Corbin Burned

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Patrick Corbin vs ARI (L) – 2.0 IP, 9 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 63 pitches.

Well, this is a rough roundup to write: I really liked Patrick Corbin entering this year. In an off-season where we collectively as a fantasy industry swore to not over-weigh 2020, it spelled an underappreciation for Corbin, a legit ace in 2019 who wasn’t himself in 2020. While it’s still very early, tonight’s 2.0 IP, 9 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 1 Ks doesn’t seem to give much of an indication that 2020 was an anomaly. Yikes.

What’s awfully weird about this one was how Arizona was flat-out unflinching. He located his fastballs inside, albeit a bit too far off the plate, and Arizona resisted. His changeups sat low. His sliders weren’t chased. Corbin’s strike zone plot doesn’t look like from someone who allowed 9 ER. Seriously, look at all the locations of pitches that were put into play and scored run(s). Those pitches all are out of the heart of the plate. It’s just so…strange. Maybe that is something about Corbin. Maybe there’s something about his stuff that simply makes him more hittable and easier to pick up than before.

I’m at a loss. Seriously, this is a major L for me as Corbin will likely be dropped by many tomorrow. I’ll finish with this. Two starts do not make a season. This start hurt. A lot. I can’t shake the feeling that there are 30 starts more for Corbin to make this year – and they could be much better than this one. Consider your options and just make sure you’re not just rage-dropping him. I’m not and you have to recognize there’s a chance he deserves a TIARA and we talk about Corbin this off-season by disregarding his first two games. But yeah, this wasn’t pretty.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

Tarik Skubal @ OAK (L) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

The good news here? His splitter was decent and the slider earned some whiffs. The bad news is he was far from efficient and there’s still plenty of work to be done. Back to good news, he gets the Pirates and should be safe. Back to bad news, naaaah just playing, live in the good, y’all. Don’t let that negative stuff keep you down – life is too precious for that.

Sean Manaea vs DET (W) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 82 pitches.

Solid stuff Manaea, it’s great to see whiffs on both the sinker and changeup here. I’m still a little trepidacious to trust Manaea with regular frequency, but he got Detroit and they went back to their old ways as we expected. It’s a tougher call against Minnesota next week and that will be a clear Tier 3 play in my daily streaming articles.

Austin Gomber @ LAD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

Well, look at that. A PQS for Gomber against the mighty Dodgers with seven Ks to boot. Good things can happen when you pitch outside Coors. His slider and curve were both solid here as he got strikes with fastballs, but yeah, you really can’t do much here except consider him on the road against poor lineups. That’s about it.

Julio Urias vs COL (ND) – 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 90 pitches.

Bleegggh. This was a Careful, Icarus as Urias allowed three in his sixth frame, leading to an unfortunate exit. His changeup is normally fantastic and didn’t do a whole lot here, using it under 20% of the time. His fastball command wasn’t pristine either and it turned into a disappointing outing despite the oft desired Rockie Road matchup. Shake it off and keep starting Urias.

Michael Pineda vs BOS (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 88 pitches.

I don’t get it. I really don’t. Whatever, Pineda earned a King Coleshut down the Red Sox, held a 33% SwStr on sliders, and is a Vargas RuleDon’t question the train’s existence, just chug along with it.

Garrett Richards @ MIN (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

After being indecisive across two starts against Baltimore, it’s good to see Ricahrds rebound against a solid Twins crew. Sadly, I can’t buy it as his slider is still blegh – 1/17 whiffs and 12% CSW. This ain’t sustainable without that slider.

Aaron Civale @ CWS (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

It was a quick run and nothing else for the White Sox as Civale found a groove. I think there’s still room for improvement as I’m waiting for a clear secondary pitch to constantly earn whiffs (0/16 whiffs on curveballs?!) but his new four-seamer is treating him well. He gets the White Sox again and while it’s not fun to spin the wheel a second time, it feels like you don’t have a choice.

Justin Dunn @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 68 pitches.

Hey, this worked! Dunn, dunn DUUUNNNN! After a horrendous season debut, Dunn was much improved with his nerves eased, showcasing a blistering 94 mph fastball. His slider was solid at 3/14 whiffs, and I think there’s something to this. Sadly it’s the Dodgers and Astros next so we’re just going to go ahead and hope for the best as we watch from afar.

Chris Paddack @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 99 pitches.

You’d like to think from this line that Paddack may be back. He’s not back. He’s still struggling with his four-seamer command and I think he’s abandoned the Vulcan changeup for a simple circle-change…? It’s not great, just like this whole thing. I’d sell high off this if I could. He’s simply too far from 2019.

Lance Lynn vs CLE (L) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 93 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Is there anything this man can’t do? Throw a no-hitter. Touché.

Marco Gonzales @ BAL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 83 pitches.

Hmmmm, I don’t think this is enough. He allowed a two-run shot in the first and was able to settle down after, but I don’t think his command is where it needs to be. I like to think he can get it together over time, but is he really worth it? Explore other options if you have decent options on the wire.

Bruce Zimmermann vs SEA (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 87 pitches.

It wasn’t the prettiest of starts – 1.50 WHIP! – but a sub 4.00 ERA is a streaming victory. Streaming Record: 6-8. Can’t say he’s showing enough here to instill confidence moving forward, but you could do worse on a desperate Sunday. On a Desperate Sunday, I love that album! I’m so glad you’ve checked out my solo career, I really felt it was going to take off.

Trevor Rogers @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

The wild part about this one was the fastball Ronald Acuña yanked over the fence for a two-run shot was actually a good pitch. Off the plate and inside at 94.5 mph. That’s baseball, Suzyn. If you had any fears about Rogers, I think they should be quelled now. Congrats if you picked him up, this should be a worthwhile time.

Matt Harvey vs SEA (ND) – 4.2 IP, 2 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 89 pitches.

Look at Harvey, one out away from matching Gonzo and six years away from fantasy relevance. So close. There just isn’t enough here.

Jakob Junis vs TOR (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 81 pitches.

I had my doubts about Junis and I’m impressed that he survived. Even more impressed that he did it throwing fastballs down the middle, earning 14 called strikes and the Jays just let them pass – “yep, come right on through! Don’t be shy!” – and his cutter earned seven whiffs. I still stand by my original assessment: this is the same Junis as we’ve seen from years past with one good pitch and one mediocre fastball. Seriously I wrote about “the new Junis” back in late August 2017 and it applies to right now. I don’t think he’s the flier you’re looking for.

Jordan Lyles @ TB (ND) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 86 pitches.

Once again, Lyles has elected to favor his new slider over the tried-and-true curveball and it was…blegh. I do wonder if Lyles can be a desperate option when he gets a weak opponent, but for the most part, just ignore.

Ian Anderson vs MIA (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

Anderson has the tools for success, but he’s looking at them and figuring out exactly how they work. Vrrrrm, VRRRRM. That’s a Gallows Pole as his four-seamer went 10/64 on whiffs, though I was disappointed his changeup wasn’t the monster of a pitch we normally see, resulting in just an 8% CSW. I’m willing to wager that second half Anderson contends for a Top 25 SP spot, but he’ll be a bit shakier as he figures out his rhythm in the short term.

Anthony Kay @ KC (L) – 3.1 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 56 pitches.

Looks like Kay got the nod today and it was…Oh. Oh, kay. This is nothing that you want and represents that feeling when you write an essay text message and all you get back is a single letter. What did you think about that Anthony? K.

Rich Hill vs TEX (ND) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 88 pitches.

Awww, Hill was given the high pitch count but couldn’t escape the fifth, leaving us with just two Ks on the docket with 4 ER against the meh Rangers. This ain’t it.

Merrill Kelly @ WSH (W) – 6.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 96 pitches.

Congrats, Kelly, you’ve achieved the worst Win of the year thus far. I hope you’re satisfied with yourself, especially with your blegh 91 mph velocity.

Mitch Keller vs SD (L) – 3.1 IP, 7 ER, 9 Hits, 3 BBs, 1 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 83 pitches.

This start was pain. PAIN. I live-streamed it on Twitch and after a start where Keller had his slider working in tandem with heaters, the man was left out to dry with just one pitch – a four-seamer upstairs that the Padres were constantly able to get solid contact against. There was one pitch in the third that woke me up – a slider to kick off the frame – and it made me thrilled to see some secondary pitch look promising, but it went in-and-out after and it was rough. So rough, he fanned just one batter – HAISTFMFWT?! For all the excitement I had after his last start, it’s completely gone now and it’ll take a ridiculous start with that slider from the first pitch to make me reconsider this.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Jose Urquidy vs. Yusei Kikuchi – Both of these pitchers have the ability to put up zeroes against struggling offenses. This should be fun.

 

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

 

Photo by Mark Goldman/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 Neil says:

    So with Junis you not really differentiating between the Cutter and the Slider? Pitch tracking seems to be having a hard time differentiating 3 pitches between the fastball, hard cutter, and slider, but either way it seems like working on restoring the slider and adding the cutter via new age training probably has his breaking pitches in the best spot they ever been regardless. And 2018 Junis was pretty useable in a lot of league types, so i feel like you are sleeping on him a bit.

    All the work he put in with his brother has me more optimistic about his delivery and command too:
    https://theathletic.com/2407186/2021/02/25/brothers-in-arms-what-royals-pitcher-jakob-junis-learned-from-his-little-bro/

  • Avatar Eduardo says:

    Nick, it would be nice if you specify the date they picthed,, i know there it is the date of the article. Its very usefull to track your comments on a given pitcher.
    Or maybe it would be super cool if we can filter a pitcher y read all your comments of each start.

    Thank u very much. Im part of your mexican fans.

    • Nick Pollack Nick Pollack says:

      Hey Eduardo! Thanks for the feedback!

      We’re actually implementing these blurbs to be found inside the Game Logs of every pitcher on their player pages. Look for that in the next few weeks :)

      Otherwise, I think it would add too much clutter to each blurb to add the date – it’s already known that each pitcher here pitched the day prior to the article release.

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