Tanaka was extremely economical in this one, as he needed just 97 pitches (72 strikes) to go the distance and outduel Boston ace Chris Sale. His ERA is still inflated at 4.20 after a rocky first few outings, but the 28-year-old has turned it around with a pair of gems his last two times out and has yielded just one run in his last 16 innings. He'll look to keep the hot streak going next time out in a home date against the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Fiers was only at 74 pitches before getting lifted, but No. 5 starters with ERAs over five don't get a long leash. Both runs he allowed came on solo homers, giving him three consecutive games having allowed multiple homers. He's permitted an MLB-leading eight homers in just 19.1 innings.
Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said Paulino "felt good" after the session. The club will see how the right-hander repsonds to Thursday's activity but the plan is to progress Paulino from live BPs to simulate games to a rehabilitation stint. Luhnow said if all goes well, it could be a couple of weeks.
The veteran entered with an underwhelming 5.31 ERA and 7.77 FIP through his first four starts of the season, so this was a welcomed bounce-back outing. Still, Iwakuma has shown statistical regression in three consecutive seasons, and it hasn't been a great start to 2017. He'll look to build on Thursday's showing against the Angels in his next start.
The promising young lefty had an early exit from his outing Wednesday due to tightness in his throwing shoulder. Fortunately, early reports on Manaea's shoulder have been positive and the tightness has subsided to the point where he can resume throwing just two days after the flare-up. After Manaea's throwing session, the A's figure to have a clearer picture as to when the southpaw will be ready to return to the rotation.
The Nationals scored 42 runs over the past three games in Coors Field, so Senzatela limiting them to four over six innings should probably be viewed as a respectable showing. His hitter-friendly home venue is going to be a concern all season, but Senzatela currently sports a solid 2.81 ERA and 1.00 WHIP with 18 strikeouts over 32 innings. He's has an easier matchup up next with a road start against the Padres.
Considering the favorable hitting environment at Coors Field, this was a rock-solid outing from Gonzalez. The veteran lefty has got off to an excellent start to the campaign with a 1.62 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 7.0 K/9. After posting a 8.7 K/9 and 22.4 strikeout percentage last year, Gonzalez likely has some positive regression ahead in the punchouts column, too. He'll look to continue his strong run against the Diamondbacks next week.
Hellickson has been a great fantasy asset in three categories to start 2017. He's already picked up four wins and boasts excellent ratios (1.80 ERA and 0.80 WHIP). Unfortunately, the 30-year-old righty has only struck out 11 batters through 30 innings for a 3.3 K/9. Additionally, his 3.61 FIP and .196 BABIP suggest there are likely rougher times ahead.
The veteran showed statistical decline in consecutive seasons with the Royals and hasn't fared much better with Miami. Volquez posted a 10.1 K/9 through his first four outings, but after recording a mark below 7.0 in each of his previous three campaigns, Thursday's two punchouts might be a sign of things to come. There is probably still some streaming potential in mixed leagues, but Volquez is difficult to trust right now.
If Manaea is able to throw Friday, it should be much easier to determine when he'll be ready to return to live action. Manaea, who was diagnosed with shoulder tightness, passed initial strength tests, so it would appear that he's not dealing with a more problematic ailment.