I’m back baby!

It’s been sad these past two weeks off from the Pitcher Profiles, but fortunately I could drown my sorrows in all-inclusive, all-day drinking on the honeymoon. YES I DID GET A STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI, GREY! Although it didn’t stain my mustache, especially since a month long of growth would just be shameful peach fuzz…

We’re now through the bulk of the season and heading into the stretch run, which means Sky has only September left to get to 1,000 moves in our quote-expert-unquote RCL league. If expert meant constantly dropping 6-7 duds every morning, than I’m an expert in my thrown room if ya catch my drift… And on the pitching side, once you get to about 50ish in my ROS ranks, they all can be given the evacuation. But I’ve been really bullish on ranking Luis Severino since his promotion, who I think is a must-own even through these final streaming weeks.

It’s a little hard to stay light-hearted and joke-y with what happened in Atlanta on Saturday night, but obviously my condolences to the fan’s family and we’re supposed to have fun in fantasy, so we won’t delve any more into that. Instead, let’s embrace what we love on the field, which is some nasty breaking stuff and hitters getting baffled. Who doesn’t base their fantasy-team live-watching on their SPs on a given night?! So this was a perfect weekend to get back on the Profiles and check out how Severino looked in a full breakdown:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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It’s always good to try and see every pitcher that you can.

I’ve never seen Henry Owens pitch, but didn’t think much of him for 2015 with a horrible walk rate in AAA (4.12 per/9).  “Is this strike zone regulation size, or what?!”  But he is a top prospect, reportedly has good stuff, and was decent in his debut against the Yanks.

You never know what you can see at the eye level, and you never know what pitchers might have a fluky bad walk rate in AAA only to find dynamite command in the Majors (cough,  Taylor Jungmann).  So I decided to check out Owens yesterday, to see how he looked on the road against the Tigers in his second MLB start:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When Chuck conceived his son Daniel Norris, he was working on set in Asia with Mrs. Norris still living in the US!  Wait, did that make any sense…  I’ll leave the Chuck Norris jokes to the frat boy posters…

Traded to the Tigers along with another nice upside pitcher Matt Boyd, Detroit got some pretty good arms for a rental and they wasted no time throwing Norris right into the rotation.  And that’s with 12 walks over his last 21 AAA innings!  But throw caution to the wind, don’t look both ways before crossing, run with the scissors and see what ya got, amiright?!

I had Norris all the way to 61 right before the season, getting a little too rookie nookie and slack-jawed at his Minor League stats.  He wasn’t awful through 5 appearances with the Blue Jays pitching his way to a 3.86 ERA, but he was a little too wild and his pitch counts got out of hand.  So with the move to a better ballpark and to a team ready to unleash him right away, I decided to break down his debut with the Tigers to see how he looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s hard to pick which Ross is hated more: the one in Friends whose character is so annoying David Schwimmer could never get work again, or the dynamite starter for the Nationals, who even after pitching mad impressive through his first few starts, wasn’t even the first SP to get the call when Stephen Strasburg went back to the DL yet again.  Why wasn’t he the first call?!

After Joe Ross‘s first run in June, I kept him in the ranks a few more weeks even without a for-sure rotation spot, and when Strasburg tweaked the oblique, I was ready to vault him into the top-50.  But nooooooo, instead they use, I dunno, Taylor Jordan or someone who doesn’t matter?  C’mon Nats, what did Ross ever do to you?!  Finally the Nationals got Ross back up to face the Mets last week in a decent – albeit underwhelming – start given the matchup, so I decided to break down his 5th MLB start at the Pirates, in a pitcher’s duel Sunday afternoon against Gerrit Cole.  Here’s how Ross looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve been sitting on a title like that for months!

I still can’t believe Grey shat on The Fifth Element a few months ago on the Podcast, then followed it up with he hadn’t seen it…  Well ya know what?!  War and Peace is an awful book!

Patrick Corbin was an absolute G for me in 2013, as I streamed him in several leagues for a Padres start and decided to never look back.  Although looking at his game log again, that certainly seemed like a no-brainer!  He came out of absolutely nowhere and was shrugged off, but turned out to be a top-10 pitcher for most of the season.  Then he really fell off in his final 7 starts before tearing up his elbow in 2014’s Spring Training.

Now back in the rotation, the consensus seems to be pretty low on Corbin doing much this year, treating him like he’s a meat popsicle.  Maybe my 2013 love for Corbin has biased me, but I was excited to bring him in the ranks over a month before his debut.  So with middling numbers thus far despite good velocity, I decided to break down his third start off the DL to see how he’s looking pitch-by-pitch:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve just never been a Matt Moore guy…

Uber-talented Moore has always gotten praise for his clean mechanics and smooth delivery, plus fastball, and solid slider, but it never materialized into good control and solid numbers.  Those horrible, horrible walks…  Moore’s K zone looks like a star chart!

After never ranking him favorably the past few years because of a 4.5 walk rate, yes 4.5, I thought the buzz for him off the DL from TJ recovery was too… buzzy.  I’m at a loss for words I’m so confused!  But I hadn’t seen him pitch since hitting the DL after two starts last year, and maybe a reconstructed elbow can help.  “He’s more machine now, than man!”  Well let’s hope it helps the horrific walk rate!  Here’s how he looked yesterday hosting the Astros, along with ranks for pitchers for the second half:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Geez, what is it about Steven Matz?!

The puns have been outpouring faster than illogical movies by Christopher Nolan.  Maybe it’s because he pitches for the Metz?  I don’t know!

I’ve been… well, naive to not rank Matz to this point.  Even with my standing concerns coming into his debut, he likely should’ve been ranked the last few weeks.  I thought it would be at least July until he was up, and I questioned how many innings he’d really get through in the Majors.  His peak is 140.2 IP last year across high-A and double-A, and he entered the Majors at 90.1 innings before yesterday’s debut.  Innings concerns are a big question mark after his career started with major elbow issues (TJ and complications).

And after that debut with 4 RBI at the plate, the mythical legend might be one of the biggest gaps from perception to reality.  Then again, I’m saying all this before breaking down his first start without seeing much of him beyond the numbers.  What Pitcher Profiles are all about!  You can’t know for sure on a guy until you really get a chance to see him pitch.  So without any more noodling, here’s how Matz looked in his debut:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s funny how drastic and immediate changes can be from the Minors to the Majors.  Thinking back on Trevor May who was profiled a few weeks back – the guy was walking everyone in the Minors and in his short stint in the Majors last year, to become top-25 in K:BB ratio.

But that took some seasoning.  We’re seeing something even drastic-er and immediate-er with what’s going on with the Astros younguns.  Lance McCullers went from being old Trevor May with better Ks to having an 18:0 K:BB stretch before getting a tad wilder these past few…  But he was supposed to struggle through control issues, not Vincent Velasquez!  Vinny V went from a 4.11 K:BB mowing through AA this year to 1.70 so far this year in the show with 17 Ks and 10 BB through his first three starts.

I was pretty high on Velasquez when he was called up, but maybe it was a tad too early for the 23 year old to find immediate success.  So I decided to break down his start yesterday, that should’ve been a cakewalk at the Mariners, to see how he’s looking:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

How do you quantify the pure power of you, yes you, the loyal Razzball Nation commenter?

How about with an 82 ranking as if from nowhere!

I’ve actually seen Nate Karns pitch in AAA, and I remember not being too impressed…  Then again I was balls deep in craft beer and a footlong hot dog with BBQ and slaw on it, so there’s that…

I really haven’t seen too much of Karns this year, but what I have seen heading into yesterday’s start is a pretty good fastball with a solid knucke-curve.  Nothing “blow you away”, but enough to keep hitters honest.  And with a garbage-ish pool of pitchers to stream in a couple of leagues where I’m behind in my innings quota, Karns was my stream of choice against a struggling White Sox offense yesterday.  Boy was I happy with the result!  So I decided to go back and watch this start complete with all of the Pitcher Profile bells and whistles to see if there’s something a little deeper here than just a 10 or 12-team matchup streamer:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve used a similar open before, so rounding to the point – there’s a ton of players in baseball…  It’s why fantasy baseball rules the land – there’s no end to how deep it goes (that’s what she said!).  You can play 10 team, 12 team RCL, AL and NL only, and I’m hoping to start up a 30 teamer next year.  The possibilities are endless!

And even within the abyss of players that will contribute to an MLB season, I’m only looking at starting pitchers and even then I miss tons of things!  It’s not like I scan every starter’s game log and peripherals every single week, so guys will occasionally fall through the cracks.  One such example is Trevor May, who I thought was still having egregious control problems.  I looked at his ERA and WHIP in passing on the wire, and gave it an ol’ shrug-a-roosky.  But then I started digging into the numbers after his huge 7-inning two-hitter, and realized he was much more than a butterface.  Kinda like realizing you could hop on board of that!  “It’s not the sweater, but what’s underneath that counts!”  I was then on the verge of picking up May after seeing his 50:9 K:BB in 56.1 innings this year, remembering he was a pretty hot prospect despite walking everyone in his limited time last season.  I watched an early 2014 start and it was something like that uber-fail Tyler Matzek debacle (58 pitches, 20 strikes?!).  So I decided that May would be a perfect pitcher to Profile (and Peter Piper picked peppers!) to see just how dominant his start was last Wednesday at the Red Sox.  I know I usually pick a pitcher who started over the weekend, but I’m selfish and I’m using this week’s post for my own add/drop evaluation needs!  Here’s how May looked:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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