Yes, those video-game numbers are real, and he's posting them as a 20-year-old in the South Atlantic League, where he's almost two years younger than the average player. After a forearm injury ruined 2015 for him, the big right-hander has taken off like a rocket, adding yet another impressive young arm to the Pirates' embarrassment of pitching riches. Because of that organizational depth, they'll bring him along slowly, but Keller should earn a promotion to High-A soon nonetheless -- he clearly has nothing left to prove at this level.
His lone walk on the night put the go-ahead run on base in a 3-2 game, and out came manager Dave Roberts with the hook after 85 pitches. Bolsinger failed to make it out of the fifth inning against the Angels in his first start last week, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out two batters. It looks like he may make a couple starts while the team awaits the return of Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder).
There was a lot of speculation following Tuesday's rough outing that Harvey could benefit from being skipped in the rotation, but the Mets met with Harvey Wednesday morning and decided to give him at least one more start. At this point it's hard to deploy the preseason consensus SP1 in standard leagues, as something is clearly not right with him. His ERA eclipsed 6.00 after Tuesday's loss to the Nationals, and he has not been getting the kinds of swings and misses that fantasy owners have been accustomed to in prior seasons.
It looks like the return of Jorge De La Rosa (groin) from the DL may have temporarily cost Butler his rotation spot, but he may not be in the bullpen for long. In order to make room for De La Rosa, the Rockies sent struggling starter Jordan Lyles to Triple-A Albuquerque, so there now appears to be another opening in the rotation.
The decreased velocity is a concern as it could be a sign Appel is not fully healthy. He has really struggled of late, allowing 15 runs in his last four starts while walking 11 and striking out 17. Zach Eflin and Jake Thompson are likely ahead of Appel for an opportunity in the majors the next time the Phillies need a starting pitcher.
The Giants wasted no time in testing the hamstring that landed Cashner on the DL, dropping down two attempts at bunt hits. Cashner was up for the challenge, making a pair of spry plays. Despite giving up three runs and walking a handful, he managed to limit his pitch count to 82 and would have remained in the game if the situation in the top of the seventh didn't call for a pinch-hitter. Overall, there is reason for optimism following the hard-throwing right-hander's return. He gets the ball again on Monday against the Mariners.
Not that his performance in April was to be scoffed at, but the first-year Giant has been lights out in May. Through five starts this month (38.1 innings), Samardzija has a sparkling 1.41 ERA, 36:6 K:BB and beautiful 4-1 record. The right-hander has squashed all concerns lingering from his 6.00 ERA in spring training. He's won more than eight games just twice in his career, but Samardzija will look to lock up his eighth win of 2016 against the putrid Braves on Monday.
Control problems shortened Liriano's outing, but he still had no problem racking up his fourth win as the Pirates offense delivered twelve runs of support. He's lucky it didn't cost him this time, but the southpaw has been begging for trouble with 11 free passes in his last three starts. Liriano will have to iron things out quickly if he wants to beat the Rangers in Arlington on Sunday.
Miller has been awful for the Diamondbacks, failing to pitch more than six innings all season, and allowing three or more runs in seven out of 10 starts and exactly two in each of the other three. The 25-year-old is now 7-23 since the start of 2015, and his 6.56 FIP indicates that things aren't projected to get much better. Even facing a subpar Padres lineup in his next start likely won't be enough to get Miller going.
Strasburg continues to make his lucrative new deal look smarter with every start, as he's still yet to suffer a defeat in 2016. The Washington ace's 11.4 K/9 is nearly a full strikeout higher than his career mark, as hitters are having trouble even putting the ball in play against him. While he'd surely love another date with the Mets, Strasburg will have to settle for a Cardinals team that he beat Apr. 29 with seven innings of two-run ball in his next start Sunday.