What To Like About Mike

It wasn’t much of a secret that I was really high on Michael Pineda in the preseason. After a 2015 season that indicated major breakout was ahead with luscious K/BB numbers and...

It wasn’t much of a secret that I was really high on Michael Pineda in the preseason. After a 2015 season that indicated major breakout was ahead with luscious K/BB numbers and FIP/xFIP on his side. The first two months of 2016 have been disastrous and how could we possibly continue the faith in Pineda? Well after last night’s 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks, Pineda now holds a 3.00 ERA (2.46 FIP, 2.55 xFIP, 2.72 SIERA), 11.50 K/9 and 1.150 BB/9 in his last five starts. Sure, three were against the Twins (2x) and Angels, but he also squared up against the Tigers twice. I’m not saying that this means he’s giving you Top 25 production the rest of the way. What I’m saying is that he’s earned a near 15% whiff rate and 40%+ O-Swing rate and looking much better than his earlier self. I’d be getting on the train as he faces the Rangers/White Sox/Indians ahead and see what happens.

Let’s see what every other SP did yesterday:

Carlos Carrasco – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. FINALLY.  I’ve been waiting for ages for Carrasco to truly dominate again and he did so while rewarding owners who stuck with him through the tigers. AWWWW YEAH ACES GONNA ACE.

Julio Teheran – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Dude, nothing can slow Teheran down these days.  NOT EVEN THE METS. The NL Easy is the coolest place ever, yes cooler than FunTime USA.

Kevin Gausman – 7.2 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I’ve been getting a ton of flack about my stubbornness to lower Gausman in the 50s on The List, and I hope this quells that mob down a bit. Sure, he isn’t pitching like some of the names in the Sea of UpsideTM, but he should have a stable floor while giving owners a chance at ace-like production.

Drew Pomeranz – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Nice to see Drew take advantage of the Reds and with just one walk to boot! Gotta like his starts against the Dodgers and Yankees ahead, and if they excel, you might be able to get the best bang for your buck.

Jacob DeGrom – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Aces gonna ace.

Jeff Locke – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. Just ignore this start. Really. It was never here…

Jeremy Hellickson – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. Nope. Nopenopenope. Not opening this stupid satanic can of worms again.

Brandon Finnegan – 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks. Our Call Boy did as best as we could hope for as there was no way he was making the promise to limit the walks. IT’S WHO I AM MOM! LIVE WITH IT!

Madison Bumgarner – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. Aces gonna ace…ish. That ERA isn’t good at all, but the rest is pretty.

Jorge De La Rosa – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks. De La Rosa has limited upside, pitches his home games at Coors Field, and doesn’t deserve a spot on your team. This should be the blurb for every Colorado starter not named Gray and maybe even Gray.

A.J. Griffin – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Griffin returned from the DL at just the right time for the Rangers (Lewis, Darvish, Holland all out) and was productive. I can see him being a decent add in 12 teamers, though I would caution heavily against above-average teams. Yep, that’s makes him a Toby alright.

Ervin Santana – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Nah, I don’t want to be going after Santana, especially when he’s starting to rely more on BABIP than we’re used to.

Matt Andriese – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks. Let this be a lesson for the next time a pitcher does well in his first two starts. Seriously, it happens all the time and it’s important not to get too emotional to a small sample size.

Kenta Maeda – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. Bleeggggggh. Come on Maeda, don’t make me stick you into the 60s.

Dillon Overton – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. What I did like was that he threw a good amount of strikes and had a decent near 10% whiff rate. His ER came off the long ball and he was…fine. But he also faced the Angels and doesn’t present a ton of upside. I’m not ready to give him to dreaded Cup of Schmo label, but I wouldn’t get too excited.

R.A. Dickey – 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks. This may be the only time all season that Dickey outperforms Wright. I spoke to Dickey after the game, and he told me that he expects to do so every game the rest of the year. Yeah, okay buddy. Don’t trust a knuckleballer.

Anibal Sanchez – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Anibal returned from the DL and was exactly what he thought he was. EXACTLY WHAT WE THOUGHT HE WAS.

Nathan Karns – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. Karns was faced off against the Cardinals and it didn’t go so well. But what can you do, you don’t own Karns for facing against tough opponents.

Paul Clemens – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks. No relation to Roger. Roger. No relation to Sporer. Roger. No, Sporer….any way please don’t be adding Clemens. He’s just a Cup of Schmo.

Matt Garza – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Garza is back to making owners feel like this.

Mike Fiers – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. Lat year, Fiers was earning himself a 9 K/9, making him a guy who dancing on multiple teams like he was fundraising across the country. Let’s Dance away the pain! Now he’s sporting a 6 K/9 and it’s getting really awkward around here. No one wants to see you do the twist anymore.

Jhoulys Chacin – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 0 Ks. Four walks and zero Ks? Yep, this is why we don’t roll with Chacin, and this was against the A’s. THE A’S.

Jake Odorizzi – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks. After earning 25 Ks in three starts, Odorizzi faced the O’s and, well, it didn’t go so well. It’s too bad to see Odorizzi not be a consistent provider, but that’s just kinda where he’s at. Still own him and roll with him against decent opponents, but he’s pretty much the best Toby around these days.  Whoa.

Steven Wright – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. So Wright had another slip up after rolling for nearly three full months. Obviously don’t change anything whatsoever given this was just one bad start among a blanket of happy memories (Best blanket ever), but this is what I really don’t like about Knuckleballers. There’s little I can say outside of “his knuckleball wasn’t good today” and hope that he grips it better next time out. It’s why I hate trusting them and blah blah blah. But hey, that’s baseball, right Suzyn?

Gio Gonzalez – 3.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. You can go ahead and drop gio in a 10 teamer. I’d hold in a 12 teamer given the NL Easy and that his peripherals do look better than he’s been, but the last two starts have been against the Padres and Brewers, and it’s not like bad luck screwed him over. I doubt you’ll find better on the wire in a 12, so hang tough.

Shelby Miller – 6.0 IP, 7 ER, 11 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. This was in Coors and that’s a vast difference from a good stream against the Phils.

Mike Leake – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 9 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks. Leake had the tough task of facing the Mariners, and we know how that can go. Don’t let this start discourage you from rolling with him against the Pirates and Brewers ahead.

John Lackey – 4.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. This is so not Lackey. It got a bit carried away from him and this wasn’t a guy laboring who didn’t have all of his stuff. Put this behind you like a note in class and keep looking forward.

Chris Young – 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Young saw Volquez’s performance yesterday and thought “nah, I could worse than that”. To the happiness of Royals fans, he didn’t. But to the distaste of Royals fans, he was still super bad.

Miguel Gonzalez – 5.1 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks. Miguel…No.

Chris Tillman – 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks. Ho boy, Tillman now holds a 5.00 ERA across his last six starts, with a 5.83 FIP to boot. Sure that 26.3% HR/FB rate isn’t doing him any favors (3.97 xFIP), but it’s to imagine that the wheels aren’t falling off, especially as three of his four poor outings came against questionable offenses (Rays, Indians, Yankees).

Today’s Streamers

Anthony DeSclafani vs. San Diego Padres – You may be sensing a common theme with these starters: the Padres are bad and no one likes to own Reds pitchers. Tony Disco is good enough to call this a relatively safe stream for your Sunday.

Tomorrow’s Streamer

Robbie Ray vs. Philadelphia Phillies I liked what we’ve seen the last few starts from Ray, and he gets a sweet matchup against the Phils again. I can also understand going with Eduardo Rodriguez against the Rays in hopes that he can find his Slider and put it all together against a weak team.

Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer 

Jerad Eickhoff vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Eickhoff has been looking better and he’s the best option you’ve got for guys under 30% owned. I can understand Junior Guerra against the Dodgers as well, I simply like Eickhoff’s upside a little more.

Game of the Day

Aaron Nola vs. Johnny Cueto – While I don’t expect Nola to fix everything this soon, I am curious to see if he can take a step forward. Meanwhile, he also get the shimmying antics of Cueto, which is always a plus.

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.

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