Corbin Caught Dealing

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Thursday.

Patrick Corbin vs PHI (W) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 102 pitches.

We’ve gone through a lot already across the six weeks of the regular season and I know it’s been tough. We’ve each made promises, disagreed, earned trust, lost trust, earned it again and now we’re stronger than ever and today we had a moment. Patrick Corbin has looked horrendous more times than not but today? Well today was brilliant – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 9 Ks with 18 Whiffs and 32% CSW across 102 pitches. This de-coronation as we remove the TIARA comes with fur coats, furious trumpets, and an aura that questions why you ever had a doubt.

I’m not joking, Corbin was better than we could have ever dreamed. “I’m waiting until I see slider whiffs,” is a common quote of mine and here we are, staring at 13/49 whiffs from Corbin’s sliders. “I need to see his fastball looking like 2019 again,” as I shouted more demands. No, the pitch didn’t sit 91 mph – it sat 92.7 mph. That’s higher than any season average on his fastball. Corbin locations were impeccable, he was efficient, he got strikeouts, HE DID IT ALL. Now the only question is if he can do it again and with a schedule of CHC, BAL, and MIL ahead, you better make sure he’s on your squad as we find out. This could be a brilliant redemption tour and while it would be foolish to assume he’s sitting 92/93 with over 10 slider whiffs per start now, I think we can at least put aside the atrocity that was most of April. Welcome back Patty C.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Thursday:

 

Chi Chi Gonzalez vs CIN (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 88 pitches.

Sure, let’s lead off with CHI CHI GONZO of all guys. How he earned 19/21 outs in the field without a single run against the Reds is beyond me but here we are. He’s able to do this every so often but good luck trying to figure out when.

Lance Lynn vs MIN (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 111 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Lynn demanded five frames to get you that Win, it didn’t matter that it took 111 pitches. What. A. Stud.

Anthony DeSclafani @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 76 pitches.

For those that demand me to raise Tony Disco up the ranks, please acknowledge this matchup against Pittsburgh and the future schedule of @CIN, LAD, @LAD. Heading to Cincy is a debatable choice, but I’m out for the other two. I’m sorry y’all, but this may be a drop if there’s someone else who can help you across the next two weeks.

Garrett Richards vs OAK (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 91 pitches.

I will absolutely take this from Richards, especially when I picked him as a streamer on the back of hoping his slider would return…and it didn’t. Just 2/29 whiffs and 24% CSW on the sweeper as he got buy with a decent BABIP. Phew. Streaming Record: 27-13. There’s no way I’m trusting him in Dunedin against Toronto next, let alone Atlanta or Houston after. Yeeeesh that’s rough.

Rich Hill vs NYY (W) – 6.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 9 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 104 pitches.

Wow. The Rich struck gold, earning a Golden Goal against the Yankees as he was able to toss 104 pitches while earning 10 whiffs on his 89 mph fastball. Ridiculous. I’m legit amazed and impressed. Now he gets Baltimore and obviously we’re in there.

Jack Flaherty @ MIL (W) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 101 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It was the Brewers and Flaherty did what he was supposed to. Please clap.

Trevor Rogers @ ARI (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

Aces gonna ace for the youngin’ who simply can’t be stopped. Sure, this was Arizona and we want to crown him against a better offense, but they’re better against lefties and Rogers is doing the same amazing things with his heater that he’s done all year. What a wonderful ride this has been.

Corbin Burnes vs STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 78 pitches.

The man came back from COVID and finally walked a guy. Glad we can get past setting records and all that. It was 62% cutters as the pitch is just too dang good. TOO DANG GOOD.

Spencer Turnbull vs KC (W) – 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 99 pitches.

Yesssss, Turnbull’s slider is BACK BAYBE as it went 62%(!) CSW with 10/21 whiffs. That sinker played second fiddle to his 41% usage four-seamer and Turnbull made it work. I’m cool taking a chance on him against Seattle and Cleveland next with this slider obviously working well.

Zach Plesac @ SEA (W) – 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

I feel like he’s creeping back into the AGA conversation as he flirted with a no-hitter during Gilbert’s MLB debut. I’m a bit surprised he earned just two strikeouts against the Mariners, though, and hopefully he establishes himself proper next time against the Angels. That curveball is still around and 5/11 CSW works for me.

Ross Stripling @ ATL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 9 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 84 pitches.

Whoaaaa, this is WONDERFUL. Collectively as a fantasy community, we’ve all been internally cheering for Stripling to take advantage of his security inside a rotation and this was the first start we’ve seen where he truly took shape. Well, kinda. Wait, KINDA?! His success was mostly in four-seamers, which earned a whopping 46% CSW and did most of the damage. The curveball and changeup? 7/31 whiffs without a single called strike. In other words, I don’t quite buy it as his heater, sitting at good ole 92 mph, isn’t this elite offering. Once Stripling is doing wonderful things with his secondaries, then we can talk. He gets Boston next and even though the nine strikeouts speak to me like a buck on the ground, I’m just going to keep walking.

Merrill Kelly vs MIA (L) – 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 96 pitches.

It’s essentially a VPQS for Kelly and if you elected to stream him against the Marlins, it was likely for just that. So congrats, I guess. For the rest of us, this ain’t it and there ain’t enough it to suggest it can be it. Got it? He doesn’t. You get it.

Wil Crowe vs SF (L) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 94 pitches.

Hey that changeup wasn’t so bad but yeah, considering that I look at this and want to give him a pat on the back saying “good job!” should speak volumes.

Daniel Lynch @ DET (L) – 2.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 66 pitches.

Noooo. Lynch got Singled Out a bit in this one as I thought we had a sneaky start on our hands here. Not today. Lynch’s raw ability is solid, but he hasn’t quite figured out how to work in changeups and sliders to pair with heaters. There is a solid starter in here and maybe it shows itself against the Rays but he’s not even stretched out now. You can pass and move on to other pastures.

Charlie Morton vs TOR (ND) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

NICK, YOU TOLD ME TO HOLD MORTON. I did and once again, I am asking you to hold Charlie Morton. Look, the Jays are good and Morton’s still pumping 95 mph with a solid curveball. Sure, the cutter wasn’t as great but I legit believe Morton is still a strong talent and he has a TIARALook at Corbin, that could be you next week with Morton on your squad. You’ll be so happy you did.

Michael Pineda @ CWS (L) – 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 96 pitches.

The White sox are solid and his slider wasn’t as good as it normally is with just 22% CSW. He’ll get them again and it’s a borderline start but honestly, I think you’re fine with it. Even in this disappointment, he was two outs away from a PQS and had seven Ks.

Mike Foltynewicz @ HOU (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 95 pitches.

In these situations – a meh pitcher against a team you clearly wouldn’t start him against – all we’re looking for is a change inside the repertoire that would suggest he could perform better against a weaker team. Why am I mentioning all of this? I’m not sure, Folty didn’t do that here. Sooooooo yeah.

Cristian Javier vs TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 6 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 99 pitches.

That WHIP is lovely and sure, I’ll take six strikeouts, but all I wanted was one fewer ER against the Rangers. I guess a 3.86 ERA is fine but I wanted to be pumped, you know? His slider did a bit more of the whiff thing in this one, so I guess that’s cool. He’s a start against OAK next, but the Dodgers + Red Sox after give me pause.

Logan Gilbert vs CLE (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 71 pitches.

This roundup is a little later than usual as I wrote 3,500 words on this MLB debut before diving into tonight’s roundup. Please read it and watch all 25 GIFs as you’ll understand him way better than the next sentence I’ll write. In short, Gilbert has a solid ~94/95 mph fastball with a pair of breakers that don’t overwhelm me, but have their moments. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him but is he a hold in standard 12-teamers? Maybe, it’s a bit of a gamble to bank that he’ll be able to go deep enough to be worthwhile against Detroit next while there’s some ironing out to do with his approach. I see the upside, though, I just wonder if it’ll truly blossom soon.

Jameson Taillon @ TB (L) – 4.2 IP, 4 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 95 pitches.

Blegh. I’m thrilled to see Taillon use his curveball well and continue to overwhelm with four-seamers (14/58 whiffs!), but he needs more out of that slider and it’s not there yet, failing to earn a whiff on ten thrown. Like Eflin below, be happy he salvaged this start with nine strikeouts when everything else didn’t work out. He’ll get there.

Zach Eflin @ WSH (L) – 6.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 92 pitches.

It’s pretty dang cool to see Eflin still give you nine strikeouts while enduring those terrible ratios. The curveball is still off surfing or finding itself or whatever, leaving Eflin to get through everything with sinkers/sliders one more time. He sat glove-side nearly exclusively and batters wisened up to the situation. Don’t think about this one much, spend your time dreaming about the MIAx2 + TBR starts ahead.

Sean Manaea @ BOS (L) – 2.0 IP, 7 ER, 10 Hits, 1 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 47 pitches.

Noooooo. Manaea got trucked by the Red Sox as he couldn’t stop locating his fastball in the middle of the zone. his velocity was solid at 91 mph, but it has to come with better command than this. Now you have a tough decision as he faces the Astros and while I want to say start him, I totally get if you see this and can’t bring yourself to do it.

Luis Castillo @ COL (L) – 3.2 IP, 8 ER, 10 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 24% CSW, 78 pitches.

Well, this was a pretty easy sit and we’re patiently waiting for the moment when we can be excited about Castillo again. At least it was cool to see him averaging 97 mph…? He gets the Giants and Nationals next and even after this atrocity, I can see myself starting him for both. Feel free to bench until further notice if you like, though, that may ultimately be the wise move. I still believe he will show up, though. He always does and you don’t want to miss it.

Game of the Day 

 

Sandy Alcántara vs. Clayton KershawIt’s the day Sandy showcases why he got his AGA label while the veteran points to his TATIAGA tag.

 

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

 

Featured image 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 theKraken says:

    I don’t think too many people are bullish on Rich Hill.
    From my perspective, Rich Hill is the most underappreciated player in baseball. He is a great story but that really isn’t important as his consistent production speaks for itself. Every time I browse waivers for SP he is always the best option out there by a wide margin. It always feels like I am the only one dumb enough to pick him up. I drop him and he sits until I pick him up again. If what you want are ratios he is borderline elite in those. He provides solid Ks. He always pitches for a contender. You could probably get him for nothing and he would fit nicely into any fantasy staff… yet the dude is always on waivers. I could see Rich Hill being ranked outside the top 100 starters, but in terms of track record there isn’t a more underappreciated player in MLB. Sure, I am talking fantasy here but most people’s perceptions of player values are rooted in fantasy. I don’t remember the last Gatorade commercial I saw featuring Rich Hill.

    • Avatar Mallex P. Keaton says:

      I feel the same way, although I have never had Hill on many of my rosters through the years. The way the Yankees announcers were talking about him during the game yesterday was disgraceful. The guy has been around and rather successful for a long time, and they acted like he was some chump that the Yankees bats should have been destroying. You can certainly say his stuff isn’t overwhelming, but they were way too dismissive of Hill.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    Lynn’s defense was criminal in that game. He really did pitch for about seven innings worth of outs. They legitimately made him work today. Jake Lamb should never be allowed to play first base again.

  • Avatar theKraken says:

    I watched Lynch today. He had zero command of the FB and he was missing in bad ways. It looked like a two pitch mix and I am not sure the FB plays all that well. I hope that was a bad start. The game needs more starting pitchers, but that looked a lot like an RP today. It is easy to imagine how that package would overwhelm minor leaguers but in mlb they see plenty of left-handed FB.

  • Avatar BP says:

    Sorry, Nick. For your crimes of recommending Charlie MortBUM, I’m gonna get my streaming picks from fangraphs.

    • Avatar theKraken says:

      Better yet, take responsibility for your own picks. Good luck! Fangraphs is the JV version of PL imo. I don’t think the world realizes it yet, but PL is the only influential site on the Internet. The rest of the pack is offering up mindless progressive analysis. Peak FG was many years ago. They lost all of their talent a long time ago.
      Charlie Morton has a track record that speaks for itself. Many of those guys with great track records are getting outproduced by what are surely flukes at this point. It is a weird year. Pitching is impossible to predict this year. This is MLB baseball as we have never seen it in my lifetime. The players are putting in a fraction of what they generally have work-wise and the results are just all over the place. Couple that with indefensible game management and it isn’t as predictable as it should be. That narrative of pretending that the players are working hard behind the scenes has officially exploded in our faces. People who are not actually working have always been the ones talking about how hard they are working. The thing about results is that they speak for themselves. Where these is talk, there is a person not working and there is a lot of that masking the ugly state of professional baseball in MLB. Until we have professionals preparing as professionals, expect extreme volatility.

    • Avatar BA says:

      I am #1/#2 in pitching in my two leagues cause of Nick. Yeah, good luck with FG.

  • Avatar P says:

    Which would you rather have rest of season, Corbin or Morton?

  • Avatar J.C. Mosier says:

    Thank you, Nick. This is the Corbin write-up for which I’ve been waiting! Goodbye, Garrett, and thanks; welcome back, Patrick.

  • Avatar Boom says:

    Just traded away Maeda for Morton. I hope I don’t regret this.

  • Avatar Dave says:

    Is Gilbert normally such an extreme flyball pitcher, or was yesterday just a fluke (debut jitters… )?

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