The Change: Eno’s Second Half Ranks

How do you judge a pitcher’s true talent? Think of Bud Norris, who recently added a cutter and finally ditched that change that was never any good. Think of Sonny Gray, who’s seemingly lost command of his vaunted curveball. Think of Michael Fulmer‘s new changeup. Matt Shoemaker‘s recent (re)dedication to the splitter. Rich Hill‘s constant injuries. Junior Guerra’s nasty stuff, discovered after a move from behind the plate to behind the rubber.

These changes are so radical and so abrupt that it seems too simple to settle on one number to judge them. So these ranks are futile!

At least these ranks are based on a few numbers in an intuitive way. The base list was sorted for strikeouts plus pop-ups minus walks, for sure. That’s an easy way to ignore balls in play and focus on the the three outcomes that we think pitchers can really handle best. Then I added a list that featured exit velocity in the ideal launch angles, because there’s some evidence that pitchers can suppress their exit velo.

And then, when I encountered a name that has seen a change in production recently, I looked at their game logs. I did! Not only to see what their recent work was like, but then to also check if any of those changes in production were related to large changes in pitching mix.

Mike Leake is 90% sinkers, cutters and sliders now! Kendall Graveman is 80% sinkers! These things are weird, and they are beautiful, and they are meaningful.

And yet, a month from now, at least ten of these ranks will make me want to slap my forehead. It’s the way the world works.

Eno Sarris’ Rest of Season Pitching Ranks
Rank Player ES 6/1 ES 4/22 ES 2/16 RG 3/8 Diff%
1 Clayton Kershaw 1 1 1 1 100
2 Noah Syndergaard 2 16 16 19 100
3 Jose Fernandez 5 11 11 9 167
4 Stephen Strasburg 3 9 10 11 75
5 Max Scherzer 4 2 2 2 80
6 Madison Bumgarner 9 6 7 6 150
7 Chris Sale 6 3 3 3 86
8 Corey Kluber 10 12 12 7 125
9 Jacob deGrom 12 10 6 10 133
10 Jose Quintana 21 35 38 32 210
11 David Price 7 4 4 4 64
12 Jake Arrieta 8 5 5 5 67
13 Johnny Cueto 17 19 19 20 131
14 Yu Darvish 14 45 35 50 100
15 Carlos Carrasco 11 14 14 15 73
16 Zack Greinke 15 8 8 12 94
17 Steven Matz 19 42 41 55 112
18 Jon Lester 20 20 20 18 111
19 Danny Salazar 13 18 18 22 68
20 Masahiro Tanaka 23 24 23 25 115
21 Justin Verlander 30 41 48 42 143
22 Cole Hamels 22 25 24 21 100
23 Vincent Velasquez 26 83 102 120 113
24 Kyle Hendricks 32 68 70 54 133
25 Felix Hernandez 35 17 17 13 140
26 Julio Teheran 45 70 64 52 173
27 Kenta Maeda 38 57 62 75 141
28 Gerrit Cole 24 15 15 14 86
29 Chris Archer 25 13 13 17 86
30 Aaron Nola 18 63 63 61 60
31 Jerad Eickhoff 46 69 78 97 148
32 John Lackey 29 39 43 45 91
33 Michael Fulmer 68 #N/A #N/A #N/A 206
34 Drew Pomeranz 37 133 129 #N/A 109
35 Matt Shoemaker 81 101 116 126 231
36 Scott Kazmir 39 59 52 44 108
37 Rich Hill 36 90 73 65 97
38 Jake Odorizzi 41 50 50 35 108
39 Lance McCullers 43 44 40 48 110
40 Aaron Sanchez 55 102 n/a #N/A 138
41 Carlos Martinez 53 34 36 33 129
42 Drew Smyly 31 36 37 46 74
43 Jeff Samardzija 40 58 31 37 93
44 Adam Wainwright 65 23 25 29 148
45 Dallas Keuchel 47 21 21 16 104
46 Jason Hammel 44 61 60 58 96
47 Junior Guerra 84 #N/A #N/A #N/A 179
48 Michael Wacha 54 26 26 30 113
49 Joe Ross 56 64 66 69 114
50 Hisashi Iwakuma 67 47 47 38 134
51 Brandon McCarthy 129 116 114 #N/A 253
52 Matt Moore 60 74 98 95 115
53 Anthony DeSclafani 69 56 58 71 130
54 Danny Duffy 101 182 121 114 187
55 Kevin Gausman 49 54 55 64 89
56 Michael Pineda 61 28 28 31 109
57 Robbie Ray 73 96 95 96 128
58 Marco Estrada 72 89 88 74 124
59 Wei-Yin Chen 62 46 45 34 105
60 Jordan Zimmermann 33 48 53 43 55
61 Trevor Bauer 118 88 86 89 193
62 Marcus Stroman 51 31 33 28 82
63 Taijuan Walker 27 43 44 36 43
64 Tanner Roark 71 165 156 #N/A 111
65 Carlos Rodon 58 49 49 63 89
66 Josh Tomlin 70 143 140 103 106
67 Sonny Gray 48 22 22 24 72
68 Chris Tillman 64 109 106 101 94
69 Jonathan Gray 76 115 113 108 110
70 Ian Kennedy 59 71 68 62 84
71 Adam Conley 80 91 110 #N/A 113
72 CC Sabathia 74 97 94 112 103
73 Rick Porcello 52 75 74 73 71
74 Mike Foltynewicz 90 138 132 138 122
75 Steven Wright 82 #N/A #N/A #N/A 109
76 Jeremy Hellickson 86 140 120 107 113
77 Jaime Garcia 57 53 56 67 74
78 Collin McHugh 100 51 51 41 128
79 J.A. Happ 103 #N/A #N/A #N/A 130
80 Mike Leake 92 85 82 68 115
81 Hector Santiago 98 87 85 92 121
82 Alex Wood 97 80 76 81 118
83 Jameson Taillon 124 173 163 #N/A 149
84 Francisco Liriano 66 29 29 26 79
85 Gio Gonzalez 42 62 61 49 49
86 Nicholas Tropeano 75 108 101 #N/A 87
87 James Paxton 114 166 178 121 131
88 Blake Snell 77 161 191 #N/A 88
89 Mike Fiers 105 52 54 60 118
90 Tyson Ross 78 27 27 23 87
91 Zack Wheeler 112 120 118 123 123
92 Nathan Eovaldi 34 67 69 83 37
93 Edinson Volquez 85 98 96 80 91
94 Garrett Richards 139 30 30 27 148
95 Daniel Mengden #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
96 Jimmy Nelson 63 82 81 66 66
97 Tyler Anderson #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
98 Yordano Ventura 96 32 32 39 98
99 Sean Manaea 89 134 154 #N/A 90
100 Hyun-Jin Ryu 120 73 71 90 120
101 Zachary Davies 158 139 135 #N/A 156
102 Bartolo Colon 109 129 126 110 107
103 Jose Berrios 108 107 134 109 105
104 Lucas Giolito 107 106 133 127 103
105 Bud Norris #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
106 Patrick Corbin 79 40 46 51 75
107 Eduardo Rodriguez 83 60 59 76 78
108 Mike Montgomery #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
109 Alex Cobb 125 117 115 122 115
110 Cody Reed #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
111 Kendall Graveman 93 125 139 134 84
112 Tyler Glasnow 127 155 150 144 113
113 Tyler Chatwood 126 #N/A #N/A #N/A 112
114 Archie Bradley 91 144 141 #N/A 80
115 Kyle Gibson 131 79 97 78 114
116 Dan Straily 88 157 170 #N/A 76
117 Daniel Norris 133 119 117 115 114
118 James Shields 106 37 39 40 90
119 Drew Hutchison 136 122 100 119 114
120 Jake Peavy 130 86 83 85 108
121 Matt Cain 140 113 109 137 116
122 Matt Boyd 117 163 155 #N/A 96
123 Andrew Cashner 115 66 67 57 93
124 Tyler Skaggs 159 178 169 142 128
125 Adam Warren 147 152 147 #N/A 118
126 Luis Severino 94 38 42 53 75
127 Shelby Miller 111 55 57 56 87
128 Raisel Iglesias 28 33 34 47 22
129 Nate Karns 50 76 77 93 39
130 Chase Anderson 95 111 93 128 73
131 Brandon Finnegan 104 104 105 130 79
132 Ervin Santana 137 99 99 88 104
133 Wade Miley 102 95 111 82 77
134 Jesse Hahn 119 78 84 87 89
135 Chad Bettis #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
136 Martin Perez 122 141 136 118 90
137 Miguel Gonzalez 152 174 164 149 111
138 A.J. Griffin #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
139 Rubby de la Rosa 113 84 90 99 81
140 Zach Eflin #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
141 John Lamb 132 105 79 131 94
142 Tyler Duffey 142 114 112 140 100
143 Cody Anderson 121 124 196 #N/A 85
144 Matthew Wisler 123 168 158 124 85
145 Tim Lincecum #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
146 Colby Lewis 141 196 189 #N/A 97
147 Ricky Nolasco 143 201 195 #N/A 97
148 R.A. Dickey 151 172 162 91 102
149 Logan Verrett #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A #N/A
150 Julio Urias 87 151 180 #N/A 58
151 Ivan Nova 161 198 192 #N/A 107
152 Jon Niese 149 169 159 100 98
153 Eddie Butler 128 #N/A #N/A #N/A 84
154 Anibal Sanchez 134 65 65 70 87
155 Jered Weaver 150 170 160 141 97
156 Christopher Devenski 138 #N/A #N/A #N/A 88
157 Henry Owens 157 103 104 147 100
158 Ubaldo Jimenez 146 150 146 94 92
159 Mat Latos 145 121 119 105 91
160 Williams Perez 160 184 175 #N/A 100
161 Matt Harvey 16 7 9 8 10
162 Juan Nicasio 99 118 n/a #N/A 61
163 Jhoulys Chacin 110 #N/A #N/A #N/A 67
164 Andrew Heaney 116 77 75 72 71
165 Clay Buchholz 135 72 72 59 82
166 Derek Holland 144 92 88 84 87
167 Shane Greene 148 162 153 #N/A 89
168 David Phelps 153 181 173 #N/A 91
169 Trevor May 154 183 125 150 91
170 Henderson Alvarez 155 185 176 #N/A 91
171 Pat Dean 156 #N/A #N/A #N/A 91
172 Marco Gonzales 162 149 145 #N/A 94
Aimed generally at 15-team mixed league redraft leagues with rotisserie 5×5 scoring.
Diff% shows how the player has moved since my last ranking, with higher = moving up.





With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.

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Markie__Marc
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Markie__Marc

Damn. Wainwright at 65?! What’d he ever do to you, Eno?