The Lightning Rod

It’s been a weird season for Eduardo Rodriguez thus far who went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks against the Cubs last night. On one hand, he...

It’s been a weird season for Eduardo Rodriguez thus far who went 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks against the Cubs last night. On one hand, he holds a ridiculous 11.96 K/9 and 14.9% whiff rate (whoa!) paired with a 2.70 ERA, but on the other is a 5.40 BB/9, 34.0% Hard Contact, 3.84 SIERA, 89.7% LOB Rate and .239 BABIP. It’s really not what we expected in any way from the southpaw. Now, he’s only had four starts, with his last three being the super good ones – 8, 7, 9 Ks respectively and just 3 ER total – though that came with 11 walks…not to mention that Eduardo is a flyball pitcher to the extreme right now (26.0% groundball rate!) and if he’s not doing that with a ton of weak contact (under 16%) then I have to imagine that ERA is going to rise quite a bit, knock him out of games quicker and strikeout far fewer batters. Still, I’d be super happy to own him and would let this one ride as I’m sure you won’t get enough for him on the trade market. His future schedule looks smooth as well and this could be one of the better wire adds you’ve made…or fall flat with that LOB rate and horrific walk numbers catching up to him. Should be a fun month.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

JC Ramirez – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. My streamer pick for the day was Ramirez who looked all kinds of dominant against the Rangers and I’m getting excited owning him in a 12-teamer. He pairs an electric Fastball with a great tight Slider near 90mph that does plenty of damage, and his Curveball can be used to earn him strikes when he needs another option. There’s clear questions with durability – he felt ‘fatigued’ during Spring Training that could have been due to increase his workload – and his minor league numbers haven’t screamed major upside, but the key here is a much improved Slider paired with a new Curveball that gets whiffs and falls in the zone above 50% of the time. This isn’t a flash in the pan and he doesn’t have to endure a poor home-field as well. Sign me up! Streamer Record 12.5-9-3.

Kyle Hendricks – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Hendricks was able to mix-and-match effectively yesterday, but boy was it stressful to watch his heater sit even lower than last season at around 85/86 last night. He really needs to be on his complete A-game to give owners beneficial outings and that is a bet I just don’t want to make.

Noah Syndergaard – 1.1 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. I would lead with this, but there’s no point as it’s just sad. And stupid. He has a “possible lat strain”, which could mean 6-8 weeks, could mean a month, could mean All-Star break. What we do know is he’s going to miss a good chunk of time and that’s bad for everyone.

Aaron Sanchez – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. And Sanchez left his start early as well due to a split fingernail on his middle finger. It’s possible he can make his next start, but this is getting super annoying now as even if he makes that start, I can’t imagine it won’t be on some sort of pitch count. At what point can we really expect Sanchez to be let loose like we wanted him to be this season?

Dallas Keuchel – 7.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. You probably think Keuchel deserves and Aces Gonna Ace at this point, but this was against the A’s and nothing really changes from last time.

Joe Ross – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. I was actually tempted to lead with Ross since I’m kinda done with him for now. There definitely is upside with the young kid, but the polish is nowhere to be found. I need to see much better Fastball command and an improved Changeup before I get back on the Ross train. Feel free to drop him in 12 teamers.

Patrick Corbin – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Corbin is pitching better than last year – which isn’t saying a whole lot – as he holds a 2.29 ERA and…um…that’s the only good stat he has right now. 1.27 WHIP, average K/BB numbers (7.64 K/9, 2.80 BB/9), but his SIERA is 4.10, his soft contact is 15.3% (alright, I’ll give him a much improved 27.9% hard contact) and I’m not sold that this is the renaissance that turns Corbin into a asset in 12 teamers. He’s had six starts thus far, and he’s fanned 13 total in the four starts that didn’t come against the Padres. That doesn’t sit right with me.

Ty Blach – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. A .50 K per walk ratio makes it tough for me to believe Blach can keep the favor of the BABIP Gods. But what if I sacrifice one Thor? TOO SOON.

Chris Archer – 7.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Yes that WHIP/ERA is great, but I want the Ks Archer. I WANT MORE.

German Marquez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. I know what you’re thinking. Let’s put that start against the Nationals aside and treat this like the real thing! Meh. I like his heater but his command of it needs some work. His secondary pitches aren’t all too special either, relying nearly exclusively on a Curveball that has a good amount of drop but not the bite of other hooks we’ve seen. He casts it out, making it easy to pick up as opposed to his heater and found itself hanging more often than I would have liked in this outing. I just don’t see this being a situation where you’d want to start him in Coors, though I’m okay with specific matchups on the road.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Ryu finally got a matchup that didn’t put him at an innate disadvantage and he took advantage of it. Yeah, I’d like him to go deeper than 5.1 against the Phils, but I will certainly take this. The question now becomes when he pitches next since the Dodgers have seven healthy starters at their disposal, which is just weird for LA. If he follows his schedule, he’d get the Padres next weekend and I’m all for that.

Mike Foltynewicz – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Folty was absolutely dealing through the first two innings, holding five strikeouts to his name as the Brewers just didn’t know what to do with his Slider. Then Domingo Santana got his number for a pair of longballs (Folty had 3 unearned runs all scoring on one of Santana’s tates) and it made me think this is what he is. I don’t see this start and think “ohhhh, Folty is really turning it around now.” Instead, I see “yep, that’s the upside that appears here and there from Folty and is why we take the chance on him in the first place.” I don’t believe this is the second of a long stretch for him.

Matt Garza – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, seven Ks and a good WHIP? Whatever, it’s a One Night Bland and he’ll normally be making owners feel like this.

Mike Leake – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. The drip continues as Leake boasts a ridiculous 1.35 ERA. I can’t argue against a sub 3.50 SIERA and xFIP as well, even if he has a 84.9% LOB rate to his name. Thing is, Leake has always been sporadic and gone on respectable stretches before entering a void of despair, which means I’m still playing this matchup-by-matchup regardless of the fact that he should clearly be owned everywhere. Good news is that it’s the Braves + Marlins next and if he’s cruising after that, I’d be marketing him around like Rod Tidwell.

Jordan Montgomery – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks. Ehhhh the line looks a bit worse than how he pitched as he held the David Cone mentality of pitching and often pitched around batters he didn’t want to face to avoid damage in certain innings. I still like Monty a lot for a good stream (think more like 5 Ks per start, though) and would even consider him for a roster spot if he didn’t have the Cubs next. Womp womp.

Jesse Hahn – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Good news here is that Hahn probably gets at least one more turn given the Manaea injury, bad news is that instead of the Angels or Astros it’s the Tigers who will have Miggy back and put up a bigger fight. He’s an interesting upside play, though, like with JC, Hahn has an even lower chance of being this year’s “Duffy” as I don’t his repertoire playing out consistently.

Clayton Richard – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. That’s nice Richard, at the end of the day I can’t trust you because It’s The Wrong Clayton.

Nick Pivetta – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. With Nola’s back being all kinds of annoying, Pivetta made his MLB Debut yesterday against the Dodgers. Looking at this line, you’d want to call him a Cup of Schmo, but that would be misguided. Pivetta comes with a heater that was touching 96mph yesterday (he sits around 93mph for the most part though) and showcased the three standard secondary pitches. Minor league numbers indicate that the low walk rate will stick, as well as hinting at a 8.00+ K/9. He didn’t have the polish you’d expect from a veteran or someone like Syndergaard when he initially broke through, though it’s not far-fetched that he puts up good starts against NL Easy teams. I’m intrigued.

Jordan Zimmermann – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. The fact that I look at this and say “that’s not terrible JZ, good job” is pretty sad.

Wade Miley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. Man this is one horrific WHIP, though the Yankees are one of the stronger offenses around. I have Miley currently as a “Sit” in the weekly Sit/Start article for his start against the White Sox, though I will concede that it’s as borderline Maybe/Sit as you’ll find. I just hate trusting Miley given how he can simply destroy your week in a blink of an eye without a good history of producing his upside. Do what your gut says, I’m still sitting.

Chad Kuhl – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. A 2.00 WHIP and just four innings? Kuhl story, bro.

Tom Koehler – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. If Koehler is rostered in your standard 12-team league, I have to ask…Why?

Josh Tomlin – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. I think Blach has stolen the favor of the BABIP Gods from Tomlin. Welp, sucks be you Josh.

Phil Hughes – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Look at that K/BB! Still got it Hughes…still got it.

Martin Perez – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Perez is the guy you go to if you’re really desperate for a Win against a weak team on a Sunday…like today. Didn’t work this time, probably won’t in the future.

Bronson Arroyo – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. The GQSB 2.0 still hasn’t budged after yet another outing. Shocking, I know.

Jason Hammel – 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, I gave up on Hammel already. I’m sure he’ll have the ocassional decent start but man this is a tough bet to make on any given night.

Miguel Gonzalez – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 14 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. And this is why we don’t trust a pair of good outings from Gonzalez. Say it with me this time: Miguel…no.

Chase De Jong – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Despite having an A+ name, Jong is just a Cup of Schmo. Nothing to see here.

Today’s Streamer

Brett Anderson vs. Philadelphia Phillies – This is if you feel like you want to gamble for a Win as that’s what Anderson is good for. Stupid cheap wins.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Tyler Chatwood vs San Diego Padres I discussed this a bit with Eddy on the Podcast last week and while I don’t like Chatwood long term, heading to PetCo is the greatest of the great.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Charlie Morton vs. Texas Rangers – The Rangers aren’t the fearsome team they were prior and Morton is looking great.

Game of the Day

Robert Gsellman vs. Julio Teheran – If you want your more standard fun affair, obviously watch Cueto vs Kershaw. Duh. But I’m scrutinizing Gsellman a ton these days and my staredown continues tonight.

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.

15 responses to “The Lightning Rod”

  1. Jeff says:

    Would you drop JC Ramirez or Ryu for Berrios?

  2. The Diesel says:

    I have a feeling that you would drop Keuchel if he got lit up by the A’s. Guy deserves some credit despite the long-term outlook…

  3. John says:

    I’m a bit scared to throw Gsellman out there @ ATL, given his last outing. Do you still recommend starting him, or would you prefer streaming someone like Chatwood/Morton that you recommend?

  4. Chris says:

    Even if we get 2014 keuchel instead of 2015…isnt that still a top 30 guy?

    • Nick Pollack says:

      I think we’re on the same page here. I already had him in the Top 30 last week (#24 actually) and will again today.

  5. Need a SP. Here are my options. Which one?

    – Lance McCullers
    – Ivan Nova
    – Jerad Eickhoff
    – Julio Urías
    – Lance Lynn
    – Matt Shoemaker
    – Luis Severino

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Nova for ratios short term. Severino for Ks short term. McCullers overall long term.

      Shallow league?

      • Ya. 12 team H2H, but have only had 8 active teams past couple years.

        I was thinking streaming Severino today then dropping and picking up Nova. It’s just a fill in till Aaron Sanchez gets healthy again. If he does…

        • Nick Pollack says:

          I’m working on The List now, but I’m wondering how different Sanchez’s ranking should be relative to those names…

  6. Soggy Arm says:

    With Aaron Sanchez back on DL, need to pick up an SP. Who do you like– JC Ramirez, Gsellman, Daniel Norris, J-Monty, or Corbin? 12-teamer.

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