Ray's Ramblings - Pitcher Report 8/9/18

Posted on 2018-08-09 13:41 by Ray Flowers

 

RAY FLOWERS      

 

Anderson is struggling. MadBum is better, but not there. Colon putting up historical numbers. Sabathia made history too. Cobb is better, but still... deGrom finally won a game. Glasnow has been tremendous with the Rays. Can he keep it going? Gonzales running out of gas? Ditto Heaney? Keuchel has been on his game of late, minus the strikeouts. Reynaldo Lopez is all over the place. Montgomery has been successful. Taillon is better than you think. Velasquez solid, but never goes deep into games, but his teammate Pivetta is streaking.

 

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Chase Anderson owns a 1.30 HR/9 rate for his career. It’s a poor number. Worse yet, the mark was 1.66 in 2016 and it’s 1.65 this season (the outlier certainly appears to be the 0.89 mark he posted last season). He’s allowed two homers in three of five outings including four his last two times on the bump. That’s horrible. Add in the six walks in those two outings and it’s easy to think that the six runs he allowed was actually a rather lucky total. Toss in the loss of more than a K per inning from last season (8.47 to 7.18) as his swinging strike rate has dipped from 10.2 to 9.0, and you’ve got a guy allowing too many homers who isn’t missing enough bats. That’s not a combo to target.

Madison Bumgarner hasn’t been up to his normal standards this season as injury has limited him to just 12 starts. He’s gone 4-4 with a 2.69 ERA and 1.25 WHIP as he’s been solid, but nothing more. The K-rate is way down at 7.70 per nine, but more curious is the rise in his walk rate, all the way up to 3.67 per nine. Folks, this guy hasn’t walked more than 2.14 batters per nine in a season since 2013. The velocity is the same as the last two seasons, though it’s a mph off his peak. He’s throwing his heater 36 percent of the time after throwing the pitch at least 43 percent of the time each of the last four seasons (his curveball usage is up). At least he has allowed only eight runs, seven earned, his last five starts leading to a 2.10 ERA, though the walk rate is even worst at 4.80. Not elite at this point, period.

Bartolo Colon won his 246th game to pass Dennis Martinez for the most victories by a Latin-American born pitcher in the history of the game. Colon is 6-10 on the year with a 5.18 ERA. He’s allowed 20 runs his last four starts leading to a 7.61 ERA. Obviously, he’s not startable, and yes, I got paid to write that.

Alex Cobb is 3-14 with a 5.51 ERA… but he’s worth a quick look. In three of four starts he’s allowed one earned run, and he’s allowed just one homer in the four outings. He’s also walked three batters his last three starts. All three of those strong outings were also on the road. I’m not giving him the Ray Flowers Seal of Approval, but it’s interesting that he’s actually rounding into form allowing three or fewer earned runs in 5-straight outings. Finally?

Jacob deGrom has produced a quality start in 8-straight outings. He finally picked up a victory in the 8th outing Wednesday to avoid tying the longest streak of quality starts without a victory since 1914 (Ray Keating). The win improved his record to 6-7 despite a 1.77 ERA and 183 Strikeouts with just 34 walks over 152.1 innings. He may not win games, but he’s still a top-3 (at worst) NL Cy Young option at moment. Voting season could be wild if he finishes under .500.

Tyler Glasnow has made two starts for the Rays, and though he’s lasted just seven innings as the team allows him to build up arm strength, he’s been as filthy and effective as anyone could have possibly hoped he would be. In seven innings he’s only walked one batter. Truthfully, if that was the only thing I heard about the two outings I would say he’s been an unbridled success. When you then note that he’s allowed two runs in the two outings, that’s another success, especially when you realize that both runs scored on solo homers. Toss in the fact that he’s generated 14 strikeouts in 21 outs, and you have a two-game run of success that Glasnow’s talent suggests should be a relatively frequent occurrence. Alas, he’s been unable to offer any consistency to this point of his career. Glasnow owns a 12.1 swinging strike rate this season, and of the 189 outs he’s generated this season he has 86 strikeouts, meaning that 46 percent of his outs have come via the punchout. The arm is elite. Now we will see if there’s a move to consistency. At this point, and he should still be, if he’s on waiver rectify that and hope the good times keep rolling, realizing that he could turn into Lance Lynn at any moment.

Marco Gonzales was battered for 12 hits – two homers – and seven runs in five innings Wednesday. That’s 11 runs allowed, not to mention four homers, his last two starts. That’s not good. Is he wearing down? It’s certainly possible. In 2015 he threw 83.1 innings. In 2016 he didn’t throw a pitch that counted. Last season he tossed 86.1 innings. This year he’s already up to 132.2 innings. He’s thrown 132.2 innings this season after tossing 169.2 innings the previous three years. In fact, the last time he tossed 100-innings in a season was back in 2014. #BeCautiousHere

Andrew Heaney has allowed nine runs his last two starts. Following the Gonzales theme, workload should be considered here. In 2016 Heaney tossed six innings and last year he threw 49.1 innings. This season he’s just short of 135. He still has a 5.20 K/BB ratio his last five outings with a 1.15 WHIP, so it’s not a lost cause, merely a warning shot being fired over the bow.

Dallas Keuchel, since the start of July, has made seven starts going 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA. Oddly, the success has come despite a slightly low (for him) ground ball rate of 55.7 percent, while his strikeout rate is way, way down at 5.91 per nine.

Reynaldo Lopez allowed eight runs to the Blue Jays, the bow on top of a sundae with 18 runs allowed over 17 innings. The last two times out he’s looked totally different allowing three runs over 14 innings, including an outing against the Yankees. Before you head to the wire, here are his numbers the last five starts, and they are more emblematic of what your expectations should be moving forward: 6.10 ERA just 21 strikeouts and nine homers allowed over 31 innings.

Mike Montgomery has allowed one or zero runs in three of four outings. In his swingman role he’s posted a 3.66 ERA and 1.34 WHIP but he has a mere 5.49 strikeouts per nine. His ERA on the road is 2.96 and it’s 4.53 at home. A streaming option.

Nick Pivetta is better than the numbers were suggesting, something I have continued to repeat when asked about him. The last two times out he’s allowed two runs while walking one and striking out 13 over 12 innings. He allowed 11 runs the previous two times out, and there is some concern given the up and down nature of his work of late, but he has a massive 11.06 K/9, the 2.48 BB/9 rate is solid, and there are still lots of reasons to think that the .339 BABIP of his will come down further.

CC Sabathia struck out 12 men in his last start, making him the oldest man, at 38 years of age, to strike out that many since Randy Johnson in 2008 (August 22nd when he struck out 13). Over his last six outings, CC has a 4.80 ERA and has walked 17 batters in 30 innings, despite 33 punchouts. The last five games he hasn’t gone six innings either. The numbers look good overall, but caution is warranted as he’s playing with a bit of fire.

Jameson Taillon held the Rockies to two runs in a complete game effort that he posted in Colorado. That’s 3-straight quality starts, and 5-in-6 outings. Moreover, the last time he allowed more than three earned runs was May 22nd. His ERA is down to 3.63.

Vince Velasquez has thrown as many as 90 pitches just once in seven outings.

 

You can hear Ray, Monday through Friday, on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87). Ray is on The Fantasy Drive 8-10 PM EST Monday-Friday, and he’s also on the Guru Elite Show Thursday from 2-4 PM EST. You can follow Ray on Twitter at @baseballguys.