The Falling Star Of David Price

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

(Photo by Samuel Stringer/Icon Sportswire)

This has been a weird year being a David Price owner. After going fourteen shutout innings to start the year, Price has been questionable in each of his last four outings, ending with yesterday’s 5.2 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks performance against the Rays. Now it’s a 3.78 ERA, 20.3% K rate, 10.1% BB rate, and 1.32 WHIP and I can smell the fear. The doubt. The eyes rolling in disgust. I watched a decent amount of this one and, if can believe it, I didn’t see anything so alarming. He’s not getting ahead of batters quite like he used to – 60.9% F-Strike rate vs. ~65% career – while failing to earn strikes via whiffs – 7.8% mark this year! – but I think that will come back. It comes down to a stupid low sub 3.0% whiff rate on his sinker and his changeup execution not up to par. I think that will come with time, making Price a solid buy low. He’s not a 10%+ walk rate pitcher, this is going to get better.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Carson Fulmer – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. So you allowed 0 ER this time and 2 ER last time. Whoop dee doo. You still have a 5.45 SIERA, 15.8% K rate and 11.4% BB rate. Yep.

Lance McCullers – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. This is why you endure the 6 walk games. I don’t think there is a bigger Cherry Bomb out there than McCullers, where he’ll question your sanity one night then win a Gallows Pole (15 whiffs!) the next. The ultimate kVPR darling. You keep mentioning that term yet it’s still not on the site. I know, I know, it’s coming! We’re so close to getting it up and running. This isn’t The Winds of Winter, I swear.

Jose Quintana – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Guys. GUYS. He’s back. Let’s take that TIARA off and set him free. His velocity was above 91.5 after hovering 92mph last time and it was classic Quintana. Phew, glad we’re done with that scare. Start him confidently against the Cardinals, Marlins, Braves, Reds, Giants, and Mets ahead.

Wei-Yin Chen – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Welcome back Chen! I hope you enjoy our little celebration because the cake won’t be there next time you show up to the office. Sorry.

Dylan Covey – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. A word of advice: Don’t Covey Thy Dylan.

Mike Foltynewicz – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Is this the time when I’m supposed to say that I’m all in on Folty? I just can’t do it. He’s still allowing 15.6% soft contact and 33.8% hard, his whiff rates are nearly identical to 2017 yet he’s boasting a 29.3% K rate vs. the 20.7% mark last year, and his walk rate has ballooned to 11.3%. The “gamechanger” changeup has done a whole lot of nada in his last three starts and I’m just thinking this is same old Folty. I’d own him in a 12-teamer and see where it goes, of course, but I’m selling high.

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Don’t look now but – I TOLD YOU NOT TO LOOK – but Guerra has a 0.82 ERA and 0.95 WHIP across his first four starts. He’s needed a .232 BABIP to do that, but a 25.5% soft contact rate makes it somewhat believable. However, the strikeouts aren’t there like normal – a sub 9% whiff rate this year – as his slider and splitter aren’t doing as much damage as we’ve seen in the past. Great performance here against the Cubs as he commanded his heater exceptionally well, but I can see Guerra being a solid Toby through the year. I’d at least pick him up for his next start against the Pirates – not so much Coors and Coors Lite after (can we still call it Coors Lite?) – and take it from there.

Jake Odorizzi – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. About time you gave a start worth starting. But of course it only came with 9 whiffs and 3 Ks and it was the Reds and I’m going to stop rambling because Odorizzi isn’t where he needs to be. And I need to be on the next blurb by now.

Eric Skoglund – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Um, what. How. You had 8 whiffs and 9 Ks. Some people would call that stupid. I would also call it stupid. Because it’s stupid.

Masahiro Tanaka – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Tanaka had 14 whiffs in this one, with 14 coming via the slider and splitter, of course. Just 31 fastballs across 88 pitches and Tanaka has found the bread-and-butter that goes perfectly with his bacon and eggs. Is that a thing people say? Probably not. I’m buying y’all, HR rates be damned.

Walker Buehler – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. It looked bad at the start, but he settled down and earned 29 CSW (Called Strikes + Whiffs) across 93 pitches. He rode his heater a ton and it worked out well for him, averaging over 95mph with the pitch, but I’m still not seeing enough from his breaking pitches for me to think that six Ks over five frames will be a constant.

Johnny Cueto – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. So Cueto finally allowed a HR and now sports a 3.3% HR/FB rate. There’s the regression we’ve been looking for! All jokes aside, I’m happy to see he’s still in a groove with his changeup, increasing its usage and getting positive results after a 2017 that saw the pitch disobey him like a level 50 Charizard after your 2nd badge. Am I buying into Cueto? Kinda, I’m still not sold he’s fumigated the injury bug out of him, but I can’t deny that he’s done plenty better at harnessing his repertoire this year. He’ll see a bump tomorrow, definitely.

Jeremy Hellickson – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Don’t make me start calling you The Devil again. Don’t you dare ruin the lives these poor innocent townspeople, they deserve better.

Joey Lucchesi – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He was a Lucchesi, not a fuhgehzi, but he earned just five whiffs in 79 pitches here. That doesn’t scream reliability.

German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Solid outing from Marquez who had a date in Miami. That 1.50 WHIP is far from stellar, but I think he can give you something like this if he’s out of Coors against a weak offense. A rare streamer as much as any.

Sal Romano – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Nobody loves Sal. There’s a reason.

Trevor Williams – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. I’m not sure there is a bigger TEEs out there right now with Williams’ 2.29 supported by a 5.41 SIERA. No, I don’t want any part of this.

Yonny Chirinos – 2.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blegh, Chirinos was dealt another date with the Sawx and this one didn’t go so well. I’m not ruling out Chirinos yet as a Spice Girl who can put it together this year, just play it smart the next few weeks, picking his starts wisely.

Bartolo Colon – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. The Groan Ranger was serviceable against the Jays. Don’t push your luck here.

Patrick Corbin – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Just 8 whiffs from your slider today? You’re slacking, Corbin. On the real, his next two starts against the Dodgers are the real tests. Let’s see how this pans out.

Jack Flaherty – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. We wanted big things from Flaherty here and while 3 ER with 8 baserunners and not your best stuff is somewhat impressive, it obviously makes me question rolling with him next time, which will be…I don’t know. The Cards could go 4-man again with an off day on both Monday and Thursday this week, which would mean a week from Tuesday against the Twins is next. That’s a long wait to stash Flaherty, again, and with this start not being anything close to what we want, I’m not sure you want to make that investment.

Francisco Liriano – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. So Liriano has yet to allow more than 3 ER thus far, but he’s also sporting a 18.0% K rate and 12.0% BB rate. Then there’s his .215 BABIP and 5.12 SIERA and you realize he’s a TEEs. Sorry buddy.

Carlos Carrasco – 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. He left this start early with back stiffness, but maybe that was a good thing as he clearly wasn’t grooving like a vinyl. I wouldn’t worry about the stiffness sticking around – he got is by slipping on the dugout stairs, of course – and keep on keepin’ on.

Mike Leake – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Well, yeah. Leake isn’t that great. At least he gave you six Ks to go with his six hits and six frames….wait, I was focused on Hellickson when I should have been focusing on Leake!

Daniel Mengden – 2.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. Well, yeah. We didn’t want Mengden for an outing against the Astros. He gets the Mariners next, which I can see being decent, but then it’s the Astros and Sawx after. You’re probably better off chasing a different upside play in the meantime.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Fortunately, Pivetta will stop playing the Braves now for at least four weeks. He didn’t have his best stuff here – slider was blegh and forced him to throw only 7 total – but he still gave you six strikeouts at least. I’m not worried.

Alex Wood – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Because it’s #WoodVelocityWatch2018, he averaged sub 90mph once in this start. The question has been, though, can Wood get away with it? He’s been showing plenty good command thus far, but he is susceptible to starts like this because of that lowered velocity. I just don’t think he presents Top 25 upside without it.

Jaime Garcia – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Yep, there’s the Garcia we know and hate.

Trevor Oaks – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 12 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I could have sworn Trevor’s last name was Rozier after he made all of you say “Who?” Say it with me guys, Oaks is a Cup of Schmo.

Garrett Richards – 1.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Alright. I watched this one and it was such a stressful first inning. He got squeezed for a walk against Didi, an infield error against Stanton, and a strikeout/wild pitch that extended the inning further. Yes, a hard groundball single + a double by Sanchez were deserved, but I wouldn’t dock him much for allowing a 3-1 double to Andujar on his 33 pitch on the opening frame. He was gassed and rightly so. His stuff wasn’t his best, things didn’t go his way, and it fell apart in the second. My job is to help you what to do right now and the answer there is to hold. Consider him a buy low and hold tight as the discount offers roll in.

Andrew Cashner – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. After looking solid in back-to-back games against the Yanks and Jays, Cashner has allowed 13 ER in three starts with 8 walks and 22 hits across 16 frames. Yikes. Hope you Cashed Out.

Chris Stratton – 1.1 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Hooooo boy. This didn’t go well at all and I’ll take another loss (I’ve been told not to count yesterday’s) Streaming Record: 16-9. Stratton is still not the worst arm at the end of your staff if you can believe it, but let’s hold off from starting him next time against the Dodgers again.

Jason Vargas – 3.2 IP, 9 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. DLH is real and Vargas had like 10 too many tequila shots last night. One is already too many. Ah, you had that terrible night in college that ruined it forever for you too, right? She said her husband was Jose Cuervo That’ll do it.

Today’s Streamer

Zack Wheeler vs. San Diego Padres He hasn’t looked great since the Marlins, but the Padres are the Padres. That’s a surprisingly decent argument.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jhoulys Chacin vs. Cincinnati Reds – The Reds are bad and there is nothing left to choose. I don’t expect Chacin to be good, which means he’ll be good…?

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Andrew Triggs vs. Seattle Mariners – I’d also consider Kyle Gibson against the Jays, but I think Triggs can pull this off.

Game of the Day

Luke Weaver vs. Nick Kingham – I’m curious to see what Kingham looks like and I want Weaver to bounce back like he should.

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.

13 responses to “The Falling Star Of David Price”

  1. Andy says:

    Think you inadvertently referenced Corbin in the Flaherty blurb.

  2. Kyounghan says:

    Hey Nick. I waited for today’s SP round up as an owner of Richards and Flaherty.
    I will hold Richards as you said. BUT
    It seems that Flaherty won’t start in big league until mid May. Do you think I should drop him if Minor and Heaney are available?

  3. The Prince says:

    Where do you think Heaney and Gibson fit in the list after their impressive performances?

  4. Dgm says:

    Hey nick, sent u this link via Reddit. Looks like there may be a mechanical explanation for castillos struggles

  5. Launch Angle says:

    Would you trade paxton and e-rod for Carlos Martinez if in a standard, season-long roto using QS, K, ERA, WHIP?

    My current staff: Klub, Severino, Thor, Bauer, Corbin, Godley, Pax,E-Rod

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I’d hold.

      • Let's Play Two says:

        Thanks, Nick. Reason I asked is I need to drop someone and the odd man out looks like E-Rod as I can’t drop an offensive players. That’s why I was willing to go 2 for 1 for C-Mart. So if you were looking at it as a 1 for 1 Paxton for C-Mart would you still hold?

        • Nick Pollack says:

          If E-rod is going to get dropped, sure I’d make that deal. Might as well.

          I really like E-Rod, though.

  6. Tom says:

    Hey Nick! So many interesting performances today. I’d love to get your early take on Caleb Smith and Kingham? Would you drop Heaney, Triggs or Cahill for either of them?

  7. David says:

    Any thoughts on what you saw with Kingham? I’m sure many of us are waiting for your morning “Go Grab Kingham now” lol!

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