Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+

Has there been any “sleeper” more hyped this season than Charlie Morton? It seems like we’re constantly being reminded of the spike in velocity, the swing and miss stuff, the combination of swinging strikes, and groundball rate. Knowing all this I was dying to profile Morton and see what all the noise is about. Speaking of Noise, my Pittsburgh scout, and favorite right testicle Dr. Kenneth Noisewater, has a basket full of hot takes on Morton, that mostly consist of different ways to say Charlie Morton sucks. Perhaps Noisey is right, perhaps all the lemmings in the fantasy industry are right. Much like the ATLiens that raised me to be an emotionally well adjusted gangster, I just stay in the middle and drop bombs, mostly in the toilet. I stay regular ladies and gents. Let’s take a closer look at this “new and improved” Charlie Morton, and see if it’s in fact a new recipe, or the same re-packed garbage.

Scouting Report: Morton’s transformation from a back of the rotation starter with a heavy sinker – slider combo to a supposed mid-rotation arm with a hard sinker – curveball heavy approach first surfaced last year in his short four game stint in Philadelphia. All of the excitement surrounding Morton has been based on the uptick in velocity on his sinker, and the new found depth on the cruveball. The average fastball velocity, as recently as two year’s ago in Pittsburgh, was a yawnstipating 92, and was even as low as 89 in 2012. Yeah, you might have forgot that Morton has been in the big leagues since 2008. The evolution of Morton started following that soft-tossing 2012 season, which is the last season he threw the slider. As he unsuccessfully started to lean heavily on the sinker in 2013 nearly 70% of the time. The fastball velocity in 2013 climbed back up to his previous high of 93 MPH, and he first introduced the cutter. Though just barely, only throwing it a handful of times, before scrapping it until last year in Philly.  In fact, it’s that injury-shortened 2016 where we first saw the current iteration of Morton. That’s when the sinker velocity first jumped to an average of 94 MPH+. He then scrapped his changeup in favor of the splitter, as the usage on the split jumped to 12%. Additionally, he re-introduce the cutter (though .1% isn’t exactly introduced), and began throwing it at a 10% clip. But alas, after just four April starts in 2016, Morton was put on the shelf for the remainder of the season.

Upon signing with Houston, the reports were that Morton’s sinker velocity has ticked up once again in spring training this time approaching the upper-90’s. With this news, many analysts throughout March, pegged him for a spot in Houston’s rotation, and as a potential breakout candidate. The rest as they say, is “Pre-season Sleeper” history. Through his first 8 starts in 2017, Morton has relied heavily on the Sinker and Curveball combo. Throwing one of the two pitches almost 75% of the time. Though it should be noted that Morton has a five pitch arsenal consisting of the sinker, the curve, a splitter, a four-seamer he rarely throws, and a mid-80’s cutter, though it can be misidentified as a changeup. His sinker sits between 94-96, touching 97 on occasion with heavy run, and generates groundballs at a 50%+ clip. His curveball sits in the low 80’s, and generates swinging strikes at a rate of 22%, with dynamic glove-side movement, sometimes with a classic 12-6 hammer break, and other times with more slurvy action. Entering today’s game 29 of Morton’s 55 strikeouts have come via the curveball with 28 of them coming on swinging strikes. His splitter is an out pitch almost never thrown for a strike, and often buried in the dirt. It generates a solid amount of swings ans misses in the 14% range, and historically generates more flyballs than his other offerings. His cutter, also generates a solid amount of swings and misses, and produces just about an even split for flys and grounders.

 

Charlie Morton vs the Cleveland Indians at Minute Maid Park Houston, TX  May, 22nd 2017

 

First Inning

Jason Kipnis – Sinker down the middle, sinker gloveside inner half foul ball strike one, high and outside at 96, strike 2, swing and miss on curveball breaking in on the left-handed Kipnis.

Francisco Lindor – Sinker inside strike one, fastball at 96 up and away, ball 1, curveball breaks in on Lindor and bounces off his foot, hit by pitch.

Michael Brantley – Lindor picked off by Morton before he even throws a pitch to Brantley. Fastball at 94 down and in, ball 1, Fastball at 94 to the outside part of the plate, strike 1, fastball 95 inside for a ball, ball 2, loops curveball on the outside middle part of the plate, strike 2, count 2-2, fastball middle in is pulled to rightfield for a double.

Carlos Santana – a 94 MPH fastball low and inside is struck hard to right center for a warning track flyball, Inning over.

Good first inning for Morton, but that’s typical for him so far this season, as he’s been great the first time through the order. I can see why there’s all that noise about the curveball, that was a nasty pitch to Kipnis.

Second Inning

Edwin Encarnacion – 93 MPH fastball to the gloveside for ball 1, fastball at 94 high and inside, strike 1, fastball at 92 low and inside is fouled off for strike 2, misses high at 94, ball 2, sinker low and inside for ball 3, full count, the payoff pitch is 94 down the pike and Encarnacion puts a charge on it the other way just missing a homer by 6 feet to the right, 96 mph on the fastball high and and runs in to the middle, Encarnacion is behind it and misses the ball for a swinging strike 3.

Jose Ramirez – high and outside at 96, ball 1, splitter low and inside at 85 for ball 2, fastball at 94 middle in, is hit to center, looking like it’s going to drop for a double, but George Springer makes a diving stab for out number 2.

Lonnie Chisenhall – fastball at 96 way off the plate, ball 1, another fastball to the outside part of the plate at 96 for a swinging strike one, 95 mph fastball inside for ball 2, same pitch for ball 3, 95 MPH sinker to the outside is lined on one hop into the shift, as Carlos Correa makes the stab at 2nd, and tosses to first for the third out.

A 1-2-3 inning for Morton, as he makes quick work of the Tribe in the second.

Third Inning

Bradley Zimmer – 95 MPH high and down the middle is fouled for strike 1, fastball high and out of the zone for ball 1, curveball loops in at 81 for strike 2, fastball high at 94, ball 2, fastball low and inside at 96 fouled off, 2-2 count, curveball looped in at 80 to the outside part of the plate, Zimmer gets in front of it, and slaps a grounder to the first base side for out number 1.

Roberto Perez – Fastball on the inside, belt high at 94, is slapped foul, strike 1, 96 MPH fastball that breaks to the outside for a swinging strike 2, a 98 MPH fastball runs over the plate, and Perez can’t check his swing, strikeout number 3.

Jason Kipnis – 97 MPH fastball on the inside, strike 1, cutter at 85 high and to the outside part of the plate is hit the other way for a single. Left that one up and in.

Francisco Lindor – 95 MPH fastball is hit for a hard groundball right at Jose Altuve and the second baseman bobbles it and Lindor reaches on an error. Kipnis to third.

Michael Brantley – runners on the corners, 96 MPH sinker low and inside for strike 1, splitter on the outside in the dirt at 80 for ball 1, a 95 MPH heater down the middle is fouled off for strike 2, and a 82 MPH curveball is hit to the right side on the ground, Altuve fields it cleanly this time and throws to first for the final out of the inning.

Rough break on the error by Altuve, but Morton gets out of the inning unscathed.

Fourth Inning

Carlos Santana – curveball at 79 waaaay outside for ball 1, Santana flashes a bunt but pulls back as Morton hammers in a fastball at 96 for ball 2, bad call, 93 MPH fastball off the plate for ball 3, another fastball this time at 96, four pitch walk.

Edwin Encarnacion – Morton bounces a curve in front of the plate for ball 1, another curve that breaks to the inside part of the plate for strike 1, a fastball at 95 inside is slapped down the 3rd base line for a foul, strike 2, curveball at 82 is way off the plate to the gloveside, ball 2, fastball at 94 low and inside is smacked by Encarnacion and it bounces off his foot for a foul, fastball at 97 high and outside is slugged the other way for another foul, 2-2 count, leaves a meatball at 94 over the middle part of the plate and E5 crushes it for a homer to left, Morton watches the parrot.

Jose Ramirez – 95 MPH fastball inside to Ramirez is fouled off, strike 1, curveball away at 81, ball 1, splitter low at 86, ball 2, an 86 MPH cutter for a single to left for Ramirez.

Lonnie Chisenhall – 94 MPH to the outside for ball 1, fastball at 94 up high for another ball, fastball over the middle is a flyball to George Springer for the first out.

Bradley Zimmer – Misses badly on a curveball at 81 that breaks in on his hands, strike 1, curveball to the outside at 80 for strike 2, 95 MPH up and in, ball 1, curveball at 81 low and inside, but Zimmer can’t hold up, strike 3. Two outs

Roberto Perez – 96 MPH fastball down and in is swung through for strike 1, curveball looped down and in for another strike, 97 MPH fastball to the outside, ball 1, another fastball at 96 low and inside for ball 2, curveball low and outside at 81, ball 3, full count, fastball low and down the middle at 96 for a swinging strike three, inning over.

You could see the facade start to crack a little with Morton this inning, serving up hard hits in consecutive at bats to Encarnacion and Ramirez. So far this year he’s struggled through the order the third time, as this should continue in the 5th.

Fifth Inning

Jason Kipnis – 95 MPH outside, ball 1, curveball on the outside patriots Big the plate at 80 for strike 1, cutter at 86 breaks too much high and inside, ball 2, curveball at 85, sweeps in, Kipnis swings and misses, strike 2, fastball chopped for a foul, breaking ball at 80 down low, for ball 3, the payoff pitch is a 95 MPH fastball low and middle is hammered to right for a leadoff homer.

Francisco Lindor – first pitch to Lindor is a 95 MPH way over the heart of the plate and it’s tuned on for a double to left.

Michael Brantley – first pitch to Brantley is a 96 MPH fastball grounded to the right side of the infield for out number 1.

Carlos Santana – first pitch a splitter down at 90 MPH that he bounces for ball 1, cutter low for ball 2, splitter at 83 bounces off the plate and is threw the legs of McCann, Lindor hesitates, then heads to the plate but a good flip by McCann to Morton gets Lindor at home, 2 outs. Back to the at bat, cutter at 88 on the outside for strike 1, 87 MPH splitter, low and in, Santana can’t check his swing and the count is 3-2, the payoff pitch is a 96 MPH fastball over the outside part of the plate, and Santana goes to the other way for a single.

Edwin Encarnacion – a 95 MPH in on the hands saws off Encarnacion and he grounds a slow roller up the middle to Correa for the third out.

The 5th Inning has killed Morton as his opponents batting average in innings 1-4 is under .200 in each frame with ERAs of 3.38 in the first, 0.00 in the second, 1.13 in the third, 0.00 in the fourth, before it explodes to 13.50 in the 5th.

Sixth Inning

Jose Ramirez – fastball at 96 on the inside strike 1, splitter down and in to the outside for a ball, curveball to the outside for strike 2, curveball at 81 in the dirt, ball 2, cutter high and outside ball 3, 88 MPH cutter over the plate is hit to Springer in center for the first out.

Lonnie Chisenhall – Fastball at 95 is slapped foul, splitter at 87 gets a swing and a miss, a 96 MPH middle and in is crushed to right for a homer the third of the day allowed by Morton.

Bradley Zimmer – a splitter low and outside taken for strike 1, curveball at 80 is too low and outside, ball 1, an 82 MPH curveball drops out of the zone as Zimmer swings through it for a swinging strike 2, a 96 MPH fastball misses inside, ball 2, curveball down and away for ball 3, full count, cutter outside ball four. That’s it for Morton, wow he really lost it in the 5th and looked gassed in the 6th.

Game Summary: Morton looked unhittable early in the game with his combination of the sinker, and curve, but struggled the next time through the order, as the at bats got longer, and hitters began to sit on the fastball and cutter. He was working low in the zone the first few innings before the sinker began to elevate in the fourth, and due to that he paid dearly. I can see where the enthusiasm over Morton stems from, but admittedly I left a little underwhelmed. Morton will miss bats, and the strikeouts will pile up, but he will rarely dominate or get out of the 6th, based on what I observed.

 

Razzball Baseball

Updated Top 100 SP

(rankings for ROS based on 12-team Roto)

RANK SP, TEAM
1 Chris Sale, BOS
2 Clayton Kershaw, LAD
3 Max Scherzer, WAS
4 Yu Darvish, TEX
5 Jacob deGrom, NYM
6 Zack Greinke, ARI
7 Chris Archer, TB
8 Lance McCullers, HOU
9 Stephen Strasburg, WAS
10 Gerrit Cole, PIT 
11 Michael Pineda, NYY
12 Carlos Carrasco, CLE
13 Dallas Keuchel, HOU
14 Johnny Cueto, SF
15 Carlos Martinez, STL
16 Alex Wood, LAD  
17 Danny Duffy, KC
18 Jon Lester, CHC
19 Michael Fulmer, DET
20 Ivan Nova, PIT
21 Jake Arrieta, CHC
22 Danny Salazar, CLE
23 James Paxton, SEA
24 Kyle Hendricks, CHC
25 Rick Porcello, BOS
26 Justin Verlander, DET
27 Jeff Samardzija, SF
28 Corey Kluber, CLE
29 Jose Quintana, CHW
30 Luis Severino, NYY
31 Robbie Ray, ARI 
32 Marco Estrada, TOR
33 David Price, BOS
34 John Lackey, CHC
35 Taijuan Walker, ARI
36 Dylan Bundy, BAL
37 Marcus Stroman, TOR
38 Jose Berrios, MIN
39 Kenta Maeda, LAD 
40 Madison Bumgarner, SF
41 Sean Manaea, OAK
42 Eduardo Rodriguez, BOS
43 Michael Wacha, STL
44 Noah Syndergaard, NYM
45 Jake Odorizzi, TB
46 Jason Vargas, KC
47 Lance Lynn, STL 
48 Steven Matz, NYM 
49 Charlie Morton, HOU
50 Aaron Nola, PHI 
51 Tanner Roark, WAS
52 Jerad Eickhoff, PHI
53 Mike Foltynewicz, ATL
54 Julio Teheran, ATL
55 Matt Shoemaker, LAA
56 Rich Hill, LAD
57 Masahiro Tanaka, NYY
58 Andrew Triggs, OAK
59 Gio Gonzalez, WAS
60 Jesse Hahn, OAK
61 Sonny Gray, OAK
62 Jeremy Hellickson, PHI
63 Brandon McCarthy, LAD
64 Aaron Sanchez, TOR
65 Felix Hernandez, SEA
66 Antonio Senzatela, COL
67 Daniel Norris, DET
68 Julio Urias, LAD 
69 Wade Miley, BAL 
70 Kyle Freeland, COL
71 Trevor Bauer, CLE
72 Mike Leake, STL
73 Patrick Corbin, ARI
74 Kendall Graveman, OAK
75 Chase Anderson, MIL
76 Matt Andriese, TB
77 Ervin Santana, MIN
78 J.C. Ramirez, LAA
79 Derek Holland, CWS 
80 Trevor Cahill, SD 
81 Alex Cobb, TB
82 Jimmy Nelson, MIL
83 Drew Pomeranz, BOS
84 Matt Moore, SF
85 Jesse Chavez, LAA
86 Matt Harvey, NYM
87 Carlos Rodon, CHW
88 Dan Straily, MIA
89 Jaime Garcia, ATL
90 Chad Kuhl, PIT
91 Amir Garrett, CIN
92 Scott Feldman, CIN
93 Zack Godley, ARI
94 Tyler Anderson, COL
95 Joe Musgrove, HOU
96 Adam Wainwright, STL
97 Matt Garza, MIL
98 Luis Perdomo, SD
99 Zack Wheeler, NYM
100 Ricky Nolasco, LAA

Coming Up:  Jacob Faria, TB, Brandon Woodruff, MIL, Sean Newcomb, ATL, Jose De Leon, TB, Josh Hader, MIL, Dinelson Lamet, SD.

Dropped off: Matt Boyd, DET, Vincent Velasquez, PHI, Nathan Karns, TB 

  • Masahiro Tanaka has to be the most difficult player to rank at the moment. After a rough opening day, Tanaka righted the ship going 5-0 in his next 6 starts with a 3.10 ERA, and only 4 homers allowed over that period. However, in his last two starts (last Sunday and this past Saturday) he has allowed 7 homers! Then again, maybe this is a case of just not being able to quell that potent Rays offense (sarcasm), he’s allowed 13 runs to Tampa over 5 2/3rds innings this season.
  • Vince Velasquez has given up 5 runs or more in 2 of his past 3 starts. He’s been a bit unlucky with the HR/FB and LOB%, but not unlucky enough that you should rush out and buy him. He’s been moved off the list as the K’s aren’t enough to make up for the lack of startability. It’s an Edwin Diaz like demotion. He’ll be back…I hope.
  • The Ivan Nova breakout continues, he’s easily getting deep into games. Only needed 90 pitches to go 7 1/3 on Saturday. For comparison, Drew Pomeranz threw more than that through 4 innings.
  • After a poor start to the season Justin Verlander has been better over his last 5 starts. He’s still walking too many batters and getting a little lucky with his HR/FB. He’s toeing a line between last season’s renaissance, and his previous struggles.
  • The Mets Zack Wheeler has long been a player I avoid in all formats. And while his recent string of good luck has lead to a 2.08 ERA over his last 4 starts, there’s still cause for concern. His Bb/9 over that period is a ghastly 5.82. With a K/9 of 7.89 over the same period, I’m guessing his numbers will creep back toward that mid-4’s FIP.
  • Speaking of Mets starters, Steven Matz makes his debut on my list at 48. He’s expected to make a rehab start on Tuesday. If it’s all systems go Matz is an easy top 30 starter, but what are the chances he makes all of his starts from here on out? If you answered “Zero!” you’ve won this week’s giveaway of nothing!
  • Alex Wood is the best! I bumped him to 16, because if he keeps pitching like this he’s a top 20 starter easy. Maybe top 10…. He’s finally got his release point consistent for the first time in years, and the results have followed. It’s easy to forget how good this kid was in Atlanta before all the injuries, and subsequent ineffectiveness.

Follow me on Twitter @Ralphlifshitzbb, and check out my weekly Live Baseball Show on Fantrax YouTube channel Tuesday’s at 9 PM EST

   
  1. Frank Rizzo says:
    (link)

    Rich Hill? I don’t see him

    • Sun Tzu says:
      (link)

      @Frank Rizzo:

      I was just going to add the same. He’s healthy (at least for now) and has to appear somewhere in the top 50…

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Frank Rizzo: Wasn’t finished editing, post was moved up by an hour. Karns was removed with his injury, Hill is cautiously at 56. Need to be certain of health and role. He’s been discounted due to questions.

  2. Blue JA Happ says:
    (link)

    Joe Ross to start tomorrow…where would he stack up?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Blue JA Happ: Somewhere in the laste 60’s to 70’s. I don’t love Ross, and I’d like to see what his role is going forward.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
    (link)

    Damn, that homer by Lonnie…. Morton made him look like Babe Ruth

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Grey: From the 4th on, Morton was getting beatup. He struggles the third time through the lineup, as hitters lay off that curveball and splitter and sit on the fastballs.

      • Grey

        Grey says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: I don’t know if this is measurable, but I wonder how much people lay off the curve and splitter the 2nd time they see him… Not same game, I mean if he sees a team again in a couple of weeks if he’ll start getting hit earlier in games

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @Grey: I wonder, the stuff is there. I really think he needs to sequence better. I’d like to see the sinker a little less and see him rely more on the curveball which is the pitch Infeel he commands the best. The splitter is under used as well, and used at weird times.

          I was pretty discouraged on the whole. He’s very ownable in deep formats, worth a stream in the right matchups, and has improved, but he’s not a top 30 guy.

          • Grey

            Grey says:
            (link)

            Agreed, nice breakdown!

  4. Rice says:
    (link)

    Hey Ralph! I look forward to this post every Monday! Thanks man!

    Have to start two of the below:

    Verlander @ Hou
    Carlos Martinez @ Col
    Berrios @ Bal
    Maeda hove vs. Stl.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Rice: Verlander and Martinez you have too.

      • Rice says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: whoa! I figured Verlander but I did not expect you to say Cmart @ Col at all. I thought the other start would be Maeda at home vs. Stl.

        That’s scary. Time to man up.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @Rice: You’re not sitting C-Mart even in Colorado. If you’re that matchup adverse then yes, Maeda is the start.

          • Rice says:
            (link)

            @Ralph Lifshitz: I trust you more than me so C-Mart it is. Thanks Ralph!

  5. Vegans says:
    (link)

    Why do you think Morton showed all his pitches in the first inning? I would think he’d want to establish his fastball and then work his secondary pitches off it… at least the first time through the lineup.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Vegans: I didn’t see any cuttersor splitters in the first inning.

  6. Chris R says:
    (link)

    JA Happ is finally throwing balls around.

    If he’s back 1st week of June or so where does he rank?

    I’m thinking about trading away pitching depth to replace freddie freeman’s stats.

    I have Carrasco, Archer, Cole, Severino, Nola, Andriese. Thinking of offering archer or cole for someone like Christian Yelich. Maybe Carrasco for Charlie Blackmon

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Chris R: Somewhere in the top 45-60.

      If you can move Carrasco and the injury questions do it.

  7. Sport says:
    (link)

    Thanks Ralph. What an undertaking with the top SP this year! But you have helped a lot.

    Would you rank these guys in this order by highest ceiling for dynasty? Kingery, Willie Calhoun, Tatis Jr.

    Also, for dynasty, Nickn Castellanos seems like a buy low. You like his chances of his hard contact converting to 25-30 homer power?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Sport: Not a problem brother, glad to help!

      Tatis, Willie C, Kingery

      I’m not so sure he ever sees 30, so low, but I could see 20-25, not a bad buy low.

  8. Swfcdan says:
    (link)

    Wow Wood 16! You got the most wood of all of us about this kid. Glad I own in one league (cut him in the other when he started in the pen…shucks!).

    Anyway time to call JB and offer his job back,as poor Ralphy’s way too overworked right now. Can’t even find time to respond to questions on his prospect page… Ah what the heck i’ll ask it here, trade F Martes for your boy Hoskins in a keeper? Bats rule right?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Swfcdan: Yeah, it’s tough to knock him right now, he was hit a little more on Friday but he still managed to get deep in the game, and hasn’t allowed a run in his last three starts, 18.1 innings. I don’t think I’m starting anyone behind him on the list at the moment. I figured I’d rank Wood about 25, but as I was looking at each player it became obvious he was going to be within my top 20.

      I haven’t answered the questions since last night at 10. Jeeeeeez. Hahaha I have kids and a job too! That’s close, I would probably make the deal, but see if you can get a pick or another small piece to sweeten it.

      • Swfcdan says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: Haha I know that’s why I’m saying JB should stop slacking and lessen the work for ya man!

        Thanks, BA loves Martes (around 19 I think) but pitching prospects always get devalued in fantasy. Still a great arm, some struggles lately not worried though? I’ll see if I can get a pick back too, why not try.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @Swfcdan: Yes very tough to trust pitching prospects, particularly ones with struggles.

      • Swfcdan says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: love your work man, wasn’t meant as a dig at all, quite the opposite. You’re the macho man of Razzball now, and even you haven’t enough spunk to go around everywhere.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @Swfcdan: Just skeeting my way through these posts.

          I got you, I’m in the dead zone between 10 pm on Sunday into 3 PM on Monday.

          • Swfcdan says:
            (link)

            @Ralph Lifshitz: Yeah you’re Team skeet now! *googles and realises its a porn site*….ok maybe not.

            Traded Verdugo for Hoskins in my other league, all in on Hoskins. Not even striking out much this year, nearly as many BBs as Ks. Utter destruction, they can’t keep the dude down much longer. Only no 88 on BA’s updated rankings, but guess 1Bman always rank lower due to low value defensive position?

            • Ralph Lifshitz

              Ralph Lifshitz says:
              (link)

              @Swfcdan: Yeah, BA is too busy highly ranking mid-rotation starters with 7 k rates and shortstops with 12 homer pop. Hahaha, Hoskins is a beast this year. I hope it translates.

  9. Halp

    Halp says:
    (link)

    Really great morton breakdown. I have him in my dynasty league and am still trying to figure him out. I think i came to the same conclusion as you that it is tough to trust him to go 6+ very often

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Halp: Yeah Salt Bae is a tough nut to crack, the curve is great, and it plays off the sinker well. I’d like to see him use the splitter more, but he needs to sequence better to use it effectively. His cutter stinks, I never saw it and thought “Wow, he needs to throw more of those”

  10. Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:
    (link)

    Oaktown loved Morton a few weeks ago (not sure about now), and I hate to go against OTS and his superior everything, but god I hate Morton. Granted he wasn’t throwing 98mph back then, but if I had to see one more damn side-by-side of his windup and delivery next to Roy Halladay’s and talk of his “stuff” I was going to snap.

    I don’t know, maybe it’s just blind and irrational hatred that makes me want to give him a Knuckles sandwich.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: No he was awful in Pittsburgh. Really not good at all. Yeah I almost brought up the Halliday thing, but there was so much to get into here. The curveball is good, and the velocity helps, but he’s gone from boarderline major leaguer, to mid-rotation guy that struggles the third time through the lineup.

      I get where OTS is coming from as a cheap starter there’s a lot to like.

  11. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    Not like JB….fake post

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @J-FOH: Fake News, Fake Jews, Fake Shoes!

  12. David says:
    (link)

    You’re higher on Daniel Norris than most. I’ve been losing patience with him…what keeps you going, Ralph?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @David: Yeah I could drop him down I guess. I have in the tier of starter with upside, that are tough to trust. Norris, Urias, Bauer all peas in a pod.

      • OaktownSteve says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz:

        Norris is severely limited by his inability to command the fastball. His right shoulder tends to fly open and he leaves a lot of his pitches up and away arm side. I like the slider and he’ll strike some guys out. But man he’s going to be a WHIP nightmare.

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @OaktownSteve: Yeah agree, he can look great one pitch and awful the next. Seems like a guy who could make a tweak or two and take off. He’s still young enough. Lots of it does seem mechanical.

          • David says:
            (link)

            @Ralph Lifshitz: the arm flying open is a great observation. He’s pretty flaily up there and the heaters are all over the place.

  13. Cheese says:
    (link)

    Any worry of a pitch count win Alex wood? Or losing his rotation spot?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Cheese: That was last week…. Not too worried about pitch count, he got to 96 last time out, and it was the 7th, and the time before that 88 and he finished the 6th. He’s been ramping up, and I think he continue this run as long as he maintains his release point.

      • Cheese says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: sorry should hve worded that better. Any worry of an innings limit?

        • Ralph Lifshitz

          Ralph Lifshitz says:
          (link)

          @Cheese: It’s floating around there, but Inwas impressed that he pitched as effiecently as he did this week without striking everyone out. The consistency of his release point hasn’t me buying in heavily.

  14. Chris says:
    (link)

    What % of FAAB budget would you spend on Porcello?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Chris: Really depends on the league and whats usually available. If he should 100% be rostered, whatever it takes I guess. That question is very subjective.

  15. Eric says:
    (link)

    Have you heard if the Dodgers will be going to a 6 man rotation? Maeda is scheduled to come of the dl and start on Thursday.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Eric: I would think they continue to do what they’ve done. Find a way to give guys an extra run of rest. I would assume it’s between Ryu and McCarthy now that Urias was demoted.

  16. FreshMeat says:
    (link)

    Do you think Senzatela can stay a sub 4 era guy? I could trade Odubel for him in a 20 team dynasty league where I’m pitching starved and OF heavy but he seems to be trending in the wrong direction

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @FreshMeat: Yeah, I’m not sure I would go out and get him. The bottom has to fall out at some point.

  17. Chucky says:
    (link)

    Comfortable enough with JC Ramirez 2 starts @TB/Mia and/or Vargas @NYY/Clev?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Chucky: I’d roll with JC, that NY start for Vargas is awful.

  18. Bye Felica says:
    (link)

    I thought this was jb’s column until i read the rankings and realized that they suck lol

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Bye Felica: Ha! Not enough Sal Romano? Or was it the lack of Joe Ross and Blake Snell in the top 50?

      Smooches…

    • nick the smooth dick says:
      (link)

      @Bye Felica: Quite the little dickhead comment. Yeah JB knows fantasy and Ralph doesn’t, ok. Gotta love the snobby comments on trying to re-rank 100 pitchers every single week. Kick rocks clown.

    • jason batteiger says:
      (link)

      @Bye Felica: no need for this reversy trollsy move, and yr like a month late anyway if this stuff is yr bag. JB didn’t sink to these levels at all when he was attacked by the troll brigade in his own post, doubt he’d want it going back.

  19. J Craw says:
    (link)

    Ralph
    Great column as always
    Was just offered JD Martinez for Carrasco.
    Carrasco injury makes me nervous so leaning towards doing it
    Thoughts?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @J Craw: Do it Just Dong.

  20. Jon says:
    (link)

    What are your thoughts on Biagini?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Jon: I was encouraged and then he looked awful. Will be interesting to see what he does tomorrow.

  21. enrique says:
    (link)

    Ralph … Would I be crazy to trade Duffy for Fulmer for Paxton? I see you have Duffy a few spots ahead of both, and Duffy’s on the rise.

    The D-man’s lost velocity frightens me a bit, and the one time I managed to watch Fulmer (@OAK a couple of weeks back) he looked great. Paxton looked sharp every time I saw him, but now there are injury worries.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @enrique: Not crazy at all they’re in shouting distance.

  22. Another Dan says:
    (link)

    Hey Ralph,

    Good stuff again. Some would say you have more columns than Nelson!!

    I’m in a 10 team 6×6 roto. Got a number of your top 30 SP’s Carrasco, Cueto, Duffy, Fulmer, Nova, Severino, Ray. Looks like a good rotation on paper. The problem is my ERA and WHIP aren’t the best …. Perhaps I should have cut bait on Gausman dropped) and VV (traded) quicker.

    The other issue is that as it is an Innings limit league I need more K/9, Is Nova a liability in this type of league?

    In the same league Morton, Freeland and Graveman are available, do I create a streaming spot ? (Not really worried about meeting the IP limit, I’m ahead at present).

    Hope things are good with you. I’ve got a week off work next week. A couple of days away with the kids and (hopefully) bit of late night baseball are on the agenda.

    Best wishes,

    Dan

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Another Dan: Hahaha what an English joke! I love it.

      Those two are killers, but it’s not like Cueto has been great for your ratios.

      Yeah I’m K per leagues Nova’s value drops a bit. He’s helping your ratios though. Could you find a really high K/9 RP to supplement?

      Maybe, play it by ear, might happen organically.

      Awesome! Late night baseball is REALLY late for you. Good to hear from you Dan!

  23. Razz snowflake says:
    (link)

    IWAkuma is out for another month but is he worth a stash in a 16 team? Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Razz snowflake: Hmmm maybe, I’m not sure I would waste a roster spot.

  24. OaktownSteve says:
    (link)

    I think that’s a good take on Morton. The reduced GB% speaks to the fact that he’s elevating pitches. He hasn’t been very pitch efficient. I think if he can keep his ERA right around 4 or a tick below and get his WHIP to the 1.3 range, I’ll be happy.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @OaktownSteve: Yes it’s weird, he gets killed that third time through the order. He was really efficient the first few innings and then in the fourth the pitches started to pile up. He would get behind in counts and start grooving stuff middle-middle and middle-in. I wish he would use the curveball a little more, and then mix in the splitter in lieu of his cutter. As I don’t think the cutter is a very good pitch. He almost never starts off with a curveball. It was always a fastball leading almost exclusively. He has the arsenal to keep hitters guessing. I think he could be better.

  25. Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season says:
    (link)

    this was a 7 round draft (slow on message board, average time per pick round 2.3 hours, and this includes the night hours, as i only have played in leagues with about 3 of these guys before this i consider a big success, i’m comish of it, i’m the one sending out emails after nearly every damn pick) that started march 6. OPS,holds, QS, total bases, bunch of stats, K/9, K/BB etc. 16 team dynasty we drafted the prospects first (7 man protected list that cannot be added to during season, do have to call up at 150/30 limits during season, can trade for other prospects midseason, in yahoo BUT you could’ve drafted guys not in yahoo). don’t need to delve through whole thing, just seeing how i did (mine in caps).i said this at the time and noticed fisher is VERY low on a LOT of standard prospect lists back in march

    round 1:
    1.1 -glasnow SP PIT
    1.2 – moncada 3B (probably 2B soon too) WSOX
    1.3 – giolito SP WSOX
    1.4 – benintendi LF BOS
    1.5 – y.alvarez SP LAD
    1.6 – g.torres SS NYY
    1.7 – swanson SS ATL
    1.8 -c.frazier CF NYY
    1.9 – albies SS ATL
    1.10 – – a.rosario SS NYM
    1.11 — barreto SS OAK
    1.12 – MEADOWS CF PIT
    1.13 -bellinger 1B LAD
    1.14 – devers 3B BOS
    1.15 – robles CF ATL
    1.16 – – e.jimenez LF CUBS

    2.1 – rodgers SS COL
    2.2 senzel 3B CIN
    2.3 vlad guerrero jr 3B TOR
    2.4 groome SP BOS
    2.5 A.REYES SP STL
    2.6 renfroe RF SD
    2.7- bell 1B/RF PIT
    2.8 – brinson CF MIL
    2.9- judge RF NYY
    2.10 – crawford SS PHI
    2.11 -moniak CF PHI
    2.12 happ 2B/OF CUBS
    2.13 maitan SS ATL
    2.14 tapia CF COL
    2.15 honeywell SP TB
    2.16 kopech SP WSOX

    3.1 adames SS TB
    3.2 a.espinoza SP SD
    3.3 de leon SP TB
    3.6 zimmer CF CLE
    3.7 margot CF SD
    3.8 mateo SS NYY
    3.9 tucker RF HOU
    3.10 hader SP MIL
    3.11 kelly C STL
    3.12 K.LEWIS RF SEA
    3.13 mejia C CLE
    3.14 mckenzie SP CLE
    3.15 calhoun 2B (probably not by the time he’s up) LAD
    3.16 martes SP/RP HOU

    4.1 c.ray CF MIL
    4.2 keller SP PIT
    4.3 f.whitley SP HOU
    4.4 haniger LF/CF SEA
    4.5 I.DIAZ SS/2B MIL
    4.6 kaprielian SP NYY
    4.7 t.o’neill LF SEA
    4.8 weaver SP STL
    4.9 t.murphy C COL
    4.10 garrett SP CIN
    4.11reid-foley SP TOR
    4.12 cisco C BAL
    4.13 acuna CF ATL
    4.14 hudson SP/RP STL
    4.15 b.garrett SP MIA
    4.16 dom smith 1B NYM

    5.1 bauers 1B/OF TB
    5.2 allard SP ATL
    5.3 -chang SS CLE
    5.4 gsellman SP NYM
    5.5 manning SP DET
    5.6 alford CF TOR
    5.7 alfaro C PHI
    5.8 sheffield SP NYY
    5.9 pint SP COL
    5.10 verdugo RF LAD
    5.11 d.brito 2B PHI
    5.12 COLLINS C WSOX
    5.13 dejong SS/3B STL
    5.14 morejon SP SD
    5.15 puk SP/RP OAK
    5.16 r.lopez SP WSOX

    6.1 n.gordon SS MIN
    6.2 soto RF WAS
    6.3 tatis jr SS SD
    6.4 glover RP WAS
    6.5 FEDDE SP WAS
    6.6 chapman 3B OAK
    6.7 bradley 1B CLE
    6.8 cotton SP OAK
    6.9 gonsalves SP/RP MIN
    6.10 winker LF
    6.11 tellez 1B TOR
    6.12 -i.anderson SP ATL
    6.13 quantrill SP SD
    6.14 asuaja 2B SD
    6.15 lazarito (i.e. l.armentaros) LF OAK
    6.16 fulmer SP/RP WSOX

    7.1 c.gillaspie 1B TB
    7.2 beede SP SF
    7.3 FISHER RF HOU
    7.4. d.perez SS STL
    7.5 newman SS PIT
    7.6 l.gurriel 2B/SS TOR
    7.7 hoskins 1B PHI
    7.8 d.fowler OF NYY
    7.9 cozens RF PHI
    7.10 buehler -SP LAD
    7.11 c.green SP NYY
    7.12 y.gurriel 1B/3B HOU
    7.13 c.adams SP NYY
    7.14 c.greene SP TOR
    7.15 toles LF/RF LAD
    7.16 tebow NYM (if he’s attempting a position i believe it’s OF)
    other than no 1B i think i did pretty well. active rosters have 2 NA and 5 DL (and will max those out more next year, i’m completely against anybody in a dynasty league having to either drop or get less competitive), so i stashed aj reed during regular draft.

    who’s better NA stash for my 2nd slot, cease or newcomb? i dumped kang for cease lately.

    • Crapshoot Kershaw says:
      (link)

      @Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season: in your last post i’m seeing you don’t like reed’s future. i could’ve sworn back in preseason while halp was higher on him you were pretty optimistic as well at the time (i could be remembering ONLY halp’s thoughts and mixing them up though). this being the case should i stash yet another 1B guy rather than cease or newcomb. those 2 i got from your most recent top 100 list, mostly the highest unowned guys. my worry with the 1B is my team is filled with old ones (zimmerman/hanram/miggy/mini donkey, 1B/CI/2 utils). i might be able to trade zimm (and probably should’ve weeks ago really). got stupid and trusted TRON to take miggy over freeman in draft, looking back pretty damn stupid.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
        (link)

        @Crapshoot Kershaw: Reed’s tough in certain leagues I’m not holding, deeper formats maybe. I think Halp and I were both optimistic about Reed this season. He’s always money in AAA

        • And Now the Jon Lovitz Dancers! says:
          (link)

          @Ralph Lifshitz: this likely counts as a deeper. yeah i believe the discussions centered around both how he’s killing AAA yet again but no room in HOU this year likely (back when yuli wasn’t known performance-wise for more than maybe 100 at bats or whatever it was last year)

  26. J-FOH says:
    (link)

    Where is curious Jorge this week? He was such a troll last week. I pushed on him today in greys post and he responded well. I would like to hope he could come and engage with you in a positive way. It’s hard to find commenters who want to do more than ask a player A or player B question. Or those that want to do a drive by comment. Maybe I’m being too optimistic today in hoping people will want to engage in an actual discussion. I hope my pushing leads to that.

    I want to say nice post today but this is someone else’s post. I mean that in it’s not yours yet. You’re not JB and I don’t want you to be. I know what it’s like to write poorly conceived posts that someone else wanted. It becomes a chore. A few ideas would be to make tiers like closers that have funny but useful names like greys old closer report. I also think you should plan out your pitchers weeks in advance and try to get eyes on two games in a row. That may be asking a lot. Either way you’re doing great kid!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @J-FOH: Thanks Jack, I have some ideas, and a few are in line with that.

  27. jack florida says:
    (link)

    nice work Ralph, very helpful info always

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @jack florida: Thanks Jack!

  28. Maverick says:
    (link)

    Hey Ralph
    Who wins a Gallo – Samardzija trade? Love your posts man!! Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Maverick: This year it’s probably the Shark side. He’s been very unlucky, I’m buying that things stabilize. Gallo is so streaky.

  29. Alex says:
    (link)

    shoykd I trade kershaw for degrom and porcello in a 16 team 4 keeper league. Other keeper Harper betts springer and possibly moncada. Can keep forever and have a chance to win this year

    • J-FOH says:
      (link)

      @Alex: I wouldn’t

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Alex: nope

  30. lt513 says:
    (link)

    It’s probably too late and I missed your responses but where would you consider Devenski in this top 100? I know he’s a reliever but at the end of a week he’s around 6 innings and 6-12 ks. I’m just curious cause the dude is a freak. Thanks man great read every time I love the breakdowns.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @lt513: Yeah, he’d have to be somewhere in the 70’s, maybe even higher. I’d own him in a lot of formats over a fair numbers of these starters.

  31. The Biz says:
    (link)

    Thor was dropped in my 12 team roto league, however we don’t have DL spots, and have 24 roster spots. Already carrying Freeman in one, can I afford to pick up Thor? I’m top 3, they rotate every day, my need is K’s due to being down on IP. Currently have Keuchel, Degrom, Duffy, Hendricks, JC Ram and Karns. Going after Matz on waivers. Thanks!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @The Biz: Hmmmm I mean that’s a tough one when you’re already holding Freeman.

      • The Biz says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: Right? I’d like to say I’m confident enough to be able to play 22 on 24 for a while and get away with it as I’m planning on 23 already so hmmm.

  32. Michael Villani says:
    (link)

    Your that high on Taijuan Walker? He looks like someone you only stream when he faces the padres. I DL stashed him for now anyway

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Michael Villani: I’m not high on any of them. I hate pitchers. Have zero idea from week to week what you people want. He was put on the DL after I did my rankings. This post takes 12-13 hours of work.

      • Ralph Lifshitz

        Ralph Lifshitz says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: He’s also got a 3.46 ERA, and he’s ranked 35th. Like where should he be?

  33. Dougie says:
    (link)

    what do you think about a trade of Villar for Berrios. Do you think thats fair, or do you think I will regret giving up Berrios?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Dougie: I’d take Villar all day.

  34. sheriff mcrawdawg says:
    (link)

    80-grade title… if only he didn’t get traded for a backup catcher……

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @sheriff mcrawdawg: Ha! To be fair, so was Mark Trumbo.

      • The Harrow says:
        (link)

        @Ralph Lifshitz: yet i’ve seen you refer to that guy that runs SEA as not an idiot, assuming it’s the same guy who made that trumbo for the backup catcher with the serial killer name.

  35. Watson says:
    (link)

    Hey Ralph,
    Who are some relievers I can target hopefully on waivers to help with K and WHIP ratios? Thanks in advance!

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Watson: Tommy Kahnle, Devenski, Blake Parker.

  36. Brett says:
    (link)

    Concerned on Cueto? When Paxton returns would he jump ahead of Duffy? Trying to figure who to target in a trade.

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Brett: A little because of the blisters, he’s been pretty good otherwise.

  37. Rob says:
    (link)

    I am in a deep keeper league. Would you trade Miggy and Josh Naylor for Victor Robles, Clint Frazier, and Jake Bauers?

    • Ralph Lifshitz

      Ralph Lifshitz says:
      (link)

      @Rob: Yes

  38. PM_me_alexwood_woodies says:
    (link)

    First off, I’m sorry I was busy when this posted.

    Second off – how in the hell do you call yourself a ‘pert with Alex wood at 16? SIXTEEN? SIXTEEN IS THE LOW END OF STRIKEOUTS GOING FORWARD

    Darvish? Cole? Carrasco? Just a few BUMS you have ahead of him. Get a life, rank him #3.

Comments are closed.