Riding The Pine

On opening day in Yankee Stadium, it was fun to watch Michael Pineda throw seven perfect innings, eventually leaving in the eighth with a line of 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits,...

On opening day in Yankee Stadium, it was fun to watch Michael Pineda throw seven perfect innings, eventually leaving in the eighth with a line of 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. I’d call him Schrodinger given how he’s known for being super good or super bad (we just don’t know what it is until we check out fantasy lineup), but I really don’t want to have to spell Schrodinger every five days. Okay, I totally just spelled it correctly both times on my first try, so we’ll see. Annnnyway, this start obviously warrants discussion since that is a stud line that will make people jump all over Pineda and now have many people questioning what to do. Well, starts like these are why Pineda is in the Top 70 and not outside of it. But, his other outings, say the one before of 4 ER in 3.2 innings means he’s not inside the Top 50. These starts are why he’s rostered and let’s not treat this like anything more. He still doesn’t have a consistent third pitch and he wasn’t getting laced on his Fastball yesterday, allowing his Slider to take center stage. That’s great, just don’t forget why I’m calling him Schrodinger.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Matt Moore – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. I haven’t been shy to express my concern for Moore this season and to me it’s about establishing his new Cutter, which should bring in a good amount of whiffs. Problem is, he’s only gotten four whiffs total in 53 thrown thus far, and that’s not what I was hoping for from the pitch. But hey, zero walks and just three hits in eight innings is marvelous and obviously he should be owned in 12 teamers. I’m simply hesitant to believe in consistency from him until I see that necessary pitch begin to dominate batters. Also, 0 walks from Moore is like a double yolk egg. It’s nice when it happens, but you expect the next to be back to normal.

Jharel Cotton – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m sure some of you doubted Cotton after last time out and I don’t blame you. Now please swing the pendulum the other way and start trusting a guy who throws 94/95 with movement, a 90mph Cutter that acts like a Slider, and a Changeup that is just so dang deadly. So deadly that the Royals broadcast kept calling it a

James Paxton – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. 0 ER allowed from Paxton this year in two starts. Dude, what do I need to get you to stay healthy now? Blankets? Blankets? That’s what you went with? They make me feel good.

Chris Sale – 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Still think he shouldn’t be #3 on The List?

Justin Verlander – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I just want like two more strikeouts Verlander. IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?

Jon Lester – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. There were a good amount of aces yesterday, okay? What’s with all the questions? What’s with all your questions? Oh. Damn.

Jerad Eickhoff – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. If it weren’t for the four walks, I’d consider leading with Eickhoff. He’s a pitcher that many elected to let drop a ton in drafts due to him being a somewhat boring arm, but he’s already showcasing a great WHIP with a tick more in the K column. He’s not as flashy as the Bundys, Paxtons, and Taillons of the world, but when you look back at 2017 you’ll be saying “Huh, I didn’t realize how productive Eickhoff was”. At least I hope you’re that kind of a deep, reflective person. If not, go find yourself a lake and a rock that is totally the best thinking spot anyone has ever found.

Ian Kennedy – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Sure, this is fine. I wanted a little more K production from Kennedy against the A’s, but whatever I’ll take it.

Alex Cobb – 7.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Those 4 ER hurt a bunch as Cobb looked pretty good in this outing, allowing just 2 ER through the first seven. I think a lot of people are still sleeping on Cobb and he can bring decent value at the backend of a 12 teamer if you need another arm.

Jacob deGrom – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. deGrom was struggling a bit early on, then settled in to give owners a salvageable 3.00 ERA and meh WHIP. It happens, but let it be known that when deGrom has a tough outing you don’t pay the price. That’s why he’s awesome.

Jarred Cosart – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. If you’re considering to pick up Cosart, consider that he gave you 0 ER, yet still couldn’t survive the fifth. Think about that.

Alex Wood – 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Oh come on Wood. You finally get your chance to assert yourself as a starter for the Dodgers and you give us five walks. Five walks! That’s like your parents setting you up an interview at the perfect job right out of college and you bomb the interview. So, what would you call your best skill? I, um, don’t know. I’m good at, um, writing. This is an accounting job. Oh. Yeah, that too I guess.

Charlie Morton – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I’ll be honest, I meant to slot Morton in the 80s or so yesterday and I completely dropped the ball. It’s not like me and you guys deserve better. Well, you also deserve better from Morton with that atrocious ERA/WHIP, but at least he’s still giving you K numbers. He gets the A’s + Rays next, which is oh-so-fun.

Taijuan Walker – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Are you smelling a breakout 2017 season yet? No? Yeah, neither am I. Must be the lilies. They are just so lovely this time of year.

Brandon Finnegan – 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. Well well well. I wanted to buy into his first start against the Phils. I really did. Okay I kinda did and slotted him in the 60s yesterday before this outing. Well, this is why he wasn’t in the 40s and 50s. In April, it’s a good idea to chase a lot of different arms and see what sticks. Finnegan is sticking like uncooked pasta. IT NEEDS MORE TIME IN THE POT. But yeah, I’ll believe Finnegan when his walk rate is consistently 2 walks or fewer. Until then, you’re just a Young Gun.

Tyler Chatwood – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I’ve officially retired the Colorado blurb and it makes me kinda sad since I have no idea what to say now about Chatwood. We had this thing, him and I, for so long as now it’s just…weird. Like seeing an ex-girlfriend months later and wanting to be friendly but knowing that there is no chance we’re actually going to be friends. So, um, good seeing you Chatwood. Maybe we’ll catch up some time? As if.

Tanner Roark – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Hmmmmm. No walks is a plus here, but that ERA and low strikeout total are just not going to cut it. It’s like his elite induced soft contact rate from 2016 wasn’t sustainable.

Tyler Glasnow – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 1 Ks. He fixed his command problems, they said. New mechanics make it easier to throw strikes, they said. His Changeup is looking legit now, they said. Ugh, sorry if you went down with me, and here I was hoping to do a GIF Breakdown on the changes Glasnow made from last year. Streaming record: 3-3.

Adam Wainwright – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 11 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Yeaaaaah. I don’t buy that Waino is going to have a renaissance in 2017. I don’t blame you for rolling with him in 12-teamers, though I’d prefer a better upside arm instead.

Today’s Streamer

Lance Lynn vs. Washington Nationals – Not a great day for streamers, so I’ll go with Lynn who is still somehow owned in under 25% of ESPN Leagues. Don’t love the matchup against the Nats, but so it goes.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Triggs vs. Kansas City Royals – I think Triggs has it in him to give you a good outing against the weak Royals offense.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Do I like trusting Edu after he’s shown that he has some kinks to work out? Sure don’t. But Andriese/Vargas/Chen aren’t all-too appealing either.

Game of the Day

Dylan Bundy vs. Drew Pomeranz I’m hesitant to trust Bundy here against the Sawx, but if he does well the hype is going to be stupidly high.

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.

10 responses to “Riding The Pine”

  1. Who would you prefer, Cotton or Eickhoff? I figure I could just tell from your rankings but maybe Cotton’s last start made some difference.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think I’m slightly leaning Cotton here, though Eickhoff’s floor is a little higher if you need it.

  2. I wonder how much of both Finnegan and Glasnow struggling was perhaps an ump with a small zone? Seems bizarre to have two guys both walk 5+ without finishing the 3rd in the same game.

  3. John says:

    Where would Glasnow be ranked if you were to re-do The List now? In the 80s?

    I know he has major upside, but I find it hard to trust a guy with 5 BB/9 in the minors last season. Is he going to be that guy who has monster outings then gets destroyed like against the Reds last night? Sort of like Pineda but for different reasons.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Here I was hoping the tales of new mechnics = great command were true.

      I’d have Glasnow right after Bauer.

  4. Another example of why Pitcherlist is the best!!

    After Cotton’s (I have him on two teams) first start, I was a little sour after seeing his line. But after I read the SP Roundup the next day, I felt much better, seeing that Cotton was hurt by some bloopers and softly-hit balls. But otherwise, pitched really well.

    So I started him with confidence yesterday, and was obviously thrilled. If it hadn’t been for Pitcherlist, I probably would have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach and had Cotton on my bench.

    Thanks Nick!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Glad it worked out for you Eric!

      Cotton against the Royals seemed like the recipe for a good outing.

  5. Max says:

    Pineda is sandwiched by Ian Kennedy and Ervin Santana in your rankings just FYI, that’s the company you have alongside him.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Sounds about right. I trust Santana more to take advantage of weak opponents, while not the same ultimate upside as Pineda. Kennedy is the steadiest of the bunch, but has his obvious warts too.

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