below are hurlers that have enjoyed a two-to-one or better success ratio in
team-starts over the course of the last three seasons during the month of
August. On the flip side, we've also listed pitchers that struggle in August,
winning 33% percent or less of their team-start efforts. To qualify pitchers
must have made a minimum of 10 starts, with at least one start each April over the
last three years. And for your convenience alongside each record we break down
each pitcher's greatest success or greatest failure rate either home (H) or
away (A) within his good or bad month.
* designates a categorical repeat appearance by this pitcher, maintaining
status quo from last season's August list.
I'll be back next month with September's Good Month
Pitchers. Until then, as legendary singer and songwriter Neil Diamond
would say, enjoy the hot August nights.
GOOD MONTH PITCHERS:
Arrieta, Jake • 10-5 (6-3 A)
After being Clayton Kershaw-like for nearly 12 months, the
Cubs starter has "regressed" back to just being among the best
starters in baseball. Arrieta has a nearly 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio and
only allows a base hit 70 percent of the time in innings pitched this season,
among the finest in the majors.
Duffy, Danny • 11-4 (6-1 H)
After starting the season as a reliever, the Kansas City
left-hander was forced back into the rotation based on need and he has
responded. Since June, after a pair of starts, Duffy has put up an ERA of just
over 3.00 and opposing batters have just a .289 on-base percentage against him.
*Gallardo, Yovani • 9-4 (5-2 A)
Not close to the same pitcher he used to be with Milwaukee,
with ERA so far this season approaching almost two runs higher than career
average (5.37 vs. 3.73). The lost velocity is to blame and secondary pitches
have less bite. For Baltimore to win AL East, Gallardo has to find some of his
Greinke, Zack • 10-5 (5-2 H)
After being on the shelf with oblique injury since late
June, Greinke is close to returning for Arizona if no reoccurrence were to take
place after a rehab start or two this month. After pathetic start to season,
the D-Backs prized starter has cut ERA by 2 1/2 runs and is close to career
norms in all major categories. Elite starter.
*Hamels, Cole • 12-6 (8-4 H)
Having typical Hamels season, with low numbers across the
board. In bigger picture, underrated high level hurler who has not been getting
acclaim after Phillies fall, but has been ace with Texas. As usual, left-handed
batters have no chance with .176 batting average and .287 slugging percentage.
*Iwakuma, Hisashi • 12-5 (7-1 A)
Not having normal season for Seattle, with hits allowed much
higher than usual for Iwakuma. However, has won four of five starts and the
Mariners are 10-3 when the righty has toed the rubber since May 20. With Felix
Hernandez back, this pair could lead Seattle charge to postseason.
Milone, Tom • 7-3 (4-1 A)
Milone starts for bad Minnesota club and is inconsistent as
ever. Of his 74 hits allowed in only 59 2/3 innings, 11 have gone the yard.
Maybe he can keep the ball down and spot his pitches better like previous
*Sanchez, Anibal • 9-3 (5-1 H)
With decreased velocity and no action on breaking pitches,
Sanchez ERA has been six or higher almost all season. Not sure if he can
respond this month, with opponents having BA over .300 and owning a WHIP of
*Strasburg, Stephen • 13-3 (8-1 H)
Only July 21st, Strasburg suffered first loss of entire
season after 13 consecutive wins. Though the fastball is no longer in upper
90's all the time, the breaking pitches disappear from batter's view and he's
been exceptional. If Strasburg has true to form month, he will have real shot
at 20 wins in 2016.
Teheran, Julio • 11-5 (7-2 H)
Suffered lat strain in late July and has been a victim of no
run support from bad Braves club with 2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and opposing batters
at only .205 batting average. Note: Teheran's record also represents his MLB
career team start mark during the month of August.
Weaver, Jered • 12-5 (7-3 A)
Shell of his former self at 33. Never a hard thrower,
Weaver's fastball only occasionally makes the upper 80's these days and his
once dominating changeup is a pitch batter's wait on now with lack of variance
of speed of pitches. Will blend good and really awful performances these days.
*Zimmermann, Jordan • 12-6 (8-3 H)
On July 24th had excellent rehab start and will be rejoining
Detroit this month. After sensational start with Tigers, Zimmermann was tagged
for at least five runs in four of his last five outings. Detroit needs the
Zimmermann they had early in the season to have chance to catch Cleveland in AL
BAD MONTH PITCHERS:
Gray, Sonny • 5-11 (0-7 A)
Given Gray's troubles this month, his woes of all season are
very likely to continue. Gray simply has been more hittable the entire season,
permitting those with bats to hit almost 50 points higher than normal batting
average permitted of .233. Note: Gray's record also represents his MLB career
team start mark during the month of August.
*Hellickson, Jeremy • 4-11 (2-9 A)
Back of the rotation starter, Hellickson has largely
performed better than expected for Philadelphia and as this article went live,
he was rumored to be traded. His KW ratio is significantly higher at 4 to 1
compared to 3 to 1 for his career. Will he be able to maintain the rest of
Kazmir, Scott • 5-11 (1-7 A)
The Dodgers port-sider has 9-4 record, but his 4.41 ERA is
still above career average of 3.98. Durability has been issue all season, with
too many starts around five innings for what is supposed to be Los Angeles No.
2 or 3 starter.
Koehler, Tom • 4-13 (0-10 A)
Above average arm but always up or down and unless he pulls
a Rich Hill, at 30 is not likely to change. An 8-8 record, 4.18 ERA and WHIP of
1.46, is about what we have come to expect from Mr. Koehler. Note: Koehler's
record also represents his MLB career team start mark during the month of
*Miley, Wade • 5-11 (1-6 A)
Overrated lefty who does not miss many bats and fails to
come anywhere close to averaging punch-out an inning. Strictly an innings-eater
and provides nothing more than 50-50 chance to win.
Miller, Shelby • 5-11 (2-8 H)
Demoted to Triple-A in July after disastrous campaign.
Miller hopes to regain confidence and repair mechanics that are really out of
whack and return to Arizona yet this season.
Samardzija, Jeff • 5-13 (3-8 H)
After appearing as the No.3 starter San Francisco wanted for
two months, Smards has returned to same old serviceable pitcher of the past and
seen his ERA climb from 2.84 to present 4.30 heading into this month.
Contributions from Doug Upstone
For more of Marc Lawrence click here