Cutaway Gibson

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Sunday.

Kyle Gibson vs BAL (ND) – 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 97 pitches.

We’re three weeks in, and while the major focus has been on the disappointments, I can’t help but be amazed by the resurgence of Kyle Gibsonwho clocked in 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks against the Orioles today. It wasn’t the same boosted fastball velocity from before, nor the massive whiffs on his secondary stuff, but the man located on the arm-side corner all evening and it paid off. Streaming Record: 9-8.

It’s three straight success stories from Gibson now and you may be wanting to Vargas Rule this. I don’t think you should. I’m not in love with his repertoire + he gets CWS, BOS, and MIN next — all three above-average offenses. I’m worried this won’t last as he plays legit lineups once again, and while it’s hard to let go of an arm when he’s pitching well, it’s in your best interests to get ahead of this one. Sorry Gibson, we need to cut you off.

 

Let’s see how every other SP did Sunday:

 

Pablo Lopez vs SF (L) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 101 pitches.

You know the rules and so do I. After a tough outing, you always start Lopez again for the rebound. His changeup performed better, his fastballs earned outs, and he even sprinkled in some cutters as well. Things are a-okay in the PabLo camp, and I’m glad we can just ignore what happened last week. Well, we shouldn’t entirely as I can’t get rid of the notion that there isn’t enough depth in his repertoire outside of the slow ball, leaving him open to those cataclysmic days, but those are the exception, not the regularity. Everything’s fine.

John Means @ TEX (ND) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 2 BBs, 9 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 96 pitches.

Means, you just know how to make a man smile. While his heater was at just 92 mph today, he did a good job attacking with the pitch to set up his changeup, which earned a whopping 39% CSW across 31 thrown. He flicked some curveballs in there for strikes as well and voila, there’s…nine strikeouts?! Okay, I don’t think he was that good — Blame it on the Rangers — but I’d feel confident with his OAK, OAK, SEA, schedule ahead.

Aaron Nola vs STL (W) – 9.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 21 Whiffs, 39% CSW, 109 pitches.

Aces gonna earn a King Cole as I wish every day was Nola day. His curveball was the famous CSW-hungry hook from 2020, and I’m falling in love all over again. Sigh.

Brady Singer vs TOR (ND) – 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 6 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 90 pitches.

Ayyyy, there’s some production from Singer, finally. He lived glove-side and down and even earned seven whiffs on sliders. It’s just in time for his glorious three-game schedule of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, and I’m ready for all the quality starts.

Robbie Ray @ KC (ND) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 6 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

Sees Ray go five scoreless innings. Oh! Robbie must be throwing tons of strikes again. Sees six walks. Oh no. It wasn’t so wild as we’ve seen in the past, but this is not a man in control of his arsenal. It’s not a terrible schedule ahead, but I just can’t justify the volatility here. I’d see if I can replace him for a spot starter.

Alex Wood @ MIA (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 61 pitches.

Wood returned from the IL in a Still ILL situation and said “TO H*CK WITH THAT!” He was sitting 91/92 mph with a wicked slider, and that’s kinda great. Now he gets the Marlins + Rockie Road for his next two starts?! Ummm, I’ll take some short-term Wood for $400 free, Alex.

Antonio Senzatela vs NYM (L) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 78 pitches.

Oh no. Not this again. Please don’t buy into Senz-a, this is a bigger trap than that ridiculous contraption I made just for a fake rodent. Rat cage? Yeah, I think that’s the name of that game. Classic.

Nick Margevicius vs HOU (ND) – 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 73 pitches.

Sure, whatever Marge. Something something Simpsons joke. You laughed, I laughed, it was a wonderful five seconds. Let’s move on.

Trevor Bauer @ SD (ND) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 98 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. I wonder if he can go at least six in every start this year.

Andrew Kittredge @ NYY (ND) – 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 52% CSW, 21 pitches.

This is really about Ryan Yarbrough who followed up for 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks and it’s a lovely rebound for The Fratty Pirate. 7/34 whiffs on changeups works for me, with plenty of strikes and outs on cutters. It’s not a great schedule ahead with the Jays next, though, and I’m still on the fence, making him a legit Toby — not that “actually good but doesn’t strike out enough batters” Toby. It’s up to you.

Marcus Stroman @ COL (W) – 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 90 pitches.

Hot dang! Stroman survived the boogie man and performed inside Coors, going eight strong frames and earning a dub. He had a solid three-pitch mix of sinkers, cutters, and splitters, electing to shelve the slider for a day (possibly due to how sliders generally perform worse in Coors…?). It gets plenty easier now with Washington next and obviously you keep sticking him in your lineup.

Michael Kopech @ BOS (ND) – 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 4 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 41 pitches.

The ChiSox haven’t stretched out Kopech as he got the nod to start in a doubleheader. It was a touch worrisome to see him dip to 93 mph — reminiscent of his 2018 callup that led to TJS — but he sat 96 mph and I heavily doubt there’s anything to fear. I was a little sad to see just 1/18 whiffs on his secondary stuff, and I have to wonder how he’d look once he’s eventually stretched out and actually in the rotation (maybe by June?). He’ll be an instant pickup when that does happen, but I’m not ignoring the lack of secondary dominance here.

Madison Bumgarner @ WSH (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 80 pitches.

Ayyyy, he did it! Four-seamer sat 91 mph today, a wonderful sign given the 88 mph mark from 2020, and his cutter earned strikes. Sadly he gets Atlanta next and that’s a clear Matrix lean back, but there may be Rockie Road in his future and I’m not going to rule that out for a deep stream if he keeps up this velocity.

Paolo Espino vs ARI (L) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 75 pitches.

Stephen Strasburg was placed on the IL earlier today, forcing Espino to make a spot start here. He averages 89 mph on his fastball and earned 2/75 whiffs. Oh.

Blake Snell vs LAD (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna mostly ace. Great to see Snell survive the first this time around and go 95 pitches, though I wish he were more efficient to earn more than 15 outs, even if it is the Dodgers. He’s going to take a slight dip tomorrow as I have to give more love to Glasnow and Burnes, but don’t look into it, y’all. Please don’t.

Dallas Keuchel @ BOS (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 1 Ks – 3 Whiffs, 19% CSW, 67 pitches.

Yeah, you’ll take this. Nothing hurts you here, even if it’s just one strikeout — HAISTFMFWT?!– and why not, here’s a dub for ya. That’s Keuchel, alright.

Chris Bassitt vs DET (ND) – 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 8 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 90 pitches.

And this is why we ignore two poor starts against legit offenses and embrace Bassitt against weak squads. 17 whiffs is astounding, rooted in 10/49 whiffs across four-seamers and sinkers. Weird as anything coming from Bassitt. He also threw 29% cutters, another abnormality for a guy who relies on sinkers all day like he’s a HydroHomie but his water bottle is filled with sinkers. Wow, what an analogy. Please ignore that and keep riding the schedule wave with the Orioles next.

John Gant @ PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 5 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 88 pitches.

That’s more high fives than a 100-person basketball team doing their starting lineup introductions. It adds up to a 2.00 WHIP that just isn’t worth a 3.60 ERA and a handful of strikeouts. I wonder how long the Gant will reign inside the Cardinals’ rotation, but I can’t imagine it’ll be much longer. Stay out while you can.

Gerrit Cole vs TB (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 18 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 109 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. It’s just that kind of start to the season as Cole gets the deGrom treatment. 6/19 whiffs on changeups is a bit of a surprise — 47% CSW! — so that’s cool.

Bryse Wilson @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 1 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 36% CSW, 69 pitches.

What a weird thing. An excellent 36% CSW as Wilson earned many strikes, yet just one with two strikes to earn the not-so-coveted HAISTFMFWT?! I can imagine some ran with Wilson in a moment of desperation and to all of you, congrats on the dub. For the rest of us, you’re better off not thinking about this at all.

Matthew Boyd @ OAK (ND) – 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 94 pitches.

At what point do I just throw my hands up in the air and ignore all the thoughts I have? It still feels like a Vargas Rule to me as Boyd continues his march toward redemption, riding the wave of his changeup as it earned 55%(!) CSW here. However, he went 1/14 slider whiffs, heavily relied on called strikes, and I can’t shake the feeling this is a massive sell-high if he doesn’t have that sweeper working. I will say, his overall changeup/fastball command is certainly a step-up from last year, though, and maybe that enough is worth his stay on your roster. It still shocks me plenty.

Shane Bieber @ CIN (W) – 8.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 13 Ks – 25 Whiffs, 35% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace. Despite just one game under two ER, he’s holding a 2.45 ERA through four starts, here earning himself a lovely Gallows Pole once again. It’s pretty interesting how the consensus “top tier” trio of starters are legit in their own league still. That’s pretty cool to me.

Chad Kuhl @ MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

While his slider is still the same pitch that I wanted him to throw over 40% of the time back in 2018 (45% thrown here!), he’s still missing the heater that got me excited. It’s a 93 mph sinker these days and it just doesn’t cut it. Not cool, just Kuhl.

Freddy Peralta vs PIT (ND) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 87 pitches.

There’s a reason he’s known as General Disarray as he acts like the underling to Dinelson Lametaka Professor Chaos. Peralta’s slider wasn’t nearly as good as we’ve seen (2/23 whiffs), and that heater was a bit erratic as well. He’ll still get the strikeouts for those at-bats where he can throw strikes, though, and we’re still starting him against the Cubs next week.

Tanner Houck vs CWS (L) – 4.1 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 0 BBs, 2 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 58 pitches.

Awwwww, Houck got a chance as he returned for a doubleheader, and while his slider missed bats, nothing else worked. Welp, back to the minors for you. Here’s to a proper pickup later in the year.

Martín Pérez vs CWS (L) – 3.2 IP, 4 ER, 7 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 58 pitches.

The only reason Pérez is rostered now is if you believe he’ll be allowed to go deep into games, possibly earning you a Win or Quality Start. It’s not worth it, y’all. It just isn’t.

Jake Odorizzi @ SEA (L) – 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 89 pitches.

It’s weird. Odorizzi is doing the thing — painting the top of the zone red with four-seamers as the pitch holds a 20% SwStr rate across 62% thrown — but it’s just not enough as he was far from efficient. Sure, a second pitch to throw for strikes would be a major plus, but he’s lived this way before and had success. I have to think this will work out as the season progresses.

Wade Miley vs CLE (L) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 25% CSW, 83 pitches.

I called this one of the better backup streams for today and it…wasn’t. It almost was and a 1.20 WHIP + 5 Ks ain’t bad, but a 7.20 ERA is an atrocity, especially against Cleveland, and you have to do better, Miley. He has a lovely schedule, though, and here’s to hoping he turns this around to become a proper Toby.

Kyle Hendricks vs ATL (L) – 4.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 Hits, 3 BBs, 2 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 20% CSW, 74 pitches.

You drafted Hendricks, and you’re panicking. Hendricks isn’t getting the whiffs on his changeup, the increased curveball usage from last year dropped to just 5% here, and his fastball is meh at 86/87. This ain’t it. I wish I had better things to tell you, but I will say that Hendricks should be better in the future. That’s it? Pretty much, just like with Corbin and the rest, it’s too soon to say he’s washed up, especially when his changeup was commanded well and we’ve seen him struggle in 2019 before picking it back up. We’re three weeks in, there’s a boatload of season left. How big is the boat? Like…THIS big.

 

Game of the Day 

 

Brandon Woodruff vs Joe MusgroveMmmm this should be a blast.

 

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

 

Photo by George Walker/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 Jaybird says:

    Alrighty then, seems like short term Alex Wood for free might be the play……although can’t help but notice the implication of not much love for long term Alex Wood for free lol

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