Why Would Yu Do That?

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

I’ve been a huge advocate for Yu Darvish this offseason and it hurt a lot to watch his start yesterday as I’m sure many of you can share. 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 2 Hits, 7 BBs, 4 Ks reads as ridiculous as this start was, and it’s incredibly discouraging to see Darvish look unprepared for the start of the year. I understand feeling let down and disappointed and all of those terrible emotions. I’ll say this. Don’t do anything silly right now. It’s incredibly early and Darvish is rusty. He didn’t have the normal spring training and maybe deserved his first start skipped after his blister problem to get one more tuneup before his first game. But I’m not worried for the long haul, this was one of the wildest games you’ll see, taking ten batters for Darvish to have a ball in play, and it’s simply not what we should expect moving forward. He’s healthy, he’ll get his chances, and he should still be that solid arm for your squad.

Let’s see how every other SP did Saturday:

Brett Anderson6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks. That’s baseball, Suzyn. Leave him on the wire like a pair of shoes you can’t reach. Seriously though, why do people do that?

Nate Karns2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks. He was treated like an opener and that bothers me. Hopefully he grows out of it as the year goes on as I believe there is possible AL-Only value here. He hasn’t been healthy in a long while and right before his significant injuries, Karns was 12-teamer relevant.

Aaron Sanchez5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks. Well this is nice. Sanchez was hovering 95mph on his four-seamer and even got 9 whiffs on just 22 thrown. That’s wonderful! He only got 3 whiffs with everything else. That’s not wonderful! I really want to see his curveball or changeup take that leap so I can overlook that he’s a groundball guy in the worst place to be a groundball guy. For now, Blame it on the Tigers.

Trevor Bauer7.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Aces gonna ace. Bauer is dope and makes you feel dope for owning him.

Tyler Glasnow5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Just 21/77 CSW and 8 whiffs don’t seem right for Glasnow. He still needs a bit more polish, but we’ll take this against the Astros.

Nick Margevicius5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks. Jeeeeeez, I’m waiting for a Nick to really soar as a starter (Step it up Pivetta) and I know some of you will look at this line and give me one of those “Eh?” looks. The dude throws 88mph and had five total whiffs in five frames. This ain’t it.

Jake Odorizzi6.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 11 Ks. Huh. Odorizzi did a phenomenal job of elevating with his four-seamer, earning 15 whiffs on 61 thrown alone. That’s a crazy good 24.6% swinging-strike rate on a fastball. 31/92 CSW overall and it really makes me wonder. If Odorizzi is ownable? Ha, not really, I’m wondering if the Indians are a stupid good team to stream against. Odorizzi gets the Phils next, so he’s not worth the pickup, but I can’t help but wonder if we can just throw everything out there against the Tribe. Just saying.

James Paxton5.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Pax made his Yankee debut and gave us a lovely line with a Philly. I’ll take this, though against the O’s, we all had hopes and dreams of more than five strikeouts.

Mike Leake6.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks. Oh lord, not this again. Hopefully the 1.50 WHIP scares enough people away.

Pablo Lopez5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. I’m conflicted. His heater was at 93/94 (not 94/95) and he wasn’t able to jam right-handers as he has in the past, but his changeup was solid – 9/23 swinging strikes – and he threw curveballs for strikes. Seven strikeouts are lovely and there’s room to grow. So fine, I’m happy. Enjoy the Gallows Pole with 18 whiffs, may it be the first of many.

Collin McHugh5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks. Ayyyy who needs a good spring? NOT THIS GUY. Keep rolling with McHugh.

Dereck Rodriguez5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks. It’s exactly the kind of boring you expect from Dereck. Unless I see a bit more strikeout production, D-Rod will continue to be D-Rop.

Brandon Woodruff5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks. Lots of high heaters, but just 7/42 CSW on his four-seamer. 25% CSW overall is a bit underwhelming, but he got 100 pitches – let him loose! – and I can see Woodruff cruising against teams weaker than the Cards. Still want more out of his changeup/slider/curveball, though.

Dakota Hudson4.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. I’m a bit surprised he squeezed out six strikeouts in fewer than five frames, but the rest seems normal for what Hudson is – a BABIP-focused arm as he aims to get the ball on the ground. Not my kind of guy.

Jake Junis5.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks. Junis was handed a Philly and the ERA isn’t quite what we wanted, but hey, six Ks! I don’t trust him outside of bad teams, and I expect you can’t just pick him up when it’s convient. In other words, double J just isn’t for me.

Kenta Maeda6.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks. Look at those frames! 104 pitches as he pitched in the seventh! GLORIOUS! Sure, it’s an ER more than what you want, but he’s still missing bats and if he’s allowed to throw 100 pitches often, life will be swell.

Spencer Turnbull5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks.  A bit of a disappointment here as I’d have loved to lead to Turnbull following a breakout start that shines a spotlight his direction, but just 22/91 CSW with only three whiffs outside heaters is not what we’re looking for, especially against the poor Toronto offense. Not a terrible start, but I can’t put steam in the hype train yet.

Reynaldo Lopez4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 2 Ks. Bleeeeegh. Just 17/88 CSW (Yikes!) as he wasn’t as sharp with his heater as we’ve seen in the past. Changeup wasn’t there either, and it made things all kinds of messy. He didn’t pitch as poorly as all this suggests, but he’s not where we want him to be either.

Felix Pena3.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks. In the battle of Pena trying to become a Streamer, the Streamers are winning. In other words, the Pena is not mightier than the S-word.

Nick Pivetta4.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks. Pivetta. Pivetta Pivetta Pivetta Pivetta. This just won’t do. Your strikezone plot is abhorrent, with sliders up and fastballs down – THAT’S NOT HOW IT WORKS. Just six whiffs for the game is nothing close to the man we want you to be and it’s maddening. I question his fastball command overall and until I see the Snell plot of greatness from him (fastballs up, breakers down), I will continue to be nervous. Blegh.

Stephen Strasburg6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks. Stras and Thor got to together to say “Hey, let’s both frustrate owners today, but at least give them some strikeouts.” Sure, fine, but not fine.

Noah Syndergaard6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks. Seriously, it’s annoying. Especially when Thor says “I’m going to cut my sinker” then throws it 23 times. THAT’S NOT HOW YOU CUT.

Edinson Volquez4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Oh right, Volquez exists. Okay.

Bryse Wilson3.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 3 Ks. Awwwww I really wanted this one to work. The Phils are a tough offense and it makes for a difficult first start of the year, but four walks are not normal from Wilson. I hope he gets a long enough leash to survive past Gausman/Folty returning, but I’m thinking he’ll get sent back down shortly after this. Thing is, I actually believe in Wilson over the long haul, it’s too bad I don’t believe he has that opportunity now.

Tyler Anderson5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks. I didn’t expect much from Anderson. You didn’t expect much from Anderson. And we were still disappointed.

Zack Godley5.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks. This is a sad state of affairs. Nevada? What? No, the downward spiral of Godley after his fantastic 2017 season. His mechanics are doing him no favors to regain his command and it will take a long while for us to trust him again. It’s sad.

Eduardo Rodriguez4.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 Ks. Remember that talk about Eduardo’s improved cutter? He threw 25 of them yesterday, resulting in two swings and misses. And no one rejoiced. This wasn’t a pristine outing in the slightest from the Uni (Edu = education and he only has one good pitch in his changeup) and I’m not loving his outlook with his injury history and lack of strong approach.


Today’s Streamer


For those unaware, I’m forced to make my Streamer picks under the condition of sub 20% owned in Fantasy Pros’ consolidated ownership rates.

Jeff Samardzija vs. San Diego Padres – I considered Corbin Burnes against the Cardinals, but there’s a risk of blowup there + Samardzija has more potential to go deeper into his game.


Tomorrow’s Streamer


Caleb Smith vs. New York Mets – Not a whole lot of choices here and while I did consider Ivan Nova spinning a decent outing against the Indians, go for the home run and hope Smith’s hot spring can return at least seven Ks against the Mets.


Day After Tomorrow’s Streamer


Eric Lauer vs. Arizona Diamondbacks – I have to choose someone and I’ll take the blegh arm against the blegher (that’s a word) offense.


Game of the Day


Kyle Wright vs. Jake Arrieta – Yes, I know the Paddack/Samardzija matchup is today. And I love it. I want to throw some love to a possible rite of passage for Wright, while Arrieta could showcase a return to form.

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire)

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 “Why Would Yu Do That?”

  1. Diana says:

    Corbin is starting vs the Mets today, not Caleb Smith.

  2. Jaybird934 says:

    My takeaways from today’s roundup: Keep close eye on Pablo Lopez and hope Darvish has another bad outing or two so I can trade for him.

  3. Rocco says:

    What about D. German as a streamer tomorrow against the (pathetic) Tigers tomorrow?

  4. Charlie says:

    Do you think Pivetta makes the jump this season, or should he be left on the wire in favor of a streamer? Or…maybe even Lopez?

  5. Ryan says:

    Damn, line only for Junis no blerb, what disrespect!

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