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?

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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?

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?

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?
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