The Vince That Was Promised

We’ve been wanting to see something big from Vincent Velasquez all season and last night we got our upside game via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s...

We’ve been wanting to see something big from Vincent Velasquez all season and last night we got our upside game via 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. He’s back! No way he’s going to the bullpen! I’m so happy I stuck with him! Yeah yeah yeah, but should we really be all too thrilled? This was against the Braves, he has to head to Coors next (though his schedule after that is oh-so-pretty), and these starts against weak teams are still not guaranteed like you want them to be. His repertoire isn’t complete and while he will have these starts that pull you in, Velasquez is more of a PEAS than a guy like Pomeranz who you can depend on each start to provide you value. All that being said, I think you resist picking him up given Coors, but I’d take a flier if he’s still around following given that easy schedule. Just hold a short leash and don’t get too excited about this one start. This probably could have been a smaller blurb but I wanted to lead here as I’m sure many were eyeing him on that Kate Moss thin wire.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Madison Bumgarner – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Phew, we got a little worried for a moment there Bumgarner.

Gerrit Cole – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Boy has Cole been great in his last five starts – 9.56 K/9, 1.97 BB/9, 2.25 ERA, 50% FB rate, 29.6% soft contact. Yes, the teams he played were terrible (PHI, STL, MIl, SFG, SDP), but the fact that he took advantage of the matchups is something. Now his next five starts should be: SDP, DET, MIL, LAD, CIN. I’m comfortable with all but LAD and CIN, and I’m still not ready to promote him from The King Of Really Good, but he’ll certainly get a bump today.

Lance McCullers – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks. Man, I wrote a giant blurb on McCullers and it accidentally got deleted because I’m dumb. Welp, here’s what it was in summary: Fastball has been absolutely terrible in his last four starts to the tune of a -7.2 pVal after holding a 4.4 pVal prior. This is a situation where if I see McCullers take a step forward, I will feel confident for a while with him. There is some worry that he’s still being affected by the back injury that sidelined him for about three weeks and I think your best bet is to let him sit on your bench for the Jays. If he does well, great, you have a very easy choice against the ChiSox next. If not, okay you dodged a bullet and we’ll talk about that ChiSox start after Toronto. I’d be shocked if McCullers is bad ROS though, it’s just a matter of when he figures it out or if hits the DL if he’s hurt.

Jordan Montgomery – 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Come on JorMont, we just saw your counterpart get cured on GoT, YOU’RE NEXT. I thought after his last start where he looked on point vs Cincy that it would carry over to the Rays. The question is now if you want to keep holding The Bear or let him loose. Thing is, I don’t believe Monty pitched super poorly in this game. Yes, FPS were down to 37.5%, but he induced 44.4% soft contact rendering a .667 BABIP. That ain’t right. I know I sound ridiculous, but I think I hold for his next start against Cleveland and the Jays + Mets after. I don’t blame you if you don’t want to follow.

R.A. Dickey – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Ohhhhhhh no. No no no no. I’m not buying it, I just can’t. Don’t Trust A Knucklerballer…Don’t Trust A Knucklerballer…

James Paxton – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Man he’s good. Just stay healthy and we’re golden forever. FOREVER.

Hyun-Jin Ryu – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Whoa, nice Ryu! Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be shocked if you stubbed your toe in the time it took for me to write this blurb, putting you back on the DL. If he’s still around, I’d definitely stream him against the Mets and coast through against the Padres after.

Josh Tomlin – 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. In the middle of one of the best starts of his career, Tomlin left the game with hamstring tightness. Then why do you sound happy? I feel terrible for celebrating, but if Tomlin misses time, that means Clev sticks in the rotation. I legit do feel bad, this must have been a horrible moment for Tomlin.

Justin Verlander – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Dannnnnng, this is probably the most impressive start of the evening in my mind as Jimmy V shut out the Astros through six. Now Nola’s performance just isn’t so impressive, womp womp. If you listen to our weekly podcast, you’ll know I suggested Verlander was in the middle of his recovery already spouting a near 3.30 ERA across nine of his last ten starts. Now that number is 3.02 in 10 of his last 11. And this was the Astros! All abooooaaaarrrrrd!

Luis Castillo – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Thanks for the easy Win Castillo – Streamer Record 54-39-12. What’s interesting here is I was having a discussion with one of my colleagues about Reynaldo Lopez vs. Luis Castillo early Sunday morning. One of the main arguments against Castillo was his inability to go deep into games (which I didn’t buy) and on cue, this happens. Castillo, you are the sunlight through my windows. But seriously, he has a higher floor than Lopez given that he has three pitches he trusts. Yes, Lopez has a better breaking ball, but his Changeup is poor and will make it more difficult to have starts like these. I am curious to see how he looks when he does get the call (hopefully this week!). Hey, this is Castillo’s blurb. Right right, my bad. Castillo, you are the roses in my garden…

Edwin Jackson – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. So EJax didn’t pull and EJax. Instead he pulled a rabbit out of a hat and we all applauded because we definitely saw the bottom of that hat. But then before he begins his next trick, you can clearly see the mirrors under the table…Fool me once EJax…

Drew Pomeranz – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. And The Dirty Cheerleader continues to be a surprisingly sturdy arm for your team.

Carlos Rodon – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty dope to see Rodon collect 30 Ks in just three of his six starts thus far. Of course he has just 10 in the other three combined, but still dope. So does this mean…Oh, definitely not. Still a PEAS. Don’t you dare forget that he accrued 15 ER in his previous three outings and is averaging over 3.5 walks per game.

John Lackey – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Are we back on the Lackey train? That’s six solid outings of the last seven, though he’s had more than 4 Ks just twice (5 and 7). I’m not so sold and it really doesn’t matter as I’m not picking him up now as he faces the Nats + Dbacks + Reds twice next. Shudders.

Lance Lynn – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 3 Ks. Five walks and 2 ER with just 3 Ks. How am I supposed to change my mind on Lynn with those numbers?

Wade Miley – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Sure, whatever Miley. I just realized I need a term for those that we don’t expect to have any fantasy relevancy over the course of a season. A Garbage Man? A Trashman. FRANKMiley, you are a Frank. What if they actually grow from being irrelevant to ownable? Simple, Frankenstein. How long do you spend coming up with these? And they ask why I’m single…

Dan Straily – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Blegh. I want to get excited for Straily again, but this is making it tough. I mean, yeah, 2 ER, but a 1.50 WHIP and the same amount of strikeouts I’ve seen guys get in one inning of work.

Bartolo Colon – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. A near VPQS for The Giant Peach (dang, he’s no longer in Atlanta! I’m going to need a new one for Minnesota…Minnie-Tree? I got nothing guys.) with one strikeout. You can make it to 45. I believe in you.

Zach Davies – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Three straight 7+ inning starts from Davies, with this one following two shutout games. I know I sound silly but I’m still not buying it. Sorry Davies. I know, you increased your Cutter usage and have a 2.74 ERA since making that jump on June 25th (17.6% usage after 8.5% prior), but a 6.07 K/9, 4.30 xFIP and 4.58 SIERA are making me a little skeptical. There are worse fliers out there and maybe this is a repeatable skill, I’d just hate to rely on that becoming fact.

Jacob Faria – 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 5 BBs, 8 Ks. So we had this fantastic 4,000 word article on Faria come out over the ASB and in his three starts since, he’s held a 5.51 ERA while averaging nearly 4 walks per game. WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM IAN. He’s taking a hit today as this walk problem is clearly not fixed.

Kyle Freeland – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhh this doesn’t help you anywhere. Okay fine he got a pity W, great job kiddo.

Jon Gray – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks. And Gray got a Loss. IT’S NOT FAIR. It was legit the same team (the Nats) and Gray pitched miles better. Anyway, whiff rate is still low – 9.1% is okay – but he’s attacking the zone and getting guys to chase off the plate. Now he’s got the Phils in Coors and yes I want that.

Jason Hammel – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. The streak continues! Hammel has allowed 3 ER or fewer in 10 of his last 11 starts, holding a 3.69 ERA, 6.98 K/9, 1.71 BB/9 and a 6+ IPS in that time. Do we want to bet that it will keep up against the Mariners + Cards + Athletics? …maybe? I think it’s not that high of a reward, but if you’re dying in a 12-teamer, I get it. Just not my favorite flier.

Taijuan Walker – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 10 Ks. Hmmmm. Over his last 13 starts, Walker is boasting a 8.15 K/9 and 3.26 ERA. Oh come on Nick, why didn’t you endorse him more before? Because that’s also a 4.27 xFIP in Coors-lite with a 3.38 BB/9! Just 15.4% soft contact and 33.9% hard contact. I want to get on the Walker train – I truly do – and he’ll get a bit of a boost today, but I just don’t see a consistent Top 45 arm here. I’m obviously starting him the Giants n all, but don’t get too complacent.

Jesse Chavez – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Hey! It’s a FRANK. I’m digging this.

Clayton Richard – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton!

Jharel Cotton – 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Yeah, we need a bit more time before jumping on this again. Man, save for Manaea the Spare Tires were just that. Wheels you never wish to be forced to drive with.

Erick Fedde – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. What I am surprised about is that he was hitting 95mph somewhat regularly. What I’m not surprised about is the 64.3% groundball rate and that a debut against the Rockies didn’t go well. Groundballs are great n all, but when you get just 5.9% soft contact with them, you’re going to have a bad time. Okay, a near .600 BABIP isn’t what I meant, but I’m not too keen on Fedde. Sorry fella.

Seth Lugo – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Can’t say I’m a fan of Lugo and I’d be surprised if many people ran with this against Seattle.

Cesar Valdez – 2.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks. The latest answer for the Jays’ DL problems is Valdez, which is a terrible idea since he’s a Cup of Schmo. Et tu, Valdez?

Martin Perez – 4.1 IP, 8 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Perez has made a life being a TEEs. Today you saw him without his makeup on.

Today’s Streamer

Nick Pivetta vs. Atlanta Braves – He has the K upside and doesn’t face a strong offense. Also it’s him or Jharel Cotton coming back from the DL against the Giants and I much prefer this one.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Paul Blackburn vs. San Francisco Giants – The Giants are bad and should feel bad. I’m not a Blackburn fan but he has the best matchup and holds a 2.25 ERA through five…even though it’s a 3.38 K/9 and 4.99 xFIP. So you’re saying you hate this. Sure do, but I gotta have someone and I guess I’ll roll the die here. It’s the life of picking a streamer every. Single. Day.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Luke Weaver vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Nothing is really standing out here, so why not, let’s go Weaver.

Game of the Day

Michael Fulmer vs. Luis Severino – Now this is a super fun game.

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.

11 responses to “The Vince That Was Promised”

  1. craig schumann says:

    Thoughts on McCullers?

  2. The Kraken says:

    Re: Lynn – Lynn doesn’t walk guys and 4 of them were in one inning, so I don’t really think you should put much stock into that fluky inning. If you take out that one inning, his line was 5IP, 0R, BB, 3H, 2K which is not so bad against one of the best offenses in baseball when he clearly did not have his stuff or command. I get that you can make most starts good by taking out an inning or two… but Lynn really wasn’t bad yesterday all things considered.

  3. 林旭鹤 says:

    On Colon: maybe something about Babe the Blue Ox?

  4. eugene purdy says:

    Which is a better indicator of pitching performance when they contradict each other, FIP or DRA? As an example, Brad Peacock has a 2.68 ERA, 2.51 FIP but a DRA of 3.67. I realize there are many other factors to consider but one (FIP) suggests his ERA is for real and the other (DRA) says he doesn’t deserve a 2.68 ERA.

  5. David says:

    I know he probably doesn’t read this site, but I kinda feel bad for Clayton Richard cause he’ll never have an actual blurb written about him that isn’t “It’s the wrong Clayton!”

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Top 40 qualified starters is not a good number. There are only 71 total qualified starters!

      …and Taijuan walker isn’t even qualified. So let’s set it to 90 IP and…he ranks #51 of 96 pitchers.

      I’m not sure this is the right argument to make.

  6. Kyle says:

    Castillo is out there, taunting me to add him. I am torn dropping Vargas or Faria though. Vargas is getting it done again against all odds with barely any K and Faria still had 8 K in 4 IP.

  7. Anthony says:

    You know I love your stuff, but the Braves offense is stingier than most would think. They walk a decent amount and put a lot of balls in play. They aren’t as bad as people think.

    I think VV started rough, but he really impressed in the end.

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