Aaront Throws

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Friday.

Aaron Nola vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 98 pitches.

I feel like y’all want to talk about Aaron Nola as after going 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks against the Red Sox, Nola has now allowed at least 3 ER in five of his last six games. Do you feel as if he’s not an ace? His ERA certainly has risen considerably as of late – A 3.94 ERA doesn’t seem ace-like! – and you’re worried the Top 10 SP you drafted can’t be depended on.

Glad those thoughts can be purged. You know what four of those five matchups have been? Coors, @ATL, @TOR, BOS. That’s an atrocity of a schedule and even through it, Nola has performed. The man had 17 whiffs and a 37% CSW here with nine strikeouts, after all. His curveball was stupid amazing with a 67% CSW, making up for an evening when his changeup wasn’t there. Nola still has the skills you want from him and while we’re not thrilled he needed 98 pitches for 15 outs, he has his respite coming as he gets Miami next. Finally. Please don’t overthink this, Nola is still the man you want.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Friday:

Chris Paddack vs. SEA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 91 pitches. Yes, the Mariners seem to be a cure for every pitcher out there, though I will say that Paddack didn’t quite have the fastball command I’ve been looking for, featuring too many heaters down the middle and accidentally low in the zone. This is a man that thrives up with four-seamers, not down. Changeup was solid, so that’s cool, and he’s in a good enough place to be great against the Brewers next week. I just wanted that WOW start, you know?

Chris Flexen @ SD (L) – 1.2 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 67 pitches. h Chris. This isn’t even Flexen in the mirror, this is bow-Flexen as he hits the gym trying to correct what he’s done to himself. Please stay away from this everywhere, but you don’t need me to tell you that. The man had just one strikeout, after all – HAISTFMFWT?!

Carlos Rodón @ NYY (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 13 Ks – 23 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 95 pitches.

This game was so good. It was a proper test for Rodón as he struggled in his previous game and what does he do? Why go from averaging 94/95 mph to 96.3 mph. And let’s throw in 11/32 slider whiffs for good measure. It added up to a Gallows Pole and all of our confidence moving forward. The dude is dope and makes you feel dope. Start without fear and I’m very tempted to stamp that AGA label soon.

Jordan Montgomery vs CWS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 11 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 40% CSW, 90 pitches.

On the other side of Rodón was The Bear, who looked like the man we saw two starts ago versus the Rays. That’s a King Cole as Monty dominated with his curveball and sinker, earning 50% CSW marks on both, while getting strikes with changeups and cutters as well. Great pitch separation with cutters/four-seamers up, curveballs down, and sinkers/changeups away from right-handers. This works. The question is if The Bear can stay in rhythm. It is two out of three starts we’ve seen it now, though he does have to host the Jays next. That’s a borderline call, I’m leaning go for it. It’s his time.

Trevor Bauer @ SF (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 11 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 126 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Bauer has earned his Top 5 SP status, giving you all the volume you want as he went 126 pitches in this one. Crazy.

Ian Anderson vs PIT (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 92 pitches.

Well done Ian, you took advantage of a poor offense and you did so without issuing a single walk. I’m proud of you. Your changeup had plenty fewer waste pitches than we normally see, while your curveball landed in the zone a ton. This is the right kind of Ian we want to see.

German Marquez vs ARI (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 103 pitches.

Marquez shelved his curveball here, going to Huascar Ynoa route and boasting 90% four-seamers and sliders. Maybe this is the answer for Marquez but even after this start, do you feel confident in him? I would as he faces the horrifically damaged Mets lineup next.

Randy Dobnak @ CLE (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 93 pitches.

Oh hey, it’s Dobnak! With a decent slider that allowed him to get five strikeouts! The Twins lost Michael Pineda and called up Dobnak in the short term, meaning he’ll stick around for the Orioles next. That could honestly work. I’m for it. The sinker is good enough to make y’all happy with the stream, then send the house elf back to the wire. We’ll miss you, Dobby, but no sock for you.

Stephen Strasburg vs BAL (W) – 5.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 72 pitches.

Hey, he’s back! I was leaning away from a Still ILL as he tossed 75 pitches in his rehab start and here he…tossed 72 pitches. Fine, whatever, he got you a Win and solid ratios. BE HAPPY. But his heater sat 92 mph. and his curveball returned just two whiffs. Oh. Um. Yeah, that’s not great. I think I’m still starting him against Cincy, but I need to recalibrate how to feel about Strasburg. The difference between 92 mph and 94 mph is a sizeable amount.

Jeff Hoffman vs MIL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 99 pitches.

Hey, it worked! Streaming Record: 31-16. The Brewers are not a good offense, y’all. There isn’t a whole lot to report here as Hoffman just isn’t that great, but at least he was Honman today. I wouldn’t start him against the Nationals next time out.

Kyle Gibson vs HOU (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 106 pitches.

This Vargas Rule is living up to its name in every aspect, even the whole “few whiffs and questionable performance but it still worked out” way. Look, just start Gibson at this point until he turns into that fabled pumpkin. You know, that vegetable gets a bad rap – if I saw a pumpkin that big, I would marvel at it. Wow! What an incredible feat! But no, everyone refers to it as the ugly inevitable, the eventual disappointment we criticize and scrutinize with dismay. Nay I say! Praise the pumpkin! Nick, go to bed. Ay ay Cap’n.

John Curtiss vs NYM (ND) – 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 17 pitches.

Curtiss was opening for Jordan Hollowaywho left this one with injury. So yeah, bullpen game as the Marlins used every single pitcher they had and still lost. Yikes.

Kyle Hendricks @ STL (W) – 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 83 pitches.

It’s not the prettiest, but this works just fine. 10% CSW on changeups is pretty wack, though. 88mph sinkers is a lovely site as his curveball landed for 46% CSW and if you’re not buying into Hendricks’ rebound, you’ve had your eyes closed for four starts now. Open, it’s a lot easier to read these roundups that way.

Anthony Kay vs TB (ND) – 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 91 pitches.

Whoa, I didn’t expect the Jays to allow Kay to toss over 90 pitches, but here we are as Anthony showcased why we don’t see more of him. He’s the pitching equivalent of a friend texting you just one letter back in confirmation.

James Kaprielian @ LAA (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 99 pitches.

Nine strikeouts! Can’t say I expected this, even if it was against the Trout-less Angels. He went four-seamer heavy here and it worked, while featuring a kitchen sink approach with sliders, curveballs, sinkers, and changeups keeping batters off-balance. I can’t say I’m in love with the whole approach – I’m not sure his slider is the elite breaker we want it to be – but now that he gets the Mariners next, I’m very much game.

Alex Wood vs LAD (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Huge props to Wood here as he had a major challenge against the Dodgers. His fastball is still lovely at 92+ mph, while his slider was good enough to earn strikes and outs. He’ll have to do it again next week and I’m still hesitant there, but if he can pull it off one more time, it’ll be hard to argue against raising him up the List comfortably inside the Top 50, if not higher. He just keeps performing and is clearly throwing the ball as well as ever.

Marcus Stroman @ MIA (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

Pretty dang cool to see Stroman not only get eight strikeouts, but showcase legit ability with his splitter, going 7/24 whiffs on the pitch here. Sure, it was the Marlins n all, but we’ve wondered if the pitch would show up proper and here it was, in all its glory. Sliders and cutters were also performed well inside the zone and Stroman did what he was supposed to do. And now he gets Rockie Road as we all do a fist pump in unison.

Carlos Martinez vs CHC (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 80 pitches.

I’ve essentially blocked out CarMart from the SP Landscape as I don’t think I’ll get to a point where I see an arsenal that suggests long-term fantasy relevancy. Maybe as a streamer, but that’s really it. Just 1/19 whiffs on sliders should explain why.

Jorge Lopez @ WSH (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 8 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 87 pitches.

It’s a start with a 2.00 WHIP and I’m happy for Lopez. Yeah, that should say a lot of things. Crazy seeing eight strikeouts on just six whiffs, by the way. Toooootally sustainable.

Martin Perez @ PHI (W) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.

PQS with seven strikeouts, a Win, and 1.00 WHIP? Yeah, that’s everything you could have dreamed of from Perez as he earned 18 called strikes across cutters, changeups, and sinkers. I still have my reservations that you can trust him on a given night – called strikes are much less sticky than whiffs! – but like Nola, he also gets the Marlins next. Huh. I guess I’m okay with that as a deep stream.

Jose Quintana vs OAK (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 82 pitches.

This is closer to the dream of Quintana going full-on BSB with four-seamers and curveballs, but he’s not there yet. I still have hopes and dreams he can get there after expressing each pitch’s upside in two separate starts, but until we actually see it, we just have to watch from afar in a haze of wonder. Siiiiigh.

Tyler Ivey @ TEX (ND) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 79 pitches.

You already know this, but Ivey is a Cup of Schmo and would be poisonous to your teams. He doesn’t belong in your league. Ivey wouldn’t give you your fill. Please make it stop. Fine fine…he won’t help replenish your fluids. AHHHHHHHHHH.

Mike Minor vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 98 pitches.

There was a solid debate in the Twitch chat if Minor was the better streaming choice over Hoffman and despite winning the whiffs and CSW front, this start hurt owners more than the eight strikeouts helped. Phew. He’s still sitting 91 mph much to our chagrin and if you’re going to allow ten hits as a southpaw to the Tigers, you really can’t be trusted, even if that changeup is doing its thang, carrying 8/28 whiffs here.

José Urena @ KC (W) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 94 pitches.

Ureña gave you a Win, sacrificing your ERA and WHIP in the process, while just striking out a single batter. One strikeout?! HAISTFMFWT?! I miss the days of seven frames and, you know, doing well. That was a fun ride, who’s got another quarter?!

Tyler Glasnow @ TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 93 pitches.

Jeeeeez Tyler, get it together. Sure, it’s Dunedin and we’re all going to forget about this one, but can you not put all your pitches in the same spot right above the direct middle of the zone? That’ll probably help in the long haul.

Seth Frankoff @ COL (L) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 68 pitches.

I can’t get the idea that Seth’s last name spawned from an annual hot dog contest held by the locals. You know, 1974’s Frank Off. He’s a Cup of Schmo for all intents and purposes and we’re gonna move on.

Triston McKenzie vs MIN (L) – 3.1 IP, 6 ER, 2 Hits, 5 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yeaaaah. He’s not there yet. His curveball and slider had their moments but were still erratic, and it’s just…there. You just said that. Fine, he’s still struggling to find his command and become a consistent pitcher, you happy? No, McKenzie isn’t good. I KNOW, THAT’S WHAT I’M TRYING TO SAY.

Adrian Houser @ CIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 91 pitches.

I miss the days of old where we were excited for Houser. But sadly, not instead of a comfortable and insightful ah, we’re getting a collection of AHHHHHHH! It’s not nearly as good.

Tyler Anderson @ ATL (L) – 5.0 IP, 9 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 101 pitches.

I gotta say, Anderson allowed a grand slam to Ronald Acuña that was straight-up crazy. Remember that 3-2 changeup Chris Sale threw to Mike Trout back in the day? Anderson tossed a 3-2 changeup out on the zone to Acuña and the man rifled it opposite field and over the fence. Absolutely nuts. The hardest thing to do in fantasy is to have confidence in a player after they perform terribly, but you may want to do that now as Anderson gets the Cubs next. It’s not the exact respite you wanted, but I can see a scenario where it works. He’ll be in the “Do Not Start” tier, though. Probably.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Shane McClanahan vs. Robbie Ray – I’m having a wonderful time watching both of these southpaws and even though it’s Dunedin, I know this will be fun.

 

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

 

Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

  • Avatar Aces have no caveats and no excuses says:

    An “Ace” performa regardless of the opponent. If you have to make excuses about the opponents/schedule, that should be you indicator that a guy just isn’t a top pitcher you thought he was. Regardless if he gets K’s still. Just my opinion.

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Agreed. Superstars don’t need qualifiers. This is sound thinking. It is also the reason that Statcast data doesn’t help with anything. if you have to dig to figure out why a guy is elite, then he isn’t. To tack on, aces are reliable, durable and consistent – that is also part of the test, but that is the opposite of new, exciting and shiny. It is how you can pick out the Paxtons and the Glasnows from the superior SP.

      The other realistic part of this is that MLB is completely in the tank in terms of actual baseball. SP is probably at a post-segregation low point. The bar has to lowered or we only have a few aces… which is probably right but nobody wants to hear that.

  • Avatar The Snuggler says:

    Just want to say thanks for the daily roundup. I don’t know how you do it every day my man, but it’s great. Always interesting and funny.

  • Avatar Hangry Hangry Hippo says:

    Any chance Kaprielian sticks in the rotation, or is he likely to get booted once Luzardo gets back?

    • Avatar Kit says:

      Don’t be a hangry hippo, but probably booted. Unless off course Luzardo continues to have emotional issues while playing video games.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    Dear Dodgers,

    Overcompensate much? They go from intentionally not trying to get anything from their starters to have a 125+ pitch outing. If I didn’t know better, I would think that they are actually trying to harm their players, but I think they just have zero understanding of baseball. No this doesn’t make up for your lack of understanding in constructing a roster or poor usage of players. I am all for deep pitch counts and running a guy out there for a shutout or a no-hitter, but this was neither. He didn’t even approach the 8th inning. This was possibly the most reckless usage of a SP that I have ever seen. There was no reason to send him out there for the 7th and even less reason to leave him in after he allowed the tying run to reach. I expect that that they will throw him 75-85 pitches in his next start to even out the average. The people managing this franchise are easily dumb enough to follow through on something that simple-minded. It turns out that managing an OOTP franchise does not in fact qualify you to manage a major league baseball team..

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    Is it not incredible that McKenzie only allowed 2 hits in all of that damage? That guy really limits hits… the one problem is that he doesn’t limit anything else.I suspect that if he stays healthy he will be something someday. Sending him to bullpen makes too much sense, but I am proud of the Indians for giving him a chance to start.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    Dodgers minus Seager and Belly are not the Dodgers. The injury report as well as how the team has been hitting is more important than some ranking. Factor in that they are also missing Pollock and that they are a few years removed from being a much better offense with Puig, Verdugo and even depth like Kike. This is not a scary Dodgers offense at the moment. That BOS offense that is highly regarded is the same group of stiffs from a year ago. To be clear, I don’t think that they were stiffs a year ago which is why looking at some OPS derivative based ranking is the opposite of insightful. Think of teams like the real Bryce Harper. Harper gets total bases in bunches but is a corpse on most days. Bryce Harper will be near the top of the OPS derivative boards despite what he actually is. On the other hand, think of Michael Brantley. Not a star by OPS derivatives but a tough hitter every AB. OPS derivatives are regressive when used the way that they are – I believe that Bill James would agree with me on this point. OPS was a meaningful revolution, but it doesn’t have much value without all of the underlying context.

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