Who is Chi Chi Gonzalez?

He’s a pitcher I only really knew because of his incredible name (and seeing it a few times on prospect lists)… I knew almost nothing about this guy.  So instead of doing any research or pounding the Fangraphs, I decided to go into this week’s Pitcher Profile blinded.  I’m going into it like walking into a crowded room, desperately yelling “Chi Chi?!  Chi Chi!??!?!”

And honestly, I wouldn’t have broken down his debut against the Red Sox on Saturday had it not been a no-hit bid into the 6th.  Debut bias alert!  “JB, you got suckered in…”  Darn tootin’!  But I was unable to watch the start live, so even though I figured there was some smoke and mirrors going on, you never really know until you sit down and watch a guy to see how he looked.  So alas, here’s how I saw Chi Chi’s Major League debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Small sample size (that’s what she said!)…  Oh wait, I’m not Grey on the Podcast!

Let’s start over…  Aherm…

Small sample size…  They happen all the time.  Shane Greene is awesome!  F You Shane Greene!  Shane Greene is awesome again!  But usually less bipolar than that.

The funny thing with small samples is the timing.  Sorta like how “impressions are everything” and that hooblah.  Start a year awesome, everyone wants to marry you!  Start the year terrible, and you get cut in the shower and sent to AAA (poor Scooter…).

I will admit the only Mike Bolsinger I had watched before this Pitcher Profile was a start last year for the Dbacks and he didn’t look good.  Impressions are everything!  …I more or less wrote him off even with a decent start to 2015 with the Dodgers.  Then he goes all Corey Kluber and 1-hits the Padres over 8 innings.   So I decided to break down Bolsinger’s fantastic start last Saturday, and see if there’s really something here:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, I was coming into yesterday afternoon all pumped for today’s Profile – high-caliber young gun in Noah Syndergaard going on Sunday, facing my terrible Brewers, it was going to be a monster start…  Andddddd – he plunks my favorite player Carlos Gomez in the face.  F you Noah!  You went from Chris Hemsworth to whoever played the nincompoop in Blue Lagoon.  What a ninny!  And he didn’t even look remorseful, but in retrospect while re-reading my open, he was a little shaken.  Regardless, I only barely like him more than Yordano Ventura now…

Biases be as they be (I think I heard that on some rap mixtape Grey made for me), but I still gutted through an objective-as-possible Pitcher Profile to break down how Syndergaard looked and how much we can expect from him in his rookie season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man, what a week of pitching!  Filled with intrigue, romance and murder!  Eh, a little carried away there, although poor Jarrod Parker might indeed have his MLB life cut short.  Get well soon, J-Park!

Then yesterday afternoon Michael Pineda swiss-cheesed the Orioles bats in a near-historic K-fest.  He hasn’t ever had shoulder issues, let him throw 150!  Johan Santana is like, “…not the best idea…”

Also this weekend, we finally got to see Carlos Rodon start a game, his first in his MLB career Saturday night hosting the Reds.  I bet he got all confused facing the Reds since he pitched for NC State and all…  North Carolina bias!  I didn’t see him pitch at all through Spring and only a highlight or two in his bullpen stints, so I was excited to break down his debut and see what he can bring to fantasy owners in 2015.  Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes a news story falls through the cracks, but Lewis Black is there to catch them in a segment we call Back in Black!  Oh wait, got a little carried away there…  I mean:

Sometimes a pitcher falls through the cracks, and Grey is there to catch them!

Now, I have somewhat of an excuse…  Due to the MLB and regional networks wanting to stick it up the rear of their viewers and black out however-the-hell-far their national maps can reach, I can’t watch Orioles or Nationals games live in my region.  It’s so frustrating that I sold high on Adam Jones in my keeper just because I couldn’t see the homers right away!  I’m an instant gratification kinda guy, wink wink.

It’s easy to follow the hitters from these teams and see the highlights, but I never see big samples from either teams’ SP unless it’s on national TV.  Or in this case, in a Pitcher Profile!  Grey has been all about some Miguel Gonzalez on the Podcast, and I guess it’s easy for me to be a little dismissive as he’s never had “huge” numbers and I can’t ever watch him.  Plus, how good could he be anyway, he’s not even the only starting pitcher named Miguel Gonzalez!  Mmmmmm, Alfredo.  But not the Simon kind!  Anyway, since I’ve seen so little of Gonzalez and he had a very under the radar 2.09 ERA in the final 3 months last year and a 2.59 ERA this year with nice Ks, I figured it was a good time to break down his last start hosting the Rays to see how he’s doing pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’m popping a cherry of sorts here…  I’m double-dipping in my first ever Pitcher Profile on a hurler already profiled.  But things change!  People change!  Hairstyles change!  I’ll miss you the most, scarecrow!  (bonus points if you know that movie!)

Two years ago, I broke down Chris Archer‘s first career complete game that Summer…  Look at how much we’ve improved!  No weekly rankings, no GIFs, it’s like that was written in the stone age!  At the time, Archer was a young-up-and-comer who even surprised the most die hard of Archer fans, but after going complete twice in a three game span in 2013, really hasn’t shown uber-dominance in any long stretches.  Well, looking back at 2014 he did go on a huge roll starting at the end of May, but never more than say 6 or 7 starts.

After a meh opener, Archer has been a stud the last four, and at age 26 may be finally settling in to an ace-like season.  So I decided to break down his outing yesterday hosting the Blue Jays to see if I think this is a new Archer that is going to maintain dominant numbers all year:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Wahhhhhh, Shane Greene doesn’t strike anyone out, he’s useless, wahhhhhh!”  That’s Sky on the Podcast a few hours ago…  “The Fifth Element sucked!”  That’s Grey before I socked him!

Since my initial ranks in February, I’ve been a Greene champion.  In my blurb, I mention a high K-rate finish to 2014 (52:16 K:BB his last 41.1 innings), along with an unlucky 2014 BABIP (.330).  The starts I saw from him last year had me encouraged with his stuff, plus the move to a much better pitcher’s park in Comerica had me “thrilled”.

But even with the rank looking spiffy and everything going right, the low K-rate does seem a little concerning.  He’s turning into Rick Porcello, noooooooo!  While his ERA and WHIP (along with 3 wins) are all change-your-pants worthy, he’s got a measly 11:5 K:BB in 23 innings.  Regression is screaming like Ruby Rhod after he counted ten!  I of course hope not since he’s on all my teams, and watching him so far this year in my normal bouncing-around-through-all-the-games he looks like a strong strikeout capable guy.  So I decided to watch his start yesterday hosting the White Sox, and give it the ol’ full attention and Pitcher Profile treatment.  Here’s how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The season is here baby!  Well, that’s kinda old news at this point, but I’m pumped for the first Pitcher Profile of 2015!

Every Monday this season, we’ll be breaking down fringy mixed-league starters (usually) to get a better gauge on their value and if they’re worthy of a valuable roster spot.  And I certainly like suggestions!  Add into the comments a pitcher that’s projected to start next weekend and I very well might end up Profiling them.  Wait, not like that!

Now to our debut this year, and I’ve just never really known what to make of Carlos Martinez.  Power stuff, destroys righties, but left-handed batters have crushed him.  I had Martinez 74 in my original ranks amongst SP,  but dropped him out in my re-ranks as he was heading to the bullpen.  Then Jaime Garcia blew out his 5th or 6th shoulder – I’ve lost count – so it’s back into the starting five, Carlos!  Made him as excited as I was when I stumbled upon his Twitter a few years ago…

So I decided to tune into his 2015 debut as a starter (he threw an inning of relief on opening night last Sunday), and break down how he looked against the Reds pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, name a starting pitcher and there’s a 50% chance he’s hurt!

It’s been a brutal Spring – Tommy J’s, ACLs, dead arms, demotions, sports betting on Twitter…  It never ends!  It feels like we’re just another few injury-plagued Springs away from having pitching machines on the mound.  Would spell a devastating end to Krispie Young, that’s for sure!

So as we’ll update every Monday through the season, below is an update to my first edition of the Top 100 SP Ranks, which you can find through the magic of clickity-click.  Standard in-season-esque green for risers, red for fallers, additional notes at the end, and my principle is usually to not rank pitchers in the bullpen unless it’s highly anticipated they will join the rotation in the immediate future.  So Sayonara Cingrani!  Sounds like an episode title of The Sopranos…  Here’s my updated Top 100 SP:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pitcher Profiles are almost back baby!  Let’s get this shizz goin!

We’ve got another big year of GIFfing, Gamescore+ , breaking down every pitch to a tedium… it’s going to get my motor running about as hard as every Corey Kluber start!

I hope everyone has had a nice winter, and enjoyed an awesome year with us so far over on Hoops.  Good thing it’s an indoor sport!  Northeast getting more snow than Tony Montana’s desk.  But with the allure of the weather warming (it hasn’t yet), we can all get together and talk some starting pitching (it’s deep, convo over).  With depth comes two interesting schools of thought – should you go with aces early because there’s so little distinguishing the mid-tier and breakout guys?  Or wait entirely and build your whole staff late?  Of course there’s 50 Shades of Grey, which is still my usual approach.  Hopefully Grey’s next book will be 51 Shades of Grey Albright.  Shade 1 – mustache play.

If you missed the wrap up at the end of last year, you can check out how my 2014 pre-ranks fared against Grey and ESPN.

Enough foreplay, below are my top 100 SP ranks!  With the great pitching depth, comes great responsibility a lot of guys out of the 100 that are probably in other ranks here and there.  Pitchers 70-130 are so hard to differentiate…  But as always, please shoot your comments below on what ya think, and happy pitching 2015!

Please, blog, may I have some more?