Dustin After Dark: Gomber was a trap; Turnbull's new wiggle; Willie Calhoun

Did you ignore Austin Gomber's MLB-worst SIERA and roll the dice with a two-start week? Pull up a chair. Grab a beer. Actually, scratch that. You need the hard stuff. Speaking of hard stuff, that's something Gomber didn't have tonight. Sheesh. Okay, sorry. Salt in the wound. The good news for Rockies fans is their godawful general manager was fired/resigned.

Austin Gomber owners ordered another round Monday night. (AP)


I know a start at San Francisco against a Giants team limping into the batter's box is as irresistible as Spearmint Rhino during a Las Vegas bachelor party. But like those visits, you're going to end up paying a hefty price and almost always regretting it in the morning. Even Corbin Burnes looked like a mortal tonight, proving he's no match for the power of Jazz. Weird Monday. Some more thoughts and notes:


--- While we're on the subject of expensive things, I spent way too much on Willie Calhoun in 12-team NFBC Rotowire OCs. I didn't judge the market correctly, but also wanted to make sure I landed him in every league. In 2019, Calhoun hit 21 homers in 337 PA and finished with a .256 ISO and 15.7 K%. The list of players that season with a better ISO and K%: Alex Bregman, Nolan Arenado, Anthony Rendon and Ketel Marte.


Talent isn't Calhoun's problem. Once upon a time, Fangraphs rated his hit, game power and raw power as 60, 60 and 65, respectively; they were all plus and borderline plus-plus tools. Staying healthy and dealing with bad luck have been his problems. Calhoun's 2020 was basically a lost season after he was hit in the face with a Julio Urias fastball before the season and then dealt with more injuries.


Now, he's leading off against right-handers, is hitting .321/.406/.429 through his first 32 plate appearances and even has starts - and hits! - versus lefties. Already, he has eight batted-ball events - almost half of every ball put in play - of 101+ MPH, including two 104 MPH batted balls off Shohei Ohtani that found gloves.


--- After publishing my piece on Albert Pujols' changes in the batter's box, he's blasted two homers and hit a 402-foot fly out tonight. This was a tasty week for Pujols and the Angels, and he hit three balls 95 MPH or harder Monday. Another Angel who made changes, Justin Upton, also went deep and continues to carry over results from his excellent September to end 2020.


--- I don't know if Spencer Turnbull was tipping his pitches last season, but I do know he's added a noticeable glove wiggle to his delivery this season. As he lifts his leg and gathers for a quick pause before going downhill, Turnbull gives his hands a quick shake up and down before moving forward. Perhaps it's to help with staying on time.


He's had two cakewalk starts to begin the season versus the Pirates and Royals. But he looks more interesting thanks to improved control/command and increased slider usage. I'm going to be following closely.


--- If you added Josh Staumont, you probably feel the opposite of those who started Gomber. Robbie Grossman, who swiped his third bag of the year earlier in the game, nearly took Staumont deep. However, Kansas City, in a 3-2 game, went with Scott Barlow, Greg Holland and then Staumont in the ninth to close the game.


Meanwhile as I type this, Lucas Sims is pitching the sixth inning at the Dodgers with a 3-1 lead.


--- Zack Wheeler lowered his ERA to 3.13 with 8.0 brilliant innings at St. Louis and punched out nine. Once again, Wheeler showed signs the switch to more sliders over sinkers is here to stay, which is playing a big role in his best K% since 2014.


--- Shout out to Trevor Rogers, who has now issued six walks over his last 24.0 innings and dominated the Brewers like a dude with his stuff and potential should. As long as he can work in the zone enough and the fastball velocity continues to remain up from 2020, he could be a monster.








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