The Hurricane By Dylan

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

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire)

There’s excitement surrounding Dylan Covey after last night’s line of 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks against Cleveland. Fast and I recorded this week’s OTC podcast Tuesday night and titled it “Don’t Covey Thy Dylan” as I always say in these roundups. After this start, there’s a lot of hoopla about him – this was the Indians! – and, well, I don’t feel a whole lot different. I get it, seven innings and 2 ER is cool. Even five strikeouts are nice! That two-seamer moves a ton! But ten hits is something that will happen a lot and he had a bit of fortune to escape with a solid ERA. Just fives whiffs overall here as well (23 CSW in 87, meh) and you’re playing with batted balls. I don’t want to play with…I don’t think you want to put faith in Covey inducing enough weak contact like Keuchel or Hendricks to make up for a strikeout rate that will fall under 20%. It’s possible he improves as the season goes on and I don’t blame you for taking a flier, though my two cents is that this isn’t going to work out. Sorry to be Debbie Downer.

Let’s see how every other SP did Wednesday:

Jhoulys Chacin – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. This was against the Cubs, so of course he killed it. After all, Chacin will do well when Jhoulyst expect it. There’s been some chatter about Chacin introducing a splitter here – 25 thrown with 7 CSW – and that’s cool, but I don’t think it’s suddenly a gamechanger as his fastball is still terrible. His slider is the pitch that makes him a major leaguer and I struggle to see his splitter suddenly converting him to a sturdy 12-team asset. But Nick, his 3.32 ERA and 1.24 WHIP already make him an asset! Oh have I not called him a TEEs yet? Because it’s a 0.66 HR/9 playing in Miller Park, a .264 BABIP (40% hard contact!), 10% walk rate, and 19% K rate. 4.72 SIERA is the result and you shouldn’t be shocked. The splitter isn’t going to keep that ERA/WHIP serviceable.

Wilmer Font – 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Can’t say I’m too Font of this outing. HA Ha ha…

J. A. Happ – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s not the strikeout explosion we’ve become conditioned to expect from Happ, and he left without a Win or a QS, but I’ll still take those glorious ratios.

Tyler Mahle – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Our Call Boy completely let us down with 1 strikeout but made up for it with a dub and a fantastic ERA/WHIP. Don’t expect plenty repeats, but let’s carry a smile after this and move on. Streaming Record 37-24.

Mike Soroka – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. I’m amazed Soroka was able to get so much out of an outing where he was pulled after 74 pitches, but that’s what having a legit fastball will do. I tweeted a prime example of the pitch in action yesterday, and I don’t see why he can’t be a Top 50 guy the rest of the way as long as he’s on the hill. I question Top 30 upside given his developing secondary stuff, but that heater is such a strong foundation that he should be owned everywhere.

Tyler Anderson – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. That’s two straight solid outings from Anderson, who is following the rules of the Rocky Mountain Way, facing the Reds and Phils on the road. He hosts the Mets and Marlins next and I think those are relatively okay streams.

Jose Berrios – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Berrios still doesn’t have his changeup. And Berrios doesn’t care.

Jacob deGrom – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He’s way too good and I love him.

Cole Hamels – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks. Solid rebound from Hamels who only had seven whiffs, but a 30% CSW makes up for it. Stop walking guys please so I can be encouraged by the 11.8% whiff rate a touch more.

Mike Montgomery – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Monty faced the Brewers and still pulled off a solid outing in his fourth start covering for Yu Darvish. He has yet to allow more than 1 ER in a start thus far, three straight of six frames a well. Too bad he’s averaging 4.5 Ks per start and I have zero faith that he can anything more than a streamer, but at least that’s something, right?

Chris Sale – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. He got a little squeezed – not too badly – in this one and got ejected as he left for the day. Which is like getting broken up with after you already ended the relationship, but everyone lets out their emotion and is healthier because of it. Okay probably not, whatever, Sale is legit and don’t forget it. Like you ever would.

Matt Boyd – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. This is pretty middling and I don’t see enough from Matt to pull me away from keeping afar and Boyd Watching

Jason Hammel – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Sorry Jason, I just don’t think trading for you in a deep league would be a Golden Fleecing.

Eric Lauer – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. He was handed a Philly as he couldn’t make it through the full six, and gave you just two strikeouts. I can’t give him the ole’ El. O. L. since he earned a Win, but man I don’t like rostering Lauer.

Kenta Maeda – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Maeda returned from the DL, though, like Soroka, I didn’t give it a proper DLH as the normal constraints we see in these first starts back are the norm for Maeda. Unfortunately, the other aspect of it – feel for breaking stuff – was realized and Maeda killed your WHIP with just 1 strikeout. Brush it off, start him next time.

Garrett Richards – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. Richards saw a two point drop in velocity and was pulled early. Apparently it was a hamstring injury and not arm related and we can all breathe easier. Maybe that’s because your sinuses are clearing up. LISTEN TO ME BREATHE!

Andrew Suarez – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Decent rebound from Suarez, though it was Miami and I don’t see anything here that makes me think this can carry over to another start. Blame it on the Marlins.

Jameson Taillon – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. I love what Taillon is doing these days. Seriously, that slider is everything he needed to get in the right direction and he got squeezed a decent amount here, with both walks coming on pitches inside the zone (one that should have been a K!). Believe in the new Taillon and get on board before it’s too late.

Trevor Bauer – 7.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 12 Ks. Aces gonna ace. I saw on Reddit that someone asked if Bauer is an ace yet. Guys, he got the AGA label weeks ago. I even want to say before April ended, but maybe a week into May. This isn’t going away. Oh, and enjoy your Gallows Pole of 18 whiffs, which also came with 43 CSW over 118 (36%). Hot damn.

Marco Gonzales – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. On one hand, that’s a terrible ERA/WHIP. On the other, he produced a 35 CSW and 7 Ks and that’s something to be proud of. I still wonder if we will be depending on him through the season, but this is surprisingly encouraging given the questionable ratios. Problem here is that he faces the Sawx and Yankees next and I don’t want any part of that.

Yefry Ramírez – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. This was a MLB debut against the Sawx and I wasn’t so turned off by it. Four-seamers and changeups were the names of the game, with the latter being an effective weapon. I didn’t see enough from the heater to get too pumped though, and I’d be surprised if this really turned into a consistent strikeout arm. Yes, that means I’m giving him a Cup of Schmo label, unfortunately.

Caleb Smith – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Smith had a date with the Giants – a Top 10 offense – and left with a slightly poor Quality Start and just four Ks. I guess it’s okay but pretty underwhelming. I have my concerns in a repeat matchup next week.

Gerrit Cole – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. It’s the first Poor Start for Cole all year as he hadn’t allowed more than 3 ER yet. Do you guys remember what the big problem for Cole was when entering this season? Inflated HR rates. Well, he’s allowed 8 longballs in his last six games, good for a 1.95 HR/9, 18.6% HR/FB rate and a 3.89 ERA in that span. That’s…something I might want to be afraid of. .238 BABIP and 84% LOB rate as well, but the result is a 3.38 SIERA…I dunno. There’s a part of me that wants to sell high and another that thinks he rights the ship. His overall numbers are massively inflated by his absurd April, which may help your market, but at the same time, he is still definitively Top 10. *shrug*.

Erick Fedde – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I’ve had enough of these Feddes ruining everything I do. *Suit man whispers in my ear* Oh, I don’t own him in any league? And neither does anyone else? Well that’s good.

Sonny Gray – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Come on Gray, you were on the road to redemption. A step in the right direction. Rehabbing and recovering. What you gave us was six whiffs and 20/89 CSW. That’s really bad. Just one strikeout (HAIGFMFWT?) and even though this was the Nats, you’re back in the doghouse. I should note that he only threw 26 breaking balls here after being massively slider/curveball heavy prior, which may be part of it. Then again, he pulled them back last time and success there…it’s a mess. I’m lost, he’s clearly lost, and this was supposed to be a three-hour tour.

Luke Weaver – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. And the descent of Weaver continues. I’ve seen some questions involving Weaver lately, either as a possible drop or shipping him off. The answer is yes. Do it.

Zack Greinke – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. You’re upset. I’m upset. Greinke now has a 3.87 ERA and it’s killing you. The root of the problem is a 1.51 HR/9 that is easily the worst in 12 years – it was supposed to get better with the humidor! – while his 26% K rate and 5% walk rate are making sure his strikeouts and WHIP are in line. I think this makes for a solid buy low here as the Homeruns will fall – 3.28 SIERA – and the WHIP/strikeouts will continue to impress.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Speaking of buying low, I’ve seen people wanting to drop Pivetta and I love it. Not because they should – please don’t – but because it means people will be able to get him for the price of free. Nick, let’s get real. It’s a 4.25 ERA and he’s allowed 13 ER in his last three games with just 14 Ks. HE’S DONE. Yep, this was a bad game. I’d actually say this is the worst game he’s had all season as his breaking stuff wasn’t nearly as effective as we’ve seen prior – 8 CSW in 34 total breakers thrown = bad. But it’s one start. Seriously, that Cubs one prior was so unfortunate and I don’t think he pitched all too poorly against the Giants. If this sounds like favoritism (I don’t really understand the point of that argument anyway, is it that I’m being blind to their flaws? If so, tell me what those flaws are), then go ahead and drop him. I’m refusing to get off after this one when he pitched like a Top 20 arm for two months prior.

Paul Blackburn – 1.1 IP, 8 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks. Should I go with the obvious joke? Fine. If you run with Paul, you’re going to get a Black eye. Funny. Just like how he didn’t have any strikeouts either. HAIGTFMFWT?!

Today’s Streamer

Dereck Rodriguez vs. Miami Marlins – Call me crazy, but I like his stuff and I think facing the Marlins instead of the Nats will make a large difference.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs. Cincinnati Reds – There are a decent amount of blegh options here – Urena against the Orioles, Lugo against the Diamondbacks – and I’m going with the upside play of Kuhl.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Mike Minor vs. Colorado Rockies – I’m going Minor as the Rockies are really bad on the road and this start got bumped a day for Mendez tomorrow.

Game of the Day

Mike Clevinger vs. Carlos Rodon – Let’s see if Rodon can keep it up and if Clevinger can find his breaking stuff against the ChiSox.

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 “The Hurricane By Dylan”

  1. Mike says:


    Would you drop any of the following for Rodon? 12 tm mixed H2H league with QS instead of W, SV+H instead of SV.

    Tyson Ross
    Sean Newcomb
    Kirby Yates


  2. Bob says:

    Pivetta owned a 6.02 ERA in 133 innings last year. Not a small sample size. I know he strikes a lot of guys out and I’m not taking that away. But isn’t just possible and in my opinion very likely he was pitching over his head the first two months you speak of. I mean he goes from one of the worst pitchers in all of the major leagues in 2017 to a top 30 arm in 2018? I’m not buying it Nick..and you shouldn’t either.

    • M says:

      I agree with you that he is probably not a top 30 arm, but his stuff backs up the early numbers. It’s hard to imagine a 25yr old digressing to how he pitched in 2017. Will it happen? It could, but his stuff is dynamic and it really looked like he had taken a leap forward.

      • Bob says:

        That’s fine it’s possible he has taken a step forward from his God-awful 2017 season. But to say that’s he’s a top 30 or even top 40 arm is just crazy. And like I said maybe the last 4 starts he’s showing who he really is and he was pitching over his early this season.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      It’s definitely possible, but not the likely outcome in my view.

      Remember, Jose Berrios was absolutely terrible as “one of the worst pitchers in baseball” as well.

      I need more of an argument than “he was really bad before” to buy that he’s now regressing horribly.

      • theKraken says:

        Re: Berrios – That was years ago and his first MLB action, which is a lot different. I actually watched a lot of young Berrios in that terrible callup – he was the most nervous kid I have ever seen on an MLB mound. That was 100% the problem. He was fidgety, sweating and panicking as soon as the game began. When you look at the crazy BB rate and wild BABIP from that stretch it all adds up – none of it is in line with anything he has done anywhere else. I actually love that he struggled and came back.. better than a fluky start that comes apart and you are never able to replicate, whic is far more common. Not saying anything about Pivetta, just chiming in on Berrios.

      • Bob says:

        That’s a terrible example Berrios was brought up and kept way too long by the twins. They let him get torched and they are lucky it didn’t ruin his career. He was also the twins best pitching prospect and Pivetta had no where near the prospect Hype Berrios did. I’m not saying it’s not possible that Pivetta takes the kind of Jump you are talking about. I’m just saying it’s extremely unlikely. And maybe he’s not as good as you think he is. Maybe He’s somewhere in between..a guy with 4.20-4.60 ERA who averages close to a K an inning. A guy who is serviceable at the back end of the rotation but not Roy Halladay.

  3. Manny Trillo says:

    Pivetta and Taillon are on waivers.
    My pitchers: TRoss, Maeda, Godley, Mikolas, Heaney, ERod
    Any moves you recommend? Thx homey.

    • M says:

      Godley is probably a safe arm to drop right now for either Pivetta or Taillon. But, keep a close eye on Godley because he can be very effective. I just don’t think someone would rush to nab him off the waivers with Pivetta and Taillon available.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Drop Maeda for Pivetta…

      …and I’d find a way to get Taillon in there as well. Anyone else you could drop?

      • Manny Trillo says:

        I really have noone else to drop. TRoss, Maeda, Godley, Mikolas, Heaney, ERod are it.
        If TRoss gets whacked by the Braves tonight I may jettison him for Taillon.

  4. max says:

    Cut Maeda for Pivetta or Soroka in a QS league?

  5. bob says:

    ROS: Tanaka or Cueto?

  6. Kevin says:

    Drop Tyson Ross or Maeda for Loaisiga as a keeper/points league upside flyer?
    Rotation is somewhat deep with Verlander, Nola, Taillon, Clevinger, Pivetta, Price, Flaherty, Heaney, Maeda, Ross, and Soroka. Thanks!

  7. M says:

    Godley is probably a safe arm to drop right now for either Pivetta or Taillon. But, keep a close eye on Godley because he can be very effective. I just don’t think someone would rush to nab him off the waivers with Pivetta and Taillon available.

  8. Johnny Ryall says:

    Hey Nick!
    Thoughts on Lugo @ARZ? I know the Mets suck, but looking for some lighting here.

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I don’t see Lugo as a consistently solid arm, sadly. The dBacks are kinda scary with Goldy performing well, which means there’s a bit more risk than I’d like.

      • Johnny Ryall says:

        Man, i keep getting burned on my “Lightning in a bottlers”..
        Other potentials are Covey, Montgomery, and Gavigllo

        OK, thanks Nick!

  9. Southern Marylander says:

    I hate SP. I don’t understand why they exist. Go away.

    Signed: A Greinke / Darvish / Ray / Carrasco / Martinez / Romero owner who is 6/16 in K, 14/16 in W.

  10. Vinny Part 2 says:

    Still like Heaney over Soroka? Heaney went unclaimed so I can technically make the move…

  11. Jeremy says:

    What sort of SP would you target in a 12 team roto where I’m giving Gleyber? Need to trade a bat for an arm.

  12. Eric says:

    Would you move MadBum and Carlos Martinez for Verlander? Or is that too much to give up?

  13. theKraken says:

    Weird to see everyone dropping Maeda… I guess I should go try to get him. He is probably the same guy he was before the DL stint, but now he has an offense behind him. The only reason he isn’t a top 30 arm is that he doesn’t pitch deep into games – check the stats friends (career WHIP 1.19, career K/9 9.5) – but that hasn’t been as much of an issue this year… well, at least it wasn’t looking like on pre-injury. That staff is wrecked and they are going to need to ride everyone they can pretty hard. Weak division too… especially with the humidor in AZ.

  14. Perfect Game says:

    I’m in a standard roto league (QS, K, ERA, WHIP). Was offered Flaherty for my Folty? Would you take that deal?

  15. David says:

    Please list in order of preference…Newcomb, Clevinger, Heaney and Taillon

  16. Kevin says:

    Hi Nick. 10 team 5×5. I’ve put together a nice staff:
    Sale, Kluber, Nola, Fulmer, Taillon with Ray, Cueto coming off DL soon. Richards and Pivetta were amazingly dropped in my league. Would you swap out anybody on my roster for Richards/Pivetta?

  17. Tyler Martin says:

    First time – long time. Love your work. Should I trade Cole for Carrasco and Pivetta. Usual 5 categories plus WHIP, QS and K/9. 12 team keeper league. Keeper value is the same for Cole and Carrasco, Pivetta would be kept with the 21 round pick next year. Thanks!

  18. Matt Nielsen says:

    Hey Nick! We like Minor over Loaisiga as a stream tomorrow?

  19. Randy says:

    It’s been a clean and healthy Bauer movement in Cleveland this year.

  20. Chief says:

    Love the hold on Pivetta. I can’t peel him out of the grasp of one of the guys who has him in a Philly friendly league. Told a few guys last year I thought he was gonna be a top 10 pitcher this year.

    A’YOOOO you need to love on Covey a little bit more. The fastballs I’ve been seeing come from his hand 92-95 are Kluber-model. The slider looks good, the split change up looks good, the curveball is a huge work in progress. I see 3.5 pitches. He just pitched 22.1 innings against Cle, Mil, Bos, and Cle again and allowed 4 ER over that stretch. Sheer domination (5ks through 3) followed by lots of weak contact vs Cle on this second go around including the inning he was pulled. Brantley hit what off the bat looked like it was going to be a double play ball but was not fielded due to shift positioning, and then the ball was over thrown to third base allowing Brantley to move into scoring position on the play. Kind of unlucky if you ask me. I’m usually a buyer in guys that get strikes without contact, but the guy who is leading all starters with more than 20IP in baseball with a 61% GBs is Dylan Covey. I see ok command, but a huge upside in early at-bat outs that can carry him 6+ should he get some BABIP luck.

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