How do you like your eggs? Sonny side up or with a side of space cakes? I guess that depends if you’re from Oakland or Colorado. Speaking of space cakes, did you hear Tim Lincecum is making a comeback. In two minor league starts for the Salt Lake Bees he is 0-2 with 11 strikeouts, 5 walks and 5 earned runs in 10 innings. The only number I don’t like there is the five walks, but for a guy that hasn’t pitched since June 27 of last year perhaps these numbers aren’t that bad. Maybe Tiny Tim has something left in the tank. I’m not dropping anyone of consequence for him, but if I had a guy like Phil Hughes, Shelby Miller or Mike Fiers sitting on my bench, I might take shot on the two-time Cy Young Award winner. It’s a long shot, but you never know.
What do we make of Jon Gray? Here’s how I feel. If he were pitching for any team other than the Rockies, and maybe the Braves, he’d be a must own. Currently he is only about 25% owned in ESPN leagues. Since the start of the season he has had three double digit strikeout games. Granted two of them were agains the Padres. Over 52 and a third innings Gray has 61 strikeouts. The computes to 10.49 K/9. Amongst pitchers that have thrown at least 50 innings, only eleven have a better K/9. Those pitchers include Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Max Scherzer, Jose Fernandez, Noah Syndergaard, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Archer and Danny Salazar. You can’t fault a pitcher for not striking out as many pitchers as those in the aforementioned list.
Gray has pitched at least five innings in all but two of his nine starts this season and at least six in six starts. Given his current strikeout rate that’s seven strikeouts per six inning start. There’s a reason he was the third overall pick of the 2013 draft. He has the pedigree to be an ace. Now if he can just get the dodge out of Denver. Not only do I think Jon Gray should be owned, but I’m taking him over Dallas Keuchel. I realize is called him “nothing more than a streamer” a few weeks ago, but my stance is evolving. I wouldn’t start him every time he pitches, but I think he’s starting to earn a bit more respect than many are currently giving him considering his upside and potential.
What about Sonny Gray? Up to this point he’s been more of a disappointment than anything else. More like Sonny side down. Or perhaps scrambled eggs. However, in his only two full seasons Gray has put up solid numbers. He’s never been an overpowering strikeout pitcher, but he has had solid ratios. He’s not a 5.77 ERA pitcher, especially pitching his home games in O.co Coliseum. I think there’s still a chance to buy low on him, but that’s all I’d be willing to do. I’m not paying one run scored over his current market value. Notice I said “current” market value. That’s different than his value coming into this season based on his past two years numbers.
Besides the house of Gray, I’d also like to mention two other pitchers that were drafted in the first round of their respective Amateur Drafts. First is Archie Bradley. Bradley has had a rough start to his MLB career, which included a line drive off his head. Let me see you like a line drive off your dome piece and then get back on the mound without any side effects. His biggest issue seems to be control. He walks far too many batters. He needs to find a way to walk less batters. That’s easier said than done, but if he can do that, we’ll have ourself a very good pitcher. It doesn’t help that he pitches half his games in a hitters park, but Zach Greinke seems like he’s starting to figure that out. With a K/9 of 9.49, he’s striking out at least one batter per inning. And that’s exactly who I think he is. If for some reason he’s on your waiver wire, I’d pick him up.
I’d also like to give a shout out to Trevor Bauer. He came into the league in 2012 with such high expectations after striking out 11.54 batters per nine innings across all levels of the minor leagues. He was the heir apparent to Jack’s role in 24. While he hasn’t yet lived up to those expectations, I think he’s actually starting to figure things out. I think the Trevor Bauer we are seeing right now is the Trevor Bauer he are going to get. I can see him making some tiny improvements, but nothing ground shattering. A mid to high 3’s ERA, just about one strikeout per inning and three walks per nine certainly make him a roster-able pitcher.
Other pitchers I am buying include Zach Greinke, Chris Archer and Aaron Nola. I bet you though this post was going to be riddled with Game of Thrones references. I just didn’t have the energy. For those that I have let down I’ll add this. It sure was great to see the Daenerys naked again the other week. That last sentence was brought to you by Tony the Tiger. Poor Theon. It’s got to suck when your sister has not only taken your rightful place commanding the army, but is also getting female tail than you. How bout that Dog! Sh!t’s getting real…