Alexy, Alexy, You So Sexy

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Monday.

A.J. Alexy vs COL (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches.

It’s yet another MLB debut in Texas, this time it’s A.J. Alexybuilt with a 93/94 mph heater, sweeping slider, and decent changeup, and he stifled the Rockies via 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 81 pitches. That’s right, just one hit allowed and, uh oh, it’s another rookie that you’re considering for your roster.

You may want to skip this one. Fastball command wasn’t great, just 1/14 slider whiffs, and the changeup varied quite a bit. I didn’t see a guy who overwhelmed and made batters uncomfortable in the box a whole lot. When his fastball was spotted well, it did come with a little extra life on the end, but I’m not seeing a must-add here. I’d give him some space for a moment and possibly return to this in mid-to-late September if he’s still around. You’re not missing much.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Monday:

 

Corbin Burnes @ SF (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. The days Burnes fails to allow a walk are simply the best. It’s like the smell of walking into a bakery at 6 am. I could just live in it.

Jon Lester @ CIN (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 86 pitches.

Lester earned a King Cole?! Seriously?! Man, they’ll let just anyone these days follow The Cardinal RuleHe’s on the Cardinals. They let him follow it AGAINST HIS OWN TEAM?! But seriously, the Reds are the worst team against lefties. It’s wild.

Luis Patiño vs BOS (W) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 102 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! I normally reserve that for more impressive lines, but this was against the Red Sox and 19 whiffs (17 from four-seamers!) gets me into a frenzy. This was a fastball-first start, leaning on his 96 mph four-seamer 72% of the time, but they worked and that’s what matters. If only his slider could do better than 1/19 whiffs, then I could truly be pumped for Patiño, but hey, this is fine by me and makes me heavily consider a date with the Twins next.

Chris Ellis @ TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 69 pitches.

Oh hey. Didn’t see ya there Ellis. Y’all really should pay attention to me more. Oh really? Care to…’Ellis why? I hate you. Me too man. Me too.

Luis Garcia @ SEA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

It’s not the greatest, but that’ll do. His cutter wasn’t nearly as effective as we normally see + he elected to toss just four sliders on the night. Four! That’s your second-best pitch! Weird. The Astros have a lovely schedule and as long as Garcia still has a spot (they could pull him from the rotation when José Urquidy returns to conserve his innings), you start him.

Chris Paddack @ ARI (ND) – 4.2 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 86 pitches.

Paddack returned from the IL and went super four-seamer heavy, tossing the heater 73% of the time for 27% CSW. He sat a solid 95.3 mph, but pumped them right down the pipe plenty, while his changeup did a great job hovering the bottom of the zone. I don’t think this is a changed man, but if he can scootch closer to 96 mph and lift the heaters a bit more, he could make it work…just not against the Astros + Dodgers next. That’s too tough for me to trust.

Jose Alvarez vs MIL (L) – 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 0 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 39 pitches.

Johnny Cueto was under the weather and scratched for this start, leading to Alvarez doing what he could to kick off a bullpen game. K. Bye.

Bailey Ober @ DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 77 pitches.

Bailey learned the skill of being Oberizzi with high heaters constantly, and has added another skill of placing sliders down-and-armside effectively. Streaming Record: 79-61. This is a good thing and I wish he didn’t have to face the Rays next or I’d be all over his next outing. There’s a chance he still succeeds there, too. Not a chance I’d take, but it exists.

Chris Flexen vs HOU (ND) – 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 102 pitches.

Ehhhh. That WHIP hurts and is the decent ERA and four strikeouts worth it? I’m inclined not to think so. But at least Flexen is arguably good against the solid Astros squad — there’s something of value to that…right? He gets the Sneks next in Arizona and I think that’s okay.

Mike Mayers vs NYY (ND) – 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 29 pitches.

This was a bullpen game as the Angels elected to push back Shohei Ohtani after getting hit in the wrist with a pitch. I hope Mayers is okay with his blurb going entirely to someone else. It’s okay. What a cool dude. Update: Naaaah, Ohtani was supposed to start on Tuesday, not Monday. This was planned, if you can believe it.

Robbie Ray vs BAL (W) – 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 10 Ks – 20 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 97 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and earn yet another Gallows Pole. What an unreal run this has been, I can’t help but shake the idea that it won’t carry over into 2022. I really hope it does, but this is Ray here, a man with a legit history of volatility. Just sayin’. We’ll debate later.

Julio Urías vs ATL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 86 pitches.

Urías was looking perfect through four and despite a rougher sixth (Careful, Icarus), the end result was well worth your time. And that’s just generally what he does for you. Don’t expect the sweeping ridiculous starts, just some good ole stable production. Works for me, I’ll just sit here and dream of his changeup blossoming into the pitch we all know it should be LIKE A FOOL.

Tyler Gilbert vs SD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 91 pitches.

Gilbert was spoiled on his first day in the bigs. He’s a Toby at best and hey, the Padres aren’t so bad. At least he gets the Mariners next? You could do worse for a desperate Sunday stream.

Luis Castillo vs STL (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 104 pitches.

The changeup is missing bats and I wish he tossed more than twelve sliders (they were filthy) as Castillo was good, but not great. A PQS ain’t so good for us normal folk.

Casey Mize vs MIN (L) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 79 pitches.

PQS isn’t the deMize that we’ve been seeing over the past month and his slider was certainly better than usual. He has to head to Cincy next, though, and that September schedule is rough. I’d just avoid Mize altogether.

Germán Márquez @ TEX (L) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 5 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 89 pitches.

Blegh. Márquez had a glorious matchup in Texas and couldn’t come through. That’s four straight disappointments and I sincerely regret not lowering him on The List today. The slider and curve were far from their best selves and now he has to endure Atlanta in Coors. Oooof. Good luck.

Zack Wheeler @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 4 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 95 pitches.

Bleeegggh. His heater wasn’t spotted as well as we’ve seen and his slider was far from its new-and-improved self. I excused his last one as a Careful, Icarus, but he deserved this one. Don’t worry, there’s no reset quite like facing the Marlins, so let all that anxiety go. Hakuna Matata, y’all.

Nick Pivetta @ TB (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 5 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 108 pitches.

Annnnnd why am I even ranking Pivetta for The List? Riiiight riiight, it’s for Cleveland next time out. He better have his heater then because 15% CSW ain’t gonna cut it, oh heavens no. That ain’t the Nicky P you want.

Corey Kluber @ LAA (ND) – 4.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 68 pitches.

Welcome back, Kluber. The hook was great, but that’s all that was working save for some sinkers he snuck in for a strike (sub-90 mph sinkers, at that. Yikes), and it burned him in the end. Come on cutter, you have to be better than 1/12 CSW, even if you earned some outs. He gets the Orioles next and I’d prefer not to trust him there. He’s not ready.

Drew Smyly @ LAD (ND) – 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 89 pitches.

Ouch. Smyly had a solid curveball, but the Dodgers jumped on his heater and cutter (hey, the cutter!) and it wasn’t meant to be. You likely didn’t start him here expecting much at all anyway, right? I mean, it’s a two-start week in Los Angeles + Coors. That spells production d-e-p-r-e-s-s-i-o-n. When you type it out like that, it makes it even worse. Whoa. It does. Sorry.

Josiah Gray vs PHI (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

Why did I make this the game of the day. I did this. It was the first proper floundering of Josiah’s short career and his heater just wasn’t the pitch it needed to be. The curve wasn’t the heavy striker-earning either and yeah, this just wasn’t his evening. That’s alright, it happens, and I’d still start Josiah with confidence against the Mets. What, you thought this was a Vargas Rule?

 

Game of the Day 

 

Blake Snell vs Zac GallenSnell is in a new groove + I would love to see Gallen find his changeup once again.

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

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Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

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

  • Avatar JD says:

    I think Ray carries it over to next season if he sticks with the Jays. Obviously Pete Walker seems to be doing good things for him. If he moves elsewhere, who knows

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