I’ll admit, I’m really really surprised that I’m leading with Ubaldo Jimenez for a second time this season, but how could I note after he went 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs,...

I’ll admit, I’m really really surprised that I’m leading with Ubaldo Jimenez for a second time this season, but how could I note after he went 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 11 Ks against the A’s? That included a string of 10 straight outs via the K and we have to sit down to discuss this given his recent success. Over his last four starts, Jimenez is boasting a 2.63 ERA, 12.00 K/9, 3.00 BB/9, 3.10 FIP, 3.03 xFIP, and a 6.0 IPS. That’s super good. You know the drill: Has anything changed? Kinda? The one apparent difference is his Splitter. The pitch’s usage has bumped to about 25% after sitting near 17%, while it’s earned a pVal of 2.9 in these four games despite holding a -7.5 across his other starts. This is a pitch that misses bat over 18% of the time and gets chases off the plate over 45% of the time. The problem has been its inconsistency, allowing a stupid 42.5% HR/FB rate that screams “prone to mistake pitches”. But alright, so Ubaldo is throwing more Splitters and not getting beat by them, does that mean he’s a guy you need to pick up? I think we all know that he’s capable of the ocassional good start and maybe a short run like this, but he’s bound to regress sooner rather than later and I can’t see him holding on to this for the rest of the year. Seattle is next and my gut says let him sit on the wire. Chase it if you really need the upside, but in the heavy majority of leagues don’t take the risk.

Let’s see how every other SP did yesterday:

Carlos Carrasco – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 10 Ks. Aces gonna ace with a Gallows Pole (18 Whiffs) to boot. Carrasco is an odd duck where he can go back-to-back 5 ER games then knock on your door with his tail between his legs and a mound of 0 ER cookies to make up for it. He’s more volatile than your five ace, but his overall numbers are skewed by the ocassional bad (7 of 23 starts of 4+), where he’s more often very helpful.

Cole Hamels – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Not only is this impressive as a stat line, but he did it against the Astros. Hot dang! His Changeup is looking like the pitch of old (two starts in a row now) and I’d be feeling good about him moving forward. He gets the JD-less Tigers next followed by the Angels, A’s, Angels, Braves, and that sounds like a lovely few weeks ahead.

Eduardo Rodriguez – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. We needed to see this start from Edu after his last successful one came paired with a ton of deep counts. Okay fine, he wasn’t as comfortable in at-bats as you’d want him to be – four baserunners and still 107 pitches through six? 14/22 First-Pitch Strikes is good but not excellent – but whatever, I’m confident start Edu moving forward, especially against the Cardinals next.

Marcus Stroman – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Stroman did exactly what we’d expect against the Pirates. He cruised through the game without relying heavily on strikeouts and gave us all a wonderful night. I don’t think we can ever expect the Ks to come, but that’s okay.

Marco Gonzales – 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks. Good to see Marco have some success, though we need to treat this like a Cup of Schmo. I’d be shocked if this turns into a guy that’s owned in over 25% of leagues.

Adam Wainwright – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 0 Ks. 3 Walks and 0 Ks is all you need to takeaway from this. What is the takeaway? Chinese if you’re up for it. Just don’t the Lo-Wain. Why do I put myself through this. 

Homer Bailey – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks. Homer Bale gave us a 2.00 WHIP with a 3.80 ERA. Meh. I need more if I’m going to trust you with your good schedule down the stretch.

Rich Hill – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks. Dude gets a HBP in the throat and still finishes his start. My man.

Reynaldo Lopez – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. I was going to lead with him today, but I figured I’d save all my thoughts for the GIF Breakdown I’m writing today. It’s been too long since you guys got one. In short: I’m super shocked that he threw more Changeups than Curveballs. And excited. Very excited.

Jameson Taillon – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. There he is. Our beautiful saint. Yeah, we had a rough patch but now we’re good as gold and we all know how good gold is right? I prefer Platinum. WELL I PREFER ANYONE BUT YOU. It’s the Cards, Dodgers, Reds, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Reds, next and I’m cruising all the way through that – yes even the Dodgers too.

Jaime Garcia – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Sure whatever, Garcia. Don’t want to trust you for fantasy purposes. What is a bigger deal though is that Masahiro Tanaka is heading to the DL with shoulder inflammation. This is terrible. No reports yet about how severe this is, but obviously the question is “When will CC Sabathia be back?” Nah just playing, I hope Chance Adams gets the call now, which would mean another GIF Breakdown would be coming when that happens. I’m going to suddenly spoil y’all and then fade into the woods. Is that your dream? Is it not yours?

Kyle Gibson – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Oh come on now Gibson, be yourself. The person we know so well to avoid.

Jon Gray – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Ehhhhh I want to get back on the Gray train but when he gets 7 Whiffs in 97 pitches y’all know that’s not good for the upside we want him to have.

John Lackey – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. So that’s eight of his last nine starts with 3 ER or fewer, though he’s climbed into the sixth inning just four of those nine starts. I want to buy into this more but it seems like dangerous waters.

Charlie Morton – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Morton was really close to escaping that third inning with just a few runs, striking out two in a row before allowing a single to score two. This isn’t really important though, that’s going to happen all the time. I’d stick it out with Morton still, his schedule down the stretch is absurdly good and as long as he’s healthy I want him going essentially every five days.

Clayton Richard – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks. It’s the wrong Clayton!

Jose Urena – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Okay, so I learned that I’ve been mispronouncing Urena’s name and my normal pun doesn’t apply anymore. Nick, are you telling me your reignia is finished? See? That’s what I have to deal with now that I can’t do the old one. WHY. Anyway, he’s still someone that maaay like a little enticing but I don’t even want to give him the TEEs tag because I think y’all know better already.

Paul Blackburn – 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Blackburn reeling in the dead of night…

Taijuan Walker – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. And Walker is looking like his PEAS self again, with a date against Houston in his future. Ouch.

Danny Duffy – 6.1 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks. Ohhhh snap. It’s #DuffyVelocityWatch2017 and after hinting at 92mph previous, he’s back up to 93.4mph now. Would you look at that. I think you should put that hashtag away now. Yeah, that might be a good idea. What’s remarkable here is that he threw over 50% Sliders in this game despite averaging under 30% in all starts prior. Huh. I want to say it was a Careful, Icarus as he allowed 3 of those ER in the seventh when he got pulled, but he left with just 90 pitches to his name, making that assessment unfair. Anyway, I don’t think you should have much hesitation starting him regularly regardless of this outing.

Jacob Faria – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks. This start wasn’t as bad as you’d think as the Indians had themselves a massive 5th inning where it all imploded on Faria. I know it’s silly to say, but I do wonder if this is more common with younger pitchers. Are they more susceptible to “one bad inning” syndrome since they haven’t had as much experience of dealing with everything going wrong at once? Not sure I believe that but it’s on my mind now and if Ian does have this interview with Santa Faria I’ll make sure he brings it up. Anyway, I don’t think this changes much for his ROS outlook, so just keep on keeping on.

Seth Lugo – 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks. 8 Ks are cool, but this was the Phils and if Lugo can’t give you something good against the Phils, we really can’t expect him to give you something good against anyone. So it goes.

Nick Pivetta – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Lugo’s opponent was Pivetta…who didn’t do much better as he was our Call Boy. It’s a bit frustrating given that Pivetta has been hot/cold depending on his strength of schedule and this is one of the odd ones where he didn’t take advantage of a weak team. Whatever, he gets the Padres next and you bet I’m taking that one. Streamer Record 60-43-14.

Ricky Nolasco – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Yep, that’s Nolasco alright.

Anibal Sanchez – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks. Anibal, I know you’re trying to impress me with no walks and six strikeouts, but this is like me handing a girl flowers in suit that is way too big for me. It’s a nice gesture, but there’s so much work to be done.

Mike Foltynewicz – 2.2 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks. Yep, still a PEAS. I really don’t expect a day when Folty escapes the term.

Jimmy Nelson – 3.2 IP, 9 ER, 11 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks. Um, what? Let’s see…a third inning with an infield single, error, IBB, then four straight hits with two outs including an infield single to push six runs across the plate. Nelson got Single Out in this one and it’s just one of those bad days. Ohhhhh we need a term for this! Maybe a Shadow of Alec? Stems from Alec Asher being really bad and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” – which is a book not a movie, trust me.

Today’s Streamer

Jeff Hoffman vs. Miami Marlins – He’s coming off a great start in Coors against the Phils and it’s possible it could carry over in Miami as the Fish are 21st in wOBA in the last two weeks.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Chad Kuhl vs. Toronto Blue Jays – Very limited options here and Kuhl is the only one that I can have some ounce of faith in and is facing a poor offense.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer

Jerad Eickhoff vs. San Diego Padres – The Padres are bad and Eickhoff can spin off a solid start here. I can see someone going with Adam Conley against the Giants if you really need a start here.

Game of the Day

Dylan Bundy vs. Sean Manaea – It’s a pair of Spare Tires facing each other, trending in opposite directions and not in the way it was for most of the season. Here’s to hoping it’s a pitchers duel.

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.

5 responses to “Ubaldon’t”

  1. Cornjob says:

    Do you like Sims today

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Can’t say I do. I can imagine someone rolling with him for a chance at a good start, though I see him having a limited ceiling and not a great floor.

  2. Howie Kendrick says:

    Hey Nick,

    Friendly heads up – it looks like the blurb for Taillon got cut off.


  3. Matt Nielsen says:

    So you like Eickhoff more than Conley for their next starts? I was thinking of adding Conley for his two-start but might just skip it all together if Eickhoff vs. SD is the better play of the day.

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