Soaking The Reed

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

(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)

Obviously I’m going to lead with Cody Reed today after he went 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks against the Marlins, a game after going 10 Ks against the Cubs. Is this believable? Can we trust Reed after two of these stellar starts? Ehhhh I honestly wouldn’t. This is a case of Reed boasting a stellar slider – 15/31 CSW with the pitch here! – but it’s a pitch that has been far from consistent through his career. He’s having a moment with it and that’s wonderful. He now gets the hot Royals offense next and it seems like a trap play to me. If you’re chasing strikeout upside, fine, but when you’re relying on one single pitch from a pitcher that has a questionable heater and a below-average third pitch in his changeup, and he has a terrible history of consistency, it screams disappointment. Congrats to those that took a chance on it last night, just don’t let those emotions blind you for his start next week.

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Matt Boyd1.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. Boyd threw over 50 pitches in under two frames, a product of an error in the first that led to a three-run HR (unearned), then a 2-run shot in the second, followed by a pair of singles and the day was done. Poor guy, (Fast, I know you were screaming that the Royals are a strong offense!) and I think you’re still safe starter him next time out against the Twins. 

Jeff Brigham5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Ha, y’all know this can’t be trusted, like responding to a craigslist ad with the email provided inside the listing. THEY JUST WANT YOUR EMAIL!

Sam Gaviglio5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey this isn’t bad from Gaviglio. Yeah, super boring n all, but it’s all alright. You can’t see me, but I’m looking proud of him. After this boring of a start. That’s the state of the SG.

Edwin Jackson5.1 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. WE DID IT. We survived a night with EJax! I really didn’t expect this to work, but hey, that’s what happens. Streaming 98-48. I’m on the cusp of holding onto the 2:1 ratio, here’s to hoping I can hit triple digits and keep the dream alive. 10 streamers to go, I’d have to go…6-4 and for the exact mark. Let’s do this. And for EJax, I wouldn’t trust him against the Mariners next.

Eduardo Rodriguez3.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks. Seven walks Edu? Seriously? How am I supposed to take this seriously in the slightest? At least you get the O’s next and we can forget about this but daaaaang dude.

James Shields6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Jimmy Bucklers survived despite relying on 17/18 outs via the ball in play. Yes, that means he had one strikeout. Yes that means he gets a well-deserved HAISTFMFWT?! This is old news for Jimmy Bucklers.

Ryne Stanek1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. FALSE START.

Jason Vargas5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. It’s his sixth start of his last seven recording 2 ER or fewer and it’s a little curious. While it was the Nats twice, Orioles, Phils, Marlins in five of those six (Cubs as well), it’s still a bit impressive. I don’t see anything here to suggest that Vargas is doing anything like his amazing run last year – his fastball is still on/off per start and his changeup is so far from the deadly weapon it used to be – and I’d sit out against the Braves next.

Kevin Gausman6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Speaking of the Braves, Gausman produced last night…if you can overlook the 4.00+ ERA. A near 1.00 WHIP and 7 Ks make everything okay, though, right? I should mention he earned 16 whiffs here and that’s a wonderful thing.

Max Scherzer7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Yes, even with a 3.85 ERA, Scherzer’s 1.00 WHIP and, oh yeah, 13 Ks make up for that easily. I wonder if he’s going first round next year. He shouldn’t, but I wonder. Anyway, enjoy the Gallows Pole of 22 whiffs n all.

Vince Velasquez2.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. VV couldn’t handle the Mets and Marlins in three games prior, of course he stumbled against the Braves. I have very little faith in VV this season and will be ranking him relatively low next season.

Masahiro Tanaka4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Womp womp. Tanaka has the upside to escape a date with the Sawx, but his fastball got hit around a decent amount, plus a hanging slider/splitter or two each got punished. Blegh. It’s the Rays next and I’d go with that without fear.

Josh Tomlin4.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. There’s the Tomlin we all know and hate.

Matt Shoemaker2.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I was worried about this one from Shoemaker and he was way too hittable with fastballs and even sliders, despite earning 7/18 whiffs on the breaker. He’s a questionable stream against the Rangers next time – remember, this was the A’s and they are an elite offense – and I think there will be better options.

Jorge Lopez1.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks. Wow. This is absolutely terrible. Two HRs + a sac fly in the first, then the first two baserunners get on followed by a three-run shot. Really hope you guys went Edwin over Lopez.

Today’s Streamer

Zach Davies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Tough day for choices here with a lot of different ones right at the same level as Davies. Ian Kennedy vs. Detroit Tigers. Davies was pushed to tomorrow, so I’m going to with Kennedy against a poor Tigers offense. Ivan Nova may work as well against the Brewers, but that offense is a bit scary for me while I’d favor Reynaldo Lopez against the Cubs instead, but none of them make me all too confident. I’d choose John Gant vs the Giants if I could, but his 22% ownage rate just puts him out of my threshold of 20% or lower.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Zach Davies vs. Pittsburgh Pirates – Few options under the 20% threshold here, so I’ll go with Davies still who was pushed from his Friday start.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Erick Fedde vs. New York Mets – I don’t want to trust the Feddes. I really don’t. But there’s nothing sub 20% else to chase here save for Trevor Richards against the Reds and I’m not loving his current state either. At least Fedde has 22 Ks in his last three games.

Game of the Day

Trevor Bauer vs. Chris Sale – Both are studs that will only throw a few innings each. Yet I’ll still be glued to the TV watching it.

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.

5 responses to “Soaking The Reed”

  1. Vinny says:

    Hey Nick,

    First off, just wanted to say great job with the On the Corner podcast! You and Mr.Fast made my morning commute that much better with some really solid info for the weekend and not one but two Breaking Bad/Aaron Paul quotes!

    Secondly, this will be my last ask of advice, as i’m going into championship weekend with everything set except for today. So if I dont get a chance to in the AMA later, I just wanted to thank you again for all the work you’ve put in this year helping us all out! I felt the least i could do was buy some merch to show my appreciation

    1) In a close points league match-up, you prefer Pivetta over Heaney today?
    2) Is Bieber worth grabbing in the long relief role today against the “just clinched” Red Sox? My matchup has a starts limit so if he is worth the play, this would be an opportunity to gain some extra points but after his last start against a weaker offense (DET), I’m a bit skeptical.

    Thanks as always and cheers my good man!


  2. RedEye says:

    I haven’t seen any reports beyond the numbers, and it isn’t a big sample, but something seemed to click for Reed in his last 5 starts in AAA: 32.2 IP, 27 H, 10 R (8 ER), 6 BB, 39 K. That makes me feel just slightly more optimistic about his current MLB success.

  3. Salvatore says:

    In my league I have a 5 start minimum. My ERA is around 1.00 so I’m hoping to make the minimum starts to keep my ratios unsustainably low. I can start two of Marquez, Bauer, Minor, and Nola this weekend. Who’s starts do you like best?

  4. Eric LaReau says:

    Hey Nick,

    Read the SP roundups daily. Got a complaint/question/suggestion though. With the increased “opener”/ False starts, any chance you review the non-starting Starting Pitcher in some of these games. I understand if its a bullpen game that you wouldn’t want to, but in the case of Yonny Chorinos yesterday, or Stephen Gonsalves on Wednesday, I’d much rather see how their 4-6 innings went.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I was doing that for a moment, but I honestly don’t think they are worth considering like a normal starter.

      I’ll think about it over the off-season but I don’t see a whole lot of value there. The only case is SP/RP leagues, though I see that as a very small minority.

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