So I did a little Google of “pine tar brands” and everything is this Grandpa’s brand!  Talk about cornering the market.  And their new spokesman should be Michael Pineda!  “Those other brands, they dirt, it’s dirt…”

I used to be the biggest Big Mike fan.  I was all in on him in the Mariners rookie season, and went gaga watching his starts over anyone else.  Of course he faltered down the stretch, got traded, blew up his shoulder, and now is a little bit of a parody based on the ridiculous double-down of pine tarring and feathering himself.

While he might be a punchline, and finding a little bit of humor for the open was easy, he’s still been good while healthy this year.  And not just good, but Grandpa’s good!  ERA barely over 2, WHIP under 1, 30:4 K-ta-walk.  And still owned in only 51% of Yahoo leagues!  I haven’t seen Pineda pitch since the April oil slick days, so I decided to break down his Saturday start north of the border to see how he’s looking:

First Inning: Pineda’s first pitch is a good sinking 91 MPH fastball to leadoff man Jose Reyes.  Right off the bat his delivery looked more over the top.  But maybe it was just that pitch, because the next one at 92 looked like the arm slot I’m used to and Reyes laces it to right for a hard hit single.  Quick work there.  93 misses barely high to the always fun Munenori Kawasaki, 1-0 is that sinking fastball with the over the top delivery, heater hits the inside corner, slider at 82 hangs way high, fastball in the zone Kawasaki fouls off his foot, 2-2 slider is a good one with great downward bite but Kawasaki gets a piece, still 2-2.  Pineda then elevates the fastball at 93 just high and outside with Kawasaki chasing, first K.  Former Yank Melky Cabrera fouls off a fastball, fastball labelled a cutter is outside, then a perfect 86 MPH change-up gets a swing with Reyes successfully stealing second.


All the replays show the steal, but let’s focus on that pitch!  First change-up we’ve seen, and that was a brutal one!  A good slider is tapped down the first base line foul, another change-up is fouled, 1-2 again is a fastball high, 2-2 slider fouled, 94 heater is outside, and Melky works it full.  9th pitch of the AB is cutter on the outside edge that Melky slaps hard to third, but a diving Chase Headley makes the great play for the out.  Definitely saved a run there – and a lucky out for Gamescore+ – but Reyes moves to third.  The red hot Jose Bautista takes a good 84 MPH slider in the zone while backing out of the way, good buckler there 0-1.  Then a good slider again working to the outside lower black gets the call, 0-2.  Slider again is fouled back, that one hung a tad, then 0-2 slider again is pummeled to left for a laser home run.


Poor pitch selection there, first two sliders get called strikes, Bautista barely missed the third fouling it off, then Pineda stubbornly uses it again – and in the zone at that!  Not a fan.  Collecting himself, Pineda is just high at 94 to Adam Lind, then an outside slider is crushed to right, but Ichiro Suzuki catches it on the run on the track to mercifully end the inning.  Long at bats, two great defensive plays, and a two run shot.  Buzz’s girlfriend, woof!

Second Inning: After that 23 pitch inning, Edwin Encarnacion breaks his bat and flares out to Ichiro for the first out.  One pitch out sorely needed!  Dioner Navarro takes 94 at the letters for a called strike, then an 88 MPH either cutter or hanging change-up in the lower part of the zone is grounded to first, three pitches for two outs.  94 high again gets Pineda up 0-1 on Danny Valencia, 94 again is cut on late and fouled off, then 0-2 slider stayed in the zone and is hit hard to left, with Martin Prado deciding to play it off the hop.  A good OF makes the catch there.  So two outs, one on, and before he gets one pitch off, Valencia takes off for second.  It throws off Pineda starting to deliver the ball, he turns to second and it’s a balk.  Weird balk there, a pitcher not totally with it.  Fastball just outside, then 84 MPH slider is fouled off by Kevin Pillar, a flailing swing at a slider is nipped foul 1-2, 95 on the hands gets another awkward swing and tipped back, still 1-2 with Pillar completely overmatched.  And high fastball again is popped up to end the inning.

Third Inning: Back to the top with Reyes taking 95 on the outside edge, then again out there with the cutter at 89 is popped out and caught by Derek Jeter.  Good sinking fastball at 95 is in there – still think he has a slightly different arm slot for that.  Cutter at 89 hits the bottom of the zone, a great slider at 88 going toward Kawasaki’s feet is nipped foul, 96 – fastest velo on the day – stays outside, then 89 cutter again, and an absolutely nasty one, gets the lower third of the zone for strikeout number two – both on Kawasaki.


Great pitch there, maybe a two-seamer, but I think it was a cutter.  95 is outside to Cabrera, high slider that hung a tad on the letters is ripped foul, much better slider is tipped foul, 96 outside is cut on late and slashed foul, low fastball again is hit foul, then that 89 MPH cutter that keeps getting labeled just “fastball” is hit routinely to second for an easy out.  Much better inning.

Fourth Inning: Even after a good inning, the first and second have worn into his pitch count at 47 – but 38 strikes!  48th pitch to Bautista is high and outside, slider is in there – ballsy to stick with a slider there – then that good sinking fastball at 95 is in there, 1-2.  And he stays with it, another slider without too much break hangs in the bottom of the zone, but gets popped out to center.  Perfect slider gets strike one on Lind, cutter dips low, but fastball again on the outside edge is slashed to left for a double.  Good swing there, locked in on the fastball, and that’s two rockets off the bat of Lind.  E5 takes a fastball outside, then 93 MPH cutter at the letters blows him away, 1-1.


You don’t see 93 blowing Encarnacion away like that very often!  96 is outside, then 83 MPH slider on the inside edge is swung over, 2-2.  Fastball fouled off, 95 just off the plate gets a very close check swing but he held up, 3-2 cutter fouled, then 96 is grounded down the third base line, with Headley hugging the line and making the long throw for the out.  Two down, runner still at second, and Navarro fouls off an inside fastball, 85 MPH slider dives into the dirt, slider on the outside edge fouled off, cutter is buried in the dirt, then a 2-2 slider just off the outside edge gets a defensive slap swing and an easy groundout to Headley to end the inning.

Fifth Inning: Still down 0-2, and Pineda gets Valencia to whiff on a fastball, 0-1.  Slider dives low, then a lot and inside cutter is flied out pretty routinely to right, one down.  Fastball at 94 gets strike one on PIllar, 94 in the same spot is fouled off, slider hangs high but almost nipped the top edge 1-2, then a big slider on the outside edge diving low gets him gone gone chasin’ waterfalls!  Pillar has not looked good in the box.  Good 85 MPH slider gets strike one called on Reyes, almost the same exact pitch is grooved in there 0-2, then again slider that dips low is nipped foul, still 0-2.  That was the progression Pineda needed that we didn’t see against Bautista in the first – working progressively lower in then out of the zone.  Then 95 MPH heat on the outside third is hit right to Pineda who fields it well and gets the out.  Nice, clean inning.

Sixth Inning: Fastball is inside on Kawasaki, heater again dips low, 93 is in the top inside corner, fastball again is low, 3-1.  And heater one more time at 93 right down the middle is grounded to second, one out.  Pineda had K-ed Kawasaki twice, but threw all fastballs at 93 or slower there, might be fading.  84th pitch is a 94 MPH fastball in there to Melky, then a slider that was a pretty good one and broke low in the zone is lined to right for a single.  That was hit hard and credit Melky.  Bautista chases a fastball just outside at 94 0-1, then a rare change-up even though he threw a great one in that first GIF is just low out of the zone – Bautista squares it up and hits it on a line, but it’s caught in center.  Hard contact, but an out.  Two down and up is Lind who has hit him hard, but he takes a 95 MPH fastball in there for strike one.  Then a slider on the outside lower edge gets a slow roller to second, and Pineda gets Lind for an easy out.

Seventh Inning: Pineda’s back out there at 89 pitches, and number 90 is a great slider that gets E5 to swing and miss, 0-1.  But a fastball down the middle is hit hard towards short and Jeter can only knock it down for an infield single.  Even when Jeter was good that would’ve been a really tough play.  S0 a leadoff single, and Navarro accidentally foul tips the first pitch heater, then another fastball at 94 and again right down the middle is crushed to right and off the wall for a double.  Runners at second and third with no outs, and that’ll do it for Pineda, who comes out and hits the lottery that neither baserunner would end up scoring.  He owes reliever Shawn Kelley a basket of mini muffins!

Final Line:  L  6 IP  93 Pitches (72 Strikes)  2 ER  7 Hits  0 Walks  3 K  Gamescore: 53  Gamescore+: 53.6

Final Analysis: Solid outing.  If not a little unspectacular.  I loved the control, no walks is awesome and the fact he has 4 ON THE YEAR (!!) is pretty amazing.  That said, he had a lot of pitches fouled off, and of his 3 Ks, two were Kawasaki who I love as a person – but camon – and one on Pillar who looked equally overmatched.  A lot of balls were hit really hard, the HR to Bautista was a horrible sequence of four consecutive sliders, and the balk in the second was really weird.  His Gamescore+ came out to be about even, but I think this start could’ve been a whole hell of a lot worse.

While his heater still isn’t quite to the Mariners days, it did get up to 96 and was peppering 95-96 often.  I was shocked to see his overall fastball velocity on the season at 92.5.  Pine tar was slowing it down!  Although I don’t see any distinction on Fangraphs with the cutter, that sat 89ish.  As always with cutters, sometimes they’re tough to distinguish pitch-to-pitch.  I feel like he threw ~15 this start, while also having a little different arm slot on some sinking fastballs – so it’s a mixed bag.  The off-speed is all about the slider, which he threw early and often.  The homer to Bautista I’ve talked about enough, but it generated foul ball after foul ball.  Then he also mixed in a few change-ups, which I hope he can use more and more this year and into next season.

Pineda is probably a must-start in almost all leagues right now.  This outing wasn’t perfect, and he still doesn’t pitch too deep into games, but he’s not going to walk anyone and can keep hitters off balance.  While his size, demeanor, and delivery are completely different, the stuff on its own is a little reminiscent of my boyfriend Corey Kluber‘s.  That said, Kluber’s cutter is probably the best in the Majors and he has a lot more break on it and the slider.  Could Pineda develop into the next Kluber next year?  I think it’s possible, although health is obviously a major concern.  He’ll be very buzzy heading into next year, and I think I’ll be towards the front end of the hype.

Razzball Baseball

JB’s Updated Top 100 SP

(rankings based on 12-team Roto, and from this point to the end of season – green for risers, red for fallers.  New indexing key – IL = innings limit concern, WD = wear down concern)

**Sadly, this will be my final ROS re-ranks.  With only a month left, now remaining schedules play a big factor, and the big board will make giant shifts every week.  But at the end of the year I’ll do a 2015 Top 100 SP for the offseason!**

1 Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
2 Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
3 Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox
4 David Price, Detroit Tigers
5 Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
6 Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
7 Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies
8 Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
9 Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
10 Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
11 Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
12 Jon Lester, Oakland Athletics
13 Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners
14 Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals
15 Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
16 Alex Cobb, Tampa Bay Rays
17 Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
18 Jeff Samardzija, Oakland Athletics
19 Alex Wood, Atlanta Braves
20 Jake Arrieta, Chicago Cubs (IL)
21 Doug Fister, Washington Nationals
22 Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres (WD)
23 Sonny Gray, Oakland Athletics (WD)
24 James Shields, Kansas City Royals
25 Mat Latos, Cincinnati Reds
26 Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
27 Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals
28 James Paxton, Seattle Mariners
29 Rick Porcello, Detroit Tigers
30 Mike Fiers, Milwaukee Brewers
31 Gerrit Cole, Pittsburgh Pirates
32 Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates
33 Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels
34 Ervin Santana, Atlanta Braves
35 Drew Smyly, Tampa Bay Rays
36 Hyun-Jin Ryu, Los Angeles Dodgers
37 Collin McHugh, Houston Astros
38 Tanner Roark, Washington Nationals
39 Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics (WD)
40 Dallas Keuchel, Houston Astros
41 Andrew Cashner, San Diego Padres
42 Jake Odorizzi, Tampa Bay Rays (WD)
43 Zack Wheeler, New York Mets
44 Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays
45 Danny Duffy, Kansas City Royals (IL/WD)
46 Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins
47 Matt Shoemaker, Los Angeles Angels
48 Carlos Carrasco, Cleveland Indians
49 Mike Minor, Atlanta Braves
50 Ian Kennedy, San Diego Padres
51 Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giants
52 Michael Pineda, New York Yankees
53 Yordano Ventura, Kansas City Royals (IL/WD)
54 Jose Quintana, Chicago White Sox
55 Brandon McCarthy, New York Yankees
56 Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks
57 Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (IL)
58 Marcus Stroman, Toronto Blue Jays (IL)
59 Shane Greene, New York Yankees
60 Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals
61 Chris Tillman, Baltimore Orioles
62 Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants
63 Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
64 Jake Peavy, San Francisco Giants
65 Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
66 Wily Peralta, Milwaukee Brewers
67 Kevin Gausman, Baltimore Orioles (IL)
68 Kyle Hendricks, Chicago Cubs
69 Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers
70 Henderson Alvarez, Miami Marlins
71 Kyle Lohse, Milwaukee Brewers
72 Trevor Bauer, Cleveland Indians
73 Tsuyoshi Wada, Chicago Cubs
74 Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees
75 John Lackey, St. Louis Cardinals
76 Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
77 Danny Salazar, Cleveland Indians
78 Aaron Harang, Atlanta Braves
79 R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays
80 Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays
81 Shelby Miller, St. Louis Cardinals
82 Matt Garza, Milwaukee Brewers
83 Bartolo Colon, New York Mets
84 Rubby De La Rosa, Boston Red Sox (IL)
85 Drew Hutchison, Toronto Blue Jays (IL)
86 Jason Hammel, Oakland Athletics
87 Yusmeiro Petit, San Francisco Giants
88 Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox
89 Dillon Gee, New York Mets
90 Tom Koehler, Miami Marlins
91 Jon Niese, New York Mets
92 C.J. Wilson, Los Angeles Angels
93 Chase Anderson, Arizona Diamondbacks (IL/WD)
94 Alfredo Simon, Cincinnati Reds
95 Nathan Eovaldi, Miami Marlins
96 Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals
97 Vance Worley, Pittsburgh Pirates
98 Jarred Cosart, Miami Marlins
99 A.J. Burnett, Philadelphia Phillies
100 Chris Young, Seattle Mariners

Dropped Out: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers (conventional wisdom prevailed with Texas likely shutting him down ROS), Garrett Richards, Los Angeles Angels (patella, so unfortunate), Jesse Hahn, San Diego Padres (moving to the bullpen to save innings), Jimmy Nelson, Milwaukee Brewers (it’s a 6-man rotation for now, but I think Nelson is going to the pen), Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers (seems his pec is going to keep him out most of September, if not the whole year), Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants (I really wanted to leave him out and hope no one noticed I had him in the 90s two weeks ago…), Roenis Elias, Seattle Mariners (could lose his spot, more below), Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates (eh, I mean he’s been OK, but right around 100 and needed one more spot)

  • I know opposing pitcher Drew Hutchison threw a one-hitter, but I can’t buy his consistency.  Not going to rank him very high to close out the year.
  • Well, I give in to the Phil Hughes supporters.  Even after a kinda bleh start.  Sorry about not believing!  I hope you accept my apology.  Or “except”.  As my neighborhood Chipotle once had on their front door, “No longer excepting gift cards.”  True story.
  • Smyly is super smiley after moving to Florida.  Buying all in.
  • I’m all in on Carlos Carrasco as well.  Throwing hard, always had good stuff, 29:4 K:BB last 5.
  • I never would’ve bought into Brandon McCarthy, especially moving to the Yanks, but this new cutter is killin’ it.  Cutty Sark!
  • Taijuan Walker has had some big Ks lately in AAA and might take Elias’ spot.  Erasmo Ramirez is awful and Chris Young had a start skipped, lots of opportunity, but until he’s officially up, I dunno.
  • Dear [unnamed] angry commenter hating on Mike Minor.  Told you a late turnaround could happen!

What did you think of Pineda’s outing?  Thoughts on the final ROS ranks?  I hope everyone is having a happy Labor Day and enjoy the long weekend!

  1. Grey

    Grey says:

    Great stuff this year, JB! Well played…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Grey: Thanks boss!

  2. Crazy old guy babbling in the corner says:

    What’s up with Kluber lately? Didn’t look sharp Wednesday, getting lit up today.

    You got Carrasco ranked over Minor? I just dropped Fiers for minor–so need to figure out another drop for carra…

    • Crazy old guy babbling in the corner says:

      @Crazy old guy babbling in the corner: archer and Ryu are my most droppable… Smyly, Odorizzi, Carrasaco, Paxton are still out there…

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:

        @Crazy old guy babbling in the corner: CURSE OF MY RANKS! I dunno, I wasn’t able to watch, but saw he gave up homers to the Tigers big boys. I’m not reading too much into it, but it is worth noting he’s way over a career high in innings.

        Well I still like Fiers over both, but yeah I think Carrasco offers a little more upside than Minor ROS with a few more Ks. Well my ranks have Smyly and Paxton as the guys you should own, Ryu/Smyly back to back so coin flip there, but I’d def get Paxton for the final stretch.

        • Crazy old guy babbling in the corner says:

          @JB Gilpin: well Fiers is still out there to. At this point I used my 4 transactions for the week, so will reassess next Monday. I’ve already locked a playoff slot, so not worried this week.

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:

            @Crazy old guy babbling in the corner: Nice at least you have some time to plan, I think matchups at this point ROS play a big factor too down the stretch

  3. Clint says:

    JB, when’s the annual Brewers Support Group meeting? We just lost first place to those damned Cardinals AGAIN despite their MASH Unit & being led by Justin F’ing Masterson? It’s as if the universe won’t let me see a good Brewers team go deep into the playoffs as much as it won’t let Grey have nice things and the elder gods refuse to delight Tehol. Just once before I die give us a World Series win, just ONCE? My ’82 AL Champions roster plaque’s dusting up my office so bad I can’t see it anymore along with my Prince Fielder pic & game turf plaque.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Clint: Haha, well I’m young so wasn’t alive for the first one, so I haven’t seen a WS IN MY LIFE! Very disappointing stretch here, but we have the piece as long as Gomey’s wrist is OK. If we miss the playoffs, I will start the official support group. “My name is JB, and I’m a Brewers fan…” “Hello, JB!”

  4. longbeachyo says:

    Keuchal, Smyly, and Arrieta possibly wearing down. NOOOOOOOOO!
    Can Taijuan Walker fill the void if/when I lose some of those guys?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @longbeachyo: Well I’m cheering for Arrieta to wear down again tonight! Yikes my Brewers need a win… Looks like Walker is going to the pen, still coudld make a start or two, but I think I’d go for another option…

      • longbeachyo says:

        @JB Gilpin: Damnit… I’m screwed. Thanks for all the hard work this year JB!

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:

          @longbeachyo: Haha appreciate it man! You can pull through!

  5. boredoutofmymind says:

    12 Team H2H Dynasty League use QS (not W) I am in first week of playoffs. I may need to stream one pitcher this week in order to get max 12 starts if these options are too risky have a suggestion? Dickey, Harang, R. DLR, Hutchison and a few others on your list available.
    Who do you drop to stream Nuno or Leake tomorrow for the QS? or wait for one of the above?
    Drop Pomeranz, Cingrani, Taillon, Tim Hudson, McCarthy, Wada, Cosart?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @boredoutofmymind: I dunno about Leake against the Orioles who are getting hotter, but I like Nuno. I’d probably drop Taillon, I know he’s got a lot of upside if he heals up from TJ but won’t contribute for a while and you need to win now.

      • boredoutofmymind says:

        @JB Gilpin:

        So you still like upside of Cingrani over Taillon? Cingrani wont be back this season either.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:

          @boredoutofmymind: Yeah I do a lot more, Taillon I think might not pitch until late next year if at all. Won’t be healthy until mid-season then has to pitch in the Minors again

          • boredoutofmymind says:

            @JB Gilpin:
            Nuno moved back to Friday @ LAD… Still like? I don’t. ;(

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:

              @boredoutofmymind: Yeah I dont either… Stupid Randall Delgado!

              • boredoutofmymind says:

                @JB Gilpin:

                Stream any of these tomorrow?
                Worley @ CHC
                Hutchison @ BOS
                Harang @ MIA
                Need the QS.

                • JB Gilpin

                  JB Gilpin says:

                  @boredoutofmymind: I don’t like any of those. I would rank them Worley, Harang, then Hutchison, but not feeling great for QS

                  • boredoutofmymind says:

                    @JB Gilpin:
                    Felt the same way just wanted to get advice from someone else in case they knew something about the matchup that I didn’t know.

      • boredoutofmymind says:

        @JB Gilpin:
        Glad I didnt take Leake, lol. 7 ER would have definately killed my playoff chance.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:

          @boredoutofmymind: Whew dodged that bullet! Glad I didn’t recommend him either!

  6. boredoutofmymind says:

    Also other league drop Verlander for Wada, McHugh, Salazar or McCarthy? This is a regular H2H Dynasty Points league that counts Wins (not QS)

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @boredoutofmymind: Yeah I’d McHugh looking good again today, I know win potential is tough, but he’s my favorite of those

Comments are closed.