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You spilled the salt!

I feel like that’s what you should yell after your Hodgepadre gives up more than three earned runs at home.  Raise the fences PETCO!  When your Hodgepadre spills the salt, you have to throw the shaker over your shoulder.

But what if your Hodgepadre is un-throwable?  Mat Latos sure toed the line last year, but ended strong.  Cory Luebke stayed on the table all last year but won’t even be in the restaurant until mid-May next year.  But beyond that it’s been a revolving door of spilled salt everywhere for the Padres pitching staff the past few seasons.  Wait, where was I going with this?

Oh yea!  Anthony Bass.  Could he become the Hodgepadre a lot of people are hoping he can become?  Flashing nearly a K per inning and all the peripherals to make you love those camo-jerseys, and Anthony could get some serious Pet-co-ed Bass up in San Diego.

Still out there in tons of leagues, I watched Bass’s start against the Angels on Sunday afternoon to see how his stuff looks and if he’s the Hodgepadre that can keep your roster on a low-sodium diet.  Here’s how he looked:

First Inning: Bass’s first pitch is a 93-MPH fastball right down the middle for a strike to Mike Trout.  His second pitch hits 95 but is down and a tad outside, 1-1.  I’ve never watched much of Bass; he’s got a ton of body motion going into his pitches that’s got to be a little deceptive to hitters, especially in an interleague game where there’s not much of a scouting report on him.  Trout works it to 3-1 and bangs one up the gap for a leadoff single.  How dangerous is Mike Trout looking right now?  The first pitch to Maicer Izturis is a wild one that skips a few feet away from Nick Hundley, but Trout didn’t pick it up and can’t advance.  There’s a break early on for Bass.  Bass then checks on Trout and almost picks him off; he’s got a pretty nice pickoff move and is holding Trout well.  On 2-1, Trout takes off, and even with a perfect throw from Hundley and Trout without a huge lead, Trout barely gets in safe to second.  I attribute that more to Trout than any shortcomings in Bass’s ability to hold runners.  On 3-2, Izturis grounds out weakly to first, but it moves Trout to third with one out.  Falling behind 1-0 to Albert Pujols, Bass dials up a nasty slider for a swing a miss, 1-1.  Nice 87-MPH breaking pitch there.  On 2-1, Pujols dribbles one that goes only about 10 feet from the plate, and he’s thrown out by Hundley without scoring Trout.  Wow, what is the deal, Machine?  On 0-1 to Mark Trumbo, Bass hangs a slider that was a horrific pitch you never want to see.  Trumbo crushes it to the wall and is safe with an RBI-double.  Left fielder Blake Tekote crashed into the wall almost nabbing that one, advantage Petco.  That’s a home run virtually anywhere else, and if you started Bass, Petco just saved you a run.  Either way, Trout is in, 1-0 Angels.  After Howie Kendrick swings and misses on a slider for 2-2, he takes a fastball painting the inside corner for strike three and Bass’s first K.

Second Inning:  Bass falls behind early to Vernon Wells 2-0, and on 3-1, Bass loses him for a leadoff walk.  He bounces back though going up 1-2 on Erik Aybar, then on 2-2 he ties up Aybar on an inside slider that made Aybar look silly.  Nice pitch right there, 2 Ks for Bass.  On 1-0 to catcher Bobby Wilson, Wells takes off and steals second, but to the detriment of his arthritis.  He looks a little beat up right now, shaking his hand.  Bass went with a slightly higher leg kick on his delivery from the stretch; I don’t think he thought Wells was going there.  Maybe I was wrong about him holding runners…  On a 2-1 change-up, Wilson bangs one to the pitcher, and Bass is able to poke his left foot out to smother the ball and throws him out at first.  Fantastic play right there.  And with a man on third with two outs, Bass now gets Ervin Santana, and promptly strikes him out on three straight pitches.  Oh, to pitch in the NL.

Third Inning: Back to the top of the order, and on 2-1 Mike Trout laces one to center, but it’s caught by center fielder Cameron Maybin while backpedalling.  Maybe there’s been something spotted by the Padres pitching coaches, but Bass’s fastball is sitting 90-92 now, and none are at 94 or 95 like we saw in the first… Maybe he was overthrowing early.  On 1-1 to Izturis, Bass goes with a change-up to get Izturis to once again ground out to first, two down.  And right after it looks like a quick inning, Bass loses Pujols to a four-pitch walk.  The first pitch to Trumbo is a 93-MPH fastball barely outside for a ball, so there’s a little added velocity resurfacing.  Bass again falls behind, now 3-1 to Trumbo and already at 55 pitches.  And the 56th pitch is ball four, two straight two-out walks.  After again falling behind 2-1 to Kendrick, Bass pours in a tough fastball for strike two, then gets Kendrick to swing and miss on a slider in the dirt to get out of the inning.

Fourth Inning: The first pitch to Peter Bourjos, in for Vernon Wells, is a slider way outside 1-0.   Wells indeed hurt himself on the slide to second in the 2nd inning.  On a 2-2 change-up, Bourjos taps it down the third base line, and with his speed he’s safe at first without a throw from Headley.  On the first pitch to Aybar, he slaps it to third with Headley playing in protecting the bunt, and with the ball hit that hard and with Headley in, the Padres are able to double up a very speedy set of runners in Bourjos and Aybar.  Nice defense there from the Padres infield.  1-1 to Wilson, and the opposing catcher rips one down the line, just foul.  The next pitch is a 93-MPH fastball on the fists that Wilson grounds weakly to short, and Bass has another scoreless frame.

Fifth Inning:  Bass starts the fifth by striking out Santana on four pitches, and Bass’s 5th K on the day.  And then on the first pitch, Bass hangs another slider or change-up, (I couldn’t really tell it was just a nothing pitch at 80-MPH that didn’t break) which Trout crushes for a home run.  Man, Mike Trout is awesome, all three of his at bats were hard hit balls.  2-0 Angels.  Bass works a full count to Izturis, and for the third time gets him to ground out softly to the right side, this time to short, two down.  On 2-0 to Pujols, Bass throws a solid slider this time that Pujols misses, 2-1.  The next pitch is a fastball way outside, then Bass throws a meh change-up that Pujols bangs to third, but Headley is able to dive and catch it for the final out.  Nice defense from Chase Headley today, and he robs a hit from Pujols.

Sixth Inning: With two runs of support to tie up the game, Bass gets Trumbo to fly out softly to right, one down.  The Padres bullpen begins warming up, suggesting this will be Bass’s final inning with him due to bat in the bottom of the frame.  On the first pitch to Kendrick, it’s lined into right for a first-pitch single.  On 1-2 to Bourjos, Bass turns on a pickoff move that Kendrick was fooled on for an easy pickoff.  So maybe I was right with Bass’s ability to hold runners…  And the next pitch is a 93-MPH fastball that Bourjos swings through, and Bass ends his day with his 6th strikeout.  He’s lifted for a pinch hitter, and leaves with a no decision.

Final Line:  ND  6 Innings  97 Pitches (53 Strikes)
5 Hits  3 Walks  2 Earned Runs  6 Ks

Final Analysis: All said and done, Bass gave you exactly what you wanted from any Hodgepadre – a quality start and 6 Ks in 6 innings to boot.  But I wasn’t exactly blown away.  Bass got caught up with some high pitch counts (barely half his pitches were strikes), and when you’re on such a scuffling NL offense and still a young starter, you’re going to pulled early for pinch hitters.

Bass’s mechanics are sound and he utilizes a delivery that uses a lot of body motion that’s got to be slightly deceptive to hitters.  My hesitation stems from just all-around inconsistencies.  His fastball was 94-95 early on, then was 90-91 for a stretch, then built back up to 93 and fell back down to the 90 range, all the while not consistently getting strikes.  He did dial up a 93-MPH heater to end his outing, but his fastball was all over the radar gun.  His slider is nasty when on, but he had trouble with hangers, as early as the first inning with that booming RBI-double from Trumbo.  His change-up also seemed to be a bit of a work in progress and didn’t do too much to keep hitters off his fastball or slider.

In the end, Bass is still my favorite Hodgepadre right now.  He clearly has the stuff to be a K per 9 guy, but it will come at the cost of high pitch counts and early exits.  Working in the NL and in Petco benefitted Bass greatly in this game alone with a home run staying inside the park from Trumbo and seven pitches leading to two easy strikeouts against Ervin Santana (given he’s an AL pitcher and NL pitches will probably work him harder, but it counts on the stat sheet nonetheless).  If you’re streaming guys, Bass is a great pickup for his Petco starts against poor offenses, but I don’t think he’s a set-it and forget-it starter to keep on your roster all year.  The inconsistent stuff has me a bit worried and it’s going to be tough to get many wins with that brutal offense backing him up.

  1. longbeachyo says:
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    NICE! I was just thinking to myself… “that dude needs to do more than just one post a week on watching pitchers.” So I came back to tell Grey that you need to write these twice a week (at least), and lo and behold here is your weekly post. I guess I’ll be ok for a while now… (probably till Sunday).
    Let me read this shiz and get back to you! I already have another pitcher in mind for you. Paulino?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @longbeachyo, Thanks for the support man! I’ll try my best to maybe get out two of these a week down the road, but for now it’s just one… I’ll definitely consider Paulino, but unlike Smyly and Bass, I wouldn’t touch him at all except in AL leagues… But he is pitching well and maybe I’ll tune in to his next one!

  2. Moscowitz says:
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    Well first of all thanks for taking time analysing the game. Last time you were very high on Smyly and i disagreed. He is already regressing though and didnt look good in his last outing.

    You could be a bit more enthusiastic about Bass though. He is better than Smyly. His LOB is just as it should be, i do not expect it to change dramatically. His two seamer is a fantastic pitch. He induces a lot of ground balls with that. He is not a fly ball pitcher which is good and helps him keep the ball in the park in the long run. All in all he is a 3.50 ERA pitcher off the waivers. What else could you ask for?

    • longbeachyo says:
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      @Moscowitz, Dude, cut the man some slack. He’s reporting what he saw from ONE game… This one. All he is saying is that Bass didn’t show him much in this game and that he wasn’t that impressive. Yes, Bass’ numbers are better than Smyly’s, but not by much. Like I said before, with pitchers like these two guys, I’m sure the most important factor will be consistency and pitch mixing. Once they start to see the same clubs 3/4 times and decent scouting reports are made on them, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see Smyly the better pitcher.

      These reports might be the most valuable on Razzball. Consistency is so important for a pitcher, and with the knowledge of Bass struggling with it, and the fact that he was not that impressive in the minors, this might be the time to sell high.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Moscowitz, Nice to have my neighborly hater back! First of all, his two-seam fastball didn’t do anything to distinguish from his four seam, and neither heater looked impressive for vast portions of the game I watched. It missed the zone by A LOT multiple times with very inconsistent velocities. A 3.50 ERA pitcher off waivers is fine, but that’s not gonna be a guy you keep on your roster all year, especially when he gets stuck with single digit wins. As longbeach posted, Bass’s upcoming schedule is favorable, so if you need the pitching help, I’d hang on to him. But if he has a rough one next time out, he’s easily cuttable and if you’ve got a solid roster I wouldn’t cut anyone good for him. I’ve watched two of Smyly’s starts, and his stuff is flat out better. If one start can count as regression, then sure, but all 4 of his earned runs in that game came on McCuthcen homers, who is playing possessed over the past two weeks. I think Bass wins ERA, Smyly wins Wins, WHIP, and K per 9 (Smyly is younger and a bigger prospect, so I’m not sure if he’ll have the innings Bass will get, so I won’t say for sure he wins Ks). Edge goes to Smyly.

  3. Moscowitz says:
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    Hater? No pal, you are misjudging me badly. I love your reports and take pride reading them carefully. Just give me a sign and i’ll quit reading and commenting here. Bass is the better pitcher. Lets check this post again in 4 months. :)

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Moscowitz, Haha, not at all man, love to hear and argue with the counterpoints! Love that you’re reading and comment as much as you like! I agree, let’s reassess at the end of the year and I’ll buy ya a virtual beer if you’re right.

  4. Moscowitz says:
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    Cheer man!

  5. Assface says:
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    What I learned from this: Mike Trout is awesome.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Assface, Indeed, sir… Indeed!

  6. STRAWberry says:
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    Nice analyis as always John. I had my eye on Bass awhile back and picked him up use last week which helped me win the H2H matchup. I too have concerns about the lack of wins but still got to love the K’s and peripherals!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @STRAWberry, Yup, when he’s in Petco against the dregs of the NL he should be fine… Definitely a good streamer.

  7. Pat's Bat says:
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    Who is the best RP eligible SP? I need someone to replace Feliz and Samardizijan is already taken.

    Paulino, Doubront, or Bass?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Pat’s Bat, If you need wins it’s obviously Doubront, I’d probably lean towards Bass though regardless… I know Paulino is looking sharp, but I don’t buy it yet.

  8. longbeachyo says:
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    Paulino’s numbers right now look great! Somehow he has managed to cut his walks way down.It’s definitely a small sample size, but I hear his stuff is good. Here’s what fangraphs had to say…
    “For three straight years now, Paulino has shown an above-average swinging strike rate and a strikeout rate close to one per inning. His control is not great, but it’s never been too far from his career 3.75 walk rate. He gets ground balls at exactly the league average rate (44%), too. He even has 95 MPH gas shooting from his right hand. So why is his career ERA over five if his career FIP is closer to four (4.18)? It’s possible he’s a batting average on balls in play outlier (.340 career), but there’s also something going on with that fastball of his. It has a wicked platoon split, for one. And he also likes to throw it down the heart of the plate. If he can figure out his platoon issues and get just a little BABIP luck, he could finally put up an ERA closer to his mid-threes FIP from the last two years. That makes him a sleeper. (Eno Sarris)”

    If you think his control will last, take a flier. Otherwise I’d go with Bass.

  9. longbeachyo says:
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    Hey Jon, How many of these have you done so far? I have some thoughts…
    A) You guys need to start thinking about being able to search the site by author.
    B) Let’s definitely go with two a week from now on.
    3) Use smoke detectors!
    D) The next post/s should include these pitchers: Lance Lynn, Felipe Paulino, Jeff Samardzija, Henderson Alvarez, Mike Minor, Felix Doubront, and Ross Detwiler.
    E) Yes, I just read off most of the guys I have on my teams…. What…?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @longbeachyo, Yea Paulino definitely has explosive stuff, it can just be really hittable sometimes… I have done only 3 for Razzball thus far (just got here on the baseball side!) and have done Lance Lynn, Drew Smyly, and now this one… The Lynn Profile was rough, the Cards put up like 11 runs across the first 5 innings and I was watching live, Lynn just had to coast against a Pirates lineup without McCutchen. I’ll ask Grey about searching by author, and I can’t promise more than my one right now, but I’ll see what I can do!

      • longbeachyo says:
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        @Jonathan Gilpin, thanks!

  10. Mike says:
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    Daniel Hudson on waivers..
    Would u take him over samardzia,Paulino, or Floyd?
    Thanks
    Need a starter!

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Mike, I’m not the biggest Hudson fan, but I’d take a shot on him over those guys… He’s got the potential to be a solid middle-rotation for your fantasy team guy, I think those others are bottom-tier.

  11. Randy 24/7 says:
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    I appreciate the insight you’ve provided regarding velocity, pitch selection, etc…

    However, I saw Bass pitch against the Nationals. He pitched 8 innings, throwing 93 pitches-62 of which were strikes-with one walk and seven strikeouts. Granted, Washington is an inferior hitting team to LA, but it also was not in PETCO. The Swinging Strike % makes me think he can continue the K per inning rate, and as long as he keeps the walks and pitch counts down (like he did against Washington), he should be above average the rest of the season, especially given that his home park will help his HR rate.

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Randy 24/7, I completely agree, if Bass can get through 8 innings with 62/31 strike/ball count he’d be a no-brainer… I’m worried that starts like that are going to be very few and far between and we’ll get more lines like I saw of 6 innings 53/45. He wasn’t this heavy on the Ks in the minors and doesn’t have a lot of professional innings under his belt. Maybe he can work the kinks out, but as a reliever turned starter I think he fades a tad and remains a streamer. I really appreciate you reading!

  12. Ryan says:
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    Someone just dropped Chris Davis.
    Do u like him over Seager and Matt Adams or pagan?
    Need a guy for utility position…
    Standard league

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Ryan, For now I still like him a tad more than Seager… but all 4 of those guys are really close… I’d go with whoever is hotter… Davis is hitting for a nice average lately, but that’s about it, I’d stand pat for now.

  13. John says:
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    Love these write ups so much better then trying to piece bits of info from all over the web about a start. Do you have the next pitcher already selected? If not i would be interested to read one of these on McDonald Jarrod parker or niese

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @John, Thanks so much! Yea, that’s why I came up with this idea for an analysis, with actual observation beyond 30 different advanced stats pieced together… I’ll keep those guys in mind! It might be McDonald, he’s been exceptional thus far, I watched some of his start last night and he looks awesome.

  14. Adam says:
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    Need a starter….what can I get for Chris young?
    A guy like McDonald?
    Need more to get peavy?
    Thanks

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Adam, As commented above, I really really like McDonald and would have no problem with that deal… I really don’t think McDonald and Peavy are that far apart so I’d maybe go either one…

  15. Billy Idol says:
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    Was debating with another leaguemate about Bass the other day. What is your opinion on this statement?: “Guys don’t normally K more in the majors than the minors when they have no experience. Once teams watch more film of Bass his k rate will come down to 7 ish.” Offhand, can you think of any minor leaguers that have bucked that trend?

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Billy Idol, Right off the bat Vance Worley comes to mind, as he’s shown for about a season worth of starts his K-rate is much higher than what he’s shown in the minors. But for every Worley there’s at least 10 pitchers who show the K rate at first then regress back to what they showed in the Minors. As I wrote in the article, Bass uses a lot of body motion and once hitters lock onto his release points, he’s probably going to regress. Kinda reminds me of Josh Collmenter who had this ridiculously vertical release that looked impossible to lock onto, but his stuff wasn’t great. Then we all saw what happened this year…

  16. Jacob says:
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    Bass,smyly,vogelsong,hammel…..
    Need to pick up a pitcher ASAP
    Thanks!
    Standard league

    • JB Gilpin

      Jonathan Gilpin says:
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      @Jacob, Right now it’s gotta be Vogelsong… He’s been fantastic lately, but at the cost of some Ks… Bass has the best matchups for a start or two. For rest of season I’d rank em Vogelsong, Smyly, Bass, Hammel… Not sold on Hammel still.

  17. Jacob says:
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    Do u like Paulino over Voglesong and smyly?
    Could pick him up also
    Thanks!!

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