Slippin’ and Slidin’ Jimmy

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

(Photo by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire)

I’ve talked about him loosely for a bit, but it’s time to really grasp what is going on with Jameson Taillon, who went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks last night against the Brewers. Since he introduced his slider on May 27th, Taillon holds a 3.29 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 24.6% K rate, 6.3% BB rate, 6 IPS, and 11% whiff rate. This isn’t a flash in the pan, this is the new Taillon. He’s always been a command focused guy with his heater and a curveball that couldn’t put away batters but induced grounders and found strikes. Now he has this slider – 26.4% usage since its introduction while holding a 17% whiff rate, 52% O-Swing, and 51% Zone rate. That’s legit money over 203 pitches. It’s the final piece of the puzzle – GET OUT OF HERE CHANGEUP – and you bet your bottom dollar I expect it to continue through the second half. Get in on this.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

J. A. Happ – 3.2 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Poor Happ. This line doesn’t really kill you save for the WHIP, but what you don’t see are the five runs allowed as the fourth inning was a nightmare. Infield single, error, wild pitch, etc. and a 13-pitch at-bat ending in a Mookie Betts grand slam. Defeat. 

Ross Stripling – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeeeaaah I should have lifted Stripling on The List this week. Kinda dropped the ball there. My bad. To be fair, this was the Padres, but he should be definitively Top 25 by now.

Kyle Freeland – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Freeland keeps impressing me, this time staving off the Diamondbacks as he lowered his ERA to a startling 3.11 ERA. Is he a TEEs with his 4.06 FIP and 4.38 SIERA? He’s also boasting a sub 20% K rate, 82.5% LOB rate, .269 BABIP and a sub 9% whiff rate…it just seems to weird to me. I don’t blame you for keeping with Freeland – by all means, it’s working now and it’s a Free Land – but this has the stench of disappointment, doesn’t it?

Kyle Gibson – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks. Now here’s a Kyle I can get behind. 3.42 ERA, 23.7% K, 12% whiff rate for the season, though a 30/113 CSW here is a bit of a letdown. Well okay I guess not since the line is fantastic, but it tells the tale of someone getting into deep counts then getting saved by the batted ball a little to make it through eight. Whatever, you know he’s not a Top 30 guy but a solid strikeout option without killing your ERA/WHIP. That’s fantastic.

Tyler Skaggs – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This wasn’t really a DLH as he had just one start off and he sure didn’t act like it. Skaggs, you are a wonderful, mysterious enigma to me. I guess your four-seamer is just that effective these days. Keep riding it until something happens.

Wade Miley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. DLH here for Miley – I feel like every Miley start should be treated as such.

Robbie Ray – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Yep, that’s Ray alright. A ton of excitement with a touch of “ehhhh I guess my ratios can take the hit.”

Tyson Ross – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Given how mediocre Ross has been lately, yes I’m definitely happy with this. Still need more Ks, but steps, not leaps ya’ll.

Trevor Cahill – 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. It was a DLH and we got more 3s than a GSW game. I may consider Cahill to help in the second half, but I need to see him do it once first. Oh right, I had to choose one of these DLH guys for the stream, so here’s the loss. Streaming Record: 55-31.

Steven Matz – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. A touch better than a VPQS from Matz with only 4 Ks. For those not in QS leagues, this start did nothing for you.

Charlie Morton – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Blegh. This is too messy for any sort of happiness, even if 5 Ks is fine. Curveball was fine, splitter/cutter was not and he got hit around a little more than normal. Another day, another.

James Paxton – 0.2 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Bad news is obvious news: Paxton was lifted early due to injury. Good news is it was back stiffness that isn’t considered serious. Given we’ve dealt with plenty of long-term injury problems with Paxton, this is a sigh of relief. Maybe one missed start, maybe none given the ASB. Breathe easier. But my ERA and WHIP! HAISTFMFWT?! Oh come on, don’t bring that up in a time like this.

Kevin Gausman – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks.  Oh Gaus, if you can’t handle the Phils, can I trust you with anyone?

Nick Pivetta – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Even with the Careful Icarus of the seventh frame, I’m satisfied with his sub 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks for the night. Feel good about being a Pivetta owner heading into the second half.

David Price – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Yeah, I’m totally happy with this. 7+ Ks with zero walks is classic Price and I’ll take the 3 ER with that WHIP and strikeout production.

Max Scherzer – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna kinda ace? I mean it’s fine, but you want something more overpowering, you know?

Blake Snell – 3.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Snell. No. Buddy, please, we want you in the ASB but you have to get your breaking balls in order.

Luis Severino – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Severino pitched five frames and got one strikeout. H…A…I…GTFMFWT?! Just one of those days from Sevy, bad luck if you needed this.

Corey Kluber – 7.1 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. A slight Careful Icarus here as Kluber allowed his final 2 ER in the eighth, but the Yanks did claim 4 ER prior and despite pitching decently well, his mistakes were enough to give him the L. So it goes.

Today’s Streamer

Nick Kingham vs. Milwaukee Brewers – He’s still owned in under 10% of leagues, so obviously I’m rolling with him.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zack Wheeler vs. Washington Nationals – 19% owned! NINETEEN PERCENT.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Suarez vs. Oakland Athletics – There may be more options as teams decide what to do entering the break, so keep yourself updated come Saturday night.

Game of the Day

Noah Syndergaard vs. Washington Nationals – Thor is back and this is a good thing.

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.

39 responses to “Slippin’ and Slidin’ Jimmy”

  1. DGM says:

    hey nick – how do you feel about minor against Baltimore on Sunday?

  2. MH says:

    Nick any concerns for Kluber and Severino from a workload perspective? This is 2 straight stinkers from Sevy, I’m ever so slightly worried. 14 team H2H league, a rotation of Kluber, Severino, Carrasco, Corbin, Mikolas, Archer, Castillo, D. Rodriguez is good enough to win right? Please say yes

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Definitely not with Kluber, I can imagine it with Sevy, but we can come up with an equal concern for all of the studs. I wouldn’t put stock in it.

      And yes, that rotation is good enough. Good luck!

  3. Mitch says:

    nick, would you start godley vs Braves??

  4. Bubba Beauregard says:

    I own Pivetta, Flaherty and Bundy. Taillon is on wire. Any swap to consider? Or are they all just too close too call….

    • Matty B says:

      Personally, I’d greatly prefer Taillon to Flaherty right now, but that’s personal preference.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I want Taillon, those three are all super close to me. Trust your gut.

    • theKraken says:

      Flaherty has not been very good over the past few weeks. I have watched most of the innings pitched… I get the feeling that the second half will be a mixed bag at best – I think he is learning to pitch at this level. He had some huge strikeout games early and I think he is trying to figure out the balance between double digit Ks and not running of his pitch count. I actually think he and Taillon are similar and I would go Taillon becase he has been better as of late and shouldn’t be as tightly managed down the stretch. With Taillon, you have some idea what you will get… with JF, I don’t know what you will get – second time through the league won’t go as well as the first. I would also ditch Pivetta, but that is just me. When I have watched Pivetta he hasn’t been good and the WHIP is not good, which is what I am looking at. If Nick likes him, then that is worth about 2 of my opinions! In any case, I guess you are looking for the guy who takes a leap forward in the second half? I think Taillon and the new slide piece is as good a bet as any – he is the best hail mary I think.

  5. Arch says:

    Hi Nick. Is Ray still a hold or should I swap out for Taillon, Buehler or Pivetta in a 10 teamer? Thx for the advice.

  6. Chris says:

    Only 90’s Kids will remember when Nick used to type out HAISTFMFWT.

    I think the next time a pitcher goes over 4 IP and records 0 K’s, you gotta bring out the big guns…

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Ahhhhh I totally did it wrong. I’m also super touched that someone was able to pick that up.

      I wonder if I should have something to separate between 1 K and 0 K…

  7. Will says:

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks as always for the content. Taillon or Mikolas ROS?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Super close, I still trust Mikolas for a better ratio floor – less hittable than Taillon – but Taillon if you’re falling in Ks.

      I think they’ll be Mikolas –> Taillon in The List on Monday.

      • theKraken says:

        That is kind of sad… I was thinking Mikolas would be way ahead. Maybe I should be happy that you are giving Taillon a huge vote of confidence? I think you are right, but I am hoping for a magical season out of Mikolas.

  8. J says:

    Hey Nick! Thanks for the great writeup as always. Do you prefer Taillon or Pivetta rest of season?

  9. Taylor says:

    Sick Better Call Saul title!

  10. Perfect Game says:

    Start Buehler tonights against the Angels?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Depends on your situation, not the best start, it’s 50/50 if he’ll be productive for you tonight.

  11. Dead Milkmen says:

    Sitting Bieber against the yanks?

  12. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,

    I just picked up Bieber after putting Pax on the DL; aside from probably being an easy sit today, do you think he has potential after the ASB? My alternatives would be Rodon, Cahill, or Tony Disco

    Thanks as always and hope you’re feeling better!

  13. AC says:

    Nick, I’m looking for SP depth and have SB surplus – is Merrifield for Clevinger a fair offer, or should I be aiming higher, like Greinke level?

  14. max says:

    Hey Nick,

    In a keep 12 – 10 team – H2H – auction league I’ve got the following arms that I’m considering keeping.

    Snell $4, Mikolas $2, Stripling $3, Fulmer $8, Castillo $5

    Pivetta is on the wire and I can have him for $2. I’ve been benching Castillo almost all season b/c I believe in his stuff 2019 and beyond and spot starting Fulmer for the same reason and it’s worked out ok.

    Thinking long term here, would you cut any of the 5 above for Pivetta or just stick w/ what I got?

  15. Molina Bros BBQ says:

    Wheeler 68% owned in CBS. Just wondering where do you get your ownership percentages from?

  16. Ross says:

    Snell had a long rain delay to deal with. Looked like they were going to get started so he began warming up before the tarp went back on the field. 3 times warming up, I’ll chalk it up to that.

  17. Alex says:

    Hey Nick, love the articles!
    Wanted to get your thoughts on a trade offer: Someone offered me Segura and Gerrit Cole for Story and Severino…

  18. Frankie says:

    Matz 7 QS in last 10 GS. Impressive.

    Most impressive.

  19. theKraken says:

    I feel like the new Taillon is a lot like the good Taillon that shows up for a few months each season. Sure, the pitch mix is different but I worry that he may never take the full step forward to stay. I hope you are right, you couldn’t pick a better guy to take a leap forward.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Kraken, the dude went through cancer last season in his first year pitching out of Spring Training.

      Hard for me to believe in the idea that he’s a “few month” guy based on that.

      • theKraken says:

        He has always been that way IMO. I watch him quite a bit and he just finds ways to implode. Most guys never take the step forward to stay – its elusive. I have always been a big fan of his – I want to believe! Thanks for the reply.

        • Nick Pollack says:

          I guess I don’t see why you’re saying he may “never take the step forward to stay” when he’s doing that right now!

          It’s a pretty clear approach for success, he’s having success, it’s all there. He’s had a tumultuous career thus far and is finally in rhythm with a complete repertoire. Don’t let him fall into a comfortable yet unsubstantial “one of those guys” label. You’re better than that Kraken :)

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