Should We Pivot From Ross?

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

We were excited when Ross Stripling got the call to take over Rich Hill’s spot in the rotation, though the early results haven’t gone well. After a pair of outings where he needed to still get stretched out, yesterday’s 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks was a bit disappointing given that he tossed just 71 pitches despite the green light to hit 90. Is he droppable? Will he still start post-ASB? I think we hold. I’d wager the Dodgers still believe in Stripling (I sure do) and also want to keep limiting Julio Urias’ innings this season, while they have ample cushion in the division to let Stripling figure himself out. The problem here was lack of a third pitch to fit the bill – his curveball was solid, but his changeup + slider returned 4/19 CSW without a single whiff and we’ve seen better days commanding his heater. Stick with this, the deuce is too good and Stripling is getting warmed up inside the rotation after too much time spent in the pen. It’s not like there are a plethora of better options out there anyway.

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

Patrick Corbin7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace as Corbin earned 21 whiffs and a Gallows Pole. He did a better job of locating heaters in this one – not the extreme inside command, but more intent to go away and hitting his spots – and a 36% CSW is wonderful. Welcome back buddy.

Kyle Gibson1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. They let Gibson open this one and give him extra rest over the break. How nice of them. Devin Smeltzer came up and performed well – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – but he’s been since sent back down. Maybe we’ll see him again later this year. 

Ivan Nova5.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. The man went Super Nova and no one was around to enjoy it. You know, that’s a pretty normal affair, the universe is a large thing, after all.

Jeff Samardzija7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. I didn’t expect to be blown away at the underlying numbers, but seriously?! Just a 21% CSW with six whiffs?! Ask yourself, is that the chance you want to take on a given night? I didn’t think so.

Trent Thornton6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Last time out I said it’s time to stop hoping for Thornton to turn it around and BAM! He gives you this. But Nick, it was the O’s. Yeah, okay, Baltimore n all. Fine. And it was a sub 30% CSW. And it’s just one start. CARRY ON IGNORING HIM.

Alex Young6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Ah right, remember this Cup of Schmo? Well he was throwing a no-hitter and pulled early as he is still getting stretched out. Is this the start of a fantastic second half? With that sub 90mph fastball where we’re going to have to rely on his fantastic command? Out of a rookie? Nah, ain’t gonna happen.

Trevor Bauer7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. See Bauer, this isn’t so hard, is it? 36% CSW is rad, more sliders than any other secondary pitches is also pretty cool to see, though his curveball wasn’t as good as we’ve seen before. Whatever, the roller-coaster of Bauer really does seem like it should settle to be something like this in the second half, not those ridiculous 5 ER blowups.

Jack Flaherty7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Just when you’re starting to move on from Flaherty, he pulls you right back in as he took full advantage of a date with the Giants. good to see him go near 50% CSW on his slider, though there wasn’t anything outside of fastballs and slide pieces here, save for the rate curveball or changeup. In other words, we’re looking for that third pitch to suggest stability and it’s not here. This might be a good point to sell.

Jose Leclerc1.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hts, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Minor was giving the day off to get some extra rest over the break, so the Rangers went full bullpen. 

Charlie Morton5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace. The Quiet Ace did his thang against the Yankees, even if it came with a Philly. Please give us 30 starts…please give us 30 starts…

Aaron Nola6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Well commanded fastballs? Check. Pitches for whiffs? 13 here, check. Changeups and curveballs mixed effectively? Check. Those walks are a little surprising, but Nola has figured it out over the last few weeks and I’m very excited for the second half.

David Price5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Price enters the second half with a 3.24 ERA, 28% K rate, 1.14 WHIP, and seven Wins. You’re happy with this, I’m happy with this and well deserving of the AGA label.

Chase Anderson4.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Meh. I don’t think the reward is enough for the risk of Anderson. This start doesn’t kill you, but I can’t really imagine a much better game from Chase while starts like these are a bit expected.

Kyle Hendricks4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Hendricks could have gone longer, but the Cubs were cautious here. I think Hendricks will be a solid arm for the second half, providing some stability among a sea of question marks. That’s cool.

Jake Junis7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice rebound for Junis after allowing 10 ER across his last two games. It’s still a 5.33 ERA in the first half, even with the four 2 ER games in his last six, and I’m not willing to bet on those sticking vs. the much larger sample of the first half. Sorry kiddo.

Dallas Keuchel7.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A Toby does as Tobys do. Seriously, it’s kinda amazing how much Keuchel is sticking with it.

James Paxton6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Mmmmm, there’s the Paxton we wanted to see against the Mets. 20 whiffs were one shy of a Gallows Pole as he dominated with four-seamers, which I’m actually a little uneasy about. His cutter and curveball are two vicious pitches and they haven’t been utilized a whole lot as of late, despite holding a solid 32% CSW and 20% whiff rate among the two combined in this one, throwing 75/25 fastballs vs. curveball/cutter. Whatever, I’m pushing that aside as he leaned heavily on the pitch that worked for him – a heater that returned 15/74 whiffs – and feel good about Pax entering the second half.

Gregory Soto2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s almost as if Soto is fantasy irrelevant. Almost.

Jose Suarez3.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. There is some good stuff inside of Suarez’s repertoire, but the execution just isn’t there. I can understand deep AL-Only teams taking a chance here, but 12-teamers need a lot more first.

Joey Lucchesi6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Yeah I’ll take the near PQS with a solid WHIP from Lucchesi. Sure, you want more strikeouts and something to be excited about, but it doesn’t change a thing. Not a single thing. 

Tyler Mahle4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. 38% CSW here, but he made mistakes that the Indians capitalized on. Streaming Record: 55-39. It’s too bad, he didn’t pitch that badly here. Still keep him in mind as a streamer.

Daniel Mengden5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Yeaaaaah, I feel like we’re going to see a lot of games just like this one from Mengden.

Joe Musgrove6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I’ll take a PQS with a 1.00 WHIP and five Ks as Musgrove endured yet another strong offense against the Brewers. His velocity dipped slightly from the 93/94 to ~93 here, but still elevated from earlier in the season. He’ll move up to the low 40s or so today and that’s a lovely thing. Here’s to a much better half from Musgrove ahead.

Asher Wojciechowski4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Nope, still not good enough for me to memorize how to spell Asher’s last name. I feel like calling him “Asher Allen” (Asher ALN) for Asher’s Last Name. 

Matt Carasiti0.1 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. It’s hard for Wade LeBlanc to get a cheap Win as a False Starter if the opener allows 4 ER in the first. LeBlanc cleaned up the mess and held a lovely 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks line for this one, but you didn’t start him and none of this matters. Does LeBlanc deserve a spot on The List today? Ehhh not really. I think this is the ceiling and it’s not worth the floor.

German Marquez6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. He was so close to a strong outing away in Arizona, but the sixth frame did him in. Still, we’re entering the second half now and there’s hope that Marquez can go on the run like he did last year…

Zack Wheeler5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. …just like Wheeler. That first frame was a tough one to watch, but to Wheeler’s credit, he did settle in for the next four frames, only to allow a walk and a longball (on a terrible fastball) to open the sixth. Blegh. I’m sticking with both Marquez and Wheeler but these aren’t fun times.

Trevor Richards5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. You know the drill. If Richards is feeling his changeup, he can go on one of those runs of 3 ER total in four games. When it’s not…you get 13 ER in three games. Maybe the break will help him plenty, I’m personally not touching Richards these days.

Jose Urquidy2.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Awwwww this wasn’t close to what we saw in Coors. Fastball velocity was down a full two ticks to a pedestrian 93 mph, even hanging out in the 91 mph range at times, and that ruins everything. Looks like he goes back to the waiver wire pool and doesn’t make The List after all.


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.


None – It’s the ASB, y’all. Let’s watch some dingers and filthy pitches this week.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


None – What he said.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


None – Soooooo, I miss baseball already.


Game of the Day 


THERE IS NONE – This feels weird. Let’s enjoy some dingers tonight.


(Photo by Chris Williams/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.

10 responses to “Should We Pivot From Ross?”

  1. Derek says:

    FWIW, Ross Stripling has allowed two homers that have hit the top of the wall and gone over in his past two starts. Pretty unlucky, especially with the juiced ball

  2. Jack says:

    Sigh…no baseball to watch. Televised poker is just so 2000s.

    • theKraken says:

      Bring back World’s Strongest Man! You are right about televised poker – it was pretty great until it reached a point where it got a little too big. They really stretch out the broadcast now. Norman Chad is the man though!

  3. theKraken says:

    Re: Shark – That STL lineup currently sucks and really should be streamed against for now… probably too lat I know haha. I just kind of realized that the other day, but they are missing Ozuna and Carpenter while Goldy has yet to get going. We are all excited about DeJong’s production hitting third, but that also gives them probably the worst 3 hitter in baseball. They are bad right now.

  4. contours and shapes says:

    I’ve seen lots of folks in the fantasy community mention German Marquez’s crazy breakout that started mid-season 2018 as a reason for optimism for Marquez rest of season in 2019. I can’t decide if that line of thinking is logical or not. On the one hand, pointing out that he’s been successful is relevant. On the other hand, whatever you believe about 1st half/2nd half career splits, the calendar flipping to another month probably wasn’t the reason he turned the corner last year and probably won’t be the reason he does this year. Maybe digging into the real reason he broke out in July of last year, and then seeing if those same markers are present this year will reveal something? I don’t know, kinda sounds like a Going Deep piece.

    • Nick says:

      You hit the nail on the head – it’s more about reminding people of the possible upside he could provide the rest of the way. It’s easy to lose sight of it!

  5. Scott says:

    Who would you cut in a 12 teamer out of stripling, anibal Sanchez or gallen? Qs league. Stripling still hasnt gone 5 innings in his 3 starts since he replaced hill. Sanchez is on a nice run. Gallen hasnt gone 6 yet either. My fear with stripling is that LAD will trade forna pitcher since he hasnt exactly impressed in his most recent starts. Thanks

  6. Nick says:

    I’d be cutting Stripling

  7. Nathan says:

    How do you feel about Flaherty in a dynasty league? How long will it take him to develop a third pitch and because an ace?

  8. Big League S.Choo says:

    Please justify Ross Stripling being higher on The List than All-Star Sonny Gray.

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