For more than two months, you've waited for that Tony Gonsolin investment to pay off. Or maybe you play in a shallower league, and it's been closer to two weeks.
Either way, didn't go quite like you hoped, did it?
You're thinking you want your money back? Well, I'm here to tell you to keep the faith. True, he didn't even make it two innings against one of the worst offenses in baseball, and yes, the five walks weren't anyone's idea of a good time. But here are some points to consider:
- He issued a grand total of seven walks in 46 2/3 innings last year, so control is normally one of his strengths.
- We knew he'd still have some building up to do at the major-league level. after throwing no more than 60 pitches in any of his minor-league starts, so hopefully, you didn't feel compelled to start him right away.
- His velocity was more or less the same as last year.
- His spin rate was more or less the same as last year, which is notable given ... current events.
- He still had 10 swinging strikes on his 66 pitches, so his stuff appears intact.
My diagnosis is he's rusty. He needs a little more time to build up and get everything in sync, but the foundation is there for him to be the same guy who wrapped up 2020 with a career 2.60 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 8.6 K/9. And his opportunity, given the blows the Dodgers rotation has suffered, is greater than ever.
I couldn't envision myself dropping Gonsolin for anyone who might be on waivers, including these six ...
We talk Tony Gonsolin, Tyler O'Neill, Austin Gomber, Miguel Andujar and more on the Fantasy Baseball Today in 5 podcast. You can follow us to get the latest episodes on Apple, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
COL Colorado • #26 • Age: 27
Austin Gomber continued his turnaround with a sharp outing at the Marlins, allowing one run in five innings with no walks and five strikeouts. That brings him to four walks in his past eight starts compared to 19 in his first five. He also has an impressive 13.0 percent swinging-strike rate during that eight-start stretch compared to 8.4 percent in his first five. The one concern is that only two of those eight starts have come at home, where, like every other Rockies pitcher, he'll never be trustworthy. But he's looking usable overall.
DET Detroit • #13 • Age: 28
Under different circumstances, I'd be content to write off Eric Haase, a 28-year-old minor-league veteran with significant contact issues. But impact bats have been difficult to find on the waiver wire, particularly at catcher. If he continues as a part-time catcher and occasional outfielder, maybe his power stroke, which has delivered six home runs in his past eight contests, will be enough. His quality of contact backs up his production so far, but keep in mind he hit only .244 over his minor-league career.
LAA L.A. Angels • #47 • Age: 25
This latest outing against the Royals was of course excellent, fueled by his 18 swinging strikes on just 89 pitches, but really, Griffin Canning has been getting those whiffs all year. His 15.3 percent swinging-strike rate would place him in the top 10 among qualifiers, ahead of even Gerrit Cole. Everyone within that vicinity has delivered a stud outcome (or close to it) so far, and yet Canning is sitting there with a 5.22 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. I'm not saying I trust him yet, but he may be worth stashing away.
ATL Atlanta • #64 • Age: 25
This third outing was Tucker Davidson's best so far, though he has yet to have a bad one, compiling a 1.53 ERA during his time in the majors. That's after putting together a 0.90 ERA, 0.60 WHIP and 10.4 K/9 in three minor-league starts. His control was shaky in his previous start, but it clearly wasn't an issue this time. He would appear to have a genuine "out" pitch with his slider, which was responsible for 10 of his 13 swinging strikes against the Phillies.
NYY N.Y. Yankees • #41 • Age: 26
With five home runs in his past eight games, Miguel Andujar has made himself indispensable to a Yankees lineup that's been surprisingly lacking in thump, and that's reason enough to take a flier on him in a five-outfielder league. Ultimately, you're hoping he can get his strikeout rate down to the 16.0 percent mark that allowed him to hit .297 in 2018. His ground-ball rate is higher than during that impressive rookie season, too, but now that he's cleared the opportunity hurdle, maybe it can improve.
Jose Cisnero RP
DET Detroit • #67 • Age: 32
With Michael Fulmer sidelined by a strained shoulder, Joel Cisnero has recorded the past two saves for the Tigers, taking over the right-handed role in a closing tandem with Gregory Soto. Of course, neither Fulmer nor Soto has firmly established himself as a late-inning force, which is why it has remained a tandem. Cisnero potentially could, having put together a 0.77 ERA, 0.69 WHIP and 10.8 K/9 over his past 13 appearances. He had a 3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 10.3 K/9 last year.