The Joe Musgrove On

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

(Photo by Juan DeLeon/Icon Sportswire)

It was the first start of the year for Joe Musgrove last night and he impressed me, going 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks against the Cardinals. Sure, they are far from a powerhouse lineup, but seeing Musgrove attack the zone often helped him plenty as he was able to roll through seven innings on just 67 pitches. That’s crazy. I watched this one and I really loved Musgrove’s feel. Great fastballs inside to right-handers, solid changeups and sliders, and a cutter that needs refinement, but had its moments stealing strikes. He didn’t allow much hard contact save for a hanging changeup or cutter here and there, and I’m buying in 12-teamers. This could be a one start where he was feeling it, but I liked what I saw. Give me the guy that has some whiffability + hanging around the strikezone if I need some stability on my staff. It’s a bit of a risk against the Cubs next time out, but I can see myself rolling with next week if I’m looking for starts.

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

David Hess – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. For disappointment this year, the Hess truck’s here! Sorry, I watched some of this and Hess was the benefactor of three Rays baserunners getting themselves picked off or caught stealing, and it’s a major reason why there’s that goose egg in the ER column. I don’t see much here.

Corey Kluber – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Better breaking balls, better results, Papa Johns.

Ross Stripling – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks. This was a matchup made in heaven with a cruising starter in Stripling getting a date with the Padres. Now I can see him getting added more than 2 in kindergarten and I have no problem with it as he gets the Phils next and that should be fine. I don’t buy that he’s this good of a starter, though – Blame it on the Padres – and if he’s staying in the rotation, it means the Pirates + Braves + Cubs after, which may not turn out so well. Streaming Record: 30-17.

Patrick Corbin – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. This is getting crazy. Yes, it’s a 34 CSW with a 33% whiff rate on his slider piece…but it’s also an 89mph fastball. Yes I’m still selling and I think it’s actually even easier now than before given that some people who were thinking “hey, his velocity is down, he won’t be good” will now be on board. I’m not. It’s really hard to see the velocity coming back now and there are just so many questions surrounding this. Yes, I just wrote about Alex Wood defying expectations with lower velocity, but his cases are rare – look at Duffy, for example. Cash this one out.

Andrew Heaney – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. If you haven’t fallen for Heaney yet, I’m not sure what else he needs to do after taking down the Yankees for a second time as he earned himself a Gallows Pole with 17 whiffs. Own him. Now.

Kyle Hendricks – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. 30 CSW in 88 pitches and an 87mph fastball? The professor has still got it. It’s wild and amazes me still.

James Paxton – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Nothing like a 33% K rate and 0.96 with a 6+ IPS to make me a happy man.

Sergio Romo – 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks. I’m starting to think of Romo as the local band “opener” that you tell your friends that they should be huge and totally better than the real act. How dare you insult Romo and The Beards. I know, I can do better, for some reason I’m struggling with this one. I NEED A TERM.

Luis Severino – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Kinda. This was the most laborious outing for Sevy of the season – yes, more than the Sawx outing – as he was never quite locked in. I’m not worried and nor should you.

Junior Guerra – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Guerra squeezed out a solid start here, but those three strikeouts are so sad. He only threw two splitters in this one – Two! – and I just can’t buy into them returning. That means you’re setting yourself up for a Grave Mistake and suddenly I don’t love Guerra a whole lot. I want to, I really do, but this was a Blame it on the Mets and I’m being cautious moving forward.

Derek Holland – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Derek staved off the Dutch Invasion this time against the Cubs, but remember, it’s a 10% walk rate with a 4.73 ERA. That spells disaster more often than three scoops of ice cream with fudge on it. You know that’s going to fall off, why would you even do that.

Dallas Keuchel – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Oh right! Y’all know the definitions of VPR now! This is an ES – the bare minimum for one – which is great, though the 1.50 WHIP is blegh. I think I’m cool with this against the Indians, too bad he has to face the Yankees next.

Reynaldo Lopez – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks. So you see 3 strikeouts and you’re thinking “just like Nick said, his secondary stuff isn’t there yet.” Nope. 10 whiffs on 32 secondary pitches in this one and I’m loving it. That’s awesome! ReyLo was throwing good strikes, which resulted in quick outs and weak balls in play – 81.5mph average EV here! That’s very low – and as long as that’s being paired with whiffs from sliders and changeups, I’m on board. I can’t tell you that this will show up again as we’ve seen it go in and out through the year, but at least this is another step forward.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. I’m a little disappointed in the 25 CSW across 101 pitches, and that WHIP hurts, but 7 strikeouts as he maintains his elite 28.0% strikeout rate is what you want. Keep rolling with Edu.

Fernando Romero – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. On one hand, he threw inside the zone a good amount and deserved the outs he earned. On the other, I have this bagel that I’m trying to eat as I type but failing terribly. Jokes aside, the whiffs are still there across all his pitches for an 11% mark, and it’s great to see him earn quick outs, preventing the walks from tallying up. I still have my questions about consistency, but I wouldn’t be taking him out of my lineup unless it’s a horrible matchup. The Royals + ChiSox are next and I’m game.

John Gant – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. It was a nice Swan Song here for Gant as he’ll be removed from the rotation for Alex Reyes and Carlos Martinez and Jack Flaherty & friends. FWIW, I’m not a big fan of his whenever he does get some opportunities sprinkled in, but hot damn, a 38% CSW is a glorious thing against the Pirates.

Sam Gaviglio – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Lots of PQS outings today and I will 100% take this from Gaviglio. But I actually won’t because there is no way I started him, let’s be real.

Noah Syndergaard – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace for the most part. I know it’s a PQS, but a 1.00 WHIP and 8 strikeouts is why you own this man, who is now holding a 3.06 ERA and 28.3% K rate for the year. The 1.18 WHIP is good – not elite – while I find it a bit entertaining that his .339 BABIP is so close to the ghastly .336 I quoted in the preseason. That’s not supposed to work that well.

Julio Teheran – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. A PQS from Teheran with a 1.17 WHIP and 4 Ks? At this point, sure I’ll take that from Julio.

Mike Fiers – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. If you play with Fiers, you’re going to get burned. Why did it take me so long to come up with that.

Jon Gray – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. And this is why Jon is someone no one likes to talk about in the fantasy world. Seriously, we know he should perform better than his 5.40 ERA and 1.41 WHIP – 3.24 SIERA! 20% K-BB%! .364 BABIP and 64.4% LOB Rate! – but Coors does things and we’re all so worried. But excited. But worried. It’s bad. There will be good starts where he fans 10 and we love him. There will also be 15 ER in three games even when he plays on the road and life is terrible. He’s a VPR darling and if someone wants to pay for that volatility, let them. I don’t see stability coming his way.

Mike Minor – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Minor really didn’t have a good feel for his secondary stuff, relying on his four-seamer to get through this one. I still see the possibility of a breakout, but still waiting for more signs to get fully on board.

Clayton Richard – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton! Another reminder that we rolled out VPR leaderboards yesterday (They include IPS!) and I love how it shows just how annoying Richard is, making you endure plenty more bad for those excellent outings.

Max Scherzer – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Aces gonna make me get upset that he’s #1 right now. Don’t do this Scherzer. Don’t you dare.

Jose Urena – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Let’s say it together. *Makes conducting hand motions* If you own Jose, Urena boatload of trouble.

Zach Eflin – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Seven strikeouts as his slider was solid, though everything is was kinda meh. A tough first set him back, then a HR in the fifth followed by a single, passed ball, and error kinda messed it all up. I see Eflin as a desperate streaming option for now with a tinge of possibility for something more.

Sal Romano – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. I wonder how long the Reds will let Sal and his 5.89 ERA continue. His K-BB% right now is 4.0%. Nobody loves that.

Sean Manaea – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Blegh. It’s a bit frustrating to see Manaea who has showcased the talent and ability to locate while mixing in secondary stuff to lose the feel and not make the adjustment to get it back. That’s five straight outings of blegh after his rampant start to the year and obviously I have to give him a sizeable drop on Monday. I’m not giving up and don’t think you should swap him out for a Spice Girl, but a move near #40 is coming. The skill is still there for a consistent Top 25 arm, but it’s lost right now and I can’t tell you it will return tomorrow.

Eric Skoglund – 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Skoglund allowed a trio of HRs as he digs a hole deeper. “I just want to get as far away as possible,” he told reporters.

Today’s Streamer

Daniel Mengden vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – I don’t expect this to last, but it’s rolling right now.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

German Marquez vs. Cincinnati Reds – It’s the Rocky Mountain Way to let Marquez roll against the Reds – even at home.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Brandon McCarthy vs. New York Mets – Not many good choices here, so I’ll bank on the Mets against a guy that has had his moments.

Game of the Day

Carlos Carrasco vs. Lance McCullers – We already saw this, but who cares? Two studs facing off.

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.

17 responses to “The Joe Musgrove On”

  1. D says:

    Would u trade Juan Soto and Jon gray for fulmer ? Not sure what to think of Soto

  2. Effem says:

    What’s your hunch on where Musgrove will slot in the ranking? My only drop candidates are Jon Gray and Taillon.

  3. Balke says:

    Should I drop Gohara for Musgrove or Kingery?

  4. Scott says:

    Have you seen anything with manaea that is different? He has a lengthy injury history. He also talked about confidence when he was going well. This was a very bad start at home. AZ has not hit well lately and has the highest k% in the league in may. I just don’t know how he can suddenly lose his “feel” for such a long stretch like this without something mechanically or physically wrong. Thanks

  5. Jack says:

    If I could get Weaver for Manaea should I do it?

  6. Ted says:

    I want to thank you Nick. I’m in a 12 team H2H pts league. I have a good team except for SP (5 act, 3 res) My top 3 are Scherzer, Maeda & Folty but with your help, I dropped Anderson, Duffy, Estrada Samardzija & Ryu for Pivetta, Smith, Heaney, Cahill & Musgrove over the past 6 weeks for a nice improvement I think. Would you agree?

  7. Play Ball says:

    I traded Heaney and Reyes for Kershaw…good deal? I thought there was some risk in that Heaney has been pitching well and Reyes’ potential. Should I be concerned about Kershaw’s dip in velo and bicep tendon for production (K, QS, ERA, WHIP) ROS? I’m loaded in top arms and may flip him and wanted your opinion before I consider it.

  8. Lane Meyer says:

    Who would you rather have for the rest of the year… Corbin or Mikolas?

  9. Ionescorhino says:

    Is Tony Disco a legit DL stash? Or more wait and see? 12-team redraft

  10. David C. says:

    Between these 4 names, I can’t rank them! Gohara, Soroka, Kingham and now Musgrove. Is there a distinct difference between these 4? I read everything you write and I feel like you have it Soroka, Kingham, Gohara and Musgrove, right? Is Soroka by far your fav. Or they all close?

  11. Ryan says:

    The Romo should be called the “Teddy KGB” from Rounders. “Like a young man coming in for a quickie…I feel so unsatisfied.”

  12. Nick D says:

    Hey Nick! As others have said, this site has become indispensable with all of the amazing content you guys are putting out. I hope the Patreon campaign is going well enough to keep you guys going!

    Thoughts on including a blurb on Ryan Yarbrough every time he “relieves” a Romo “start”? He’s looked good on the surface and would be in line for the win whenever the Rays do this. Thanks!

  13. Chris says:

    Agree with Nick D. Maybe a Romo/Yarbrough/Banda blurb combo?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login