents.  I’ll slot him into the “considerable” tier moving forward.

Albert Suarez – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Move along y’all, just your standard Cup of Schmo.

Jon Niese – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Just like dem old days.  Well, dem old days didn’t have a 1.80 WHIP.

Jaime Garcia – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks.  This is really boring. Like hanging out in a Pottery Barn as a six year old boring.  Not to mention, it’s now been four starts since Garcia has really pleased owners.  I was willing to let him off the hook a bit given the tough prior three opponents, but against the Brewers? Not cool at all.

Robbie Ray – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Ehhhhhhhh, you can see there is upside wanting to come out – people will point to his 10.42 K/9 without taking into account his IPS (Innings per Start) of under 5.1 frames (meaning he averages 6 Ks per start, nothing close to the monstrous number you see above) – but this is still a lottery ticket, and one that has much worse odds than you’d think.

Williams Perez – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Sir Dub is still as boring as ever.  I still regret giving him such a cool nickname, but what else am I supposed to call a guy with two surnames?

Chris Archer – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Come on Archer, stop wallowing and pull a Harvey already.  Don’t make me throw you deeper into the 20s – dare I say into the 30s.

Adam Morgan – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. This is the only situation I can see someone caring about this outing: “I must have accidentally plugged Morgan into my lineup when I was drunk last night…Aaaaahhh damn.”  I like that last part.  You’ll see that one again.

Pat Dean – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. I feel as neutral about Dean’s performances almost as much as Pat was in his movie.

Tyler Chatwood – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Chatwood 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.

Christian Friedrich – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Friedrich wasn’t good on the Rockies and it wasn’t because of Coors.  

Mike Wright – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks.  If this is Wright, then I want to be wrong.

Joe Kelly – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. He would be involved in the PEAS discussion, but no one really believes he’ll actually put it together.

Today’s Streamers

Jerad Eickhoff vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Now that Fulmer was moved up a day, Eickhoff gets the nod.  He’s been a bit wonky lately and this stream isn’t nearly as confident as it should be, but I’d be riding with it nonetheless.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Doug Fister vs. Oakland Athletics – There is really nothing to go with today, and at least Fister has allowed more than 3 ER just once all season.  That’s the only endorsement I can give.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Junior Guerra vs. Philadelphia Phillies – At this point, you have to keep rolling with Junior as he faces weak opponents.  Other options include his opponent Jeremy Hellickson (yes, that Hellickson) and Nate Karns against the Rangers, with super discount options coming from Matt Andriese vs. the Twins, Mike Foltynewicz against the Dodgers, and Ervin Santana facing the Rays.  It’s a flip of the coin day if you’re into that.

Game of the Day

Carlos Carrasco vs. DON’T CARE; CARRASCO IS BACK – Okay, he gets the Royals, which isn’t ideal but it was him + Noah from the Top 20 that I wanted to own everywhere in the pre-season and I need the second half of my knights in shining armor to save me from that Plague of the 18.

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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